Monday, March 14, 2016

Three Years After Real Estate Closing, Title Insurer Steps In, Pays Tab For Lien Search Screw-Up That Failed To Pick Up Existing Unpaid Mortgage; Unwitting Couple Was On Verge Of Losing Their Home When Error Discovered

In Tampa, Florida, WFLA-TV Channel 8 reports:
  • South Tampa homeowners who turned to 8 On Your Side on the verge of losing their house, are now keeping it – free and clear. Kris and Rebecca Kraft faced losing their home of three years, even though they’ve never missed a mortgage payment and never even did business with the bank trying to take the house.

    Now, the Krafts title insurance company, Old Republic, is stepping in to help. The insurance policy will cover a title mixup that was missed when the Krafts bought their home.

    The Krafts were getting nowhere in their quest for answers, until 8 On Your Side stepped in. “I think the news article got out there and maybe people started paying attention a little bit more,” Kris Kraft said. “We’re really thankful for Channel 8.”
    ***
    Here’s a rundown of how thing unraveled: The house first sold in 2004. That buyer took out two mortgages, from different banks, and then lost the home in foreclosure in 2013. This is when things got weird.

    The second mortgage holder beat the main mortgage holder in a race to foreclose. That bank sold the home to an investor who then flipped it to the Krafts.

    No one caught the big title mistake. The home should have never been sold because of the clouded title. Then, in December 2015, the first mortgage holder, now Nationstar Bank, decided to foreclose on its lien and take the title. The mistake left both Nationstar and the Krafts claiming to own the title to the house.

    Tampa title agent Galyn Lecher says this happens more than buyers realize and that this should be a lesson. Everything worked out well, Lecher said, because the Krafts have what’s called an owner’s title insurance policy.

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