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Rate Changes for Ohioans May 1, 2013

Hot off the presses! Five Dollar Increase!

Ok, I know. As far as price increases go, this isn’t one of the big ones. But it is a good way to start a discussion about title insurance rates and who sets them. Did you know that in Ohio, the title insurance premiums and rates are governed by the Ohio Department Insurance? Because of that, no amount of shopping around for better premium rates will do any good. Everyone quotes from the same rate book. We would advise any comparisons that you make between companies be on customer service and general “likeability.” But that’s just us.

The $5.00 increase we are talking about is in the cost of a Closing Protection Coverage Letter or CPC Letter, for short. The CPC letter is required by the State of Ohio to be offered (not purchased) to each party in a sale or refinance of a property. If you are borrowing money, the lender will often (but not always) require that it be purchased. In which case, the cost as of May 1, 2013 will go to $40.00, up from $35.00. What this CPC letter does is offer an opportunity to buy insurance protecting you against a chance that the closing agent or the title company will run off to do no good with the money that you are entrusting to them for your transaction. (If you would like the detailed explanation, it can be found in the Ohio Revised Code 3953.32) Does this madness happen often? No, not at all. Very rarely in fact. But, there was one infamous case of a person who did just that, and managed to ruin many people’s lives in the process. One bad apple, right?

If you are a details person and would like to read the updated Ohio Title Insurance Rating Bureau manual, where this increase is specifically mentioned, you can click the button below for the download.

[button link=”http://www.otirb.com/pdfs/OTIRB_Manual_DEMT_128876856_eff_20130501.pdf” color=”#5dd062″ size=”2″ style=”1″ dark=”0″ square=”0″] Click for OTIRB Manual [/button]

This particular change can be found on the 53rd page marked 6.1.

What do you think about regulation of title companies? I would love to hear from you.

Charlie Johnson

A Day in the Life

This is the beginning of a series of shorts that recognize there are many demands on our time. Learning a title company’s function doesn’t have to be a huge time investment – we are going to give you little tidbits at a time. Some of you will already know some of the things we will be mentioning. Our hope is that we can give you a little moment of “Oh, I didn’t know they did that!”

Like last week. We helped buyers purchase a home that was already in the forclosure process. Those properties are notorious for taking a long time to close. Like months, sometimes. We were able to get this closed for the buyers within four weeks. What it took on our part was fighting for the buyer. Many calls to the forclosure attorney at a Very Large Bank Who Shall Remain Nameless. We were playing Beat the Clock to the Sherriff’s sale. Only through persistent communication were we able to pull it out and get it closed so quickly. We are not afraid to be a squeaky wheel. As a matter of fact, we like getting results. If persistent squeaking is what it takes, then so be it.
We are good with that.
And so were the buyers. They were kind enough to send us a wonderful testimonial (dated March 30) – you can read it on our “Testimonials This Way” link on the home page.

Heard About the New HUD?

Did you hear there is going to be a new HUD-1 settlement statement in 2012?  When, you ask?  Well, no one knows exactly.  Fun, right?

This is what the Ohio Land Title Association has to say about it.  There are two versions so far – and presumably many more to come –  created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). These versions combine the TIL (truth in lending) disclosures and the HUD-1 with the intention of helping consumers better understand the differences between their estimated and final loan terms and settlement costs.

If you would like to have a look for yourself, click on either link below.

[button link=”http://www.consumerfinance.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Jan2012_Settlement_Hemlock.pdf” color=”#5dd062″ size=”2″ style=”1″ dark=”0″ square=”0″] Click here for Hemlock Version [/button] [button link=”http://www.consumerfinance.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Jan2012_Settlement_Butternut.pdf” color=”#e970f1″ size=”2″ style=”1″ dark=”0″ square=”0″] Click here for Butternut Version [/button]

Remember, this is only in the preliminary planning stages.  With no end use date yet in sight.  But currently, the CFPB is asking for feedback from the title industry.

I thought it might be interesting to get your ideas on it, too.  Some of the feedback they are particularly interested in receiving is about ease of finding key loan terms, ability to identify any changes to loan term or costs, and if enough information is available to feel comfortable closing on the the loan.  They also want to know about how we feel about the setup.  Do we like the way the forms deal with the line numbers, and do we prefer these forms to the current HUD-1 and why?

So, in the interest of transparency and open communication, I welcome your thoughts and ideas.

Have a wonderful day,

Charlie Johnson

Hello, and Happy Holidays to one and all.

This time of year is so full of traditions everywhere you look. Whether they are religious or long time family traditions, we gain comfort and security from the mere continuity of them.
But as we all know, times change. I remember when a person’s handshake was as good as gold. And I miss that tradition of knowing that you could always take a person at their word. So instead of disappointment, I chose to focus on being the change I want to see. (Someone very famous said that, I can’t take credit for it.) I am a person who likes to look in the mirror and see the image of someone who always keeps their word. I sleep better at night. And I hope that helps those around me to catch some solid sleep, too. I’m just continuing a tradition that is near and dear to my heart.
Just as traditions can be longstanding, new ones can also be thrown into the mix (how else can fruitcake be explained??) We are proud to begin a new tradition in 2012. With your help, we are going to begin supporting a fantastic organization called Josh Cares. Check out their website, www.joshcares.org. Child life specialists spend time with the sickest children who, for one reason or another, don’t have families able to be with them all the time. (Their website explains it much better than I do.) For each client who closes with us, we will be donating a ½ hour of time to Josh Cares. So for a buyer and a seller, we will donate an entire hour of time that a child doesn’t have to sit alone and scared.
We know that we can’t do this without you. Our company, thanks to you, has grown 40% (yes – you’re reading that right) since this time last year – and this year isn’t even over yet! Think now, with us serving you, how much more we can be of service to others. I can definitely get on board with that tradition.
So, I would like to offer my sincerest appreciation for the opportunity to do business with each and every one of you. I hope that you enjoy your traditions, even if its fruitcake, and have a safe, healthy and joyous new year to come.
Merriest of holidays,
Charlie Johnson
December 23, 2011

Who Cares?

Welcome to Comprehensive Title’s first blog.

The goal here is to provide important inside title industry information here and on our website that will give you the insight and power to make the best choices for you and your family.  So thank you for coming.

Let me start by telling you who I am and why I’m here.  My name is Charlie Johnson.  I was born and raised here in Cincinnati, OH, and along the way I’ve been fortunate enough to have been both a buyer and “refinancer.”  So, if you are here because you are thinking of buying or refinancing your home, (and I’m guessing that you are) then you can count on the fact that I’ve been in your shoes.  I have also spent 14 years as a Cincinnati real estate agent, so to any agents reading this – I’ve been in your shoes too.  Which allows me a very distinct advantage of knowing what the snags are sometimes in the buying/refinancing process. Continue reading