Watch Lifetime’s Feature on Title Insurance and the Home Closing Process

April 26, 2012

ALTA partnered with the "Designing Spaces" television series on Lifetime to explain to homebuyers the closing process and the importance of purchasing an owner’s title insurance policy.

The segment titled "Protecting Your Best Investment," first aired at 7:30 a.m. (ET/PT) Thursday, April 26 and will be broadcast again at 7:30 a.m. (ET/PT) Friday, June 1. Click here to view the segment.

“Homeowners invest their time and money to make their home beautiful and functional, it’s important they protect that investment,” said Michelle Korsmo, chief executive officer of ALTA. “We are delighted to work with Designing Spaces to help educate current and potential homeowners how an owner’s title insurance policy protects their homeownership, and gives them the peace of mind they deserve.”

The segment opens with Designing Spaces’ hosts David Jones and Debbie Marie explaining that the homebuying process can be stressful with all the paperwork, but title professionals provide help to get them through the process.

The segment shows how one homebuyer’s experience went smoothly thanks to the help of title professionals who complete many behind-the-scenes steps in order to place the keys to the house in the hands of the new owner.

Representing the industry, ALTA Past President explains to the homebuyer, played by Marlen Rodriguez of Universal Land Title, that consumers have the option to shop around for their settlement agent to handle their transaction.

Anastasi tells Rodriguez that when the sales contract is accepted, the countdown to closing begins. That’s when a title professional starts looking at the public record to see what liens and debts are against the seller.

“Once we find all the flaws that have to be paid, we fix the problems,” Anastasi said. “We order payoffs to pay the debts and then we get ready to prepare the closing statement.”

Anastasi then explains what’s found on the HUD-1 that the buyer signs the day of closing.

“After you get the keys, you get to go unpack but (the industry) still has a lot of work to do,” Anastasi tells Rodriguez. “We have to send out payoffs to ensure the seller’s mortgage is paid in full, we have to go to the courthouse and record the documents because this is the only way the world will know this house is yours, and thankfully you purchased an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy.” Anastasi then explains that title insurance insures that the title to your property is clear, with no known liens or encumbrances, such as unpaid mortgages, property taxes and child support liens, to name a few.

“You don’t want to buy a property that has an unpaid mortgage. We make sure that doesn’t happen,” Anastasi said.

The segment explains that title professionals scour the public records reviewing prior deeds, mortgages, divorce decrees, court judgments, delinquent taxes and child support payments.

“Our job is to find the problems and fix the problems, so when you come here (to the closing) you will have a smooth trouble-free closing,” Anastasi said.

Rodriguez’s daughter, Casey De La Torre, then asks for an example of problems that could impact a homebuyer.

“Say you purchased a new home from a builder. Unfortunately, the builder didn’t pay the roofer. The roofer wants paid so he files a lien against the property. Without a title search alerting you of this lien, a homebuyer would become responsible for paying the roofer. Meaning you would be paying the roofer instead of purchasing new living room furniture,” Anastasi explains.

The closing scene wraps up with Rodriquez asking how an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy helps consumers. Anastasi explains that in the example of the roofer, if the homeowner had an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy, the title company would step in and pay the roofer.

“In essence, I’m buying peace of mind,” Rodriguez concludes.

Feedback Since the show is expected to reach over a million potential and current homebuyers, it represents one of the biggest chances we’ve had to make our case to the general public. With continued marketing, we can reach millions more.

We will be providing members a link to download the video so you can use it to market the industry. One suggestion is to play it in your office or to encourage your real estate clients to play it in their office. Please let us know how you think the video can be used to promote our great industry. Email your suggestions to Jeremy Yohe, ALTA’s director of communications. We also want your feedback on the segment, so send your comments as well.

If you took any photos of your office watching the segment, send them to [email protected]. We will include the photos in TitleNews, TitleNews Online and on ALTA’s Facebook page.

You can also post comments to our Facebook page. And if you decide to comment via Twitter, use the hashtag #lifetitle.

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or [email protected].