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mkc1959, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 616
Experience:  Practicing attorney with 26 years of experience.
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You helped me several months ago regarding my water will issue

Customer Question

You helped me several months ago regarding my water will issue and the title company's negligent misrepresentation. The well issue has been resolved as far as our title insurance obtaining the neighbor's deeds in exchange for drilling the neighbor a new well; however, we have incurred several thousands of dollars in expenses due to the title company's failure to do its job. I sent them a letter June 24th requesting reimbursement for the expenses and they failed to respond. One attorney with whom I spoke suggested that perhaps the title company does not take me seriously and that a certified letter from an attorney may compel the title company to act. I am curious if you agree?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  J. Warren replied 1 year ago.
Hello! My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you today but please note this is general information only, not legal advice.
While I do not want to see you incur further expense on this matter, I would agree that a letter from a lawyer may have more persuasive influence. A letter from a lawyer is unlikely to be ignored.
Another option is to send another letter explaining that if they do want to pay for the damages (expenses incurred) you will take them to small claims. And if they still ignore you, then you can file a small claims action (the limit for small claims is $10,000 however).
All my best & encouragement.
Kindly remember the only way experts receive any credit at all for spending time with customers is if you click on ok, good or excellent service even though you have made a deposit or are a subscription customer. You must complete the rating for the expert to receive any credit.
All states have intricacies in their laws and any information given is simply information only and specifically is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I originally posted this question to attorney #mkc1959 and was expecting a response from him....
Expert:  J. Warren replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry #mkc1959 is offline and to avoid delay in you obtaining a response the question was opened to the panel of lawyers currently available online.
Expert:  J. Warren replied 1 year ago.
If you'd like me to opt out rather than rate my response I will do that and you can wait untilCustomercomes back online.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customerwas online when I posted the question. He told me to finish completing the process and pay my deposit and he would respond. I have yet to hear from him. I need a refund ifCustomeris not going to finish his response to the question I posted.
Expert:  mkc1959 replied 1 year ago.
I agree that a letter from an attorney might spur the title company into responding to you or trying to resolve the potential claims. However, as before, I think your claims may be against the Seller. In my previous response, I stated: "the (title insurance) coverage is limited to providing title, as a general summary.If the neighbor releases forever the claim to the water well and releases forever the easement, then you would then have full ownership of the property with your own separate well and with no permission for the neighbor to come onto your property.In the meantime, however, you have incurred expenses and have dealt with the stressful situation.For the expenses of providing water, I would hope the existing water well agreement would require the neighbor to share the expenses. In other words, I would hope the water well agreement has a provision that requires the neighbor to pay 1/3 or 1/2 or some specific percentage of the costs of electricity and maintenance of the well. So, your claims for those specific expenses would be directed to the neighbor rather than to the title company.Next, the title company only took on some of the liability of the Seller by virtue of the title policy. The Seller remains potentially liable to you for matters not covered by the title policy. Thus, the issue is what the Seller knew about the shared agreement. If the Seller was aware of the agreement, but did not correct the representations made by the title company in the title policy, then the Seller could be liable to your for misrepresentation. This is a tort claim which could provide the basis for your claim for damages for the stress." I know you incurred expenses. But, as before, I am not sure the claim for the expenses and stress is against the title company. "Title insurance" is simply not what anyone, including me, thinks it is. In its most used form, title insurance is not very broad coverage. It is in fact very limited coverage and only requires delivery of title. By obtaining the deed from the neighbor, if it in fact eliminated any claim by the neighbor to your well, the title company has "legally" met its contractual obligation. The damages you incurred are the responsibility of the Seller as I see it. I have not been on the JustAnswer site since June 16 and only became aware of your question through a separate notice from JustAnswer. Again, I agree with the prior Expert that a letter could cause the title company to respond, but, I would try to re-direct your attention to the Seller and to the neighbor. To the neighbor for costs and expenses of maintaining the well while the neighbor received water and the costs of pumping the water and to the Seller for other damages and stress.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the prompt response. If we pursue the neighbor and the seller, there is a chance that the only thing we will get is a judgement while incurring more costs, correct?
Expert:  mkc1959 replied 1 year ago.
Yes, that is always a chance. In this instance, I am in a position of being totally unable to provide any opinion as to the likelihood of recovery against either the Seller or the neighbor. There are many tools available to help give an idea about their financial condition. An attorney would have access to several services that will provide a financial profile of a potential defendant for a fee, of course.With the neighbor, you can possibly evaluate certain aspects of their financial condition by observing what cars, trailers or other vehicles or equipment they have.One of the most direct ways to collect a judgment is to seize a defendant's bank account. If you are able to get license plates numbers from a vehicle, that information will many times lead to the name of the bank used by the owner of the vehicle, which can then allow a judgment to be enforced against an account.A huge number of counties in the United States have free online access to real property records. If a loan was taken out to finance a home, tracking down the deed of trust through the real property records will sometimes identify a defendant's bank.But, to answer your question, yes, the final result could be the expenditure of more money without any recovery on your claims.

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