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We’ve seen the headlines, heard it on the news and now we’re officially feeling the squeeze—labor shortages have come knocking. The Great Resignation has affected businesses both large and small, with over 4 million workers quitting in August 2021 alone, according to the Labor Department. Now, in fall, many of us are likely seeing the effects. But, even in the midst of a workforce shortage, closing and settlement agents are, for the foreseeable future, going to be busier than ever. Knowing that predictions call for millions to exit forbearance in the next six months, now is the time to consider how much valuable employee time you can sacrifice to chasing discharges. Having a dedicated, professional team handling your release tracking and title curative is paramount in alleviating the stress of dealing with post-closing roadblocks. Unless you serve only a handful of clients a year, outsourcing release work will help you keep up with the volume, enable your employees to redirect their efforts and eliminate one of the main causes of delayed deals—title defects. Read this month’s spotlight to see why solving title issues in-house can be counterproductive

SPOTLIGHT with Ann Johnston

ClearTitleThis month we are spotlighting Ann Johnston with Fidelity National Title Group. A proud reQuire advocate, Ann encourages agents and lenders to work with professionals to track and release their discharges to ensure a smooth closing process and happy clients.

1. Can you tell us how your relationship with reQuire came about?
Wow, I have been recommending reQuire to my agents for about eight to ten years; time flies, but I know it has been for quite some time. My first experience with reQuire was when their representative, Bree, came up to Maine several times, and we targeted large residential agents around the state and successfully sold them on a product we felt they needed. The rest is “history,” as they say.

2. Are there any reasons you choose to recommend the reQuire team specifically?
Undischarged mortgages and improperly discharged mortgages are a very big problem for sellers, borrowers, title agents and underwriters. In my opinion, $45 in the scheme of things is a very reasonable price for the service reQuire provides. Sellers and borrowers need to understand the cost, time delays and possible issues that can arise if they are refinancing or selling. Also, they should understand that when you try to get a discharge after-the-fact, they may not be able to do so! I strongly encourage agents to make working with reQuire part of their practice on 100% of their payoffs, even with local lenders, because should a local lender miss one discharge and the lender merges with another lender, getting a discharge in the future could be a problem.

3. What would you say to those in the industry who are not using professional title curative or release tracking services, or who are trying to solve title issues in-house?
Technically, when the agent is putting a requirement in the commitment for a discharge, and you obtain a payoff, the discharge inevitably follows – if the discharge is wrong, that is typically an issue for the office that did the closing. The agent is committing to insure since a discharge is being obtained and the title will be clear, even though it is post-closing. Historically in this industry, offices/paralegals would track the discharges post-closing to make sure they were completed correctly. Offices would contact each other and ask that the post-closing discharges be corrected, and they would each do it as a courtesy to the other office. However, I think that time has long passed. The alternative is to use reQuire Discharge Tracking, which executes the post-closing review and confirms that the discharge is recorded and correct, at the seller’s expense. This takes an office off the hook for having a claim on their policy based on a bad discharge.

4. Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience with reQuire?
Randy Cruz and Linda Aparo provide me with 5-star customer service!


We’re working to update our Borrower Authorization forms by January 1, 2022. Be on the lookout for this change and contact your account manager or send an email with questions about how this could affect your business.


We’ve seen a lot of clients and new faces in the past few months and are looking forward to finishing the year strong! Don’t forget to come out and see us at the Louisiana Land Title Association Annual Convention and the Texas Land Title Association Conference this December as we wrap up 2021. Set up a meeting or swing by our booth!

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