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By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator

Chicago Title opened an order for a rehab/remodel loan in the amount of $38,000. The title search revealed there was an existing Deed of Trust the new loan would be subordinate to. Barbara Eickmann, Title Officer in the Fresno, California Central Processing Facility (CPF), also noticed there was an uninsured deed in the chain of title. The Quitclaim Deed recorded in 2012 wherein Sam Daniel Smith and Joan Smith conveyed the property to Joan Smith. Read "CLOUDY with a chance of fraud!" to find out what happened next.

Nancy, Commercial Escrow Officer for Fidelity National Title, received an order for a refinance on an investment property. The loan would be funded by a private lender.The borrower and owner of the property was an LLC that came into title in 2015 by an uninsured deed. Two individuals, Anita Mann and Corey O. Graff, granted title using a Quitclaim Deed which was noted on the title search. Read "HONESTLY?" to find out how many times the parties attempted to trick Nancy.

Title Officers in our offices make million dollar decisions day in and day out. In Southern California, title officers process orders placed by independent escrow companies. This means the title officer does not have the collaborative efforts of a Company escrow officer as a second set of eyes to ensure all i's are dotted and t's are crossed usually at the ninth hour when the transaction is ready to close. Title Officer Cindy Fern with Ticor Title in Orange County, California, knows this all too well. Read her heroic story entitled "DID they really think they could get away with it?"

Recently one of our offices was handling a transaction where the seller was a trust. The trust was a disregarded entity for IRS purposes therefore it did not have an Employer Identification Number (EIN). The trustee and his attorney insisted on reporting the sale in the name of someone who was not the trustee. As the settlement agent, our Company insisted the sale be reported in the name of the trustee. The trustee, his attorney and our Company could not agree on how to properly report the sale. Rather than tell the seller no, the Company offered them another solution; they could report the sale, instead of the settlement agent. Find out who should report to the IRS and how, by reading "DESIGNATION agreements."

Be sure to answer the monthly 1099–S question to make certain you understand the tips on properly reporting sales in order to avoid penalties!

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