The settlement industry is particularly vulnerable to wire fraud. Large sums of money are wired by (often times) anxious buyers and sellers, and most communication is handled via email. Wire fraud was always present in the industry, but we used to be able to detect it much more easily. Fraudsters … [Read more...] about Best Practices for Preventing Wire Fraud
If you are spending your days raking leaves that fall from your neighbor’s tree, it may be that time of year when you wonder if there are legal implications should your neighbor’s tree cause damage to your property. The answer, you may have guessed, is that it depends. The Virginia courts … [Read more...] about Neighbor law: encroaching trees and shrubbery
Virginia is a "caveat emptor" state. Latin for "let the buyer beware," buyers must perform their own due diligence to discover any defects in the contract property. While the seller cannot intentionally conceal any defects, they are not required to represent the condition of the property (with rare … [Read more...] about Preempting Caveat Emptor
Owner's title insurance is an optional settlement expense - one that may be enticing to decline based on the rare chance that a buyer's title to his property is at stake. But there are a number of issues that could jeopardize interest in a buyer's property, and here are just a few: Forgery: Title … [Read more...] about Forgeries, Foreclosures and Forced Removal of Structures: Oh, buy! (title insurance)
This past week my husband and I sat down to purchase property in New York. As we prepared to sign the deed at settlement, our settlement attorney informed us that our deed reflected we were taking tenancy as “joint tenants with common law rights of survivorship”. We informed her that as a married … [Read more...] about TAKING TENANCY
When a buyer receives a closing cost estimate, the first inclination may be to try to cut costs wherever possible. And though it used to be the norm for every buyer to purchase a survey at settlement, many now wonder if the expense is worth it. Whether your buyer should purchase a survey depends … [Read more...] about SURVEYING THE COSTS OF SETTLEMENT: SHOULD YOUR CLIENT BUY A SURVEY?