The pandemic revealed something peculiar about the settlement industry: those who work in the industry are "front-line workers." Though we do not typically equate settlement agents with doctors and teachers, like these noble professions the settlement industry is one of the last industries to … [Read more...] about E-closings and Remote Online Notarizations: A by-product of the pandemic
If you are a buyer in a real estate transaction, you will have the opportunity to review a document known as a title commitment prior to closing. The commitment lists the requirements, exceptions, and exclusions to issuing title insurance on the property. It is also a promise, or "commitment," to … [Read more...] about What is a Title Commitment?
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)