Issue No. 224, May 19, 2021

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State Laws Key to Remote Online Notarization
Remote online notarization allows consumers to connect virtually with a notary at any time and from anywhere. RON laws and emergency orders passed on the state level helped the real estate industry keep going during the height of the pandemic, allowing for remote closings when millions were under stay-at-home orders.

Oklahoma Adopts Bills Concerning POA and Judgment Lien
House Bill 2548 adopts the Uniform Power of Attorney Act and repeals existing statutory provisions concerning power of attorney. The Act creates new sections of the Oklahoma Statutes, addressing, among other things, the definitions, powers, limitations, and applicability of powers of attorney. 

Senators reintroduce bill to allow remote online notarizations
Dubbed the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act, the bipartisan legislation would permit “immediate nationwide use” of RON by every notary in the United States. It would also require the use of tamper-evident technology in electronic notarizations, and help prevent fraud through the use of multi-factor authentication.

Landslide Law Creates New Surveying and Mapping Opportunities
Prior to departing the White House on Jan. 20, then-President Donald Trump signed into law legislation that creates new business opportunities for land surveyors, as well as valuable public domain data for use by surveyors on projects.

Forecast Bright for Commercial Real Estate in 2021
Experts see gains for hospitality, retail, apartments, and industrial, but the work-from-home trend continues to be a factor in the office sector.

(215 ILCS 155/) Title Insurance Act
The Illinois General Assembly is considering legislation that would allow consumers to have the option to consult with legal counsel before title insurance payment obligations are effective. Read more to see legislation

Panhandle Perspectives - Water Law 101: Part 6, sharing water with other states and water use within the state
Part 6 of a series about basic water law in the United States, predominately in the western part of the country, and how it affects this finite resource. 

Nearly-Century Old Restrictive Covenant Prevents Homeowner From Erecting Fence Along Property Line
In Dodge v. Baker, Plaintiff and Defendants are neighboring property owners of two parcels of land located in the Village of Sodus (the “Village”), in Wayne County, New York (the “Parcels”). Each parcel was created as the result of a subdivision by the original grantor, Sodus Bay Heights Land Co. (“Land Company”), at some point between 1924 and 1937.

Does It Matter How Property is Titled in Divorce?
Then, when a divorce takes place, many think the court will give the asset will be given to them because it is not jointly titled with their spouse. A common question for many is whether this is accurate or not.

RE&C In Review: Crossing the Line - Contractor Liability and Mechanic's Liens
On those occasions when a contractor must record a mechanic’s lien, the response from the property owner often involves an immediate claim that the lien is invalid or even slanderous. It is important, then, for contractors to have an understanding of the contours of the claims owners rely upon, not only to understand what the owner is communicating when it makes the claim, but also to understand the line between a valid lien and one that exposes the contractor to liability. 

India:Working group proposes changes to title insurance
A working group formed by the IRDAI to study title insurance in the country has said that there is a need to expand the range of products in this class of business to improve the marketability of such specialised plans which have to be aligned with the requirements of developers and customised to the needs of Individual buyers.

Cuba recalls agrarian reform and 60 years of farmers' organization
On May 17, 1959, the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, signed at La Plata Rebel Army command in the Sierra Maestra mountain range, in eastern Cuba, one of the most transcendent measures adopted after the January 1 victory, as it benefited more than 100,000 families..

The Case for a National Cyber Privacy Standard
This article examines some of the challenges created by the kaleidoscope of state-level laws and regulations, as well as inconsistent case law, and analyzes potential federal level solutions, including the recently proposed Information Transparency & Personal Data Control Act that could provide consistency across not only geography, but industries

Someone in Rhode Island bought land using Dogecoin
A Rhode Island man sold a vacant lot in Providence for 150,000 Dogecoin (or about $50,000 at the time), in what is believed to be the first real estate deal brokered using the meme-inspired cryptocurrency

The curious case of the vanishing attorney
In early April, Kossoff vanished, leaving millions of clients’ dollars in escrow funds unaccounted for. The scandal has rocked real estate professionals across the city, many of whom put their own money into someone else’s bank account with the expectation — based entirely on judge of character — that it would remain safe.

Real estate nightmare: Buyer says seller retained property ownership rights years after land sale was processed
Matthew Anderson was shocked to learn that land he legally purchased was given back to the original seller without any warning---all because the paperwork filed with Pueblo County did not meet Colorado real estate standards to be considered a deed.

'It's a Weird Crime': South Florida Homeowner Claims Scammers Are Trying to Sell Her Properties
A South Florida homeowner claims someone fraudulently sold her property, posted on Zillow, to an unsuspecting buyer. And now, scammers are attempting to sell another one of her properties..

Green Pond Native Takes National Stage
Joe Hamilton, of Green Pond, is a community advocate for obtaining a clear land title and deed for heirs property. He has long advocated for the African American community and heirs property landowners, especially after going through the process himself.

20 Facts About Route 66
In advance of memorial day and any road trips you might have planned, enjoy this article about Route 66

Take a Peek Inside Rochester’s Famous Mushroom House
Rochester, New York, seems like an unlikely setting for a fairytale, but the forests on the outskirts of the city are home to one of the most magical pieces of architecture in the country.

Castor caper: Porcupine Plain RCMP theft investigation has a dam good ending
A rural resident living near Porcupine Plain had left some posts piled on a property they planned on fencing, only to find they’d gone missing.

‘Land is underwater’: Odd San Francisco real estate lot on market for $75K
The listing offers a 50,000-square-foot lot for $75,000. Here’s the catch. It is offshore and underwater in San Francisco Bay, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Four Factors That Define An Ideal Remote Work Employee
A major question facing today’s business leaders is “How should my company operate on the other side of this pandemic?” Over the past year, companies have been working remotely out of necessity. While it may have been uncomfortable at first, many workers have become accustomed to it, accepting remote work as the new norm

The Title Nerds: Riker Danzig attorneys launch podcast on title insurance, related issues
Riker Danzig, in an effort to capitalize on the recent residential real estate hiring boom in the state — and capitalize on the popularity of the firm’s blog on the same issues — have launched a title insurance podcast called “The Title Nerds.”

Why this man spent the entire pandemic alone in five-star NYC hotel
When New York City went into its COVID-19-induced lockdown in March 2020, the fire department announced properties were required to keep one person on-site in case of trouble. For Midtown’s five-star Chatwal hotel, that person became Robert Mallia, Crain’s reported.

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