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Real Estate Title Agent Liability Under Maryland Law

Maryland Real Estate Title Agent Liability: Real estate litigation attorneys defend title agents from liability under Maryland real property law suits for real estate flipping fraud title defects and negligence by settlement attorneys.Beyond a title agents’ many duties to the title insurer, title agents must fulfill significant obligations to other parties to the transactions before them. While many of these duties are created by contract, other duties have been imposed upon title agents either by courts or by the legislature. While many of our responsibilities are defined by statute, courts have frequently augmented these statutes by imposing what lawyers call "tort duties" which often expand the title agent’s typical role in a transaction. To avoid liability under Maryland law and under federal law, title agents must go into each settlement with a full understanding of their legal obligations and their duties to buyers, borrowers, sellers and others involved in these transactions.

Far from a simple job, settlement agents are called upon to perform a wide variety of tasks, which may include:

  • Conducting title searches and preparing abstracts of title;
  • Reviewing the status of the title in the title commitment, resolving any exceptions to the title, and reviewing the purchase agreement to identify any requirements in it in order to ensure compliance with this fundamental contract;
  • Verifying the payment of existing loans secured by the real estate;
  • Verifying the amount of special assessments and calculating taxes on the property;
  • Obtaining an updated title insurance commitment to the date of closing;
  • Preparing the required checks, deeds, affidavits, and obtaining any authorization letters needed;
  • Establishing a time and place for the closing, conducting the closing, and ensuring that all parties properly execute all appropriate documents and meet all commitments;
  • Collecting and disbursing funds for the parties;
  • Holding funds in escrow pending satisfaction of certain commitments;
  • Preparing Significant Paperwork - including the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, the mortgage, the deed of trust, and, where applicable, the Truth-in-Lending Statement, and the purchaser's affidavits; and
  • Recording the appropriate documents as required under law.

In performing these tasks, the settlement agent is responsible to all parties to the transaction to follow precisely, and without special advantage to one party over another, the respective agreements between the parties. Generally, the settlement agent owes duties to at least three parties: (1) the buyer/borrower; (2) the seller; and (3) the mortgage lender, if any. A failure to fulfill these obligations can invite private lawsuits, administrative actions that may jeopardize one’s license to conduct settlements, or even criminal prosecution.

The legal information on Maryland real estate law, Maryland realty law, real property sales contracts, breach of real estate contract, breach of contract lawsuit, Maryland property law suit for breach of contract, lawsuit for sale of land, realtor fraud, legal negotiations, real estate sales contract, Maryland real estate purchase contract, injunction against developer real estate development, specific performance, lease agreement, settlement real estate, cloud on title, foreclosure real estate Maryland, real estate commission, legal title defects, real estate settlement, breach of contract real estate maryland, flipping real estate fraud, real estate lawsuits, residential property disputes law firm Maryland Land Title Association, real estate professional liability, negligent title agent, title insurance, title agents and abstracter errors and omissions insurance, real estate title attorney, abstracter errors, real estate settlement services, real estate fraud, real estate flipping, Real Estate Settlement Procedures, RESPA lawyer, easements, restrictive covenants, Maryland zoning and other real estate laws, is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to seek the representation of a competent real estate lawyer Maryland settlement attorney to protect their legal rights. The slogans, High-Speed Access to Legal Action, Legal Advice, Legal Counsel, Legal Protection, State & Federal Courts, Dispute & Conflict Resolution, Probate Protection, Legal News, Legal Training & Seminars, and the substantial equivalent thereof are service marks of Kramer & Connolly.