Consumer Complaints and Reviews
I had a closing at a location in Illinois. An Employee went through my file and got all my personal information. She called my home (I still have her name/information on my caller ID). She called my home more than once. She admitted to me that she went through my files but denied it to American Title. American Title hung up on me when I contacted them about it. They didn't do anything about it even though I had proof. So unprofessional and they do not protect your privacy. Beware!
Please, do not use these people. They do not know what they are doing. My wife and I just lost 1.2 million dollars due to their incompetence. We sold some land back in 2006 and they did the title work. My wife told them it was for surface rights only. They wrote it up as "excepting all mineral rights". It should have said "surface rights Only". We have a chance to sell these mineral rights, 110 acres at 11,000 dollars per acre. We cannot claim title to them because of their wording on the title. We are both retired and almost 70 years old. This was to be our retirement money, which is gone, thanks to First American Title Insurance.
My wife even question the wording of the title using "except all mineral rights" instead of "surface rights only" and was told that was the same thing and not to work about it. It only gets worse. We cannot bring action against First American Title Insurance because of the statute of limitations, because of Supreme Court Ruling, that we should have known at filing. Well, we never filed anything and took their word for it. They did the filing and we got screwed out of our mineral rights and retirement income. I have reached out to them by phone and email. They are no help. They know they messed up but are not communicating about this in any way. I guess the less they say the better for them.
The Eagle Foreclosure title insurance admitted that the parties listed as beneficiary were not authorized to file foreclosure papers. They did anyhow but later rescinded the notice of default and notice of intent of sale. However, they demanded $96,600 in attorney fees for defending their right to a non-judicial foreclosure, even though they stopped it on their own.
When I found out I had title insurance I contact the above claims handling who took months delays then denied my legitimate claim. The above breached the indemnity contract, are liable for my losses and had property sold with unmarketable title. Seller not in good standing. Liens lis pendens. Lawsuits all over. Property ** New York. My ex then sued me alleging I was nominee. Untrue. I owned it. My closing attorney ** had title certified with above First American. He sued me with John my ex alleging otherwise. That's why they fail to release owner policy prior. I was insured but property had many issues.
This company, once they get your money will not release it. I entered into a contract with a seller with specific contingencies in the contract that the seller did not meet. Therefore, the contract was null and void. The seller refused to sign a termination. The realtor who was a dual agent was really working on the side of the seller because he had multiple properties listed for the seller. The contract stated that I would have to wait 180 days after the contract was signed to get my money back. I waited and the First American still won't release my funds without getting a signature! How can they just keep your money?
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Melissa, the Branch Manager, neglected to provide pertinent information during our closing. When we had issues after, she did nothing to help solve the problem. Terrible customer service. No one wants to feel like information hasn't been disclosed with such an important financial situation.
My friends John and Linda have been tied up in litigation with this company for over 7 years. In the meantime they are now wanting to settle so obviously they are accepting some blame. However, it is coming a little too late and a little too little. My friends have in the meantime list their beautiful home and in their senior years have had to downsize considerably. I have been a realtor in Toronto since 1988 and I have never seen such a lack in action on the title insurance part. I hope they can resolve this soon as the health of my friends has been affected.
I am writing this in support of John of Huntington Beach CA. I have known John for 60 years. I obviously knew him before all this started. Since this started I have seen a change in John. He is emotionally drained which shows physically in his face and the way he now moves around. This ordeal, that has gone on too long, has also taken its toll on his lovely wife. She has developed a stress related shake in her hands that I do not remember her suffering from before all this started. I do hope that this legal harassment ends soon so they can have their life back.
There is no such thing as "Title Insurance", it is merely an "Indemnity Contract." In California the title industry got legislation passed in 1966 exempting them from responsibility and liability for any mistake they make. Title companies use "outside counsel" to give the appearance of "clean hands". I am a former First American employee and have been am in litigation for over seven years. After losing their Motion for Summary Judgment and Judgment on the Pleadings, the Court having found 19 triable issues of fact and running up over a million dollars in legal fees FATCO has hired a fourth outside law firm to continue legal harassment. There is only one person at First American with the authority, ability and who had the motive, method and opportunity to continue litigating attempting to ruin us financially and he is now in charge.
Attempted to reason and use common sense to utilize my First American Insurance Policy which we purchased 2 weeks ago to protect us going into our new home. We contacted the agent for our policy to replace a nonworking microwave covered under my policy. First American has no desire to help but rather stand behind "policy" even though it makes no sense. We had service rep tell us the unit was over ten years old and made little sense to invest in its repair to make it heat. First American states they have to send another service tech at my cost to attempt a repair anyway ($65 to $75). If not repairable they state they will then replace the unit with a comparable unit but can't guarantee it will match the rest of the kitchen appliances. They did commit if the replaced unit was unacceptable they will cash out to us. No guarantee here either how much.
We did the legwork and found an acceptable unit on sale for the lowest price anywhere on the market and closest to match our other kitchen appliances. We offered if they will pay the $218 (cost of the microwave we found) I would waive the delivery and installation fees. Not acceptable to them "have to follow policy" given to us again. Asked for manager... same story! First what do we pay insurance for? And we wonder why insurance companies get bad press!!! Sure hope I don't experience any other needs to use this policy. I would "not" recommend First American Title Insurance to anyone!!!
In refinancing my home in Palm Springs, CA I accidentally received email stating to a vice president of FATCO that "it was a good time to place his lien into my escrow because there was plenty there". FATCO claims to have a judgment for taxes owed on a sold TX property. They charged me interest on these taxes. Why? TX escrow paid for FATCO Title Insurance. If there were any taxes; why wouldn't the tax office claim it, & why didn't FATCO Title Ins. take care of taxes being there was insurance paid in the escrow.
So, Mr. Dean **, VP First American Title had a concocted lien for taxes owed that had grown to $62,000.00. Oh yes, he settled for $40,000.00. I am 77 years old & needed to refinance. My husband has been gone since 4/8/2012 & he took advantage of me in this way. He is causing me severe depression. FATCO or Dean ** got more than I did through what I think was fraud. Re the lien: I told him that it was not I in court, because I was in CA on the same day in another FATCO office, signing papers with my deceased husband. Thus, it was not possible to be in a TX. court. He said "water over the dam".
A company called Extant Properties purchased the Hidden Springs property in TX through FATCO & that the court had issued a 'Release of Lien' which included April **, Bernard **, & Myself, Carol **. Why FATCO litigated & received judgment against me only & I was never notified. FATCO still took $40,000.00 because a Mr. ** from Athas Mortgage told him in a memo (I received in error) "go ahead with the lien because there was plenty there". Then, Mr. ** continued saying personal & rude remarks in this memo about me. I thought this was priviledged (client) information.
By taking 4 months to close I was deeper in financial ruin. I was coerced into signing the escrow papers for $22,000.00 because of Mr. ** & Mr. ** knowing each other previously & discussing my finances as well as opinions by Mr. **; re funds he could get from my refinance. It cost fees of $42,000.00 & $40,000.00 & I was only able to get a 10-1/2% rate because of the negativity discussed by Mr. ** (employee of Athas Mortgage) with FATCO's Mr. Dean **. They both should be fined or disciplined for causing me such hurtful, financially disastrous, & abusive pain. I was forced to seek medical help. My refinancing has left me in a horrible position. I must pay $3600/mo payments. How can this be done on my small SS check? How can licensed professionals be able to commit these acts that can cause me to lose my home?
As a senior citizen & unable to defend myself against this abuse, please help me redeem the unlawfully gained $40,000.00 ($62,000.00 originally) that could not have been taxes & there could never have been taxes in an escrow where Title Insurance was paid. At my age, and my health status, I may not have much time to recover the ill gotten gains if you cannot help. Thank you in advance for your help and/or attention to this matter. What I have described above is more reason(s) why Title companies are really not needed. When they get paid their fees (and they are expensive), When, where or how do they settle claims that are not in their favor? Why do we pay fees for Title Insurance? Many other FATCO clients claim their calls are never returned when there is a problem.
The first reason for "needing" Title Insurance is alledged taxes that have not been paid. The second is fraud or forgery, etc. The third is for a spouse or unknown heir who makes claim on property. In my case, I was told it was taxes not collected. Then the fraudulent behavior of discussing my available funds & Mr. **' negative remarks that were damaging & abusive & caused me to pay 10-1/2% ($3680.00/mo.) vs my old payment of $1145.00/mo. which was already difficult for me.
I am not sure why FATCO sued me for Extant Properties alleged tax problem (I got copies of this from the Bexar County Recorder's Office). The tax problem was fiction because the tax office said there were no taxes owed. They verified that taxes on my 5500 home that burned to the ground was taxed from 1/6/1990 until Extant Properties purchased the property. Bexar County could not reverse the over taxed amount & the taxes were paid. I need this money returned to me due to the fraudulent methods used by FATCO & compounded by Mr. **. I hope there is justice and a way for FATCO to return the $40,000.00.
First American Title notified us that there was an error in the recording of our house and land. We were supposed to get another acre. Somebody else came and paid the back taxes on this piece of land and we lost the property to them. First American Title did not protect us. They will do anything to get out of their liability. Their pseudo-attorney did it her way. She knew which buttons to push. Stay away from this company.
I sold my home. My name is the only name on title. My ex-wife quick claimed her interest in it many years ago yet FATCO is refusing to insure title unless I go track her down somewhere and ask her if she wants half the proceeds. I have a threatening text from our real estate agent who happens to be good friends with Diane ** at First American Title. Our agent is disgruntled because we bought another home without using his assistance. I was not under contract to purchase a home through him. They both should be fired for misconduct.
I bought a property 3 years ago and all the sudden somebody took possession of one building in it. I spent over $6000 in lawyers and paperwork to prove that it was mine. The title insurance company denied my claim saying that since I did not lose any part of the land they are not obligated to pay ANYTHING. I thought that the insurance will protect me from this kind of situations, but no, they did not do anything... I even had to go and get all the paperwork they required and do all the work myself trying to get coverage for this. THIS COMPANY IS A RIPOFF. THEY HAD ALL THE EXCUSES NOT TO COVER ANYTHING. The person that took possession of the building actually had a deed for it. Still I had to lose all that money to protect my property.
I refinanced my house in 2010 and, I thought, added my new husband to the title. First American was our title insurance company. Now nearly six years later, I go to refinance (First American the title company again) and I find that my husband was never added to the title. This delayed closing while the lender figured out what to do about it. In talking to paralegal friends, I found out that my town requires an "exempt" stamp to show you don't have to pay transfer taxes and in order to get that you have to schedule an inspection which takes at least 2-3 weeks. The next thing I know, the lender is telling me the title company says everything is good to go, we're set for closing. I asked about the exempt stamp and the inspection and they said the title company had everything under control.
The day before closing the title company calls me and tells me that I have to go to my town and get an exempt stamp. The person I talked to had no idea about the requirement for the inspection or that it would take 2-3 weeks. I explained all of that and he still said we were clear for closing. He even wanted me to go to the town that day. But of course, if we can't get the exempt stamp to file the quitclaim deed to get my husband on the title before the funding date (early the following week), the refi is null and void. I spoke to two different people at First American and both denied that it was their responsibility to know about the inspection requirement. What a bunch of idiots. Absolutely do not recommend.
Got title insurance, sold my house. One year later found liens on the house, they refuse to pay. Charge me 1000 dollars plus a lost another 1400. Stay away. This company made excuses.
We purchased a home in Canadensis, Pennsylvania. This property was foreclosed on so we were not required to get a home inspection or survey. After a year my neighbor who lives a quarter of a mile away claims that he own the property. He has moved all our property line. We put a claim with First American with whom we have purchased title insurance. And of course without investigating they turn down our claim. I will not recommend this Title company. I will be seeking legal help since this title was released to us as a simple and free.
Absolutely TERRIBLE SERVICE! If there were negative stars, I would rate accordingly. I emailed the escrow agent, Ruby, for the status of my escrow and her email was unmonitored. I also emailed Juan **, and his responses are minimal, one-word answers and extremely vague. DON'T TRUST YOUR BUSINESS HERE, ESP FOR BUYING YOUR HOME. These people don't make you feel welcome, safe or at ease with your home your purchasing transactions.
It has been over 45 days and I still have not received my earnest money, which I was told it was mailed over a week ago by escrow officer Kent ** out of the Dallas office. Why is this taking so long to get MY MONEY REFUNDED?
We had a real estate closing in August of 2013 with First American Title and of course paid quite a bit for title insurance. We are trying to refinance our mortgage now and an issue has come up with an open lien for a different closing in 2005. It appears that paid lien was filed in the wrong county. So how in the world could we have had a closing on my property in 2013 with an open lien? The title company from 2005 is no longer in business and we have tried to contact First American about this issue which in my opinion was negligence on their part and it is very difficult to get them on the phone. Now I am having a lot of trouble trying to get that lien removed from 2005. This is terrible business practice on the part of First American Title. Would not recommend them!
I bought land that had been part of a larger plot. My plot was for sale long before the main plot went up for sale, was never fenced in and never included in the surveys of the main property... Starting point ----1st error, they put the house from the main property on my paperwork, that was in 2011 and still not fixed today because they refuse to fix their error, so I am paying the neighbor's taxes. Bring up the 2nd error, both properties have the same address.
3rd issue, they didn't file the sale til 2012, so the other owner and i were both told the original owner was paying the taxes. They sold the main property in Mar 2011, mine in Aug 2011, I have been to 3 hearings and filed 3 appeals on it. Each time I keep having to go in and appeal paying taxes on a house I don't have. To have the tax office and the Bexar County App District tell me: "Title company has to fix it".
Giving up on that issue. So started working on the address issue, since American Title has turned a deaf ear (I even called the pres of the company--no good). So i am paying the neighbor's tax bill monthly. There has gone my credit rating due the tax lien. So hit a wall with CPS also, they are telling me I don't have the house or the 2 meters so have no case, that I have to file a platted land survey and intent for use plan, told them am solar so they are not needed, they refuse to change my address because I am the break off from the orig lot, the neighbors have the address I don't until I file a survey...
Get this the neighbor calls up tells CPS we both have the same address, uses the title company's paperwork to get her address changed, so now I am left holding the tax lien and she is free and clear of the bill because not her address. If I sound gripped -- darn right, if you know a lawyer to help I would like to talk to, my company law firm minute they say Wells Fargo, they wished me luck.
We had property buyers contact a title company to proceed with a sale of property in Elko NV. They choose First American Title. We sent them the contracts we had drawn up for the sale. The property has been insured by First American Title several times in the last 20 yrs. After several weeks of no communication & no returned phone calls, we last a very caustic voice mail requesting a call back. Kevin, Vice President, from another office called to let us know that we needed to do a quiet title for one of the 3 three lots. We repeatedly ask them if this was something they could do for us. Again no communication.
So we put together another contract with buyers stating we would go through with the sale of 2 of the 3 properties with First American Title. We did a separate contract with the buyers to complete the sale of the 3rd piece of property once our attorney completed the quiet title. First American Title, Kevin, said this was good so come to NV so we could proceed with signing the paperwork. Kevin would call the Elko office to have everything ready for us.
We traveled 13 hrs to sign the final papers only to be told that he can’t insure it because there is no access to the property. We lived on that property for over 20 yrs. The property was financed by Greentree, Wells Fargo & Norwest Financial at various times in the last several yrs. All insured for the finance companies through First American Title. It’s taken them 2 months to come to this conclusion. Let alone the fact that we have spent a lot of money in making two trips to Elko.
We are purchasing a home through Freddie Mac. In order for Freddie Mac to pay our title insurance, we were required to use First American for our title and closing needs. This was a huge mistake. We should have paid the $1000+ for insurance ourselves and avoided the living nightmare that has been our closing process.
First American has displayed incompetence and lack of any sense of urgency at every turn of our home buying process. We entered into our home contract on November 18th with a closing date of December 19th. All documentation was given to First American for preparation of our HUD-1 on the Monday before our Friday closing, 24 hours ahead of their stated "72 hour turnaround time." First American repeatedly made excuses to our bank about why the documents were not being completed, even at the end of the promised 72 hours. When the documents finally were received at the end of the day before the closing, they were incorrect and multiple corrections were requested during the 24 hours leading up to our closing. First American was very slow to respond every time and did not take the situation seriously. (What we thought were the correct) HUD-1s were not received until we were sitting at the closing table for over one hour, waiting on First American to get around to it. We then signed all of our documents, got our keys, and congratulated ourselves on buying a house.
We were so wrong about that last part! Two hours after we left closing, we got new HUD-1s from First American. We signed and sent those back immediately. I thought it was strange that we were signing additional paperwork AFTER our closing, but felt reassured that they said everything had been done. Again, this was a mistake.
The Monday after our closing, First American contacted our bank. They are now disputing paying $800 in transfer taxes because they say they are not "closing costs." Throughout the entire process, with multiple HUD-1s received from First American, transfer taxes were always included as being paid by the sellers. Transfer taxes are included in every online definition of "closing costs" you can find, and First American has no explanation for their refusal to pay for this item. After hearing from our realtor, she has cautioned us that we should not go back to our house that we signed paperwork for, have keys for, and have started moving things into over the weekend, until this is sorted out because First American has not signed our documents and therefore we do not legally own the house we just bought! They also will not tell us how long we should expect to wait for this to be resolved. At this point, we have officially cancelled our move because of First American's incompetency. The only thing I can do at this point is caution as many people as I can NOT to use this company. You will really, really regret it. I know I do.
Unfortunately we are dealing with this bank as escrow bank for a home we bought back in September. They are working with Nationstar Mortgage and as a pair they are horrible. They have not communicated well and we the buyers have been left in the dark. We were doomed to fail from the start, it seems, as Nationstar Mortgage sold us a home that still had another owner! They seem to have refused to clear our title. Thoroughly appalled at the lack of humanity these companies show.
We filed a claim over 2 years ago on a botched title in conflict with 2 adjacent lots they insured. We figured, since they insured all three, we would get a settlement quickly. Not so. We had to sue them after months of stonewalling, just to get them to move. It's a small lot and the cost of legal fees is probably more than just writing us a check at this point. The main thing is that they are willing to use their size against you, the owner, who has to buy it with your cash and pay taxes on a lot you can't access, in our case. We warn everyone in the mortgage industry and realtors to NEVER go anywhere near their brick and mortar salespeople. It has been a nightmare that killed the dream of building a house in a district we wanted to live in during our kids' formative years. This caused terrific stress, and we can't sue them for that mistreatment. I had no idea insurance companies were allowed to sit on people by our state's lack of protection. It should make everyone look critically at the loopholes state governments leave for campaign contributions. It's a racket and it sucks.
My property was sold out of a bigger 40-acre plot in 1953. In 1954 the property next door was sold out of the remaining 40 but was overlapped over the top of mine which you can't do - sell property that belongs to someone else without their permission. Over the years that followed the local survey company laid additional lines on the west property line. There were 4 different lines with 4 different owners of two feet strips 450 feet long that was on my west property line. My underground sprinklers and fence was in and amongst this area.
I had to file a lawsuit to "clear" the title of any clouds. This required a reputable surveyor to plot the survey history and provide the correct line, hire a lawyer with land law expertise, and 4 years of my time doing research along with going to court. When I sent in all of the documents to FAT they were refused for any payment. Said I didn't qualify. They had closed and charged the title insurance fee on my property and the property next door at least 8 times. I sent everything to the State of Wyoming Insurance Department and they said that they could get by with that treatment. So why are we forced to buy the insurance - by law - if it is absolutely worthless and offers no protection.
Dealing with First American Title is undoubtedly the most disappointing and scariest experience of my life! In short, they delayed our house sale by 10 days. Every day I was told it will be done today and every day they came up with some new and inventive story that contradicted the one I was told the day before. The last delay was because they wired the money to the wrong place (How scary is that?). The poor buyer had to pay her out-of -state movers several hundred dollars because we could not let her move into the house until the title was recorded. Hint- the paperwork actually has to be sent before it can be recorded.
The day we went to sign the documents we found out that the buyer's loan was still not approved. Then they proceeded to threaten me with fees when we would not sign paperwork. I told them why would I care about a $75 fee when I'm selling a house for $250,000. Really? After all of this, they congratulated me and praised themselves for a job well done. Here is how I responded to First American Title's satisfaction survey:
"I really don't know where to start with what you could have done better; life is too short for that. The least negative comment I can make is that I'm glad I will never have to deal with First American Title ever again (even typing your name sends me into a tirade)! From this point forward, First American Title will be referred to as "Second-rate Title." The degree of ineptness of your employees is incomprehensible. I'm sorry- I forgot with Second-rate Title people I need dummy down my vocabulary. Translated- Are you people on drugs or just stupid? The amount of time and energy you spent not doing your job is astonishing. Honestly, you should have called my teenagers for more plausible stories than the ones you fed me. I work in a dental office and see 11 patients per day times 4 days per week, totaling 2,200 people per year. My only consolation is that I am willing and able to let as many as possible if not all know of the ordeal Second-rate Title has put me through. Good riddance!"
I work for a company in Salt Lake City. I had a client ask that we find a company to do a Title/Quit Claim Deed search. I came across First American Title Insurance and was hopeful they could help me. I spoke to an employee by the name of Nikki. I told her what I needed done and without even allowing me to ask how much it would cost, she told me to send over my information to her via email. I emailed the requested information and had some communication back and forth with Nikki. I never heard back from her after that. Remember, at this point, she had still not told me how much the services rendered would cost.
After not hearing anything for approximately 12 days, I reached back out to Nikki via email and asked her if she was able to find any information and if so, how much it would cost for me to receive that information. The next thing I know, Nikki emailed me over the information and an invoice for $500. Excuse me? I asked her to tell me how much it would cost BEFORE sending the requested information over to me. Anyway, long story short, Nikki was not professional and treated me like I was an idiot. Again, Excuse me? I'm a customer!
I purchase a second home with First American Title and also a Insurance Policy. Paid my 3% down payment 2x since they lost the check and would destroy it and asked me to wire transfer. Next day check clears and wire transfer clears. Now into the deposit 6%. I was also asked to pay an expedited appraisal fee since they moved the closing date up. Please note all expedited fees and wire transfers are promised to be paid by First American (still waiting).
After expediting appraisal they move the closing date 2 more times... (angry by now since I'm jumping through hoops all day). Then after opening the Insurance Policy to allow the loan to go through I made sure all documents to be sent to my primary home. Luckily I went back to check and received a termination of insurance policy if not paid in 10 days. Apparently once they get your money they don't care what emails and phone call you send them. I even spoke to my agent directly saying this is a second home please send all documents to my primary address. At least the electric company got it right.
I recently endured a transaction with First American Title when I sold my vacation home in Truckee, California. Their work was incompetent and the worst customer service. They required payment of $75, told me if I did not drive the 100 miles to Truckee rather than the 3.35 miles/7 minutes from my office as they would "have to pay someone in Sacramento to 'do' the documents," which was ironic as the Truckee loan officer told me he was "swamped", "had a stack of closings" and could have spent the time he spent handling my closing doing another closing. Seems the Truckee person should have been relieved and gladly paid to have the Sacramento agent (according to FAT, it is not a matter of the offices being separate franchises) handle the matter as he was so "overloaded" and "going crazy."
FAT did not advise me regarding what had been done to discontinue services noted on estimated escrow settlement. I landed up calling each provider (tax assessor, utilities, sewer services, etc.) to confirm termination of services and the entities' knowledge I no longer owned the property. FAT asked me, "as a courtesy" to forward the next property tax bill to the Buyers. The County Tax Assessor's Office said that request was totally inappropriate and inserting myself in between the Buyer's and their property tax put me at risk.
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