Welcome to the first edition of the e-newsletter version of On the Move! Our normal quarterly newsletter will now come to you via email. We’ve made the change for a number of reasons, including timeliness of the information, cost savings and reducing the amount of paper we use. If you passed the print version to others in your office, now it can be easily forwarded. Even better, let us know who else should be getting the newsletter and we will add them to the distribution list. Just contact Linda Berg , 515.725.4893 with additional names and email addresses.

We think you will agree that this is a better way for us to share updates and information about our programs and our industry. If you have suggestions or comments, simply reply to this email or contact Linda Berg.

2009 Regional Academies – It’s a whole new market…Be ready!

Spring really is just around the corner, as are the annual Regional Academies! This year we have scheduled three locations:

  • Iowa City – Hotel Vetro, April 22
  • Sioux City – Convention Center, May 12
  • West Des Moines – Sheraton, May 14

Our Academies focus on current issues relevant to real estate practitioners in Iowa. Topics and presenters vary at each location; however each session features our always popular industry panel with a local lender, abstractor and attorney ready to field your questions. Attorney Tim Gartin will cover Title Issues. Professor Patrick Bauer will be on hand at the Iowa City session to discuss Iowa foreclosure laws and the current mortgage foreclosure situation. Mark Otto, the ISBA’s real estate section chair, and Joseph Jones, Director of Governmental Affairs for the Iowa Finance Authority, will provide an update on legislation impacting our industry. Foreclosures and the Iowa Mortgage Help Program will also be featured topics. Find out what’s being done to help Iowa homeowners.

Whether you are a lender, attorney, abstractor or escrow company this session is for you! For complete information and registration, go to

With 6 hours of CLE (applied for) for just $45, what better way to get up to speed for the spring real estate season? Don’t miss this opportunity to network, learn and sharpen your skills!

For more information, please contact Linda Berg at 515.725.4893, or

Did you know…Title Guaranty offers Commercial Services?

Our commercial services department is picking up steam as more lenders and owners choose Title Guaranty for their commercial title needs. One of the most unique features of the Title Guaranty Program also extends to our commercial division – all commercial profits are reinvested in Iowa’s economy, with funds going to support homeownership programs. We offer:

  • Owner, Investor, and Lender Coverage on the industry-standard 2006 ALTA forms
  • Competitive pricing and service
  • Staff committed to friendly service and customer satisfaction
  • Escrow and closing services
  • Knowledgeable underwriting attorneys on staff
  • Demotech A’ Rating
  • Re-insurance with Stewart Title

We take a customer-focused approach to the commercial transaction and pride ourselves on being flexible. Like residential real estate, the commercial market faces challenges. Now more than ever, you need service you can rely on to get the job done. We offer comprehensive, affordable title coverage on a wide array of transactions. Whatever your needs, we encourage you to call Title Guaranty for all your commercial title needs in Iowa. For more information, please contact Becky Petersen at 515.725.4981 or or Matt Veldey at 515.725.4885 or

Rapid Certificate – Frequently Asked Questions

The Rapid Certificate program is gaining in popularity and usage! We have received several questions about what the program is and how it works; here are a few examples:

What is Rapid Certificate?
A simple way for our field issuing attorneys, abstractors and escrow companies to issue a final Title Guaranty Certificate without having to wait for the release of liens paid off at the closing.

How does it work?
1. The issuer should have proof of the payment of the lien. For a mortgage, this will be a copy of the payoff statement and proof of payment – cancelled check or wired funds receipt. If the issuer also conducted the closing, they will have this information in their files. If not, the lender or closer will need to provide this information.
2. After closing, the abstract company is notified that they do not need to hold the abstract (or Form 901 in the case of a refinance) for release of mortgage. The field issuer prepares the Title Guaranty Certificate listing the unreleased lien on Schedule B, and issues an Endorsement Against Loss Lien specifically covering this lien. This Certificate including the Endorsement guarantees the lender and the borrower against any loss due to the unreleased lien.

Won’t the unreleased mortgage be a title issue for the borrower in the future?
No, because we will take the process one step further. Four months after the closing, we will send the field issuer a reminder asking them to check available records to determine if the mortgage has been released. If the mortgage is properly released,, the field issuer notes the release in the CAP program. If the mortgage is not released, the field issuer sends proof of payment (copy of payoff statement and cancelled check or wired funds receipt) to Title Guaranty along with the Application for Mortgage Release. We use the mortgage release procedure to release the lien. One way or another, the mortgage will be released within a few months of closing.

What does it cost?
There is no additional cost for using Rapid Certificate! If we use the Mortgage Release Program to clear a lien, Title Guaranty pays the recording fees to file the release.

What if a release is filed but there is a mistake?
We can handle this using the Mortgage Release Program as well. Our Certificate of Release will release over an incorrect or bad release.

Can I use the Rapid Certificate on a refinance?
Absolutely! It works the same on a refinance as a purchase transaction.

Do I have to have a Closing Protection Letter to use Rapid Certificate?
No. While use of the Closing Protection Letter requires the Rapid Certificate, the reverse is not true. Rapid Certificate can be used anytime the issuer has proof the lien has been paid in full.

Meet Carrie May

Carrie May is a 5 year veteran with Title Guaranty processing Commitments and Certificates as well as working on special projects. Carrie recently earned her B.A. from William Penn University. In her free time, Carrie enjoys spending time with her two children and auto racing with her fiancé.

From The Director

It’s March, spring will soon be here and in an ordinary year we would all be gearing up for the height of the real estate sales season. By any standard, this is not an ordinary year. On the negative side, the economy is weakening and there is uncertainty in the market place. Even with historically low interest rates, real estate sales are lagging.

There is good news. We are experiencing a huge increase in refinance activity as many homeowners move out of adjustable rate mortgages to very affordable fixed rates. The federal government announced plans this week to help even more homeowners refinance and secure affordable terms. This refinance climate is a terrific opportunity to remind our participants about the benefits of the Form 900/901 refinance product. This is a streamlined, low-cost title product that has become very popular. See the article below for more information.

The federal government is going to great lengths to work with lenders to ease credit and stimulate the housing industry. The $8000 first-time-homebuyer credit coupled with current low interest rates and affordable housing prices could be a real boost to the real estate market. While the $7500 tax credit introduced in 2008 could not be coupled with mortgage revenue bond loans such as FirstHome and FirstHome Plus, the 2009 credit can. This is a great opportunity for qualified first time home buyers.

While no one can predict when the turnaround will come, the economy will get back on track and the housing market and all of us that support it will see growth and increased opportunity.

 – Loyd Ogle, Director

Refinances – We can help!

Now that the 2009 refinance boom is in full swing, we are very excited about the changes recently approved by the Title Guaranty Board of Directors which will significantly streamline use of the refinance search product, Form 900. Based on the numerous comments from our lenders, abstractors and attorneys, the change is both timely and welcome. The revisions are as follows:

  • The 24-month chain of title requirement is eliminated. Instead, the search must commence with the filing date of the titleholder/borrower’s deed showing documentary transfer tax computed on the full value of the property (full value deed).
  • The name search requirement is clarified – the abstractor must conduct a 10-year name search for the grantees found in the full value deed and any subsequent deeds found in the search.

The revised Manual is available online. We hope you agree that these changes will allow better service for our lenders and streamline the refinance process. Use of the Form 900 in lieu of full abstracting reduces time as well as expense, both critical in today’s market. If the lender chooses to use a local Title Guaranty participant to issue the Commitment and/or Certificate, the process is even faster.

Remember, the Form 900 is appropriate to use on residential transactions valued at less than $500,000. It is intended for “cookie-cutter” refinances. One question that comes up frequently is whether the Form 900/901 may be used when a land contract is paid off. In this scenario, although the contract seller retains only legal title, any personal liens or judgments entered against them prior to the contract do impact title, but would not necessarily show up in a Form 900 search that only goes back to the contract. In this situation, it is usually better to have the abstract continued.

We appreciate your comments and suggestions as we continue to improve the Title Guaranty product. For more information on this revision, please contact Becky Petersen 515.725.4981 or Bob Skelley 515.725.4984.

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