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What You Need to Know About UCC Filings and Searches

What You Need to Know About UCC Filings and Searches

Whether it’s putting up some of your assets as collateral to take out a business loan or entering into a financial agreement with a third-party organization, running a business is filled with major financial decisions and risks.

In this situation, lenders also need to be confident in the borrowers’ ability to repay the loan before signing off on the loan approval. This is where UCC filings come in—they are a standard part of the loan application process for small businesses. Keep reading to learn more about UCC filings and searches and why they are necessary.

What Is the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)?

Adopted by almost all the states in the U.S., the Uniform Commercial Code or the UCC is a standardized set of rules and regulations that govern interstate business transactions. It was primarily established to eliminate any potential confusion caused by the varying legal and contractual principles in the different states.

The nine articles in the UCC provide guidance for different types of business transactions and allows businesses to place a lien against another enterprise or individual.

How Do UCC Filings Work?

A UCC filing or a UCC-1 Financial Statement is a legal document that allows debtors to claim a lien on your property, which then effectively serves as your collateral. A UCC filing can be used in several scenarios. These include:

  • Taking out loans for small businesses.
  • Leasing business equipment or vehicles.
  • Investments from a venture capital firm.
  • Bulk or warehouse sales and auctions.
  • Contractual agreements between parties.
  • Letters of credit.
  • Depositing funds into a collection account.

In each of these instances, once a creditor issues a UCC lien on your property, they have legal authorization to seize the property if you default on your loans or claim for bankruptcy. Moreover, the collateral for the UCC can vary based on the situation. For example, if you’re leasing a piece of equipment, the collateral for that UCC filing will most likely be the equipment itself.

Though UCC filings don’t really affect your business’s day-to-day operations, they can still impact your funding and asset selling abilities. So if you’ve provided collateral for a loan, it is always safe to conduct a UCC search and check if your creditor has filed a UCC against your company.

What Is a UCC Search?

UCC searches are conducted to figure out if your business assets are already owed as collateral for a previous debt. This prevents the same assets from being used as collateral for multiple debts.  You can access all your UCC information by contacting the secretary of state for the state in which your business is registered or through an online database.

What to Look for When Conducting UCC Searches

The UCC search process can often be quite complicated. Always search using the debtor’s correct legal name to avoid confusion. Also, make sure to search under any former names the debtor might have used since there might still be active filings under that name, even if it’s no longer in use.

To be more thorough, it’s also advisable to conduct searches for additional types of liens other than UCC, including federal tax liens, judgment liens, state tax liens, and litigation searches.

 

Even the simplest of UCC searches and filing requires due diligence and attention to the smallest of details, which is exactly what we offer at Real Title Services. Call us today at (213) 375-1726 or contact us via our website to get started.

The Importance of Open Mortgage Searches When Buying a Home

The Importance of Open Mortgage Searches When Buying a Home

An important part of each title search consists of an open mortgage search. Ideally, when one homeowner sells to another individual, everything goes perfectly, and the seller’s mortgage gets paid in full while the buyer’s mortgage begins.

That doesn’t always happen, though. Sometimes, either due to an error in titling, or due to a bank error, the previous homeowner’s mortgage continues to appear on the title, creating what we call a cloud on the title. That cloud functions just the same way a lien on the property would.

Why the Cloud Matters

Every lien, loan, or easement listed on the title provides that organization or individual a right to the property. The seller of the property needs to show unfettered ownership of the property for the sale to go through.

When the current owner tries to sell their home, the appearance of no clear title can stop their sale. Thus, one of the most important processes Real Title Services does during a title search consists of an extensive open mortgage search.

If the sale of a property with a cloud on the title does go through, the buyer of the home also purchases all debts and liens on the property. In the case of an open mortgage, they’d take on an extra home loan! The bank or other financial institution that issued it could attempt to collect the money still owed on the property.

How the Homeowner Can Fix the Problem

The homeowner has recourse via their title insurance. They have two options available to them:

  1. Contact the previous owner’s mortgage company. Since they secured the loan, they can rectify the problem. Request a full reconveyance of the prior owner’s mortgage to record on the property. When the company complies and records the full reconveyance, the cloud clears.
  2. Contact the title insurers. The homeowner needs to contact both their title insurance company and their lender’s title company. Explain that the previous owner’s mortgage appears on the title search for the home. The homeowner files a claim on their insurance. It becomes the duty of the title insurance company to remove the previous owner’s mortgage.

Sometimes, the title insurance company refuses to clear the title cloud by the needed date. At this point, the homeowner will need to consult with an attorney specializing in real estate. Occasionally, a homeowner must file a lawsuit against the title insurers to get the old mortgage removed.

Contact Us

At Real Title Services, we specialize in efficient, error-free, nationwide title searches for title agencies that let home sellers and homebuyers feel at ease and close on their homes stress-free. Let us help you enjoy a worry-free real estate purchase. Contact us for a title search for yourself or your clients.

Why You Should Work With Real Title Services

Why You Should Work With Real Title Services

Are you a huge title insurance underwriter doing millions of dollars a year in searches?  Or are you a local title insurance office serving only one county?  Or are you an investor looking to make an offer on a property?  Doesn’t matter!  Big or small, we can help you!

The home-buying process is exciting for homeowners and anyone involved with the process—insurance companies, title agencies, mortgage bankers, and real estate attorneys included.

The role of Real Title Services is to be responsible for the title search that is part of a real estate purchase, ensuring that everyone involved knows if there are any liens, debts, or other issues with a property.

Each party plays an essential role in the process, and the outcome is a happy homeowner in their new space. Title searches are necessary part of the process, which is why your company should work with a professional team like ours at Real Title Services.

We’ve helped search for over 130,000 titles and counting, and we’d love to partner with you to support the end-user—the home buyer, with their goals and dreams.

Here are a few reasons why you should work with us.

We’re Experienced and Passionate

We would love to be part of your abstractor vendor complement if you are looking for title searches or document retrieval.

Our services range from current owner title searches, to mortgage and deed searches, to retrieval of specific records and certificates—we can do a full range of title searches or retrieve any document. Our full glossary of what we can do is here, and even if you can’t find what you’re looking for on this list, we can likely help you with it if it’s related to land, homes, and property.

Our reports will arrive at your inbox in an easy-to-understand manner.

Searches range from small lots like cell towers, to multi-million-dollar industrial projects.

Our combined decades of know-how will be an asset to you on every level.

We’re Flexible and Far-Reaching

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to accommodate your needs, as we are very flexible when it comes to doing what is necessary to provide excellent service.

We can deploy a team to virtually any county in the country. Utilizing our extensive abstractor network, we can always locate an expert in any county.

We Care About Every Last Detail

We dot every “I” and cross every “T” when we provide reports to you, whether required for insurance, legal, or property-related purposes.

We provide document retrieval, settlement products, and mortgage-related services as a comprehensive title search provider.

There are a variety of products in this category designed for mortgage banking and real estate firms alike, as well as title insurance providers.

We would be honored to help your business every step of the way. Get in touch with our team, and let’s start working together today.

New-Age Investors Are Leveraging Cryptocurrency to Buy Their Dream Home in 2022

New-Age Investors Are Leveraging Cryptocurrency to Buy Their Dream Home in 2022

Homeownership is a dream cherished by millions of Americans. A survey by LendingTree revealed that over 40% of Americans aim to move to a new home in 2022, and nearly half of this group (46%) are hoping to buy a new home.

In 2021, the rate of homeownership grew to 65.5%, after reaching its peak of 69.9 % in 2004 before the crash of 2008. For corporates who work with homeowners, here’s what you need to know about the current consumer trends around homeownership.

Rise of Crypto Ownership

Owning a home is an essential aspect of wealth creation that helps build generational wealth that can be passed on. Besides saving every month, investing smartly and consistently creates an opportunity for investments to compound over time. Savvy investors leverage their earnings and make wise investments to buy homes. One investment mode that is attracting new investors, every day is cryptocurrency. As of 2021, crypto ownership spanned 300 million crypto users worldwide, and over 18,000 businesses accept payments in cryptocurrency.

Homeownership Goals

Investments aim to meet long-term and short-term life goals. This can include building a corpus for a comfortable retirement, planning for going back to school or a child’s education, taking a world trip, or owning assets such as real estate.

According to a survey, in 2021, 12% of first-time homebuyers leveraged their crypto earnings to save for a down payment. In the third quarter of 2019, this figure stood at just 4.6%. In the case of lenders and mortgage bankers, it’s important to know how much of your client’s finances are from cryptocurrency in order to leverage trust.

Cashing Out

Like the stock market, cryptocurrency empowers retail investors to build wealth at a faster rate. Although it comes with its risks, investors with a time horizon of 2 to 10 years and beyond can capitalize on crypto opportunities through consistent investing. Popular cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Shiba Inu.

However, it is to be noted that investors will need to cash out their earnings into a bank account to be able to use them to make transactions since the real estate ecosystem does not currently accept payments in cryptocurrency.

Making a Higher Down Payment

Most consumers do not have the funds to buy a home upfront. In all probability, they will be taking a loan, making a down payment, and then paying monthly payments for several years. According to most personal finance experts, it is advisable to make a down payment of at least 20% when you plan to take a loan to buy a home. The higher the down payment, the less funding required, resulting in fewer installments and a lower rate of interest.

Since cryptocurrency is taking off, more people will likely be able to afford a higher down payment straight off the bat.

The Takeaway

Buying a home is a huge task for any American, and crypto and other wealth-creation instruments are soon becoming instrumental in defining the homeowner journey. This means an increased need for title insurance companies, mortgage bankers, real estate attorneys, and more to perform title searches and other due diligence.

At Real Title Services, we pride ourselves on quick, error-free, and nationwide title searches. To learn more, contact us today!

Understanding DOJ Title Standards

Understanding DOJ Title Standards

Have you seen the Department of Justice Title Standards? If you haven’t, many of the questions you have can be answered in the 74-page pdf from the Regulations of the Attorney General Governing the Review and Approval of Title for Federal Land Acquisitions (2016). A few specific points that you can learn from the article include:

  • Who is qualified to provide title evidence?
  • How do you pick a suitable title examiner?
  • What is the required time frame for the search?
  • What is an examination?
  • Definition of an abstract of title.
  • Explains what must be contained in the abstract.
  • Guidance for examining attorneys.

Honestly the regulations are a little dry as far as reading goes, but they do set the standard for our industry.  It’s a good document to download and save if you are a title professional.  Click here for your copy of the Attorney General’s Title Regulations.

We want to ensure your real estate purchase runs smoothly.  Real Title Services specializes in quick, nationwide title searches without errors, so you feel at ease and close on your home without worry.

If you are a title profesional, or if you need a title search for a home you’re looking to sell or purchase, call us today at (213) 375-1726 or contact us on our website.

Why Do I Need A Title Search Before Buying a Property?

Waiting for your house to close can feel like being stuck in a traffic jam. It takes forever, and just when you think you’ve gotten to the front of the pack, there’s another detour, and you’re back where you started. One of the elements that can make or break the selling or purchasing of a home is a property title search.

Before buying or selling real estate, title searches are essential, as they may uncover issues that could prevent the sale from going through smoothly. A buyer might find hidden debt or a lien (click for download of sample title search) that will make their lender back out, while a seller might discover they don’t even have legal standing to sell.

Performing a title search on a home you’re looking to buy or sell is ultimately for your own protection. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should run a title search:

1)  Title searches can verify the current owners and anyone else listed.

One of the primary reasons to perform a title search is to verify that the current sellers are indeed the true owners of the property. You can also see how many times the property has changed hands. A property that’s passed through multiple owners in a short period of time should raise alarm bells.

Additionally, it will reveal any other names that are associated with the home—like an uncle or aunt who might have co-signed back in the day and have never been removed from the title. You don’t want to find out after you move in that someone else is still connected to the property and can influence its ownership.

2)  Title searches can confirm the legal description and property identifier number (PIN).

It may seem tedious, but verifying the actual legal description and its corresponding PIN is an important legal step. For instance, if the realtor made a typo in the Agreement and inserted an incorrect number or description, you could find that you don’t own the house at all, or that you own something else entirely.

A survey is also a great way to see the actual build site and where the property lines are located.

3)  Title searches can check for easements on the property.

Easements can also be thought of as “right of way.” For example, suppose your next-door neighbor ALSO has a right to use the driveway to get to their property and/or the main road. There is a good chance that your neighbor has access to your driveway as well if it’s located between your two houses. You’ll want to find out in case any issues arise, such as a blocked driveway or driveway repairs.

4)  Title searches can find any bylaws registered to the home.

It is also important to check the house’s title for any bylaws registered to it. According to bylaws, for example, if the home has historical significance, you cannot renovate certain features or change the appearance; it is protected.

Is the home in a strictly residential area, or is it permitted to be partially used for commercial purposes? Is it possible to divide the property? Can you rent out the basement? Knowing the bylaws before you buy is the best way to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

5)  Title searches can discover any liens on the home.

A lien is when someone retains possession of another’s property until a debt that has been owed is paid. By searching for any liens, you can find out whether there is a mortgage registered against the property, and if so, who issued the mortgage. For example, if an undischarged mortgage is revealed, it must be discharged (paid) before closing. Additionally, it may be that the federal government has a lien on the property for arrears of income taxes or child support, or any other type of legal judgment.

Title searches help you see the complete picture/history of your property, so you won’t be caught off-guard, and your homeownership will not be affected. When you buy a house, there are many steps you will need to take. Knowing these steps will ensure that you are protected, and your investment will grow. Whenever you are buying or selling a house, condo, or cottage, make sure you work with experienced, knowledgeable professionals.

At Real Title Services, we specialize in quick, nationwide title searches without errors, so you feel at ease and close on your home without worry. We want to ensure your real estate purchase runs smoothly. If you need a title search for a home you’re looking to sell or purchase, call us today at (213) 375-1726 or contact us on our website.

 

 

Proud to Get Woman-Owned Certification for RTS!

 

It took many months and a lot of man-hours to get our woman-owned certification. Not only does this allow us to network with other woman-owned businesses, but it will be of benefit to our clients as they have to implement new government standards for diversity in the financial services industry. Many people sent their congratulations. But one person wrote back and suggested that we were perpetuating the myth that women needed to be propped up in business, and actually suggested that we were harming the country with this certification… I wanted to write back and tell her she was expressing rather bigoted statements, but I held my tongue because lashing out would just continue the bad vibes. My opinion is that groups of people have always banded together for support and help, and as a way of getting greater recognition–ethnic groups, veterans, churches, social clubs, etc.. It’s a very pro-survival activity, and is part of the fabric of any thriving culture. I don’t ascribe any negative aspects to it at all. And we are very proud to be woman-owned. Not because we need to be propped up, but because we are kick-ass! Is that alright with you Mean Lady who tried to ruin my day? Angela

Requests for ETAs?

 

Patty’s Corner

What do you do when a vendor goes out of communication when a job is late?  Threats, tears, yelling, recriminations, begging?  We’ve done it all!  What works best for you? Patty