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Just Asking About an Insurance Claim Can Make Your Rate Go Up

Washington Post (12/15/14) Marte, Jonnelle


The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report tracks claims and inquiries about claims for car and home insurance policies, but many consumers are unaware of the database. A recent InsuranceQuotes survey reveals only 1 percent of consumers are very familiar with CLUE reports, 7 percent said they were somewhat familiar with the reports. Claims are stored for seven years in CLUE reports, which insurers review to learn more about the property and the policyholders they are covering. The reports include a person’s name, birth date, the type of loss, the amount paid by the company, and the description of the car or house. Insurance companies then add information to the file when they pay out money, deny a claim, and set up a file for a possible claim. According to the survey, only 17 percent were aware that insurance claims filed by previous homeowners could affect current insurance premiums. Consumers can request one CLUE report on their property per year.

Free Speech Case Decided in CIC’s

An excellent opinion out of Lexology cites a New Jersey Supreme Court case that delivered its third opinion in the past few years about free speech rights of residents in common interest communities.    The Court ruled that a resident (a regular critic of the board of directors) had the right to distribute leaflets under CIC doors throughout the building. The Court held that the “House Rule” banning all soliciting and distributing of written materials, including resident leaflets, was an unconstitutional limit to free speech rights and it went on to describe the kind of restrictions that could be adopted without infringing on the free speech rights.


Read the full article Free Speech in Condos and Coops  here.

Minnesota Online Closer License Course is Here

(Read this entire paragraph!)  The required eight hour Minnesota Closer Licensing course has been in the works for some time, and is now here.   As an introductory offer and a Thanksgiving gift, I am offering a coupon, good through the end of December for $50 off the course.  Just enter Gift50 and you will immediately receive the discount.  Thank you all for staying with me through this process.  Regards,  Jeanne

Online or Live Training – Who Has the Higher Pass Rate?

An interesting graphic put out representing Real Estate Salesperson test takers from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation was recently included in a Pearson Vue presentation. Pearson Vue is the national company that provides pre-license testing across the US for many occupations.

The graphic shows that test takers who studied online had a slightly higher pass rate on examinations than those that took live classes.

Classroom vs Live Training

Classroom vs Live Training

Beware of Bogus POA – If It Doesn’t Look Right – Investigate

Someone recently asked me what kind of research I did that helped a client.  I recalled reviewing a legally created  Power of Attorney that just plain looked suspicious. It had JUST been executed and the closing was imminent. The POA was from a widowed owner, not in good health, to “her future son-in-law” I was told. The POA was clearly taken from some random internet site and had every possible choice checked, granting her future son-in-law had every conceivable power. It was properly notarized, etc., but it bothered me that the widow did not seem to have proper representation – the internet document seemed random.  I insisted on talking to the widow, and with much effort, tracked her down, only to find out she had been put in a care facility against her wishes. Her future son-in-law saying she was not “on her right mind.”  She told me that she was afraid, she wanted out of the care facility, and she wanted to take back the POA.

I contacted the care facility and insisted they obtain representation for her, as I thought she was being manipulated. The care facility and local social services came through for her!   The court appointed an attorney and a Guardian.  Meanwhile, the “future son-in-law” sold her car (taking the cash) and ran up her credit card debt.  Subsequently the legal guardian had the POA revoked.  The widow was able to get out of the nursing home and receive the funds from the sale of her house.  She is still under legal guardianship I understand, for her own well-being but is doing much better. Future son-in-law went to jail.

Schemers Record Deed Under Adverse Possession, Take Title and Lease Property

When you think you’ve seen it all, comes another interesting case, as  reported by Carlton Fields Jorden Burt 

Interlopers in chain of title recorded a stray deed under the theory of Adverse Possession.  They took possession, paid delinquent taxes, and began renting out property and keeping the rent payments. They recorded a  quit claim deed to themselves.  In the crazy scheme, the legitimate owner of property had to quiet title against the schemers.  – See the results at  Frazier v. Goszczynski, Case No. 5D14-265 (Fla. 5th DCA Oct. 10, 2014)

Courthouses Haunted by Ghosts of the Past


Haunted Courthouse

Title geeks will enjoy a spooktacular visit of Haunted Courthouses in ABA Journal’s Tour of Haunted Courthouses. Each Courthouse comes with photos and creepy stories of past and present events.  Happy Haunted Halloween…

The Grimes County Courthouse, site of the trial of a Barrow Gang member who reportedly damned the building to the “infernal regions,” was examined by Houston-based ghost-hunting squad E Squared back in 2008. After examining the evidence the paranormal team collected, Judge Betty Shiflett said, “I would have to agree there were some strange things you could see on the tape.”


SCOTUS Caricature is Priceless

We all know the US Supreme Court makes the most important rulings in the US.   But we rarely hear more than a few clips with roughly drawn caricatures.

Here, Comedian John Oliver does an unforgettable, hilarious caricature of the US Supreme court in action.  The actual audio clips from a recent hearings add video of various hounds for the likes of each Supreme Court Justice.  A must see.  I may bring new meaning and a greater interest in listening and watching SCOTUS rulings in action.

Watch the video HERE

US supreme CourtSupreme Court HoundsScaliaScalia houndGinsburgChief Justice Ginsburg


In Memoriam, Bill Langner, Douglas County Abstract Co

Just a sad note to the wonderful family of Bill Langner, a long time friend and advocate of the land title industry who passed away yesterday at the young age of 65.

Bill and wife Arlana,  were long time owners of Douglas County Abstract in Alexandria Minnesota, and the tradition is carried on by Bill and Arlana’s children.  Bill was an incredibly knowledgeable person on land titles and I always loved to visit with him and his family at land title meetings.  He had a great sense of humor, a love of family and friends, and will be sorely missed. My heart goes out to you, Arlana and to Paul and Carl and the rest of your family.  He will be missed but not forgotten.

Info On Home Closing

Home Closing 101: An Educational Initiative of the American Land Title Association