When I sat down with Geline Spinks and her mother, Carla LaPointe, for coffee, I had to admit to both of these women that I wasn’t exactly well-versed in what title companies do exactly. I knew that there was some research involved, that examiners looked at a property’s history of ownership before a sale could close to make sure that there were no liens and other debts that could halt the sale of a house. Just a very, very general idea.
Both Carla and Geline graciously took the time to explain what they do at Community National Title, a woman and minority-owned title company based out of Uptown. The firm, headed by Helen Epps and helmed by a team including Philip Postel and Johnny Collins, is building a staff of strong, knowledgeable title professionals. It just so happens that some of them share the same genes.
Carla has been in the title business since 1976, and started her own title research firm in 1988 when Geline was just a wee one. Carla and her husband, Pete LaPointe, would tote little Geline to courthouses as they did research. “She was an angel,” Carla said of her daughter, who often colored and drew and charmed everyone she met.
In fact, it was one of Geline’s drawings that helped prove a contentious battle over a property’s title. When a courthouse clerk was asked if she could prove that Carla and Pete had been there to discover the provenance of the land in question, she handed over one of little Geline’s artworks.
Since then, Geline has come into her own in the business, working for several title companies including Capital Title and Hexter-Fair. “I started out with the documents, just doing the research,” Geline said, but she wanted to grow into the business. “I would tell people to throw me anything, I want to learn everything.” Now she is at Community National Title, where she was recently promoted to plant manager.