Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on August 22, 2003 at 09:32:07:
Yes, they will.
You have to understand that the escrow company has to protect the rights of all parties involved in a transaction. So when you sell a property, the escrow company will give you a form to fill out. It is called “statement of identity.” On it, you are asked to give information about yourself that will allow the company to check for liens against you and be sure that liens in the same name as you are not owed by you individually. For instance, I did a statewide seach in CA a few years ago for properties owned by “Ronald Starr.” There were 32 apparently different "Ronald Starr"s who owned property in the state. So, liens against some other Ronald Starr might appear to be against me. I would not want to pay off those liens when selling my property.
The questions on the “statement of identity” form include: social security number, whether you have useh some other name, places of residence–addresses–for past 10 years, marital status, where and when divorce was granted, etc.
You sound to me like you are very suspicious of what is happening here. I certain encourage skepticism. And I would never say “always trust title companies.” That would not be a good policy. However, the title company is trying to protect your interests as well as those of the lenders. By having it in the records that your wife renounces ownership of your property, it protects you from possible future problems.
I hope you never have to deal with divorce. However, it does happen with something like 1/2 of all marriages, as I understand it. So this document makes it clear at the time that it is recorded that you wife had no interest in the property. This could help you should you hit divorce row. Also, should you die at an early age, it will be clear in the records that the property was yours alone. So your will would control to whom the property goes, as you wish. That might be to your wife, but not necessarily. If it were thought to be community property or a joint tenancy, things might go differently. You do have a will, don’t you? When you own an asset as big as a home in Southern California, you certainly should have one, in my view.
I hope that as you understand better what is happening you can be less concerned about the actions of the company with which you are dealing. What is going on is normal business practice. And, as I said, is intended to protect you and others.
Good InvestingRon Starr**