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Practices & Industries

Title Insurance

For most of its history, Riker Danzig has been providing title insurance companies and their insured lenders and property owners representation in litigations, coverage investigations, and general advice in resolving title disputes. The Firm has represented the largest title insurance company in the state for over three decades and has handled matters in every county in New Jersey. It has also litigated title disputes in New York and Connecticut.

The Title Insurance Group launched a podcast in 2021, Title Nerds.  Co-managing partner Michael R. O'Donnell and partner Bethany A. Abele, leaders in the Firm’s Title Insurance Practice, co-host the podcast episodes, exploring the intricacies of issues they have addressed throughout their many years representing title insurance companies and their insured lenders and property owners. Each episode also draws on insights from other members of the Firm on issues that impact those in the title insurance arena, as well as special guests from outside the Firm.  Subscribe to the podcast here.

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business has ranked our Litigation practice in the top tiers since 2004.  In the 2019 edition, Chambers noted, “They're a go-to firm in the title insurance space in particular," highlighting our "very strong reputation."  See Awards and Honors Methodology.

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The Firm has handled title insurance matters ranging from mortgage fraud to boundary line disputes to lien priority disputes to recoupment actions. The work is done under the direction of partners Michael O'Donnell and Bethany Abele. There is a team of associate attorneys, each having substantial experience in title insurance law matters. The attorneys in the group are able to effectively and efficiently provide quality service at competitive rates.

It is often the case that title insurance matters will require extensive expertise in real estate law, banking and bankruptcy areas. For that matter, most of the attorneys in the title insurance group have extensive experience in banking litigation for financial institutions, and the Firm has seasoned bankruptcy and real estate law practice departments, whose assistance is sought as needed. Indeed, the Firm's century-old representation of financial institutions adds immeasurably to its depth of experience and expertise on real estate law and title matters. The Firm also has a substantial lobbying group that assists the title insurance group in responding to regulatory matters and keeping them and our clients abreast of current legislation.

Throughout their many years of experience, the title insurance law attorneys have been exposed to virtually every imaginable type of title dispute. This deep background translates into efficient and economic service to the Firm's clients. Every effort is made to have the work performed at the most cost efficient level without sacrificing the quality of representation.

In sum, Riker Danzig offers experience and service in representation of title insurers and lending institutions in title insurance law matters, which is second to none in New Jersey.

Representative Title Insurance Law Matters include:

    • Coverage counsel on a $31,000,000 mortgage fraud on high-end residential homes in Bergen County, New Jersey.

 

    • Coverage counsel on a $45,000,000 lien priority dispute on commercial properties in Hudson County, New Jersey.

 

    • Coverage counsel on a mortgage fraud scheme exceeding $20,000,000 in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

 

    • Coverage counsel on a mortgage fraud scheme with title claims exceeding $20,000,000 involving a Ponzi scheme related to residential housing throughout Northern New Jersey that ended in the largest auction of homes via a bankruptcy auction ever conducted by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey.

 

    • Counsel representing four title insurance companies in class action alleging overcharges on residential closing and seeking damages under New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Act.

 

    • Representation of title insurance companies in litigated coverage disputes in New Jersey State and federal courts.

 

    • Trial counsel on boundary line dispute in Cape May County on over 16 acres with the boundary line being established by evidence relating back to the early 1800s.

 

    • Trial counsel on dispute on viability of a Notice of Settlement on a residential closing in Passaic County, New Jersey that established the enforceability of the notice.

 

    • Representation of condominium owners on title claim in Ocean County, wherein summary judgment for owners was obtained on an adverse possession theory.

 

    • Numerous subrogation actions brought against real estate counsel with recoveries for legal malpractice at closings, including successful verdict in one matter in Morris County, New Jersey.

 

    • Counsel on recoupment action against participants in mortgage fraud in Bergen County, New Jersey, which netted millions of dollars in recoveries.

 

    • Coverage counsel on tidelands claims in Ocean and Cape May Counties, New Jersey.

 

    • Negotiated boundary line agreements throughout New Jersey.

 

    • Represented insured successfully in a challenge to title by New Jersey Board of Proprietors on an island in the Manasquan River, Monmouth County, New Jersey.

 

    • Representation of lender challenging $3.2 million in tax sale certificates in Bergen County, New Jersey.

 

    • Representation of lender in priority disputes relating to tax foreclosures in Bergen County, New Jersey.

 

  • Represented title insurers before New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.

Our Team

Michael R. O'Donnell

Michael R. O'Donnell
Partner

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