The Buck Stops Here: Toxic Titles and Title Insurance by Molly Rose Goodman
By failing to properly transfer ownership of loans and mortgages, recording fraudulent documents, and performing unlawful foreclosures, financial institutions and law firms have generated property titles that range from defective to toxic. Those actions evince a systemic failure to comply with longstanding principles of real property law and regulations governing financial transactions. Title companies participated in title services and issued title insurance policies throughout the housing boom and although they did not directly cause toxic titles, many title insurers have ultimately assumed the risk for the bad practices that became the industry norms in the last decade. In this article, I will discuss how title insurers have exposed themselves to liability for toxic titles.