PLP – 139 Know The History Of Your Property With Title Insurance With Rachel Luna

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When you buy a property, you want to be sure that it's free of any debt and lien. This is where title insurance comes in. You don't want to wake up one day, and your pool is torn down because it was built over a utility easement. Or the heir of the seller comes in and reclaims what is theirs. Title companies prevent these things from happening. Join your host, Keith Baker, and his guest, Rachel Luna, on the importance of title insurance. Rachel is the Agency Development Manager of Patriot Title. As The Texas Title Queen, she drops a ton of knowledge and discusses the parts of a title policy, what is covered, what is not covered, and why you need title insurance when you purchase a property. Learn the schedules of a title property and why title insurance is a must. If you're a lender, you better listen to this episode.

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Know The History Of Your Property With Title Insurance With Rachel Luna

The Texas Title Queen Breaks It Down For Lender Nation

I would like to thank you for sharing your time with me. If you're looking for practical tips and advice on how to put the power of the banking system into your investment accounts, then you are in the right place. If you want to learn from my mistakes so that you can both avoid them and profit from them, then pull up a chair and pour yourself a drink, my friend, and take some notes because this show is for you. I'm dedicated to giving people, like you and me, the knowledge and confidence for successful and profitable private lending.

In this episode, I sit down and talk with the Texas title queen, Rachel Luna from Patriot Title Company, who has graciously agreed to come on this episode and drop a ton of knowledge around the topic of title insurance, what it covers, what is not covered and where to find things in the policy. Before we get to the heart of this episode, first, a little bit of housekeeping, number one, I'm about to lose my voice. The kids had a soccer tournament. They won the first two games and lost in the third. However, it was exciting. It was a blood pressure event. It was a good tournament. I’m proud of the kids but I shot my voice. I threw it out. Rather than waiting, I figured, “I'm going to make everybody suffer with me.” That's the first bit of housekeeping.

The second bit of housekeeping is, have you joined the Private Lender Podcast Facebook group? If you haven't, why the hell not? Simply search in Facebook Groups for Private Lender Podcast, click on Join. Answer a few questions to let me know that you are a private lender and not looking for deals or looking for money and not looking to boost up your groups, but going to help add value to the community. Answer those questions, I'll let you in and then let you get started. While you're at it, head on over to PrivateLenderAcademy.com and click on Apply Now to learn more about putting the power of the banking system into your investment accounts or get some one-on-one time with me, I can answer your questions and show you my mistakes. That's PrivateLenderAcademy.com/apply.

The housekeeping is finished and now it's time to get to the heart of this episode. Our guest has been providing title insurance and escrow services for Houston area investors for about as long as I can remember. I caught up with Rachel Luna at the FlipCo Financial Meetup and was excited that she agreed to come on and talk about title insurance. For the simple reason, everyone, including me that says that you must have it, but very few people understand why you need it. I'm going to let Rachel answer that for you. I think you're going to enjoy this. She is dynamite. She is Miss Personality. She has a pistol, a load of fun, is very energetic, knowledgeable and smart. I'm going to let her get down to the brass tacks of this episode and let's get to the interview with Rachel Luna from Patriot Title.

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Lender Nation, I want you to buckle up because we're going to have a fun conversation about a boring topic. Our guest is coming and is going to bring all the enthusiasm and the excitement into something that nobody or very few lenders even think about and that is title insurance, exceptions, exclusions and endorsements. Welcome to the show.

Rachel Luna here from Patriot Title. It's going to be an amazing show with some amazing information with some boring topics.

I can't thank you enough. You are the perfect person to come on and talk about this because you're going to bring life to it. You already have just started with this. Let's talk about you for a moment before we get into the doldrums and the coffee stuff. Tell us about you. How did you become the Rachel Luna?

[bctt tweet="Title insurance is there to protect you from legalities that will forbid you from your goal." username=""]

The Texas Title Queen, as they call me or The Title Queen. I started this business many years ago. I was passionate about it and being able to help people grow their business in real estate and help along the way people accomplished one of the biggest dreams and purchases of their life. If it's not investing, it's purchasing their home for the first time or transacting a sale. Being able to be the end part of that transaction at the title company, helping people protect their investments, but also be a part of their investment.

I believe that as a title company and what we do is it's a very important piece of the whole puzzle. I love that being that piece and I love how every transaction is different. Every single day is different. Every client is different. This business has been nothing but learning and that's why I'm here. They call me the queen because I’ve self-educated, learned, evolved with this business and come out with solutions that can help all parties and all professionals in the real estate business in general, to help grow in their knowledge in real estate, but their knowledge and title and why it's so important. That's why we're here.

We only met in person after the COVID thing, but I have seen you around in the Houston area for years helping investors and homeowners. In fact, Rachel has a new branch, so they're expanding. Is business good?

Business is good. I'm expanding in Woodlands. This is going to be our Woodlands location. We're off of Sawdust over here and 45. We're in a conference and there's not much going on in here because we're setting up IT and getting phones implemented. We have a new conference room. We're getting this set up. There are computers over here on the floor. We're setting up stuff. It's a new shop, but it's all a process. I'm excited. I love opening up a new location to service and expand for our customers out there who need us in other areas of town.

Congratulations. That's good news to hear. Let's start off with what is title insurance? I demand it as a lender. I always demand a lender policy. Explain why am I crazy?

[caption id="attachment_3198" align="aligncenter" width="600"]PLP 139 | Title Insurance Title Insurance: Title insurance exists to protect your investment. If you're someone purchasing a property, you want to know what is on that property. It protects you from many other different variables.[/caption]

No, you're not crazy. You're being a smart man. I advise all to do the same. Title is protecting your investment. We do our due diligence from the sovereignty of a property. If you're a lender and giving money out to someone or if you're someone purchasing a property, you want to know what is on that property. Just because you see the person who signed the contract is the person that's registered in the CAD or the tax records and their name is on that. Let's use Harris County, Montgomery County, or Tarrant, it says, “XYZ person.” They're on the tax roll there and they're on the CAD and they signed the contract, it doesn't mean they're the only person that's entitled to that property or there are not any other issues.

What it does is protect the consumer, the lender and all parties of the transaction because you don't know what exactly is going on with an individual, their personal finances or if they're filing for bankruptcy. There are so many variables I can go on and on why you need title insurance to protect yourself. Your money or investment or purchase could be in legality that will forbid you or not allow you going forward to sell the property, do a refinance cash out on that property because there might be some other encumbrances that prevent that in title that was not caught because there was no insurance and due diligence done prior to.

It protects you because there are so many variables. In Texas, especially because it's a community property state as well. That's another wrench in there but there are so many variables of why a property can get. It could be an insurable, number one, but it could also be a bad investment when you thought it was a good investment. That's preventing bad investments. Why do you get titles? It’s to prevent a bad investment, is the bottom line.

Texas being a community property state, that divorce may not be final. That spouse may have a legal right of 50% of that property or a son or daughter. The black sheep of the family could come back all of a sudden say, “That was granddaddy's house and I'm entitled to something from it.”

“There's an interest that belongs to me. Where is it? Why didn't I get paid? Who sold this? Where's my money?” Go to the title company, but no. If you don't have title insurance, you're like, “You owe me money,” and then there could be the whole legality. That was what, at the end of the day, ended up being a bad investment that could have been prevented. At the end of the day, if you're asking me, why do you need title insurance? It’s to prevent you from making a bad investment.

For one, I don't pay it. The borrower does. That's better, but it is a small price to pay to avoid letting your money be held hostage. Getting into that, we've got to clear up this title. It's going to take the lawyers a couple of years, “No. I only loaned it for six months.” I can foreclose all I want. It doesn't matter. I won't have clear title to that property if I have to foreclose. For me, it's avoiding holding your money hostage.

You want to make money on your money, not have it tied up in legalities because of not being informed or not doing your due diligence. Not allowing a third party, like the title company to do the due diligence to protect your investment, to protect you so you can get your money to be in and out and move onto the next project, borrower or whatnot.

That's the beauty. If there is something that's missed, that’s why there is title insurance. It’s to remedy the situation and make everybody whole.

[bctt tweet="A property should be clear of debts and liens for the new consumer." username=""]

That's why the title company does its job. In the case that there is, you're insured, protected and that's why the title companies have underwriters. That's why they're an insurance company. That's why you pay them to protect you and then fix the wrong. It gives you the mind.

For everyone, a title company is no different than any other insurance company. They're going to be regulated by the state, whatever state they're in. They're going to have to follow the rules. They're probably going to have standard forms from that state that they use, at least to get started and then things change and go in all other areas. That's what we're going to go into all other areas. When my borrower finds a property and I agree to borrow, he opens the title. He begins the title search with Patriot Title and then we get a title commitment.

That title commitment is going to talk about any exceptions that won't be covered in insurance. There are exceptions and also exclusions. Anyone who has an auto policy or a home owner's policy is going to know that certain things are going to be excluded. Radioactive waste coming from your garage would be excluded from a homeowner's policy, for example. When you get a title commitment, the title company had gone through, done their research and due diligence and said, “We can trace it all the way back to sovereignty,” which I like to say is when we stole it from Mexico or the Indians, either way, you want to look at it.

Whenever we say, “We're putting a fence around this land and I'm calling it mine.” You go all the way back. You get a title commitment and there are certain things that the title won't cover. If somebody hasn't paid back taxes, for example, the title doesn't come in and step into that. As part of the closing process, the title company ensures that those taxes are paid or deferred, however, credit is given to the buyer. The bottom line is those taxes are going to be handled at closing such that exceptions will come into play. Before we got on the line, I had a bit of a thought about this.

It's like, “The property is being conveyed clear of debts and liens for the new borrower.” The title company at closing will ensure and assure the lender and the new purchaser that the property that they're receiving is going to be free and clear of debt and lien and not to exclude taxes, HOA, any other underlining lien holders that might be on the title, or that might have any derogatory authority to foreclose that would affect the new owner. We make sure that all debts and liens are paid in full so the new borrower who's getting the property is receiving it with only their new lienholder or obviously as a free and clear investment to pay in cash. We do ensure that all debts are paid in full upon conveyance. Conveyance is transfer title.

Conveyance means a transfer of title from one party to another or one person to another or entity. Another example is conveyance or the right of possession if the house is sold, and let's say there's a tenant or a renter in it. That new owner has to honor the lease that the tenant is under until the completion of that. However, if there's a problem with that title that is like, “It has nothing to do with the title of the property. That's the property.” That is an exception to anything as well.

Tenants, anything with the physicality of the property in reference to being a landlord type of situation. Our insurance is only to protect the title, the actual debt in the lien, the conveyance of a predecessor-to-predecessor, owner to owner throughout the years, to make sure that every owner conveyed that property without any debt or lien or clouds in the title. A conveyance is a very clean and clear pass-through of the owner to owner throughout the years. We're here to ensure that no one from many years ago was going to come and have some right to your property that you purchased here many years later.

We make sure that all of that is a clear conveyance of title throughout the years for you, the end buyer and owner, to have a good title. In reference to somebody living in the shack behind the house, we have nothing to do with it. That's something that's negotiated in the contract process. We are here to show the history, the debt and the ownership conveyance. The ownership lineage of title now in reference to who lives there and how or damage that’s contract stuff.

You don't care about the use of the property. It's just the conveyance of the title.

Also, the deb. That there's nothing there that's going to come back and the paperwork.

Wells Fargo is not going to come back and say, “We're going to foreclose now. I don't care if you just bought it.” That's not going to happen.

[caption id="attachment_3199" align="aligncenter" width="600"]PLP 139 | Title Insurance Title Insurance: The person who signed the contract is the owner of the property. Someone who isn't the owner can't sell it, so look at schedule A to know who the owner is.[/caption]

We made sure Wells Fargo got paid off in full. That's what we do. Some exclusions are he's talking about this vision, which would have been landlord stuff, but it would be some of the city stuff. Some of your exclusions to title would be city easements, some right of ways that the property might be backed up to a utility right away. Those are some of the things that are excluded in the title because of the fact that the utility districts and the counties have the right to do what they need to do for the community.

If your property happens to fall in an easement, then that would be excluded from your title. We cannot ensure that the city won't come in on your property and dig up an easement or something to put new pipes or new fiber optics that might affect your property. That would be considered an exclusion. Those are usually on Schedule B. I’m discussing Schedules, A, B, C, and D.

Let’s run through the schedules of a title policy.

As we left off, you open the title, then we get the title back. The title commitment is ready from Patriot Title, and we send you out your title commitment. Your title commitment is ready. Here's a copy of the tax certificates, the preliminary taxes of what we've found. These are all our findings. This is what we do. This is our due diligence. The commitment I consider was like your Bible of what we do in due diligence. It's going to have everything on that commitment and the tax certs. This is what we're based on in our due diligence. This is all our research available now.

Schedule A is going to show you basically who is purchasing it. That would probably be yourself or your client, who the lender is, who's lending the money. If they ask us to put it on that front Schedule A and what their loan is going to be for based on the contract that you provided us. At the very bottom, it's going to disclose who the vested owners are. Why that's so important is that it has to be the same person who signed the contract. Why?

Because someone who signs a contract has to be an owner of the property, let’s say Gerald Jr. signed it, but it's Gerald Sr. who's the owner of the title. Gerald Jr. is not the owner. Gerald Sr. is, so Gerald Jr. should not be selling this property or doesn't have rights to sell that property as it states in the title at this point. There could be some variables that may be Gerald Sr. died and now he's an heir. We're going to a whole different spectrum of things.

It's important that you look at Schedule A because it tells you who is the seller and if that person who sold it is the same person that signed your contract and/or is there someone else that's on the ownership as well as the person that's under contract?...

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