Canadian Title Insurance Allows Purchasers to Close Property Transactions During OPSEU Strike

Solution Provides Coverage For Liens, Mortgages That Could Be Registered Between Closing and Registration


March 28, 2002, MISSISSAUGA, Ontario

Do you have to stay in a hotel this weekend because your real estate deal won’t close? Real estate purchases that consumers think may not close on time during the OPSEU strike because of the limited number of employees on hand at the province’s registry offices can still be saved with title insurance. Long lines resulting from the current OPSEU strike mean that not all of the necessary documents can be registered, which would typically prevent a transaction from closing.

Title insurance protects purchasers’ “title”, which is the right of ownership in real property. One of the types of coverage available with most title insurance policies is “registration gap coverage,” which essentially protects the insured from loss or damage incurred as a result of matters arising during the period between closing and registration. With this registration gap coverage, lawyers can close real estate transactions, confident that their client will be covered should matters such as liens and other mortgages be registered before the title changes hands at the registry office.

First Canadian Title, which is Canada’s leading provider of title insurance, has experienced a marked increase in the number of title insurance orders placed since the strike of OPSEU members began on March 13. “An overwhelming number of lawyers have ordered title insurance for the gap coverage it affords since the OPSEU strike began,” said Richard Hanesiak, First Canadian Title’s Director, Residential Underwriting. “Most lawyers are now familiar with title insurance and therefore understand the many benefits it provides consumers and lawyers.”

Title insurance protects against a variety of problems that can delay a transaction, prevent it from closing, or threaten the purchaser’s rightful ownership. Among the problems it insures against are fraud and forgery as they relate to title, title defects, survey problems, human error and the inability to sell the property at a later date due to title problems.

Municipalities throughout the province where e-registration is mandatory are not affected by delays in registration as a result of the strike. E-registration has not yet become mandatory in all municipalities but where it is mandatory – and all transactions are therefore closed using this method – there is no gap between registration and closing. As a result, the gap coverage that title insurance affords is not necessary in these regions.

The country’s leading provider of title insurance and other real estate related products and services, First Canadian Title pioneered the concept of title insurance in Canada in 1991. Last year alone, First Canadian Title issued more than 260,000 title insurance policies. First Canadian Title’s responsive underwriting skills and unparalleled experience in handling and resolving claims set it apart from its competitors. The Company offers customers a number of valuable products and services including title insurance for both residential and commercial transactions, residential refinance programs for lenders, home closing services and real estate tax services. Based in Mississauga, with offices throughout Canada, First Canadian Title is the registered business name of First American Title Insurance Company’s Canadian operations. All title insurance policies are underwritten and issued by First American Title Insurance Company.

Tracing its history to 1889, The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) is the nation’s leading, diversified provider of business information and related products and services. The corporation’s three primary business segments include: title information and services; real estate information and services, which includes mortgage information services and database information and services; and consumer information and services, which provides automotive, subprime and direct-to-consumer credit reporting; direct-to-consumer public records reporting; resident screening; pre-employment screening; automobile title administration; property and automotive and insurance tracking services; property and casualty insurance; home warranties, investment advisory; and trust and banking services. Information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at www.firstam.com.

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