Title company sued for not discovering second mortgage

Kelly Holleran Mar. 30, 2011, 5:27am

A Madison County title company is suing one of its contractors for allegedly failing to fulfill its agreement.

First American Title Insurance Company and its subsidiary, United General Title Insurance Company, filed the lawsuit March 18 in Madison County Circuit Court against Nations Title Agency of Missouri Inc.

According to the complaint, Nations Title had an agreement with United General to obtain applications for title insurance and complete examinations of those real estate titles, among other duties. United General also claims the contract would protect them from any loss due to errors on the part of Nations Title.

In September 2005, Maurice and Diane Heidel allegedly refinanced their New Baden property through Homestead Mortgage for nearly $100,000. United General says Nations Title issued a title commitment for that loan without doing a proper title search of the property. After the Heidels entered into foreclosure on the Clinton County property, a previous mortgage of more that $63,000 was allegedly discovered.

Since that original mortgage was not paid at the Heidels' refinancing closing, a lien remained on the property, leaving United General liable for the amount due. First American Title says it settled the claim with the bank in May 2009 and asked Nations Title to reimburse them for the payment, which the company allegedly refused to do.

First American and United General accuse Nations Title of breach of contract and ask to be awarded more than $136,000 plus interest and court costs.

They are represented by attorney Sandra J. Tatoian of Edwardsville.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-266

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