Let’s face it: We all love our cell phones. We use our phones every day for a variety of conveniences: messaging, email, shopping, calendars, etc. They are evolving miniature computers with which you can do almost anything with a touch of a button. Emerging technologies make our lives simpler. Lately, though, texting and messaging apps are getting people into trouble.
Cases have been sprouting up where texting and messaging apps are putting people’s business in jeopardy. But what happens when the everyday conveniences of texting cross over into the title transfer world?
This is a real issue that happened in Massachusetts, according to the World Wide Transfer. The Massachusetts Land Court decided on a case that involved two real estate brokers who conducted business over text messages.
Before this case, according to the website, those interested in making a real estate sale don’t have to honor real estate agreements as long as they haven’t signed them. Until now, text messages can be considered “the legal equivalent of a written document” if the messages include the parties involved as well as a form of signature.
In this particular case, two parties were set to make a commercial sale. They discussed the sale in person, came up with agreements in a Letter of Intent and exchanged text messages to confirm the purchase price. One broker texted to confirm the LOI was signed and payment ready. Each text included the client’s name.
Then the seller disregarded the validity of the text messages and ultimately sold the property to another party. The original buyer sued the seller and stated the LOI and the text messages were binding.
A case revolving text messages was a new one for the Massachusetts Land Court. In court, they decided the texts had enough information and were binding and upheld the LOI. Because each text included the brokers’ and their client’s names, they were enough for electronic signatures.
Though the use of text messaging and messaging apps is still a relatively new concept in the title industry, stop before you or your brokers conduct title transfers and similar business over text. Missouri is an open records state, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. While text messages can be considered open records, conducting business in person is preferred.
When you work with Monarch Title, you will never have to worry about text messaging interfering with your title transfer. We only complete our title transactions in person to ensure you get the best possible service.
Monarch Title is always here to help with a variety of title and closing services. If you are interested in working with a title company to buy or sell your home and don’t want to conduct business over text messaging, give us a call. Monarch loves being available to you. We have five locations across mid-Missouri for your convenience and will always put your security first.