It is no secret that title company delays have been wreaking havoc among those trying to buy or sell in Taos County. At the beginning of summer we were looking at 3 month closings and now we have been informed by the title co that it could be up to 5 months.
  • So what's the problem? - The problem is, Taos county only has two title companies and they have not been able to process all the transactions they are receiving which is creating a larger and larger backlog. The problem has been in existence for at least three years but the additional amount of transactions received this year has made the situation even worse.
  • Why hasn't another title insurance company opened ? - Title insurance companies perform their title searches to insure there are no incumbrancers on the title with what is known as a title plant. A title plant is a proprietary collection of public data about all properties in the county and the transactions that those properties have gone through over the past 100 years or so. These plants have been created over the years by the individual companies for their own use. In order for a new title company to go into business they would need to either lease or create a new title plant and unfortunately no one was willing to lease theirs and the counties records were not organized to the point where someone could build a new title plant from scratch.
  • Do I have to have title insurance? - No, there is no law or regulation requiring title insurance, however, if there is a loan involved in the transaction, the lender will require title insurance. Unfortunately, if you have a loan you are kind of stuck and you will need to wait until the title co can issue you a policy. If you do not have a loan or are paying cash, then there are other options.
  • Will it end? Hopefully! - This past year the county has been working diligently to organize and digitize their records and now there is news that a third title company will be opening up during the first quarter of 2022 . This new company should remove some of the burden from the two existing companies and speed up the process.
  • So what can you do in the meantime? - If you have a loan the short answer is nothing. If you are paying cash or have owner financing you can close without title company assistance. If you are paying cash and you still want title insurance, there is nothing stopping you from closing the sale without the title company and purchasing title insurance after the fact.
If you are wanting to close without title insurance, feel free to give me a call and I will be happy to get you pointed in the right direction.