Noteworthy – ALTA Innovation Bootcamp

This month I had the opportunity to attend and speak at the ALTA Bootcamp in Nashville, Tennessee. This purpose of this event is to provide invaluable information on sales and marketing to help title agents and insurers grow and succeed. It was a day and a half of learning, networking, and expanding horizons. The customer base for every industry is changing, not just title insurance. Advances in technology have led to an “Amazon Effect” that has touched every generation. People today can access everything they need in a matter of minutes through their smartphone. You no longer need to physically go to a store when Same Day Delivery is now an option. Even though you can’t purchase title insurance on Amazon, the requirement to deliver on a request instantly has become ingrained in our society. At ALTA Bootcamp we discussed this effect, along with many others, on the real estate market. I had the opportunity to speak with Wayne Stanley of Bowe Digital on “Updating Your Curb Appeal.” We discussed branding, networking, and advertising as it pertains to your business and today’s market. Branding Your brand is your representation of your company to the world. It is sometimes accompanied by a tagline, which adds to the culture and purpose of your company. Our logo has transitioned quite a bit over the years and I spoke about how and why those changes occurred. It’s very important to us that our branding represents who we are. When we last looked at our brand, we sat in a room and just started listing words that resonated with us as to what our...

Fortune Cares – Summer Donation Project

This summer, Fortune Cares will be collecting donations for the New Jersey Positive Behavior Support in Schools (NJ PBSIS). The PBSIS Recognition System is a collaboration between the New Jersey Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs and The Boggs Center, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  NJ PBSIS is funded by I.D.E.A Part B funds and is in its 12th year of providing training and technical assistance to schools across New Jersey. The NJ PBSIS team provides training and technical assistance to school teams on how to implement a tiered system of support for behavior and climate issues.  The program helps troubled schools with behavior issues by promoting good behavior and rewarding students to do the right thing. Instead of yelling and being negative with the students, teachers grant them tickets for being respectful, responsible or controlling themselves. These tickets then get turned in to the teachers for prizes. The teachers also participate and receive prizes. If you would like to learn more about this cause, please visit the website. http://www.njpbs.org/Intervention_Resources/recognition_system.html Donations needed are listed below. DONATIONS NEEDED: $5 Dunkin Donut Gift Cards Erasers Pencils Notebooks Gift Cards to the movies, McDonalds,...

Ask Nick – Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, and Tax Liens

Q: With respect to a New Jersey bankruptcy filing, the Township of Middletown Tax Collector filed a late proof of claim for outstanding property taxes, which claim the trustee is now refusing to distribute.  Accordingly, our client, the servicer for the mortgagee, is concerned that it will eventually be held liable for the outstanding amount of property taxes. Assuming that the trustee’s refusal is justified (which it appears to be), who will be liable for the outstanding amount of property taxes (the debtor or the mortgagee) upon its obtainment of a judgment of foreclosure? A: Municipal Liens are priority liens and do not normally get resolved by Bankruptcy or Foreclosure. Therefore, once the foreclosure is completed and the Sheriff’s Deed is issued, the successful bidder would be responsible for the municipal liens and all property taxes and assessments.   Under no circumstances is Fortune Title Agency, Inc. or any of its employees giving any legal advice.  The Ask Nick Q’s and A’s are based on situations that the company has experienced and is sharing with the public for informational purposes only.  Always contact your attorney for any legal...

Noteworthy- WHAT EVERY REALTOR® SHOULD KNOW ABOUT OWNER’S TITLE INSURANCE

WHAT EVERY REALTOR® SHOULD KNOW ABOUT OWNER’S TITLE INSURANCE You’re a Realtor®, so you know that buying a home can be overwhelming for your clients. Homebuyers can feel confused and frustrated by the mounds of paperwork they have to sign. Plus, the fees associated with closing can sometimes be overwhelming even to an experienced buyer. Owner’s title insurance is one of those items often misunderstood by homebuyers at closing, yet its value is tremendous. As an important advisor to your clients, you are in a position to help homebuyers understand the value of owner’s title insurance and the dangers that can be incurred without it.   WHAT IS TITLE INSURANCE? Owner’s title insurance is a policy that protects homebuyers’ property rights. For the same reasons the bank requires a lender’s insurance policy, the homebuyer obtains owner’s title insurance to protect their legal claims to the property. For more information about title insurance, or to find an ALTA member that can issue an owner’s policy, please direct your clients to homeclosing101.org.   HOW IT PROTECTS Say, for example, your client recently purchased a new home from a builder, but the builder failed to pay the roofer. Wanting to be paid, the roofer filed a lien against the property. Without owner’s title insurance, your client would be responsible for paying this existing debt. This is just one example of how owner’s title insurance protects homebuyers from various significant risks.   ENDURING VALUE The good news is that owner’s title insurance protects homebuyers legally and financially, as long as they own their home. For a low, one-time fee, homebuyers can rest assured,...

Fortune Cares – Imagine Center

For the month of April, Fortune Cares collected journals of all colors and sizes to donate to the Imagine Center, a very special grief support center for children and teens.  Every child who comes to the Imagine Center is given a journal to write their thoughts and feelings.  Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss, is a grief support center for children, young adults and families dealing with the death or life-altering illness of a parent, sibling or child. They provide free peer grief support year-round for as long as is needed, and  are currently serving over 220 children and families from over 44 New Jersey towns every two weeks. Imagine is completely privately funded through the generous contributions of our donors, and our work is only made possible through their support.  If you are interested in finding out more about Imagine or donating, please click here http://www.imaginenj.org/  Why the Name Imagine? The movie Finding Neverland traces a young child’s journey through grief. Johnny Depp plays the role of J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. Young Peter, already fatherless, loses his mother to cancer. At the funeral he tells Mr. Barrie, “I thought she would be here forever.” Mr. Barrie replies, “So did I. But in fact she is. Because she lives on in every page of your imagination.” Children come to understand and make sense of their world through play and imagination. A child’s imagination is one of their most valuable “built-in” tools for managing fears, concerns and the stresses of life. Imagination helps children learn about their world, solve problems, empathize with others and become creative adults....