Issue No. 169 | April 29, 2020


EVENTS
Look For NEW Events Posted Since The Last Issue!
INDUSTRY NEWS
In webinars and conference calls, business leaders and management strategists are discussing what steps must be taken to bring workers back to America's offices. The bar is likely to be high.

The first quarter was a mixed bag for earnings at the four largest title insurance underwriters. Low mortgage rates led to increased business, but the impact of the coronavirus affected investment income and hurt bottom lines.

Foreclosure / Dismissal: Involuntary dismissal of foreclosure action for alleging default on same date alleged in a prior dismissed foreclosure action was improper where allegation included reference to continuing defaults - HMC Assets LLC v. Williams, No. 3D18-160 (Fla. 3d DCA Apr. 8, 2020) (reversed)

With the industry ramping up their use of remote online notarization, emergency video notarization and remote ink-signed notarization for security instruments, the natural question is when will we see new legal authority to make it easier to electronically sign mortgage notes?

Imagine a stranger showing up one day to evict you from your own home. All a crook has to do is record your house in his or her name and it can be an expensive mess to straighten out.

LEGAL NEWS
The opinion of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in Young-Allen v. Bank of America provides both hope for lenders frustrated by borrowers who delay inevitable foreclosure sales by requiring the lender to comply with every applicable pre-foreclosure requirement and guidance for borrowers seeking to hold lenders to such requirements.

A legal battle that had its start nine years ago when a Buttonwoods resident posted “no trespassing” signs on what neighbors have treated as common property for 150 years has ended with a Rhode Island Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Buttonwoods Beach Association.

The appeal notice from the insurance company and Chicago Title and Trust Co. doesn't disclose their issues with U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood's judgment on a $945,643 jury verdict for the FDIC's breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and negligent misrepresentation claims against the insurer.

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia recently held that a title insurance company had no duty to defend or indemnify an insured property owner for an issue regarding a shared roadway because the roadway itself was not part of the insured property, and the claim was barred by the survey and parties in possession exceptions.

The global COVID-19 outbreak has encouraged widespread orders to protect renters and owners of commercial and residential real property. In this 50 state-by-state survey we offer a summary of cities and states that have enacted policies or implemented moratoriums for evictions or foreclosures due to COVID-19.

WORLD NEWS
The Grey Sauble Conservation Authority is working with its legal counsel to rectify “by whatever means necessary” a title dispute involving a piece of property the organization says is part of its Hibou Conservation Area just north of Owen Sound.

TECHNOLOGY & SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS
As if small businesses didn't have enough trouble, the Small Business Administration has notified nearly 8,000 businesses that their information may have been exposed to other businesses via the agency's website.

As millions of employees around the country begin their second month working remotely, several government agencies have issued warnings regarding a spike in data security incidents and the increased risk of cyber-attacks such as phishing and ransomware attacks. 

​Tech startup Notaroo is poised to offer reverse mortgage clients Remote Online Notarization (RON) services immediately should the Federal Housing Administration alter guidelines to ensure closings can continue to proceed safely and efficiently in today’s climate.

AUSTIN, TEXAS| In their ongoing effort to offer the broadest range of compliance solutions for insurance producers and agencies, Insurance Licensing Services of America, Inc. (ILSA) has teamed up with Renaissance Systems, Inc. (RSI) to offer RSI’s best-in-class cyber risk management tools.

Because of the novel disease that has been plaguing our world recently, we have been forced to stay at home. Aside from that, we are also to practice social distancing, keeping ourselves at least six feet from each other. But is this practice properly maintained? If not, then how can we enforce this practice? An AI monitoring tool would be a good enforcer.

REMOTE NOTARIZATION UPDATES
The new law allows for New Jersey notaries (or an officer authorized to take oaths, affirmations, and affidavits, or to take acknowledgements) to notarize documents virtually using audio-video technology, during the time of this public health emergency (as declared by the Governor in Executive Order 103 of 2020).

West Virginia recently enacted a Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, clarifying the validity of electronic documents and electronic signatures specifically within the context of real property records recording and related notarizations. The Act provides for the recording of electronic documents, and requires county clerks to comply with established standards for implementing substantially similar Acts in other jurisdictions.

In light of the recent social distancing guidelines, parties are searching for alternative methods of doing business and closing transactions while avoiding face-to-face interaction. As a result, the issue of electronic notarization and remote notarization has gained increasing importance. 

The finalized bill expands on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s April 2 order authorizing remote signing of specific estate planning documents and increases opportunities for valid document execution, which is particularly helpful to individuals looking to create or modify their estate plans.

TITLE AGENCY & PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
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
A new website called Virtualcheers.org lets customers download a background photo of 12 different bars in the city — including Williamsburg’s Loosie Rouge and Lower East Side’s Pretty Ricky’s — for group hangout sessions on the video platform.

It wasn't until much later that Alice Gray and her family discovered the sheep was missing when they reviewed some video surveillance footage. The sheep, dubbed Prickles, showed up again recently as Gray was celebrating her son's birthday.

Subway Creatures, the fascinating Instagram account that documents all the amazing chaos and hilarity that happen on the trains of New York City, has teamed up with Brooklyn artist David Regone to depict those NYC scenes in the form of a coloring book. (Submit your best effort to enter the contest at marianne-colorcontest@opayq.com)

The isolationist equivalent of a welcome mat.

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