A post-closing update is a physical return to the land records to ensure that all relevant documents were properly executed and recorded. Additionally, the updater ensures that no liens were recorded during the GAP period that could affect title. NB: It is NOT sufficient to merely review date-time stamped documents when they are returned from the land records.
The update is required because despite the best efforts of the settlement agent and the town clerk, things can “go wrong”. If caught early in the process, title defects and problems can be cured before they ripen into title claims. If not remedied, defective documents re-surface in foreclosure or bankruptcy cases.
Common problems that are routinely discovered by the VATC update team include: defectively executed or acknowledged documents; unrecorded powers of attorney utilized to execute a deed or mortgage; improperly recorded documents (e.g. signature page missing); documents that never made it to the land records in the first place; documents recorded in the wrong town; documents recorded out of sequence such as a first mortgage and second mortgage causing priority problems; liens recorded during the gap period; missing Schedule A property descriptions; and many, many more.
As Andy Mikell says at every seminar: “The best way to be sued by a title insurance underwriter is to not do a post-closing title update.” In other words, your underwriter (not to mention your borrower and/or lender clients) will likely consider it gross negligence.
Our title updater will visit the land records approximately 45 days after the receipt of the update request. In some cases, a visit will occur sooner if the updater is in the area. However, if recording is not yet complete at the time of our early visit, or if the discharge is not yet recorded, a second visit will be scheduled at no additional charge. If the discharge is not in the land records 45 days post-closing, the updater will NOT return to the land records for this file again unless the Discharge Tracking Service was ordered with the update service [keep reading for more information about Discharge Tracking].
If you order the Discharge Tracking Service, we will follow through until a valid mortgage discharge has been recorded in the land records and we will report it to you. That’s right – no matter HOW long it takes, we will get that discharge for you!! Previously, this service was provided through a 3rd Party. Now, this service will be handled in-house via one very simple ordering process.
You can pick and choose which files you send us. If the town clerk is across the street and the mortgage discharge will come from your favorite bank down the street perhaps you will keep the file. As for the Discharge Tracking Service, some attorneys use the service for all payoffs and others use it where the discharging lender is known to be slow, unreliable or out-of-state.
Most attorneys pass the costs along to the appropriate party: seller for seller’s mortgage(s); borrower for the post-closing update and borrower’s mortgage(s)). However, even if you are not able to pass the cost along, consider that a $25.00 update fee is more efficient and cost-effective than method than doing it “in-house.” As importantly, resolving ALL mortgage discharge problems for $20 is a no-brainer.
No. The service is for current payoffs only. However, CATIC does offer a title curative service for older discharges. See the enclosure, or contact us for more information about this vital service.
The service can clear mortgages, judgments, UCC Financing Statements, mechanic’s liens, tax liens, sewer liens, water liens and child support liens.
Yes. The fee for Discharge Tracking Service alone is $35 for the first mortgage and $20 for every mortgage after that. Please contact the VATC office to place a discharge-only order.
Most offices use the return of title information as a reminder that it is time to issue and/or remit all final unissued policies. If you have questions, please call the VATC office and we’ll be happy to help you make your office more efficient and more profitable.