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How Does Bankruptcy Protection Work?

When a person or business concludes that paying off their debts just isn’t a realistic option, they may file for bankruptcy in Federal Bankruptcy court. A bankruptcy filing places an automatic stay on debt-related actions and judgements, including wage garnishment—the court-ordered seizure of part of someone’s wages. This temporary stay of financial actions—before the case is actually settled—is the accurate meaning of ‘bankruptcy protection.’

Bankruptcy protection gives the debtor immediate relief from actions, and protection of their assets while the case is being decided. Owed parties cannot start, enforce or appeal actions. The automatic stay generally continues until the case closes, or the debtor receives a discharge. As bankruptcy is Federally administered, bankruptcy protection is very powerful.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: Are Title Companies Still Open?

Are Title Companies Still Open?

Are Title Companies Still Open?

The ever-shifting status of the COVID-19 pandemic has made navigating the world of business into a nearly endless string of questions:

“What businesses are still open?”

“What services are considered essential?”

“What essential services should I leave my house for?”

“Can I still close on my house?”

Even more confusing is the fact that the answers to these questions can differ depending on which state you live in. What’s true for Indiana might not also be true for Florida, and even within individual states counties can have their own restrictions and rules in place.

However, what we can tell you with certainty is that at this point in time, title companies in Florida are considered essential services.

One of the main services title companies provide is the transfer of title and funds so that people can buy or sell property, and many such transactions are planned months in advance and can’t simply be canceled. And since you are using an essential service, you are fully within your rights to leave your house to come to closing. After all, many people’s life circumstances require them to move regardless of the current pandemic, and you can’t very well stay at home to help stem the spread of coronavirus if you don’t have a home to hunker down in, now can you?

Each title company has its own set of procedures and protocols to help do their part to slow the spread of coronavirus while still giving their clients the services they need. You can see what Title Junction is doing to protect your health here.

Stay safe and healthy!


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: What Is ‘The Gap’ and How Is It Insured?

What Is ‘The Gap’ and How Is It Insured?

What Is ‘The Gap’ and How Is It Insured?

‘The gap’ is the period of time between when a title commitment or update is prepared, and when the deed and/or mortgage is recorded in public records. This period generally only lasts a few days or weeks, during which a new lien or interest in the property may be recorded. For this reason, the lien may not be recorded as an exception on the title policy.

Now let’s look at F.S. §627.7841, which gives insight into how title companies must handle insuring title defects that occur during the gap period.

All title companies are required by Florida law to insure the gap when they are tasked with disbursing funds for a transaction and recording associated documents. This means that the title company’s underwriter has an obligation to resolve claims relating to liens, mortgages, and other encumbrances that are validly recorded during the gap period while the title company is handling all aspects of the closing.

Understanding the gap period is especially crucial now with the COVID-19 pandemic, as many county clerks are operating with skeleton crews and have temporarily suspended in-person recording, potentially making the gap period longer than usual since record searches can’t be conducted as efficiently.

Title Junction’s underwriter is NOT requiring any additional indemnity agreements or holding harmless agreements from the parties in order to close despite the increased risk associated with the longer gap period. The standard no lien affidavits sufficiently address potential gap issues.

Stay safe and healthy!


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: Social Distancing and Real Estate

Social Distancing and Real Estate

Social Distancing and Real Estate

With the current state of the world, and the United States in particular, social distancing has made it necessary to get creative with the way we do business in the real estate sector. People are being encouraged to stay home to help avoid spreading COVID-19, so where online showings and remote notarization were practices of convenience before, they’re now essential to conducting any sort of business in the real estate world. Fortunately real estate and financial businesses are considered essential to the economy, so business can continue, just…not as usual. 

Here are just a few of the basic solutions to the problem of conducting business in the real estate market without potentially putting clients and agents alike at risk.

Virtual Property Tours

Generally used to show houses to clients who might live too far away to come see a property in person, virtual tours are now essential for showing houses while still maintaining social distancing protocols. The real estate agent or homeowner can take video footage of the walkthrough of a property and, combined with listing pictures and open dialogue about home features, a house can still be safely shown to potential buyers.

Remote Online Notarization and Creative Closings

While most title company or attorney’s offices are currently operating under strict sterilization and containment procedures, some homebuyers, sellers, and agents might still feel uncomfortable coming in to an office to close, since it is technically a public space. To accommodate clients, many title companies have adopted the practice of notarizing important closing documents via remote online notarization, or they’ve come up with creative ways to notarize the documents in person, such as in a  parking lot with a car window keeping the agent and client safely separated.

Additionally, title companies may recommend having money wired instead of issuing a check, since wiring happens remotely and with no in-person contact.

The ability to harness the internet to continue conducting important business transactions is nothing short of remarkable, and should be fully utilized as we all ride out the coronavirus pandemic together. Creativity and ingenuity are key factors to ensuring that everyone stays safe and healthy while still being able to help people find and close on the property of their dreams.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: Power of Attorney: The Most Common Types

Power of Attorney: The Most Common Types

Imagine a board game player telling a friend ‘roll for me, but don’t sell anything.’ Would the friend continue to roll when the player returned? Probably not. In game terms, they were granting a limited, temporary power to act on their behalf. These two concepts – range of action and effective period – also apply to legal power of attorney arrangements.

Limiting the range of action — ‘roll but don’t play’ in the game, or ‘healthcare but not financial decisions’ in the legal system, creates limited or ‘special’ power of attorney. An agent granted the right to make any personal or business decision, by contrast, has general power of attorney – it’s like saying ‘roll, play, sell properties, or anything else’ in a game.

Here a few common types of power of attorney: Temporary periods of authorization are called temporary power of attorney. Common power of attorney authorizes the agent until the grantor is incapacitated. Durable power lasts beyond incapacitation — ‘play my turn even if I can’t come back’ — while ‘springing’ power of attorney starts with incapacitation — ‘play my piece if I can’t come back.’ Power of attorney can have great impact, and legal advice may be required.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: 3 Tips On How to Write a Great FSBO Property Listing Ad

3 Tips On How to Write a Great FSBO Property Listing Ad

3 Tips On How to Write a Great FSBO Property Listing Ad

The key to an effective For Sale By Owner (FSBO) property listing ad is to tell the homebuyers enough to get them interested, but not give them all of the information. The objective is to leave potential buyers intrigued enough to seek out more information about the property or—even better—make them want to see the house. Some of the basic information to get them interested is pretty straightforward: price, location, and details like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

1. Price

One mistake some sellers make when writing their ad is that they don’t put the asking price. Instead, they might put “call for price.” That’s a big mistake. When you write your ad, a good rule of thumb is to be straight forward and to the point. Listing the price on the first page of the ad helps draw serious buyers to your advertisement. Also, when people are searching for homes online, they usually search within a specific price range.

2. Location

The location of the home should also be one of the first things mentioned. The first rule in real estate is location, location, location. When homebuyers are searching online, they are not only searching by price, but by location as well. You should include details such as well-known streets or intersections nearby, if it’s in a desirable zip code, if it’s in a historical district, and maybe a neighborhood nickname. The objective here is to get buyers to physically come see the property.

3. Details

In the next section of your advertisement, you want to describe all the details about the house and property. You want to let them know things like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage. Then you want to include certain features about the interior of the home that are considered desirable. For example; fireplace, crown molding, renovated kitchen or bathroom, etc. After this you should describe other property features, like whether there’s a garage, a privacy fence, a patio or deck, a grill, landscaping, or anything else that would be beneficial.

The perfect ad should give potential buyers the information they need to decide whether they want to see the property or get more information. The best ads are the ones that are short and to the point and tell the buyer what they want to hear. Remember that many times, prospective buyers will end up purchasing a property that’s quite different from what they had in mind.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: Real Estate Title Insurance: Do I Need It?

Real Estate Title Insurance: Do I Need It?

Real Estate Title Insurance: Do I Need It?

The short answer? Yes, you absolutely do need real estate title insurance!

There’s a lot of misconception that title insurance just isn’t necessary. Well, that’s not the truth—or even the best decision. When you obtain a loan to purchase a home, your lender will require a title insurance policy on the mortgage that protects them in the event of a title defect. If the lender is willing to protect its interest, isn’t that a pretty good sign that you should protect yours? Title insurance for the lender is called a Lender’s Title Insurance Policy. It ensures that the lender’s interest in the property is protected against any loss due to title defects, liens, or mistakes. But the lender’s title insurance policy protects just the lender. As a buyer you will need your own protection. This is called an owner’s title insurance policy. 

Purchasing owner’s title insurance is a matter of being safe rather than sorry. When you buy a house, the title of the property is transferred by a warranty deed. The seller is transferring you free and clear title, saying all is well. And if there is a title defect, you’d think that would be the seller’s responsibility, right?

Nope! If no owner’s title insurance is purchased, the problem becomes yours as a buyer. However, if a title defect pops up and you’ve purchased an owner’s title insurance policy, your policy will defend you.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: What is a Deed In Lieu?

What is a Deed In Lieu?

‘Deed In Lieu’ is a common short-hand term for a particular situation. Namely: when a borrower can’t make loan payments and hands over their deed to the property instead, so that the lender does not have to take the home.

The full phrase is ‘deed in lieu of foreclosure’ — the borrower is surrendering the deed so both parties can avoid the cost and impact of foreclosure. It is faster, generally less expensive for the lender, and generally less damaging to the borrower’s credit. However, the deed in lieu must be voluntary for both parties. The lender must agree that the deed value meets the loan amount owed — otherwise, they might have the right to seek additional payments through a deficiency judgement. Deed in lieu is typically a last resort, and only becomes an option when losing the property has become inevitable.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: Remote Online Notarization: The Future of Signing Documents

Remote Online Notarization: The Future of Signing Documents

Remote Online Notarization: The Future of Signing Documents

If you deal in any sort of business requiring official documentation being signed by one or more parties, you know the importance of having a notary present to witness the signing so it’s official. And with recent advances in technology, you can actually have a document notarized remotely through online audio-visual communication, so the notary doesn’t even have to be physically present to witness the signing. This practice is called remote online notarization.

As a quick refresher, the basic role of a notary is to prevent fraud by ensuring that the person signing the document is who they say they are and that the signer fully understands what they are signing and are doing so willingly.

There are two common notarial certificates that must be signed under the notary’s supervision; an acknowledgment, which is a declaration that the signer is signing the document of their own free will, and a jurat, which requires the signer to affirm or swear to the truthfulness of the contents of the document.

Because of the rise of virtual notarization, the Department of State’s office ruled that new additional certificate wording must now be utilized by Florida notaries, which took effect on January 1st, 2020. According to Florida Statutes Section 117.05, the additional language requires that both the acknowledgment and the jurat specify whether the signer appeared before the notary physically or via online notarization.

Notaries who wish to perform online notarization through audio-visual communication technology must complete a 2-hour education course, pay a fee and register with the Department of State, meet Florida’s technology requirements, post a $25,000 bond, and obtain a $25,000 errors and omissions insurance policy.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: How Do Mortgage Satisfactions Work in Florida?

How Do Mortgage Satisfactions Work in Florida?

How Do Mortgage Satisfactions Work in Florida?

So you borrowed money, whether it was from a mortgage bank lender or a private individual, on a property in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, or anywhere in Florida. And now, you’ve finally made the last mortgage payment! That’s awesome! But before you break out the champagne, you need to make sure that a mortgage satisfaction of real property is filed for that loan.

Once a mortgage is paid, the holder of the mortgage is required to satisfy the mortgage of record to show that the mortgage is no longer a lien on the property. The general rule is that the satisfaction must be in proper written format and recorded to provide notice of the satisfaction. If the lender fails to record a satisfaction within set time limits, the lender may be responsible for damages set out by statute for failure to timely cancel the lien.

Florida Law states that the execution of the satisfaction must be signed by the lender. Upon the full payment of the mortgage, the borrower may demand of the lender that satisfaction be recorded. The lender then has 60 days to comply, or face liability. The penalty against the lender for not complying can be a misdemeanor of the second degree in a civil action suit.

In a nutshell, a satisfaction of mortgage is a document signed by your lender stating that you fully paid off your mortgage and that the mortgage is no longer a lien on the property.

To learn more about the Florida Statutes relating to mortgage satisfactions, visit: www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/Chapter701/All


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: What Are the Rights & Responsibilities of a Landlord?

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