Friday, May 6, 2016

Fidelity Tries to get Seller to Pay a Claim Made by Their Client 12 years later??????

Hello Ann,
I found your name on a blog about Fidelity National Title Insurance. I recently received a certified letter from Fidelity National Title Group stating that a they settled a claim with a person (their client) who bought a house from me over 12 years ago and they are demanding that I pay the settlement of $28,425.00 they made with their client. They claim that upon investigation of the claim it was determined that a neighbor had valid ownership over a disputed part of the property. I purchased this row home in Philadelphia in 2002 from a prior owner, rented the home for two years, and sold the home to Fidelity's client. There was never any property dispute when I owned the home for 2 years and everything I did when I bought the home and sold the home was legitimate through mortgage and title companies. All the proper title searches were done etc... So essentially it looks like they settled a claim and are looking for someone else to pay the bill so they sought out the prior owner, Me. This is  100+ year old home in Philadelphia so who knows when this small discrepancy over property lines started. Fidelity is accusing me of "conveying a property I did not own" and "Demanding" I indemnify them for all costs associated with resolving the title insurance claim, $28,425.00. I am shocked and appalled. I didn't even think something like this was possible. Is title insurance supposed to cover home owners from this sort of thing? How does Fidelity have any legal leg to stand on in trying to have me pay for a claim the settled with their client? It seems crazy to me. I think the figure they have more money for lawyers than I do, which is true. Any thoughts on how to proceed? Best, D
from AZ
I am merely what I consider to be another victim of Fidelity's unethical practices so I have no real advice as to how to proceed especially since I am not an attorney.

It does seem to me though that as the Seller if the Buyer was going to go after you it would have been at the same time and it would be for the reason that you knew this fact and did not disclose it.  If indeed you had no idea and purchased the property yourself not knowing then I do not see where the responsibility to insure the property is yours.

I have never heard (and a lot of people write to me with their problems as if I am an advocate attorney) of anything like this where they are coming after you for their insurance claim.  I did not think this was possible either and it could be there are just trying an end run.  I do not know but I think it is possible that Fidelity as a company might try this.

If indeed you had no knowledge of this problem I would just either ignore their "demand" or write them a simple sentence telling them that you have absolutely no knowledge of the dispute that they are talking about and that it is between them and their client as you were not a party to that title insurance contract or, obviously, hire a real estate attorney but that will be very expensive.

Thank Ann I appreciate the guidance!
As he stated perhaps Fidelity has more money for lawyers than he does????  I do not know.  Has anyone else heard of a situation like this one?