Issue No. 161 | March 4, 2020


EVENTS
Look For NEW Events Posted Since The Last Issue!
INDUSTRY NEWS
Fraudulent Transfer: Real property that was worth less than mortgage encumbering it was not an asset per the plain language of section 726.102(2) and, therefore, could not support fraudulent transfer claim – 2-Bal Bay Props., LLC v. Asset Mgmt. Holdings, LLC, No. 2D18-2873 (Fla. 2d DCA Feb. 7, 2020) (reversed, in part, and affirmed, in part)

New York City real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran lost almost $400,000 after her bookkeeper fell for an email phishing scam. A cyber criminal sent an invoice to the bookkeeper seeking payment for a renovation, using the name of Corcoran’s assistant. 

Often, a person or entity that is attempting to claim additional insured status under the insurance policy of another will rely on a “Certificate of Insurance” that was issued by the named insured’s agent. However, there are some considerations an insurer should take into account when presented with such a document before affording coverage to a certificate holder.

The Maryland Insurance Administration today released Bulletin 20-04. The bulletin outlines change to the state’s code governing title insurance. In particular, it addresses on-site review protocols.

Independent Agent Call Instructions Trainings

LEGAL NEWS
Texas courts have a role in interpreting utility easement restrictions, but they must rely solely on the four corners of the deed — not extrinsic evidence — to do so, according to a Friday Texas Supreme Court ruling in a case involving an American Electric Power Co. subsidiary.

As we advised in June 2019, there was an unprecedented decision by Justice Melissa Crane of the New York State Supreme Court, New York County, whereby the Court granted permission to a developer pursuant to Real Property Actions and Proceeding Law §881 (RPAPL 881) to underpin a neighbor property.

Generally, if your will leaves your beloved “all … right, title and interest in and to”, said beloved would receive the entirety of your interest, whether a surface estate, mineral estate, or both. But in ConocoPhillips, et al. v. Ramirez, et al., the Texas Supreme Court looked beyond the four corners of the will in question and concluded that—based on family mineral leasing history—only the surface estate was devised.

In a rescript opinion issued yesterday in Gentili v. Town of Sturbridge (pdf), the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled that a municipality’s acquisition of a prescriptive easement over private property is not an eminent domain taking. In prior proceedings in Gentili, the Land Court ruled that the defendant town had acquired a prescriptive easement to discharge surface water through a culvert onto the plaintiffs’ property.

TECHNOLOGY & SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS
The Maryland Personal Information Protection Act, known as MPIPA, was amended in April of 2019, by House Bill (HB) 1154. The amended law went into effect on October 1st of 2019. Prior to the amendments, the law required (1) businesses that owned and licensed computerized data that includes personal information of Maryland residents, as well as (2) businesses that maintained (but did not own or license) such data, to notify, respectively, (1) individuals whose personal information has been or will be misused due to security breaches, and (2) owners or licensees of the breach of the security of a system.

An insurer recently secured a ruling that it had no obligation to cover a loss incurred as a result of an email phishing scam. In Midlothian Enterprises, Inc. v. Owners Insurance Company, No. 3:19-cv-51 (E.D. Va. Feb. 20, 2020) (Virginia law), a Midlothian employee had complied with an email request, purportedly from the company president, to wire more than $400,000 from Midlothian's bank account to a bank account in Alabama.

On March 21, 2020, the New York SHIELD Act (Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act) goes into effect. Yet—one month before it becomes effective—many businesses are just learning about the SHIELD Act and its implications for conducting business.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported that it received over 460,000 internet and cyber-crime complaints in 2019, which the agency estimates caused losses of more than $3.5 billion, the bureau wrote in its yearly internet crime report released earlier this month. 

TITLE AGENCY & PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
Lisa Vogel is one of 25 honorees in the 2020 class of CBJ's Women in Business Achievement Awards.

Tech-enabled matching platform LemonBrew might fit the bill. LemonBrew is a platform that matches financially vetted and motivated buyers with expert and responsive real estate agents.

Southern Title’s Director of Information Security and Technology Paul Noga recently earned his Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification, the company announced.

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...

OTHER TRENDING NEWS
TULSA, OK — Obum Ukabam sits suctioned to his laptop in the middle of an open-plan coworking space, quietly typing. With its vaulted ceilings, rows of elbow-to-elbow workbenches and a Spotify-Chill playlist, the office exudes a vibe you might find in many a major U.S. city. And Ukabam could do his job from any of them.

There hasn’t been a new episode of Friends in yeeeears, but people still love and watch it. It’s timeless, and there’s at least a scene or two in each episode that resonates with people forever.

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