Meet our Sponsor:
Five Questions with Jeff Leichtnam, Account Executive, Chicago Title
1. Why does my client need title insurance?
Above all, attorneys have an ethical responsibility to their clients, and if you’re representing your client in a real estate transaction, it’s more than just reading and redlining the fine print in a real estate contract. When purchasing a home or commercial property, it’s typically the buyer’s responsibility to purchase title insurance, and it’s mandatory when securing a mortgage—lenders require loan policies. But that only protects the lender—what about the owner? Owner’s (or Fee) policies are written to insure the property owner from claims on title. Here in WNY, many properties date back to the 1800s, are near an old (or existing) railroad or have liens that have gone unnoticed for decades. Owner’s Title Insurance protects the property owner if and when a Title problem arises. Premium Rates are regulated by NYS, and a discount is automatically applied when purchasing an Owner’s Policy along with a Loan Policy (simultaneous policies), so it can be relatively inexpensive to secure.
2. What is an Abstract and why do I need it to sell my house?
We get asked this question a lot. An Abstract of Title is also known as a Search, and is defined as a summary of the conveyances, transfers and other facts appearing of record and relied upon as evidence of title to real property. When selling a property here in WNY, the Erie County Bar Standard for the owner is to either produce an updated Abstract in their possession or for an Abstract/Title company to complete a new 80 year Full Search.
3. What are the benefits of working with Chicago Title?
This is my favorite question! I could go on for quite a while, but here are just a few bullet points:
Expertise: We have the largest and most experienced team of Title and Abstract professionals in WNY, period. We have 9 attorneys who focus only on underwriting, along with a Search/Abstract team that averages over 20 years of experience. Our office in downtown Buffalo is also unique in that we own an extensive Title Plant system. We have a file on every property in Erie County which is very similar to the Erie County Clerk’s.
Financial Stability: Chicago Title is part of the Fidelity National Financial family of title companies. We are the largest Title Company in the United States. We’ve been in business for over 150 years, and we’re not going anywhere. Our clients can be assured of our underwriting commitments. On the rare occasion that a claim arises, we’ll be here to defend it.
Customer Service: Because we have more resources than any other title company, our customers can rely on quick turnaround, creative solutions to underwriting issues and, more importantly, a dedicated staff that is here to help you! We publish all employees’ direct phone lines and email addresses and encourage customers to reach out with any questions or concerns. The end goal is to make our clients better real estate attorneys or paralegals so they continue to succeed. It may sound cliché, but it truly is a partnership and Chicago Title is committed to those partnerships.
4. Why did you choose to sponsor WBASNY WNY?
Chicago Title has always tried to be active in the legal community through volunteer or charitable organizations or sponsorship of organizations that may have a need or interest in the services we offer. The WNY WBASNY chapter is widely known and respected in the legal community with a broad and diverse membership that I’m confident will offer a mutually beneficial partnership. Personally, I’ve been familiar with WBASNY for over 15 years—my wife is an active member and Past President of the Chapter. I look forward to building a strong relationship with WBASNY WNY this year and beyond.
5. Favorite downtown lunch spot?
It’s really amazing how many choices we have now! And with the nice weather here, I’m always looking for a good patio to sit out and enjoy the sunshine on a beautiful day. So if I’m not in the middle of client emergencies (which is common in the summertime!), I like to walk over to Casa di Pizza and grab a slice or sometimes a chicken parm sandwich on their patio.
You can reach Jeff at 716.200.5872 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in sponsorship opportunities with WBASNY WNY? Contact us at email@example.com to learn more.