Your Worst Real Estate NIGHTMARE!
This is one of those stories that you may not actually believe unless you heard it directly from the person himself. And, even hearing from him…my jaw didn’t want to lift from the floor! I had dinner with a client last week and he divulged an embarrassing and horrific story of a real estate deal gone wrong. It’s the very essence of WHY we buy title insurance. However, in this case, it didn’t help him…
4 years ago, he bought an investment property in Miami. Everything went smoothly, he got good tenants in place and when we decided to finally sell it this year…that’s when the nightmare began! After the first year he owned this property, he got a $14,000 check in the mail from his bank. He thought, this surely must be a mistake. He called and they confirmed it was a refund check. He overpaid in his escrow. Wow! What a great deal! The next year, he got another $14,000 check. He called again, now there really must be something wrong. Nope! He was assured it was a refund check. The next two years of $14,000 checks were pretty exciting! Fast forward to the closing table this year when he sold it. He was almost $60,000 delinquent in taxes!!!!!! What?! How could this be?! He called his bank furious!
What happened, you ask? Well, each year, his bank would make out a check to the tax collector out of his escrow account in order to pay his taxes. Each year, that check was sent right back to the bank, from the tax collector. The address for his property was listed wrong by the original title company! So, the check would get sent back to the bank, to a different department of whom had no idea what was going on. So, they assumed he overpaid and cut out a check to the owner. Classic case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing in these big banks! UNBELIEVABLE! 4 years this happened and NO ONE could get to the bottom of it for him. This entire $60,000 nightmare was because of an address listed incorrectly when filed by the title company.
So, title insurance came to the rescue right?! Nope! The title company went out of business. My client had no legal recourse and was left flabbergasted with a HUGE bill at the closing table when he sold his property. Moral of the story?! Be thorough! Don’t just take one persons word for it. Do your research and if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck…it probably is a duck. A check from your bank for about the same amount every single year IS too good to be true. My client found out the hard way. Hopefully you can learn from him!
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Realtor® | SWFL Region
Treeline Realty Corp.
239.292.9404 (c) | 239.989.0138 (f)
“Buy or Sell…Think Pell!” ™
Posted on August 9, 2012, in Real Estate and tagged Attorney, Buy a Home, Closing, Delinquent Taxes, Escrow, Fort Myers, Kristen Pell, Lawyer, Miami, Property Guiding, Property Taxes, Real Estate Biz, Realtor, Seller, SWFL Real Estate, Title Agency, Title Insurance. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.