If you own a condo in a multi-story building, BEWARE

I have blogged in the past about my almost two-year effort to have my title updated to reflect that the mortgage has been paid off.  Well, that objective was finally accomplished on August 22 2012.  But then there was another issue.

As I made strides to get the certificate of satisfaction recorded (and the problem was getting the certificate of satisfaction from the credit union because the title company I selected did not record the deed with the District of Columbia’s Recorder of Deed until almost five years after I refinanced the condo), I found another problem:  under my condo’s lot and square is a transaction dated January 18, 2011, an assignment of trust, that did not involve me.  I tried to get this matter addressed while at the Recorder of Deeds on August 22, 2012 but to no avail.

On Monday I called the Recorder of Deeds because I had not received in the mail the Certificate of Satisfaction.  On Tuesday a kind and helpful employee (the first I have ever encountered at the Recorder of Deeds) returned my phone call.  The issue of the Certificate of Satisfaction was quickly resolved.  I then brought to this employee’s attention this unknown transaction of January 18, 2011.  At first the employee didn’t seem to appreciate what I was saying so I e-mailed to her the title search results for my condo as identified by lot and square.

This employee researched the matter and discovered that someone had error when logging this transaction – not only under my lot and square numbers – but also under multiple lot and square numbers unrelated to the transaction.  She remarked the Recorder of Deeds had to delete this entry from multiple titles of ownership.  It’s good to be persistent!!  And, I helped out many of my fellow condo owners by having the erroneous transaction removed from their titles.

Beaming since my mission was accomplished, I asked the employee to e-mail the title history for my lot and square so I would have proof that the unrelated transaction had been removed.  Later that day on Tuesday afternoon, I received the title history.

There was good news and bad news.

First, the good news – the transaction of January 18, 2011 had been removed from my title history.  Hurray!!

Now, the bad news – another unrelated transaction of July 30, 2012 appears under my title history.

I sent a response to the employee, thanking her for sending the confirmation that the January 18, 2011 unrelated transaction had been removed from title history but bringing to her attention the unrelated transaction of July 30, 2012.

Today, I received the following e-mail response from the employee:

“I viewed the document and it has an incorrect legal description which will need to be corrected by the parties to the trust.  This office was able to correct your first situation [due] to an index issue.  However this office cannot correct a document that was presented to us with incorrect information.  The parties to that transaction will need to re-record or do a corrective trust document.”

Upon receiving this response, I asked the employee if she could provide the contact information of the grantor or grantee.  No response.

I then contacted someone at a title insurance company who had previously assisted me.  I asked if she could find the contact information for the grantor or grantee.  She replied as follows:

“Hi.  Sorry but I would have no way of getting their contact information.  It appears that your situation has been corrected and the other loans do not affect you.  At some point they will figure it out and correct it but it does not impact your ownership.”

The Money Heifer is not satisfied.  This matter should be fixed immediately when such an error is discovered.  The Money Heifer had an idea.  Google to the rescue!!

The grantor is an individual and the grantee appears to be a company.  In Google’s search engine I first searched for the individual but no address appeared.  Then I searched for the individual plus the company but no results appeared.  Finally, I searched for the company only – Abstract Company Millennium.  The results listed a title company with a similar sounding name in Bowie, Maryland, a suburb of the District of Columbia.  I will have to wait until tomorrow to speak to someone in the office.

If you own a condo in a multi-story building, it pays to check the title history periodically.  But then again, maybe this is just an issue in the District of Columbia.  As my boss said, I’m glad I don’t own property in the District.


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