WHAT IS AN SOI?
When you are selling your home, the title company may ask you to fill out a form called the “Statement of Identity.” This form asks for a tremendous amount of personal information. It will ask about your past residences, past employment, and even past marriages, children, etc. going back 5-10 years. This isn’t required on every transaction, so you may not have seen it before.
Why is the title company asking for all this personal information? This is to help the escrow close smoothly if a tax lien, child support, or other lien shows up for someone with a name like yours. The title company can use this document to show that this lien does not pertain to you and clear it from your file. If a lien does show up, and you refuse to fill out this form, the title company may decline to handle the transaction unless that lien is paid.
If you are wondering why they don’t just compare your social security number, they often don’t have that information. Many liens are recorded against a name and address only, and sometimes not even an address. For example, let’s say 5 years ago you were moving out of your old residence, and wrote a check to a carpet cleaner, who took several months to cash your check. By then you had closed out that bank account. If they don’t have your new address, they could file a small claims case against you that you would never know about.
The Statement of Identity form becomes critically important for people with common names, because there is a greater likelihood of incorrect liens showing up against your name. If you have a common name and you frequently buy and sell homes, it would be wise to fill this form out once, then keep a copy for future reference.