DOI Reverses Law

A week ago,  like so many REALTORS(R),  I learned of the DOI’s decision to stop Title companies from providing real estate professionals with key documents – documents vital to real estate transactions.

I asked my informer how we were expected to establish clear Title when taking new listings?  After all,  how do we know who the Title holders are, unless we are afforded the Title documents?   A listing is not legal, unless it is signed by all Title holders.  How can we be certain that there are no liens or judgments on a property, before submitting an Offer on behalf of a buyer? He had no answer.

I was speechless!  Did the DOI really understand the repercussions of their decision? Like so many of our laws, they are not thought through well enough – laws that are made from a knee-jerk reaction to something that has happened, but in fairness, this was a stupid, poorly considered law that just served to throw into further turmoil, an industry that is trying so hard to recover!

In my opinion, our lawmakers think only for the here and now – they don’t stop and think of the result of the changed law a week,  a month or a year (or more) down the road!

A favortie past time of our lawmakers is to change the laws, but to keep from us the alternative.  For the past week,  we have been trying to find ways to still obtain vital information for the processing of real estate transactions.  For the past week,  transactions have been held up because clear Title could not be established other than verbally (which Title companies were still permitted to do).

Last night,  once again,  my short sale attorney requested documents from me, prior to sending an Offer to the lender. He did not want to obtain this information verbally,  because as we are all aware,  attorneys are all about the facts – the cold hard facts – and attorneys never go by verbal information. 

Someone told me to go to where I found that the only way to obtain documentation was to pay the $200 subscription.  Once done,  the site informed me that liens and judgments were not available at that site! 

At midnight,  on my vacation,  I was still at the starting line, without the information needed to process this transaction.  A seller, who is prepared to walk away from his property – entire life savings, his retirement fund all wrapped up in this property……  a single parent, waiting anxiously for news as to whether hers might be the successful Offer and I had no answers because the DOI changed a law!

Six days.  SIX DAYS  of pure unadulterated frustration,  and we were JUST informed that the DOI has reversed their decision, allowing Title companies to provide real estate professionals the information they need to do their job.

I shudder to think of how much time and money has been wasted in the last six days – how many buyers have walked away from Offers and we have our lawmakers to thank. 

More money is wasted in poorly thought out law and policy changes, than anything else.  Can’t they just take the time to consider the ramifications of their decisions – perhaps talk to industry leaders, or don’t the public at large, count anymore?

There is so much that goes on behind the scenes of a property transaction – so many battles fought to protect the rights of the buyers and sellers, by so many professionals involved in a purchase or sale, of which the the consumer is often unaware.  I just ask that you, Mr & Mrs Buyer or Seller, be patient with us – we’re doing the best we can.


Althea Garner

Exit Beach Cities Realty
Your House Of Homes Online
(714) 264-3458

Search over 50,000 listings at my web site:

Women’s Council of REALTORS(R):
Treasurer – 2008 (Coastal-West)
Webmaster – 2009 (Long Beach)
Editor – 2009 (Long Beach)
Education Committee – 2009 (California State)

Orange County Association of REALTORS(R):
Education Vice Chair – 2009


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