Diane Fleck, Title Examiner

Diane Fleck, Title Examiner

Behind the Scenes at Midland Title: Title Examiner

Although you probably will not interact directly with me as part of your real estate transaction, I am the first line of defense in ensuring clear title for many transactions facilitated by Midland Title. As a title examiner, I review and summarize the legal history real estate. I review chain of ownership, past transactions, liens, encumbrances, and any other legal issues that might affect a property's title. My primary objective is to create a comprehensive report (title abstract, title search), which provides a clear and concise overview of the property’s history. While I do not work directly with Midland’s customers, I do play a critical role in ensuring your property title is free and clear of any liens or defects prior to closing.

I’m excited to answer some frequently asked questions to help demystify my role at Midland Title.

1) What is your role in the title process?

Diving into the Archives: A typical day begins at the local county courthouse or online databases, where I sift through a labyrinth of documents. These include deeds, mortgages, tax records, and legal descriptions, all crucial pieces of the property title puzzle.

Uncovering Liens and Encumbrances: One of the most common challenges is spotting outstanding liens. These could range from unpaid property taxes to contractor disputes. My job is to ensure that the property is not encumbered by unpaid obligations.

Chasing Forged Signatures and Fraud: The specter of forgery and fraud is ever-present. I am trained to spot any anomalies in signatures or documents. The discovery of fraudulent activities can save a potential buyer or seller from considerable legal turmoil.

Resolving Complex Legal Descriptions: Legal descriptions can be a complicated. My task is to ensure that the legal description of the property is accurate, helping to avoid boundary disputes and ensuring clarity for all parties involved.

2) Why is a title examination necessary?

Title examination is vital to ensure the legitimacy of property ownership and the validity of real estate transactions. It helps prevent unexpected complications or disputes down the road and provides confidence to buyers, sellers, and lenders.

3) What are some common issues you discover during your examination?

I may come across issues such as outstanding liens, boundary disputes, easements, encroachments, forgery or fraud in documents, unresolved estate matters, and incorrect legal descriptions. My job is to identify these issues so that our title clearing specialists and escrow offices can work with our customers to clear title prior to closing.

4) How long does a title examination take?

The duration of the title examination can vary depending on factors like the complexity of the property’s history and the volume of documents to review. On average, it takes me a day or two to complete an exam for review by Midland’s internal title counsel.

5) What is the most rewarding aspect of being a title examiner?

The most rewarding part of our job is knowing that we contribute to secure and transparent real estate transactions. We help people make one of the most significant investments of their lives with confidence, safeguarding their financial futures.

In conclusion, as a title examiner, my job is to shine a light on the often obscure complexities of property titles, ensuring that real estate transactions are as secure and seamless as possible. I hope these answers provide a clearer understanding of my role and why title examination is an integral part of the real estate industry.

Diane Fleck is a title examiner for Midland Title. She has over thirty eight years of experience in the profession. Outside of work she enjoys being with family, animals, and friends. She enjoys participating in road running (half marathons and marathons) and a weekly dose of volleyball. She is big supporter of local business and the University of Toledo athletics along with watching The O-H-I-O State Buckeyes football team.