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Archive for March 6, 2011

What Does Title Insurance Cover?

title insurance

You got Title Insurance…

…when you bought your home you got title insurance to cover you for certain defects.

While you may never need to file a claim against your title insurance policy, read how it came into play for this party:

“A battle over responsibility for a failed commercial development in north Scottsdale involving allegations of fraud, bad faith and breach of contract was resolved last week when a jury ordered defendant First American Title Insurance Co. to pay the plaintiff companies, the Equitable Troon H LLC and the Equitable Troon K LLC, about $1.6 million in damages.

The case was tried in Maricopa County Superior Court last week before a nine-member jury, said Dennis Wilenchik, a Phoenix attorney who represented the plaintiffs.

The legal conflict began with the 2005 purchase of two properties adjacent to the upscale Troon North community in north Scottsdale by an investment group known as Morgan-Sklugan LLC. Investors in the project included John Vatistas, then-owner of Camelback Title Agency in Phoenix, who now is co-owner of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty in Scottsdale.

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Timothy Barton, First American Title’s Phoenix attorney in the dispute, did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.

The investment group hired Camelback Title to perform due diligence on the properties for purposes of buying and developing a commercial center that would have included shops and restaurants, according to the plaintiffs.

They also sought and procured title insurance through First American, a publicly traded company based in Santa Ana, Calif., and one of the nation’s largest title insurers.

Title insurance covers financial losses incurred because of “defects” in the title to a property.

A defect is anything that lowers a property’s value or calls into question the validity of the insured titleholder’s claim to it.

In this case, Morgan-Sklugan’s investors learned after purchasing the land that it was subject to the Troon North homeowners association’s covenants, codes and restrictions, a fact not disclosed before the sale.

Wilenchik said it was a revelation that stopped the project dead in its tracks and prompted the investors to file an insurance claim with First American.

According to court documents, First American’s position on the legitimacy of the claim changed a number of times.

It initially denied the claim and then agreed to honor it, but finally argued that the claim was invalid.

Wilenchik said the title company’s numerous reversals appeared to be part of a strategy to wear out his clients, who refused to go away.

At one point, the title company even filed a counterclaim arguing that Troon H and Troon K were not covered under the policy because of an error in early court documents listing them as Arizona companies, when in fact they were incorporated in Nevada.

That argument was dropped shortly thereafter, Wilenchik said.

On Friday, the jury awarded the plaintiffs $627,000 for breach of contract, $200,000 for acting in bad faith, and $750,000 in punitive damages.

Wilenchik said the case is significant because title-insurance companies rarely are found guilty of acting in bad faith, a legal concept that means to act with malicious or deceitful intent.

“I was pretty thrilled with it,” he said of the verdict. “They (the investors) bought insurance and paid their premiums. Their claim should have been covered.”

Check your Title Insurance policy carefully when buying a property.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Kathy Howe aka SedonaKathy

how2arizona real estate LLC

450 Jordan Rd, “C”, Sedona, AZ 86336

928-274-4088

kathy@kathyhowe.com

Find Criminals Living Near You

A website that shows you criminals, felons, living near you…

criminalsWhen buyers are looking for properties to purchase, they seldom look at the makeup of the neighbors or the neighborhood until the inspection period.  Many times the concern is only for child molesters.  Criminals and felons?  Not often do buyers know where to search and Police Departments do not usually make the information available.  Crime rates, yes.  The addresses of criminals, no.  Click here.  Find felons living near you, friends, family…

We don’t know the accuracy of the information derived from this site, but it does have more information than most websites givecriminals prospective buyers about criminals.

Click here for Arizona Sex Offender Locator

Phoenix Criminals Arrest Website

Determining the neighborhood that works for you is important; and, it is very important to you to know if criminals might be close by.  Some offenders may be of little consequences, but some, such as rapists or pedophiles may make a difference to your decision to purchase.

How does Sedona rank with criminals and their activity as compared to Arizona and the US?  Below both.

criminals

SEDONA CRIMINALS

Investigate your neighborhood before you purchase.  Under the AAR residential purchase contract, there is a 10 day inspection period which includes the physical inspection of the property and the all-round due diligence connected with the property.  Time and comprehensive due diligence is important.  Be sure to check out your soon-to-be new neighborhood.

Sedona City Government:  Click here.  Criminals and burglary.

Kathy Howe aka SedonaKathy

  • how2arizona real estate LLC
  • 450 Jordan Rd, “C”, Sedona, AZ

Criminals and websites are ever changing.  We deem the information contained through these links about criminals and locations to be correct as provided by the source.

City of Sedona Information and Phone Numbers

Need to find out something from the City of Sedona?

Here’s a brochure!  Hope you find what you need from the City of Sedona!

If you need the website:  www.sedonaaz.gov

City of Sedona

City of Sedona

City of SedonaCity of Sedona

For those of you who see coyotes and are concerned for your pets, just call the City of Sedona animal control officer who will put you in touch with the Game and Fish officer who will determine what action needs to be taken.

If you have a neighbor who allows his/her dog to bark, contact the City of Sedona animal control officer who will enforce the ordinance and give you some peace and quiet.

Before you remodel, contact the City of Sedona department of planning and zoning.

Remember that the City of Sedona does not allow short term rentals.  That’s right.  No rentals shorter than 30 days.

Need to know about sewer hook-ups?  Call the City of Sedona.

Real Estate Agents:  Do not put Open House signs in the ADOT or City of Sedona right-of-way.  You may lose your sign.

Do you have a guest house and are renting it out?  Be sure to contact the City of Sedona about ADUs.

While the City of Sedona has restrictions against removal of certain trees, the Sedona Fire Department, during and after the Brin’s Fire of 2006, has asked all homeowners to have a 30 ft clearance of vegetation around their property.  To be certain you are within your rights to remove a tree, contact the City of Sedona and the Sedona Fire Department.

Paint colors are regulated by HOAs and the City of Sedona.  Before painting, go down to the City for a look at the different colors that are approved.


For any problems of a need for information, call the City of Sedona offices.