Issue No.238, August 11, 2021


EVENTS
Look For NEW Events Posted Since The Last Issue!
INDUSTRY
The Property Line - When are Real Estate Transactions Subject to National Security Review?
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has been in existence since 1975, but it was not until February 2020 that CFIUS adopted regulations specifically targeting the real estate industry. CFIUS now has the express power to review standalone real estate leases, purchases, sales, and other property transactions that are not part of a larger merger or acquisition.

Real Property, Financial Services, & Title Insurance Update
Week Ending June 11, 2021

Wisconsin Adopts New Insurance Cybersecurity Law
On July 15, 2021, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed Act 73 (Act) into law, making Wisconsin the latest state to adopt the National Association of Insurance Commissioner's (NAIC) model cybersecurity law. Most recently, Iowa adopted a version of the model law on April 30, 2021

CFPB Issues Interpretive Rule on Certain Mortgage and Disclosure Timing Requirements for the Juneteenth Federal Holiday
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today released an interpretive rule to assist the mortgage industry in determining whether to treat June 19 as a federal holiday or a business day for purposes of compliance with certain time-sensitive borrower protections.

Report: U.S. Real Estate is No 1 Destination for Laundered Dirty Money
Homes in Beverly Hills purchased with embezzled money by Kuwaiti officials. A skyscraper in the heart of Manhattan controlled by the Iranian government. Real estate investments from a boutique firm that received millions of dollars from Colombian drug cartels.

Title Insurance Kickback Case Ends in $1 Million Settlement Deal
Sierra Pacific Mortgage Co. will pay $990,000, plus up to $280,000 in legal fees, to resolve racketeering claims over an alleged scheme to refer mortgage borrowers to a title insurer that gouged them and kicked back some of its excess profits, according to a federal court filing in Baltimore.

Investment firm sues TD Bank for "ineptitude in fraud response
An investment management firm that lost more than $275,000 to fraud is suing TD Bank for what it characterizes as the bank’s complete lack of preparedness for a common type of scam.

Moore Capital Holdings alleges that the case illustrates TD's “total and systemic failure to respond” to schemes in which criminals use fake email addresses to steal money from business customers.

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LEGAL
2nd Cir. Holds De-Acceleration of Mortgage Loan Does Not Require Voluntary Discontinuance of Foreclosure Action
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently vacated a trial court’s grant of summary judgment to the plaintiff in an action to quiet title for a property subject to a mortgage.

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Title Insurance Client Alert – Strict Construction of Instruments of Conveyance for Easements, Wavell v. Lengel
Strict construction of canons of legal interpretation are presented in Amherst County Circuit Court’s recent decision, Wavell v. Lengel, 2021 Va. Cir. LEXIS 158, Case No. CL20000484-00 (July 12, 2021). (A copy of the opinion is attached.) Therein, The Hon. Michael T. Garrett held that notes on a subdivision plat did not create an express easement for Wavell because it was “boiler plate” text referencing any existing easements but stopped noticeably short of expressly creating and conveying an easement in favor of Plaintiff, Wavell, against Defendant, Lengel’s, property.

9th Cir. Holds ‘Public Records’ Exclusion in Title Policy Did Not Apply to Official County Maps
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed in part and reversed in part a trial court’s judgment in an action brought by two landowners against their title insurance companies for indemnification and breach of contract.

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Property Owner’s Request for Court-Determined Just Compensation Backfires
The facts at issue in Elpa Builders, Inc. v. State of New York are relatively straightforward. The property owner (the “Owner”) owned a 53,645-square-foot parcel of property (the “Property”) along New York State Route 347 (“Route 347”) in the Town of Smithtown. The Property is improved with a commercial building and is subject to a long-term ground lease with Taco Bell.

City stays out of property disputes
Developers encroach on abutters’ land, city approves controversial projects.

WORLD
Title insurance referral fee could become ‘greatest argument’ against self-regulation, says lawyer
Examination counsel (EC) fees, where title insurers pay real estate lawyers a rebate on the client’s premium in a home or condo purchase, are illegal, are driving down legal fees and pushing up insurance premiums and could become a potent argument against self-regulation, says Tim Hyde, a lawyer and former insurance executive.

“I’ll have fries with that”: Hungry Jack’s adverse possession of a drive-thru
In Hungry Jack’s Pty Ltd v The Trust Company (Australia) Ltd [No 3] [2021] WASC 231, Hungry Jack’s Pty Ltd and a related company, Selden Pty Ltd, were successful in their claim for the adverse possession of land comprising of its drive-thru and car parks.

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In Photos: Here’s why there’s a never-ending war over the road in Kalamalka Lake park
Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park was the second busiest park in B.C. last year, next to Manning Park, with some 300,000 visitors. Yet, unlike its western neighbour, there aren’t the kind of paved roads leading to highlights of the park, like Cosens Bay Beach and Cougar Canyon.

TECHNOLOGY
Blockchain Technology to Fight Misinformation
The 21st century stands out for the digital industrial revolution. Possibly the biggest change observed in the daily lives of citizens is the amount of information available and the speed with which it is transmitted. It becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish which of this information is true and reliable.

Ready to build your own house? Terrascope, an AI real estate agent, lists land
Zhou is the co-founder of Terrascope, described as the first artificial intelligence-based real estate agent to find and browse rural properties online. It comes on the heels of a booming pandemic-fueled housing market. Last year saw a 3% increase in land sales, according to the 2020 Land Market Survey by the Realtors Land Institute and the National Association of Realtors.

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
New York Insurance, Finance Regulator Lacewell to Resign
New York’s top financial regulator, Linda Lacewell, is planning to step down as the state grapples with fallout from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation.

OC real estate shooting victim identified as 66-year-old home inspector
On Monday, two days after a real estate-related shooting rocked a suburban enclave of northern Orange County, authorities identified the man killed as Michael Alderson, a 66-year-old home inspector from Anaheim.

OTHER TRENDING NEWS
Town plans to sell their ‘driveway’ and open it up to traffic
What do you do when you find out your driveway is actually a street and a developer is planning to open it up to traffic? That is the nightmare an Amherst family is suddenly facing.

Read More Contributed by Bill Collins, Frontier Abstract
Disappear Into the Forest (Literally) at Arcana Micro Cabin Retreat
The budding landscape hotel soft launches with a vanishing cabin and private sauna set amongst Ontario hiking trails

What Appraisal Careers Offer Millennials/Gen Z
When I was a child, I had a clear vision of what I wanted to be when I grew up. While my friends were dreaming of becoming firefighters, doctors, or teachers, I had a different picture in-mind. As children, my brother and I watched my father build a successful career as a real estate appraiser. Though it was a career that struck him by happenstance, it was something he really enjoyed, which was evident when he shared stories with us from his time “in the field.”

Live like Gatsby for $55,000,000
Situated on 8+ Acres of sprawling waterfront property with unobstructed views of the bridges and the New York City skyline, Three Bridges is one of the last remaining generational properties on Long Island's Gold Coast.

Romans: Masters of All They Surveyed
Roman engineering features extremely precise measurements and procedures they learned from the Greeks – starting with Pythagoras.