News & Opinion

The Speaker’s Corner
Published in the Newsletter for NALTEA

Last month, I asked, “Is anyone out there?” You replied “yes” and offered some excellent feedback. While not everyone agreed with my position, I think I can say that my articles have stimulated some much-needed discussion. With only that small amount of encouragement, I am now determined to try reaching out to my fellow abstractors at least one more time. I hope my monthly rants cause more of you to enter the dialogue about where our industry is heading.

One reader stated, “The value we bring as title examiners to the process is adding the skill of reading, reviewing, analyzing, interpreting and reporting the documents that affect a title. Existing inefficiencies in processing at registry offices takes us away from the value we add and the efficiency of web based data is increasing our ability to spend more time analyzing and reporting and handling overall quality control matters”.

Another reader wrote, “The title industry has forgotten how important we are. We realize that times are changing and the faster you can get something done and the money you can save is important, but what happened to doing it correctly?” The reader goes on to say, “Just an old abstractor seeing the changes in this business and thinking about the person buying the insurance, what are they really getting? Please keep writing and shouting in the wind.”

Well, shout I will!

Technology is putting more and more information at our fingertips daily and we should all rejoice at the increased ease of finding important data. However, a good abstractor would never take the data found on the internet as reliable. A conscientious will always confirm this information using solid research.

Call me old fashioned. Sure, I believe in and use technology to reduce the time I invest in the abstracting process. I enjoy my weekends and good times and yearn to get to them quicker. But I follow some time-honored principals that tell me, day in and day out, that I cheapen myself and my industry if I short change my clients. If I deliver a low-cost but low-value title product in my effort to get there too quickly, I undermine the years I have committed to building my reputation and helping support the overall esteem of abstractors everywhere.

Listen to your conscience the next time you begin to turn away from the courthouse without looking at one last book. Can you look your client in the eye when deliver your report? I can. If ever I cannot, it will be time for me to move on.

Write me at



P.O. Box 2724, Columbia, SC 29202
(803) 422-5719 | Phone

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