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

Two days ago I detailed how I found a real property transaction under the title history for my condo.  With the assistance of an employee at the DC Recorder of Deeds, the erroneously entered information under my property was confirmed and removed.  When the Recorder of Deed employee sent me a confirmatory title history to demonstrate the erroneously entered property transaction under my property’s title had been removed, I found another property transaction under my property’s title history (see post from Wednesday, September 26, 2012 for additional details).

DC declined to remove this unrelated transaction from my title history because DC claimed there was an error by the title company.  I was told the company would need to submit a corrected deed.  But when I asked DC for the contact information, stone silence = no reply. So I decided to use Google.  I typed the name of the grantee “Abstract Company Millennium.”  The top Google result was “Millennium Title & Abstract Company.”  I decided to call this company on Thursday morning.

I called the company Thursday morning and explained the situation.  I provided the date of the transaction and the name of the grantor.  Less than five minutes later the title company confirmed it recorded the deed with DC.  Upon reviewing the deed the title company informed me my lot numbers are not listed on the deed, but a different set of lot numbers are [the square number for the condo is the same for all units] .  I asked a couple of questions:  a) does this transaction concern a condo [answer: yes], b) in South West Washington [answer: yes]. Yup, I knew there was a screw-up and that some employee at the Recorder of Deeds was responsible.  In fact the representative from the title company remarked, someone at the Recorder of Deeds must have dyslexia.

I told the representative that I would send her my e-mail exchanges with an employee at the Recorder of Deeds.   Meanwhile, the representative told me someone at the title company would look at this matter further.

Less than an hour later,  a different individual at the title company e-mailed me and the employee at the Recorder of Deeds.  This individual listed the transaction by address, date, and lot numbers.  She stated that the title company had provided a correct legal description with the correct lots to the Recorder of Deeds.

Upon receiving this e-mail I sent the following response to the Recorder of Deeds employee:

In light of the information below, it appears that there was an indexing error, not an error in the legal description.

I request this transaction be removed from my title history.

Please send me a confirmatory printout (another title history) once the . . . transaction of July 30, 2012 has been removed.

Less than 30 minutes later the Recorder of Deeds employee informed me that the “production supervisor will make the correction[.]”

I thanked her and remarked that I hope no other unrelated transactions appear under my property’s title history.

Her reply was interesting stating in part,

“If an unrelated transaction appears on your title history hereafter and it happens through this office [meaning the Recorder of Deeds is at fault], please contact. . . .

Hmmm, that does foster much confidence in the Recorder of Deeds.

After this second successful removal of a transaction from my property’s title history, I informed two owners at my condo about this situation.  I advised them to check at least annually to make sure there are no unrelated transactions under their property’s title history.

Reflecting on this experience, it is a shame that I had to do all the work, jump through all the hopes (especially for the 2nd transaction) when in both instances, employees at the Recorder of Deeds screwed up!!!  I have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off to clear up the matter.

The Money Heifer is displeased with the Office of the Recorder of Deeds.  And, how many other errors unbeknownst have occurred for multi-storied condominiums?  The best course of action is to lodge a complaint.  If I receive any feedback, I will share it.

Meanwhile, I will have to alert other condo owners in my building: check your property’s title history at least once annually.


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