Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Cloud on the Title Made My Property Unmarketable

One of the huge questions in this case was the actual value of the lost easement.  Obviously Fidelity National Title with the assistance of their appraiser from PGP Valuation in Boise Idaho valued this loss at $0.

I, on the other hand, felt that my loss was approximately $800,000 and I felt passionately about this.  And then I also felt that Fidelity had wasted thousands of hours of my time plus the legal fees and expenses in just beginning the lawsuit and then throw my attorney's compensation which was well deserved.

After having spent a full two days pouring over the thousands of pages Fidelity National Title had sent looking for examples of their having acted in Bad Faith - more on that later today - I was driving to the Settlement Conference in Walnut Creek.  Somewhere on I-680 the lightbulb went off on why I felt so strongly about this.

It was not a mile long strip of dirt that I lost - what I lost was the ability to market and sell my property due to the cloud (error) in the title and Grant Deed prepared and insured by Fidelity National Title.  I listed the property in May 2008 and we marketed it first with three easements and then with two easements with a disputed third until October 2008 and finally even in a letter in January 2009 my agent wrote that we still had one potential buyer waiting for resolution (and Claims Counsel #1 was going to pursue obtaining the easement again.)

In the meantime we were dropping the price of the property like a lead balloon in response to this cloud on the title that was proving to make the property unmarketable.  By the time the title officer from Fidelity confirmed the loss of the easement we had already dropped the price by $400,000.

Price reductions were as follows:

6/13/2008                                $1,295,000                              List Price
8/5/2008                                 $1,195,000
8/15/2008                                $  995,000
9/24/2008                               $  945,000
10/13/2008                              $  895,000
10/22/2008                             $  845,000
11/4/2008                                 $  795,000
1/22/2009                                $  770,000
2/19/2009                                $  745,000
4/2/2009                                 $  649,000
5/28/2009                               Withdrawn/Cancelled

The property was foreclosed on in July 28, 2009 when a negotiation for a purchase price of $525,000 failed.

More later........................................