Indonesia - Property Title Risk Mitigation

First American is pleased to announce that it is now able to arrange title insurance for real estate transactions in Indonesia. detail

March 2009
Invitation - First American Title Insurance Company

Please come and visit us at our booth at MIPIM Asia. detail

November 2008
In Distressed Property Transactions First American has the Solution

During market downturns title insurance adds real benefits when selling property assets, mortgage books or in covering an investor buying the assets. ....... more

October 2008
Malaysia - Property Title Risk Mitigation

Malaysia operates a deeds registration system where each state has its own land rules. There is no state guarantee of title as well as no legal protection for purchasers deprived of their properties if the property is transferred to them by a fraudster ....... more

July 2008
Title Insurance - Low cost risk management tool in times of market insecurity

The first quarter of 2008 has been marked by a noticeable change in sentiment towards risk and risk management strategies. The tightening of credit and an uncertain investment outlook has focused minds on ensuring that there are as few obstacles to exit property investments and property loans as possible ....... more

May/June 2008
Thailand - Title Deeds not Conclusive Evidence of Ownership

In Thailand, the production of a title deed is generally considered to be good evidence of ownership. However, if a title deed has been issued illegally, the Land Department is entitled to revoke it and return the land to the state or the rightful owne ....... more

January 2008
Lenders Beware: What does your mortgage secure?

In an important recent Australian case, the decision casts doubt over the protection a mortgage confers under the Torrens Title system in the case of identity fraud. First American are recommending that lenders operating under Torrens systems review their standard form of 'all monies' mortgage to consider whether the wording is sufficient to secure the amount of money advanced against the land. ....... more

August 2007
Conveyancing - A High Risk Business

The latest Hong Kong Law Society Annual Report shows that even with a booming property market, professional negligence claims relating to conveyancing and property title still form a major portion of the total. Until the full implementation of the Land Titles Ordinance (perhaps 13-14 years away), solicitors in HK will continue to bear the financial brunt of the territory's imperfect land title and conveyancing system. Title insurance provides a valuable risk mitigation tool for Hong Kong's conveyancing solicitors. ....... more

May 2007
First American Launches Escrow Service in P.R.China


May 2007
Reuters Real Estate Newsletter, February 22nd 2007

Asian CMBS Market Faces Title Challenges. .......... more

February 2007
Title Glitch Could Wreck Dreams

For the full article in February 23rd Hong Kong Standard newspaper, click here

February 2007
Thailand - your Home's Your Own... Or is it?

The specific risks of acquiring land and property in Thailand may be very different from your home country. For a copy of an article which appeared in the November 2006 edition of Samui Estate magazine (, please click here

November 2006
An introduction to Hong Kong's Land system

Article published in Issue 1 of Commercial Real Estate China ....... more

October 2006
Asia Title Risk Round-Up

Property ownership and loan enforcement risk is inherent in doing business in Asia. These risks vary by location and transaction, but the following summaries highlight the key risks in a range of countries. ....... more

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September 2006
Singapore - Property Title Briefing

Singapore has probably the most reliable title system in Asia. However, known defects in titles, such as encroachments over adjoining properties, can still prevent transactions occurring as the cost impact can be significant. ....... more

August 2006
Asia Property Markets become more Transparent

Better information flows are making Asia's property markets less risky, but funds queuing up to invest in China and India should still be wary of murky titles and accounting. ....... more

July 2006
Speed up URA Acquisitions

Problems often arise in proving good title to older properties being acquired by the URA in Hong Kong. These cases are referred to the Government for compulsory purchase; which may take up to a year to complete. Purchasing title insurance to cover the known title problems will mitigate the risk that the URA is concerned about and enable the transaction to complete smoothly and quickly. ....... more

July 2006
Hong Kong - Property Title Briefing

The Hong Kong Law Society has stated, "instances of properties with absolute good title are rare if not unknown." During market downturns, potential purchasers often use minor title defects as a means of rescinding purchase contracts as this is the only legitimate way to secure a refund of the deposit. This also has a very significant impact on banks selling repossessed properties. ....... more

July 2006
Banks Suffer Mortgage Fraud In Hong Kong

A Hong Kong bank recently suffered mortgage fraud. This is a part of a rising global trend. According to the Los Angeles Times, mortgage fraud tripled in 2003-2004 amounting to US$1 billion (HK$7.8 billion). ....... more

July 2006
Japan - Property Title Briefing

In Japan, prospective purchasers should physically inspect property to determine who is in possession and interview neighbours for information. Land boundaries are often unclear resulting in problems with encroachments. Japanese lenders will often rely on the good faith of the owner when taking a security interest over real estate. Real risks exist if the identity of the owner is not fully confirmed. ....... more

June 2006
Purchaser Loses Everything In Fraudulent Property Transaction

A purchaser who relied on forged documents of title receives an "empty judgement" as the vendor cannot be found, leaving him with a home he does not own and with no possibility of selling or mortgaging it. ....... more

May 2006
Thailand - Property Title Risk Mitigation

Special care needs to be taken where dealing with rural, forest & beach reserve land (where most resort type developments are located) and with Phuket in particular. Vendors of resort estates can use a Commitment to Insure (effectively a promise by the title insurance company to insure any buyer at a specific premium upon purchase) to allay buyer's fears regarding title issues and improve marketability ....... more

May 2006
What Corporate Real Estate Professionals Should Know About Property Title (RFP Magazine)

One of the key differences between the property markets of Asian countries is the risk associated with proving good and marketable title to the property ....... more

April 2006
Korea - Property Title and Transaction Risks

Title risks in Korea include the accuracy of the deeds registry, off-title lease claims and the accuracy of boundaries. Fraudulent land transactions are routinely unwound with no compensation to innocent purchasers....... more

April 2006
Macau - Betting on the System

Although Macau operates a Torrens style title registration system, the title register is not state guaranteed. Title of a registered owner is defeasible if it has been subject to previous fraudulent dealings. In such cases, the property will invariably be returned to the innocent owner. The Government provides no compensation for innocent parties who lose ownership of their property due to fraud....... more

March 2006
Court Imposes "Very Onerous Duty" on Conveyancing Solicitors in Hong Kong

In the recent case of Liu Moon Ping v Wong Kwok Tung and Others, a judge accepted that "in conveyancing, the solicitor owed a very onerous duty to make sure that he checks everything, that he advises the client of any possible hazard, and that if there is any possible hazard, he should not accept the title." .......more

February 2006
Title Risks for Financiers

The Land Titles Ordinance (anticipated for enactment in 2007) as currently drafted offers very limited protection to lenders. In addition, the phased implementation over a period of 12 years will cause a two-tier marketplace to develop in Hong Kong; one market for registered titles and another for unregistered titles.......more

January 2006
Title Insurance Reduces Solicitors' Conveyancing Risk

In an article in the Hong Kong Lawyer, Richard Healy considers the long-term solution to Solicitors' Insurance Claims − and argues that there is an urgent need to expand the Land Titles Ordinance.......more

November 2005


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