By: Christopher Davis | Category: Other | Issue: October 2014
Senior Vice President Heath Spiegel, amongst the expansive records of Guaranty Abstract Company.
Since 1928, Guaranty Abstract Company has led the industry in abstracting services. A family-owned, Tulsa-based business, three generations of the Kirkpatrick family have guided the company into the modern era, earning and maintaining the highest reputation in the process.
President and CEO Larry Johnson explains the benefits of the company’s longevity in Tulsa. “We’ve seen just about everything,” he says. The company has been in business, in the same downtown location, for decades, and is an established force in the industry. “We’re here today and we will be here tomorrow,” says Johnson, who has been with the company for five of those decades. For customers, it is nice to know that the company will still be around years from now. It is always desirable to go back to someone you know and trust.
Originally specializing in abstract services when John Kirkpatrick founded the company in the early 20th century, Guaranty Abstract Company expanded its operations in the ‘60s to include commercial closings and title insurance. They began doing residential closings in the ‘80s. At that point, the company became a sort of one-stop shop for commercial and private property transactions, providing services to other title companies and directly to clients of its own.
Abstracting, though, remains at the foundation of the business, since everything relates back to property records. “It’s like a jigsaw puzzle,” says Larry Johnson as he describes the work involved in compiling an abstract for a property.
A process that relies heavily on research, records and flawless documentation, Guaranty Abstract Company is a leader in the industry for good reason. Their archives date back to before statehood, as Johnson points out. “Sometimes, the City comes to us,” says Sherry McGann, CFO.
“We’re the only company in Tulsa with a complete set of records,” adds Senior Vice President Heath Spiegel. Spiegel began with Guaranty Abstract Company 11 years ago as an I.T. administrator and steadily worked his way through the ranks over the past decade. Along the way, his titles have included business development manager, residential closing offices manager and daily operations administrator. With such a well-rounded history with the company, his promotion from vice president of business development to senior vice president comes as no surprise and is welcomed throughout the company.
The abstracting process is crucial for sound property transactions. Without a complete and accurate history on record, the property owner is vulnerable to unexpected issues that may arise, such as taxes owed, errors in previous title transaction or mistaken property boundaries. Because of such potential situations, the company also offers title insurance services, which protect the insured from potential losses related to such issues.
Guaranty Abstract Company offers title insurance policies for lender, owner or leaseholder. During the insurance process, the company handles initial abstracting and updates it for title extraction before sending it to an attorney to examine and produce a title commitment. Then it moves to final abstracting to show recorded documents from closing.
Guaranty Abstract Company also provides closing services for commercial and private property transactions. “You can say, ‘This is where I want to close,’” says Sherry McGann, CFO.
Spiegel agrees, adding they want customers to know, “You are in control.” He notes that many home buyers – especially when it’s their first experience purchasing a house – do not realize they have a choice in which title company to use. Often, customers acquiesce to whichever company is suggested by the real estate agent. But, is that really a wise approach to take with such a major transaction? Why take a chance on a company with less experience and less direct access to land archives?
Before you get burned, take a moment to learn. Guaranty Abstract Company makes a point of educating customers, and even provides training classes for lenders and real estate agents. Their website is a treasure trove of information, including easy-to-read infographics outlining complicated processes.
Guaranty Abstract has a stellar reputation, with clients like BOK Center, Woodland Hills Mall, Tulsa Hills Shopping Center, Warren Place and Spartan included in its portfolio. The company recently provided abstracting services for The Gathering Place – the massive park that will redefine Riverside Drive.
Whether the business of the day is purchasing a home for the first time or navigating the winding path of large-scale commercial property transactions, Guaranty Abstract Company is known as the best in Tulsa. With several branches throughout the city, their experienced team of professionals is prepared to assist you. Remember, no one has the experience and resources that Guaranty Abstract Company does, so make the wise decision and choose a local, family-owned business whose history in Tulsa is as solid as the archives they base their livelihood on.
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Christopher Davis is an educator and musician, as well as a writer. A California native, he resides in Tulsa with his wife, two sons and a modest menagerie of pets. When he isn't inspiring young minds, you will most likely find him spending time with his family or playing drums and percussion with Project Huckleberry or the Movetet. In addition to Value News, Davis also writes for Currentland. You can view his work at https://seedavis.wordpress.com.