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How is CATIC Different From the Others?

Demonstrating its commitment to support Vermonters, CATIC recently allocated nearly $100,000 to several worthy organizations spread all across Vermont. These allocations include contributions totaling $90,000 awarded directly by and through the Vermont Attorneys Title Board of Directors, acting as an advisory group to CATIC.

The following allocations were made:

  • $15,000 to Vermont Bar Foundation (Access to Justice Program)
  • $15,000 to Vermont Bar Foundation (unrestricted use)
  • $10,000 to Downstreet Housing & Community Development
  • $10,000 to RuralEdge
  • $10,000 to Champlain Housing Trust
  • $10,000 to NeighborWorks of Western Vermont
  • $10,000 to Windham-Windsor Housing Trust
  • $10,000 to Habitat For Humanity (Franklin/Grand Isle)
  • $8,000 by the CATIC Foundation to Vermont Bar Association Lawyer Incubator Program

As Andy Mikell recently stated in a press release: “The amount of money that the Vermont Advisory Board can contribute is directly attributable to the business sent to CATIC by the law firms who choose to work with us. The need for Access to Justice, and the need for state-wide housing, is perhaps greater now than ever before. We are in the fortunate position of being able to help Vermonters in real need and these contributions were made on behalf of our member law offices.”

Since 2011, the Vermont office has donated $220,000.00 to the Vermont Bar Foundation and to the Access to Justice Fellowship. For more information about the contributions, please contact Andy Mikell. 

H.512: An Update

In a continued effort to try to effectuate change to Vermont's land records system in order to move it from its worst-in-the-country status to something that functions smoothly, CATIC introduced H.512 as a “starting place” for discussion about reform. Among other things, the bill would have created uniformity in indexing and uniformity in recording practices, while creating some measure of oversight and enforcement. CATIC envisioned that an infinitesimal amount of the $1 trillion flowing from the federal government to Vermont could be allocated to jump start a solution.

Unfortunately, at the first hearing in House Commerce and Economic Development, the Secretary of State (through Deputy Secretary Chris Winters), the Vermont Municipal League of Cities and Towns, and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, actively opposed the measure and essentially testified that reform was unnecessary. 

Despite testimony from CATIC, the Vermont Bar Association, the Vermont Bankers Association, the Vermont Association of Realtors, and others that the current system does not serve Vermont property owners or businesses, Deputy Winters and other opponents of meaningful regulatory oversight believe that Vermont’s current business model (all 245 unique businesses doing what they want, and if they want) is adequate. 

Deputy Winters has announced that he is running for Secretary of State.  

Wire Fraud in Real Estate Transactions: Some Advice for Your Clients


Real estate transactions have increasingly become the target of fraud, with parties to a transaction tricked into sending funds to an account created by criminal actors. Money sent to a fraudulent account may not be retrievable, and a client’s life savings can be lost.


Despite the prevalence of wire fraud, clients may not always be aware of the risks that they face. To combat this, CATIC has prepared a one-page document that emphasizes the risk of wire fraud, and provides guidance to clients regarding steps they can take to protect themselves. Please feel free to distribute this document to your clients.


We also encourage you to distribute this to your staff. Everyone who is sending or receiving messages regarding real estate transactions benefits from understanding the risks involved in opening email attachments or transferring funds, as well as knowing the importance of independent verification.


We hope that you and your clients find this information to be helpful in our combined efforts to address and reduce the risks of misdirection and loss of funds caused by wire fraud. 

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Lau's Corner & Title Tips

Date: June 8, 2022

Location: Capitol Plaza, Montpelier

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Topics: TBD

MERS, Inc. Mortgage Payoffs


If the payoff statement comes from an entity other than the last mortgagee of record in the land records, use this link to check the 18-digit MIN (mortgage identification number) on the MERS website. This will help to hopefully confirm a link between the payoff statement and the current holder of the mortgage (or its loan servicer) and  could help avoid paying off the wrong entity or loan.