Title Insurance: Commercial & Residential Transactions

Meyer, Unkovic & Scott maintains an in-house title agency, providing real estate settlement services to sellers and buyers in commercial and residential transactions, as well as to lending institutions, in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

Attorneys at the Firm are authorized to underwrite title insurance for the following companies:

  • Chicago Title Insurance Company;
  • First American Title Insurance Company; and
  • Old Republic National Title Insurance Company.

The Firm’s title agency is managed by J. Robert Hanlon, Jr., Esquire and Christie M. Masucci, a real estate paralegal. The title agency was formed in 1992 and has extensive experience closing a wide variety of transactions. The title agency team has the ability to draw on the expertise of the Firm’s attorneys who can assist in the handling of complex matters such as title defects, zoning and subdivision issues, commercial and residential loan documentation, landlord/tenant disputes, boundary line disputes and any other concerns that may arise from the inception of a transaction until it closes.

The full scope of settlement services provided by the Firm’s agency includes: the preparation of documents required to close residential or commercial loan transactions; coordinate the collection of all payoffs, lien letters, tax certificates, judgment and tax liens; conduct closings, record closing documents; issue title policies; and provide escrow services.

The Firm’s Title Agency Practice is guided by the Seven (7) Pillars “Best Practices Manual” developed from the American Land Title Association’s (ALTA) Best Practices Framework.  The Firm’s “Best Practices Manual” sets forth:

Pillar 1

The Firm’s licensing qualifications to use ALTA title policy forms and to issue title insurance in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

Pillar 2

The Firm’s escrow and trust accounting policies and procedures that have been put in place to meet requirements for the safeguarding of client funds.

Pillar 3

The Firm’s protocols for the protection of Non-Public Personal Information (NPI).

Pillar 4

The Firm’s procedures to ensure correct fees are being charged for title insurance premiums, endorsements and the recordation of documents, as well as an established program of recordation procedures and verification.

Pillar 5

The Firm’s establishment and maintenance of a Title Policy Inventory Report program to track and monitor the preparation of title commitments, the issuance of title policies, and the submission of remittance, and policy reports to applicable title underwriters.

Pillar 6

The Firm’s Professional Liability Insurance coverages such as errors and omissions, and fidelity and surety bond coverage, to ensure the Firm has the financial capacity to meet its professional services obligations.

Pillar 7

The Firm’s establishment of a process for receiving and addressing consumer complaints related to the title services provided.

A copy of the Best Practices Manual can be requested from Rob Hanlon at [email protected].

Additionally, with the assistance of the Firm’s Litigation Section, attorneys in the Real Estate & Lending Group have acquired extensive experience with title insurance claims and litigation. For a number of years, the Firm’s attorneys have represented two of the largest title insurance carriers in Western Pennsylvania. This representation has involved defending claims made against those carriers ranging from coal rights, gas wells, municipal claims, property line boundary disputes, title clearance demands and interpretation of deeds and other critical documents relating to title and title restrictions.

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