Clear Title Agency of Arizona celebrated its 5-year anniversary recently by gathering members of its team and assembling backpacks and food to donate to the Valley of the Sun United Way’s WeekEND Hunger Backpack Program.

The program provides backpacks stuffed with enough food to sustain underserved local kids through the weekend. After each weekend, the kids bring their backpacks back to have them stuffed again for the next week. This way, they don’t come to school hungry on Monday mornings.

The Valley of the Sun United Way, the largest nonprofit funder of health and human services in Maricopa County, was also presented with a $5,000 check. Clear Title’s founders, Bart Patterson, Jim Clifford and Nick Velimirovich donated $1,000 for each year the company had been in business.

Clear Title Agency of Arizona had to overcome adversity as a business that was totally reliant on Phoenix-area real estate transactions when it was founded in 2007. The Great Recession hit, shortly after that.

Through strategic thinking and a firm grasp of the economic reality, Clear Title changed its initial course and found creative ways to generate revenues via bank-owned real estate transactions and foreclosures (the REO market) by handling title and escrow duties for banks during the downturn. In the process, the company experienced 200% compounded annual growth, opened six offices and hired 50 people, becoming the fastest growing title company in Arizona.

“The secret to our success has been hiring the best and brightest escrow agents in town and turning lemons into lemonade during the recession,” said Patterson, founder and CEO of Clear Title. “Our people built a great name and reputation for themselves during that time which continues to serve us well as the Arizona real estate market comes back.”

“I have worked with almost all local title companies in my 20-year history in the mortgage business,” said Eric Herschede, senior loan officer, Nova Home Loans. “It is quite refreshing to find one that actually does what they say they will do, and they do it well! My preference is always to work with Clear Title for my clients.”

As the REO market began to decline in 2011, Patterson partnered with long-time Phoenix title industry executives Jim Clifford, president and COO; and Nick Velimirovich, CFO, to continue Clear Title’s rapid growth. Patterson, Clifford and Velimirovich are all partners in the firm and Arizona natives.

“The people at Clear Title are an exceptional group who not only survived the recession but prospered, due to their professionalism, standards of quality, business acumen and positive attitude,” Clifford said.

“It is through their efforts and successes, that we are where we are today,” Velimirovich added.

Clear Title services include:

>> Residential and Commercial Title and Escrow Services

>> Real Estate Owned (REO) Services

>> Trustee Sale Guarantees (TSG)

>> Default Services

>> Short Sale Escrow Services