Interview with David Hay, Owner of Cortes & Hay, Title Agency

title insurance agency

What first got you interested in title insurance?   

I started working summers in the Title searching end of the business. This is the work that is done in the County Clerk’s Office to research the Title to properties that are being bought, sold or financed. The reports were prepared for Attorneys. Today that same work is done in preparation of a Title Insurance Commitment.

What do you like to do when you’re not in the office?    

When I’m not working at my title agency in New Jersey, I can play a decent round of golf and I enjoy outdoor work around my home. I have done some auto racing. 

What advice would you give a person who isn’t hesitant about getting title insurance? 

I always remind them that obtaining a Title Policy to insure their purchase is a one time payment for as long as you own that property. 

What do you think is the biggest misconception about title insurance?    

I always let the buyer know when they question why they are paying for Title Insurance, is that while it protects them against claims that could come from a lien or judgment against the sellers that was not disclosed, it also protects them from mistakes that can happen with the many people who are involved in a Real Estate transaction. Attorneys, secretaries, realtors, county searches, tax searches, condo searches, water, sewer adjustments easements and the ultimate correct deed and financing documents are our responsibility. 

What makes Cortes & Hay stand out among other title insurance companies?    

As an experienced title agency, we always are working for the client. Whatever the issues maybe we are here to help get the title cleared, and issues resolved for both the buyer and the seller to get them to the finish line— the closing.

Is there a specific title insurance matter that you worked on that you will always remember? 

There are many, but one of the largest projects that we worked on was Trump Towers in Jersey City. The search work we did disclosed 2 large areas of State of New Jersey Tideland claims that had not been disclosed by the sellers. It took legal resources and $225,000 to obtain grants from the State to clear this issue to close.  Many properties in Hudson County and along the Jersey shore are impacted by Tidelands claims.