Civil Suit Filed in Title Pro Closings Case

by: Prince, Glover & Hayes Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The first of what may be several civil lawsuits against Dothan’s Title Pro Closings was filed Monday, while a simultaneous criminal investigation continues.

Plaintiffs Chester and Judy Nolin and Chris and Shannon Cowart claim Title Pro is guilty of fraud, negligence and breach of contract for promising to handle the closing on newly purchased homes, and appropriate funds to pay off a mortgage, but failing to do so.

The suit was filed in Houston County Circuit Court.

The Houston County Sheriff’s Office arrested Tami Peters on April 13 and charged her with one count of first-degree theft of property in connection with a mishandled closing on another home purchase. Additional charges could be forthcoming.

“The main thing with this suit is we just want to stop this from being done in the future,” said Matt Glover, partner at Prince Glover Law, who filed the suit on behalf of the Cowarts and Nolins. “And we of course want to see them compensated for what they have gone through and are currently going through.”

The Nolins claim Title Pro was supposed to take proceeds from the sale of their previous home in Ozark and apply it to the mortgage on a newly purchased home in Dothan, but never did. The Nolins said they only became aware of the situation when they were made aware their home was in foreclosure.

The Cowarts claim they purchased land in Newton in November of 2009 for the purpose of building a home. After completing construction in March, they used Title Pro to convert their construction loan to a 30-year mortgage. The Cowarts claim the loan was never converted and that the closing funds were misappropriated.

The couples are suing for compensatory and punitive damages.

Meanwhile, Dothan resident Lacondala Bridges said she filed a police report late last week after receiving a foreclosure notice. Bridges, who relocated to Dothan from Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina, said she recently purchased a home from an individual. Bridges said Title Pro was used to close the purchase. However, instead of paying the mortgage holder, payments were set up to go to the former homeowner.

“Now I don’t know what’s going on,” Bridges said. “I’m a single mom and I just feel like all of the money I had been paying has gone out the window.”

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