People just don’t know, in Florida, the role of an attorney in a real estate transaction. It just hasn’t been in the public’s conscience, that you should have an attorney if you’re going to buy a property.
So what happened during the real estate boom often, was that 5-day period that I was talking about… wasn’t respected. And the closing agent at the closing would say, “Here’s your title commitment.” So technically they give it to them then and technically the buyer can say, “Wait a minute! I’m supposed to have 5 days to be able to review this!”
But without an attorney and without understanding title insurance (I wouldn’t understand title insurance if I wasn’t a real estate attorney), they think, “Oh yeah, this is the insurance that insures that my deed is good and that the property’s going to be mine. Great.” They put it in the other stack of documents and they sign everything else that’s being put in front of them, and the closing’s done.
And in that time there’s all this pressure from the lender and from the seller and from the agents and from the closing agent to finish the closing. But then after the closing when you get that title insurance policy there could be a major issue. There could be a major exception from coverage.
It just hasn’t been in the public’s conscience, that you should have an attorney if you’re going to buy a property.
So, after the fact, the insured, who bought the property, when they find out about an issue or when something comes up, they make a claim on their title policy. And in the wake of the real estate boom, our firm was selected as a law firm to resolve title claims. We were slammed. Often it was because of an issue that just, was never contemplated.
Often it was in a situation where, someone got a title commitment put in front of them, didn’t know what it was, they closed, money was dispersed, deed was signed, people moved… and now there’s a major title issue.
– Spencer R. Munns is an experienced real estate attorney and shareholder with the law firm of Bogin, Munns, & Munns, a full service law firm with offices in Orlando, Clermont, Kissimmee, Orange City, Daytona Beach, Ocala, Melbourne, Gainesville, and Leesburg, Florida. He welcomes questions and comments regarding the above and can be reached at [email protected].
NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.