For those having problems with obtaining Title Insurance for their property in Pojoaque Valley
Hope all is with you and your family. The Legislative session is in full swing, giving me the opportunity to try and find solutions to some of our very complex problems in the Pojoaque Valley.
As many of you know, some members in our community have not been able to obtain title insurance with the guarantee of ingress and egress to their property. This issue is very complex and is the result of decisions made by the US Congress and Federal Government back in the 1920's and 1930's with the Pueblo Lands Acts. As a result of these Acts, the Federal Government identified the metes and bounds of Pueblo lands and issued Pueblo Land Grants, much like Spanish Land Grants. The Federal Government also issued patents to "fee simple" land within the Pueblo Land Grants to non-pueblo people due to the mixing of people from the prior 300 years. "Fee simple" is a form of freehold ownership, meaning the person owns the real property and is free to sell or trade but is responsible for paying property tax to the local taxing authority; in our case, Santa Fe County. This "fee simple" land residing within the Pueblo Land Grants is of issue at this time because of uncertainty of access to the property. The confusion that has ensued revolves around the issue of who owns the roads within the Pueblo Land Grants to access these "fee simple" properties that the Federal Government issued patents to, "Is it Santa Fe County or the Pueblo's?" In most cases, individuals of "fee simple" properties have purchased title insurance at some time in history which included a search for legal ingress and egress.
I had the opportunity to meet with the Superintendent Franchini from the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) for New Mexico to discuss the negative impacts many community members are experiencing as a result of being denied clear title by the title insurance industry.
The Superintendent informed us that they will investigate the claims that clear title insurance is not being issued by the industry, but impacted owners must first file a formal complaint. I urge everyone that has had an issue to please file a complaint.
You can file a formal complaint using the Title Insurance Complaint Form. The quickest way to accomplish this is to visit the OSI website at http://osi.state.nm.us/consumer-assistance/forms/title.html where you can submit the complaint immediately. For your convenience, we have also enclosed a hard copy of the form that can be filled out and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to:
Office of the Superintendent of Insurance
Title Insurance Bureau
PO Box 1689
Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87504-1689