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NJ Title Agencies Play A Critical Role In FEMA Buy-Outs


Incredibly, one out of four residential homes has a title issue. Many homes for sale have liens, judgments and other title problems that prevent current owners from easily transferring clear title to new owners. Problems in a property’s chain of title can lead to delays in closing or worse-no closing at all.

A critical component to a successful transfer of ownership is dealing with a title agency that offers a solutions driven approach when dealing with problematic title issues. Whether those issues are working to obtain discharges from lenders of mortgages that were already paid off, tracking down missing heirs to sign off on deeds in estates sales, or simply making pragmatic business decisions to insure title, selecting the right title agency helps facilitate a smooth transaction for FEMA’s purchases of hurricane damaged homes.

Even though short sales are commonplace today, they do present challenges for a title agency. For example, a paper trail proving the link between the current lender and the servicer negotiating the short sale needs to be established and confirmed by the title agency. This ensures that the proper party is paid and that the discharge of mortgage will be prepared accurately after closing so title to the property is clear. Unfortunately, in some cases, this paper trail is missing.

“The investigative work and persistence by title agencies in obtaining servicing agreements, powers of attorney and mortgage assignments verifying this critical link between lender and servicer can make the difference between a transaction closing or not,” said Jennifer Cassels, President of Park Avenue Title Agency, a title agency with experience insuring and closing 15 Hurricane Irene damaged homes in Manville this past year.

“The ability to make practical underwriting and insurability decisions by Park Avenue Title Agency was critical in helping the Borough close on some of the more difficult transactions we encountered, “ said Frank Linnus, Manville Borough Attorney.

Park Avenue Title Agency helps facilitate real estate transactions for residential and commercial properties throughout New Jersey. Most recently, Park Avenue Title Agency provided title and closing services to aid with the transfer of title from Hurricane Irene flood victims to the Borough of Manville through compliance with FEMA and DEP guidelines.


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