How the Greed Stole Christmas

by Frank Pellegrini, ILTA & ALTA Past President

In the valley of the great river,

in a land that was placid and green,

the one they called The Greed came onto the scene.

The Greed, you see, was born with a heart too small.

Barely any heart at all.

As a child, he was not always so bad,

unless he got mad.

His family before him seemed good. For three generations they were builders of homes.

Homes which families sought, and later excitedly bought,

hoping there to live happily ever after.

But when The Greed grew older

And of the family business he became the holder,

his barely-there-at-all heart took hold of his conscience.

He saw in that business a sure-fire way

to feed his need for greed.

And his barely-there-at-all heart was far too small

to stop or to stall his scheme at all.

You see, The Greed hatched the idea

that if could snatch all the cash

from the sale of the homes his company built

and NOT pay the bank what he owed it,

he could feed his greed so well that his greed would grow even greedier.

So, he found a friend at the Great Company of the Title and Escrow

and coaxed her trust; assured her that he was so trust-worthier.

The Greed would save her time and trouble by giving him the money he owed the Bank.

Oh sure! To the right place he would take it.

Of course, the right place for The Greed was his very own pocket.

He was so clever, Mr. Greed.

And ever the charmer.

She never imagined how he would harm her.

To make matters worse,

even worse than a curse;

Greed’s friend would disburse

the Buyers’ life savings together with all the coins in their purse.

All this without the slightest protection.

He even convinced his Buyers they would suffer no harm and certainly had absolutely no need

for that pesky, expensive, unnecessary, and optional thing.

That useless, and senseless, and ponderous thing.

That silly thing called title insurance.

So, The Greed never paid his debts and when the jig was up, he tried to get lost at any cost

while the Banks came calling on the loans secured by nice peoples’ houses;

nice people without any protection.

The American dream turned into The Nightmare Before Christmas that year and for many Christmases to come for those poor folks in the valley of the great river. And the land that was once placid and green was now dark and spoiled with debt-collectors, and courts, and lawyers, and judges; it became a place they called Foreclosure-ville.

We wonder to this day whether The Greed’s heart ever grew.

Or if it kept shrinking, and shriveling,

and withering, and wilting,

and fading and drooping till there was none.

This humble little Dr. Seuss-esque story was adapted from actual events that were uncovered in 2002 in southeast Ohio and northern Kentucky. For a couple of accounts of the real story, follow the links below.

Affected buyers fought for more than a decade to defend title to their homes. The moral of the story is that title insurance is more than protection against all the Mr. Greeds; it is, indeed, peace of mind.

Enjoy your Holidays and be thankful for title insurance.