Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Learning new things about Fidelity all the time


So here is what happened:
  • ·         In 1998 XXXXXX subdivided off this property and sold it to XXXXXX.  At that time the Grant Deed from Napa Land Title Co. lists only Parcel One (the property) and Parcel Two (our Parcel Six – the easement thru Chateau Potelle).
  • ·         AND HERE IS THE MISTAKE.  When we purchased the property from the XXXX kids after XXX’s death Fidelity added in Parcels Two thru Five.  So although in many documents sent by Fidelity there is a debate as to whether the easements are valid as recorded – THE REASON THEY ARE NOT VALID AS THEY WERE NOT THE SELLER’S TO CONVEY.  Not because they did not reach the property.
  • ·         I met with the title officer in Napa prior to purchasing the property and received the map and recorded documents leading me to believe that there was this second deeded easement from Mt. Veeder.  (He apparently had Alzheimer’s and has subsequently died – and there is no record of the original search.)
  • ·         When I went to sell the property I (obviously) thought there was a valid easement which is the reason I contacted XXXXXX which started the entire claim.

·         Which then brings us to Lee vs. Fidelity:
“[t]he ambiguity should be resolved in favor of the insured.”
“[t]he function of the title company is to ‘give the insured the protection which he reasonably had a right to expect’”
“[t]he risk of a proper description was assumed by the company, and it should bear the responsibility for the mistake.”

So for the first time I now understand why the easement was not valid - it was never granted to the person I bought the property from but Fidelity included it in my Preliminary Title Report and Grant Deed.