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SUPREME COURT, STATE OF COLORADO Court Address: 2 East Fourteenth Avenue Fourth Floor Colorado State ... - page 15 / 22





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If this rule stands there will be nothing to keep judgment liens from continuing to be

"bumped" in priority every time there's a sale or refinance, instead of being paid (or at least

discussed) when there's a sale or refinance, because of the way title insurance, and title

companies, work. Notwithstanding the fact that the Title Standards and the courts say the

grantor/grantee index must be searched, title companies don't work that way. They keep tract

indices in-house, at least in the Denver metropolitan area, and don't actually consult the official

records each time they write or update a title commitment. Since judgment liens don't have legal

descriptions, but instead attach to all non-exempt property in the county owned or acquired by

the judgment debtor, COLO. REV. STAT. § 13-52-102, they may not show up in the title

company's information. This may be why there have been so many recent cases that include the

information that "the title company missed the lien." Adopting a rule that is supposed to prevent

inequity (or to keep anybody from getting a "windfall"), that really only benefits a commercial

enterprise that was paid to tell people what the state of the title is, does not seem fair or


With the decision of the Court of Appeals that constructive notice is not enough to defeat

an equitable subrogation claim, but actual notice is, title companies now have another reason not

to search title. So long as the purchaser paid for title insurance (such that she is not deemed

negligent in her actions), the decision creates the absurd result that the title company is protected

(from the otherwise unassailable title claim) by the purchaser's payment of the title insurance

premium for the negligent service. For this reason, buyers and lenders, or their title insurers, are

much better off if they remain ignorant of what's in the record, though this goes against an

impressive and time honored list of constructive notice cases. Here, the Londres and Chase


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