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Real Property, Financial Services, & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending May 10, 2019

Expert Witnesses: title insurance company executive's opinions based on 30 years of experienced and capable title searching were properly excluded because he was not disclosed as an expert pursuant to Rule 26 - United States v. Z Inv. Prop., LLC, No. 18-1915 (7th Cir. Apr. 18, 2019) (opinion affirming district court's exclusion of affidavit and granting summary judgment)

FinCEN Extends GTO Relating to Cash Real Estate Deals in 12 Metropolitan Areas
On May 14, 2019, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), extended a geographic targeting order (GTO) that requires title insurance companies to report qualified real estate transactions, known as, covered transactions, in certain geographic locations.

Legislation to Regulate NY Title Insurance Industry Advances in Albany

The bill was introduced this year in response to regulations promulgated by the state Department of Financial Services nearly two years ago that limited what the title insurance industry could bill as a marketing expense, and what they could not.

We Build The Wall projects could complicate land titles down the road
Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea said a cease and desist order was issued because the land owner was in violation of city ordinance and had incomplete permit applications. On Wednesday, the City of Sunland Park clarified a cease and desist order was not issued, rather, a stop work order.

DC Transfer and Recordation Taxes Increased to 5%
As anticipated , on Tuesday May 28, 2019, the DC Council unanimously approved increasing transfer and recordation taxes from 2.9% to 5% on transactions of over $2 million effective October 1, 2019 (assuming Congress does not intervene before June 28, 2019).

Franklin County considers dropping little used, antiquated Torrens land title system
There’s a big, old, falling-apart book on the counter of Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor’s Downtown office.

Mount Vernon is Broken
In 2015, Mount Vernon and two other Westchester County municipalities enforced a local law requiring payment of a local transfer tax to the municipality to get a receipt before the deed could be recorded. This delay, lasting from days to weeks, puts the clear title to the property in limbo and puts the innocent buyer in jeopardy of a challenge to their ownership in the period between paying for the property and the recording of the deed.

Celebrating 100 Years of the Cement Ship, Part 3

Seacliff Amusement Corporation defaulted on it’s loan with the Calavada Investment Company, who in turn hired the Santa Cruz Land Title Company as trustee to retrieve whatever they could from their original investment.

Notaries can work online after Jan. 1
The Oklahoma bill allows for online, remote notarization of electronic documents, which was one of Gov. Kevin Stitt's early "easy win" digital upgrades of state government after taking office.

Seven ways the city can crack down on house theft

Renaldo Robichaw was a frequent flyer to the deed room at City Hall.
Early last year, he showed up three times and calmly submitted to its security check each time — voluntarily turning over his driver’s license to be photocopied. Then, prosecutors say, he proceeded to file fraudulent deeds to steal six properties.

Can You Kill an Easement in a Vegetative State?

That was at least partially the question that a recent Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas decision answered in the matter of Swift v. Heltman, et al.

Options limited for some residents seeking road repairs
Property owners said they were caught unaware when they discovered road maintenance in Holt’s Landing was their responsibility. Several residents said real estate agents didn’t notify them before they bought their homes. Had they known, the residents said, they likely would have moved elsewhere.

Judge won't stay lawsuit over soured Fiji land deal
After the property owners canceled the sale the next month, the buyers “realized there was no valid escrow instructions from the Fiji property owners that would allow Boston National to refuse to return the $285,000,” according to the opinion.

GLBA is About to Get a Cybersecurity Upgrade

If you aren’t a regular reader of the Federal Register, you may have missed a proposed upgrade for safeguarding customer information.

Legacy Global Development Shares Top 5 Misconceptions on Belize Real Estate

To clear up these misconceptions and manage home buyer expectations, Legacy debunks the myths and sets the record straight.

Title Agents Go Nationwide
For agents interested in growing their businesses by expanding into multiple states, we’re here to make the process simple and profitable. We offer you one point of contact to streamline your options and solutions.

The Victorian Influencer Who Peddled Poisonous Beauty Elixirs
Sarah Rachel Russell sold exotic makeup that turned out to be mostly arsenic.

Uber Drivers Being Used as Scouts for Home Flippers

Real estate firms are hiring ride-sharing drivers from Uber and Lyft to serve as their personal searchers for their next big house flip project. The drivers are being hired to keep a watchful eye along their routes for that next diamond in the rough that can be transformed and flipped for a profit at resale.

The TWA Hotel, a spectacular midcentury time capsule, finally opens

After 18 years of being mostly hidden from public view, one of New York’s best and most iconic buildings is ready to welcome visitors.

Central New Jersey Doesn’t Exist, But Don’t Tell Central Jerseyans That
THROUGHOUT ITS ENTIRE HISTORY, AFTER European colonization at least, the land now known as New Jersey has been split into two parts. Before 1702, it was two territories, known as East and West Jersey, with a diagonal border between them.

Marianne Mathieu, NTP
Vice President/National Agency Accounts
Fidelity National Title Group
(347) 987-0677