Buyers, Sellers, Borrowers

Holler Law Firm Proves their Worth

When it comes to assisting buyers and sellers through the closing process, Holler Law Firm, LLC gets you through to the other side. Buying, selling or even refinancing your home can be extremely stressful. Many different participants have to work together to get it done, and lots of them don’t really care one way or the other if it works out for you. We can say with confidence that the regional water authority doesn’t care if you can’t close tomorrow because they didn’t provide a final water bill. We’re also sure your existing mortgage holder isn’t working hard to provide you the payoff letter you need to close your refinance. Our job is to get all the work done behind the scenes so you can show up at closing, sign your documents and move on with your life. We use advanced technology, engineered business processes and precise management to accomplish this, but you don’t care about that. It’s our people and our commitment that make the difference for you. Try us today for a closing experience like no other.

Is Title Insurance Necessary?

Title Insurance is vital to protecting the buyer from potential liens or claims against the property. Also known as the “owner’s policy,” property owners purchase title insurance at closing to protect their investment in the real estate. Even after the initial title search has been completed, unforeseen title problems can arise such as:

  • Undisclosed heirs
  • Mis-indexed liens
  • Fraudulent deeds
  • Omissions in the deed
  • Errors by the Town Clerk maintaining the land
  • Clerical mistakes

From the bizarre but true files:

A brief example can help illustrate the value of owner’s title insurance. A beautiful home in Malibu was owned by an older woman who maintained her primary residence in Los Angeles and rarely got out to the Malibu property. A scammer noticed that the house was generally unoccupied and created an elaborate fraud. First he co-opted the license of a Realtor who had moved to Nevada, changing the contact phone number with the local realty board to his cell phone. He then listed the $5 million property for $3.5 million representing that the seller was a reclusive elderly woman who would not allow any prospective buyers inside prior to closing. An all cash offer came in which the scammer promptly accepted by forging the signature of the actual owner on the purchase contract. He told the buyer’s real estate agent that the seller would need two weeks after the closing to vacate and that this condition was non-negotiable. The buyer accepted these terms since he was getting such a good deal on the purchase price.

To close the deal, the scammer needed a notarized deed, which presented a problem. He appeared at the office of a California notary, and when the notary got up to attend to a phone call he stole her stamp and seal off her desk, literally running out of the office with the notary in pursuit. With the forged deed in hand he went to the title company for closing and received a $3.5 million dollar escrow check. He deposited the funds into a fraudulent account he had set up in the name of the seller and immediately wired $500,000.00 to an offshore account. With the other three million dollars, he made two purchases for $1.5 million each from gold coin dealers, one in Canada and the other in Idaho. He waited for the gold coins to arrive and hoped to flee the country within the two week period he had told the buyer the seller needed to move out of the house.

About a week after closing, the buyer, excited about the purchase, decided to go see the house from the outside and envision the improvements he planned to make. By luck, when he arrived, he saw cars in the driveway. The real owner happened to be visiting the house that weekend. The buyer decided to go introduce himself, and when he approached the family he finally realized he’d been duped. The FBI was able to locate the scammer using the cell phone information he left with the local realty board when he started the scam. They arrested him before the gold coins arrived, but were not able to recover the $500,000.00 he had wired offshore.

Without title insurance, the “buyer” would have been left with $3 million in gold coins and would have lost the $500,000.00. Instead, First American Title Insurance Company stepped in, made the buyer whole and took on the job of liquidating the gold coins and trying to recover the lost half-a-million. The story is sad, bizarre, but true, and it demonstrates the value of owner’s title insurance.

The Right Tools for the Job

Holler Law Firm provides a Loan Estimate (LE) calculator to help borrowers compare the costs affiliated with closing with other law firms. The firm’s File Tracker allows clients to view, in real time, the current status of their closing, access closing documents, review title work and communicate directly with the team. Holler Law provides a closing process like nothing you’ve ever experienced.