Issue No.240, August 25, 2021

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Connecticut Modifies Foreclosure Provisions
Connecticut recently enacted Substitute Senate Bill No. 891 to amend certain foreclosure provisions, which will become effective October 1, 2021. Among other things, the amendments incorporate Covid-19 related requirements for federally backed loans.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Announces Land Records Regulations
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) announced today the finalization of updates to regulations modernizing how it maintains titles to federal Indian trusts and restricted fee lands. Among other important modifications, the BIA’s Land Title and Records Office (LTRO) now maintains title documents electronically with a framework for its continued operations and future electronic maintenance. The regulations were published in the Federal Register on August 16, 2021.

Texas Places Four Year Statute of Limitations on Recorded Quitclaim Deeds
The Texas legislature recently passed a bill, Senate Bill 885 (SB 885), which will create a statute of limitations for recorded quitclaim deeds for real property. Specifically, pursuant to SB 885, a quitclaim deed that was recorded more than four years prior will not affect the good faith protection of a subsequent purchaser or creditor, nor will the quitclaim deed serve as notice to a subsequent purchaser or creditor “of any unrecorded conveyance of, transfer of, or encumbrance on the real property” after that time.

New York Amends Foreclosure Requirements for Residential Mortgages
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed into law Senate Bill 5785 (SB 5785), which makes the affirmative allegation provisions that are currently available only for high-cost loans and subprime home loans applicable to foreclosures of residential mortgages covering one to four family dwellings.

Real estate deserves industry status
The inclusion of real estate among those sectors granted "industry status" will directly reflect in terms of availability of low cost credit.

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A Startup Is Turning Houses Into Corporations, And The Neighbors Are Fighting Back
On a sleepy cul-de-sac amid the bucolic vineyards and grassy hills of California's Sonoma Valley, a $4 million house has become the epicenter of a summer-long spat between angry neighbors and a new venture capital-backed startup buying up homes around the nation. 

Read More Contributed by Bill Collins, Frontier Abstract
Fid. Nat'l Title Ins. Co. V. Osborn III Partners LLC (Arizona)
Arizona courts continue to address the interplay between the parties’ competing duties, such as an insurer’s duty to defend, the insurer’s duty to indemnify, and the insured’s duty to cooperate. Where an insurer seeks a reservation of rights, Arizona courts reason that these duties paint an insured into a corner where they should be able to settle third-party claims.

Partition of Real Property in Florida
When two or more co-owners of real property disagree over its use or management, one mechanism to resolve such disagreement is by partition. Partition of real property is a formal legal proceeding governed by Chapter 64, Florida Statutes.

Corporate Transparency Act and its Impact on Your Business
On January 1, 2021, Congress passed the Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”), which requires all entities formed in or registered to do business in the United States to report beneficial ownership information to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), subject to some exceptions, by no later than January 1, 2022.

The Eureka Doctrine – At the Intersection of Conflicts and Privilege
Not surprisingly, joint clients do not waive their privilege protection when they communicate with their joint lawyer or (in some situations) with each other. But what if a lawyer improperly represents joint clients whose interests are so adverse that the ethics rules prohibit such a joint representation?

Illinois Federal Court Grants Title Insurer's Motion To Dismiss Breach Of Contract And Consumer Fraud Claims
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently granted a title insurance company’s motion to dismiss claims for breach of contract and consumer fraud, finding that the plaintiff failed to allege any loss and that his claim under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act was barred by the statute of limitations.

A Lien under the Contract Lien Act Cannot Include Future Amounts
In the case of In re Walker, 473 Md. 68 (2021), the Court of Appeals responded to a certified question of law by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland (Bankruptcy Court) by stating that a lien under the Maryland Contract Lien Act (MCLA) cannot secure damages, costs of collection, late charges, and attorney's fees that accrue subsequent to the recordation of the lien.

INTERESTS IN LAND - Equitable interests - Resulting trusts
Appeal by the wife from an order that found the respondents, the husband’s judgment creditors, had priority to surplus funds remaining from the foreclosure sale of the husband’s property. The property was purchased by the husband and wife in 1988 as their family home. In 2006, title was transferred to the wife’s name alone. In 2010, the wife transferred title to the husband. She claimed an unregistered one-half beneficial interest in the property.

Preparing for 100% Electronic Lodgement of Land Dealings in NSW
The Registrar-General has recently announced changes to the land title system in New South Wales in a significant move toward 100% electronic lodgement of dealings for land transactions. The key changes to the Real Property Act 1900 (NSW) from 11 October 2021 are: the cancellation of paper certificates of title (CTs) and removal of the requirement to produce a CT for a land transaction; and electronic lodgement of all land dealings, including leases.

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Mysterious letter linking 1,000 people to $1B Algonquin treaty likely fake, CBC investigation finds
Bill Mann says that in the fall of 2011, he received an envelope containing an 8½ x 11 colour photo of a letter written on what appeared to be animal skin.
According to him, the letter, dated June 23, 1845, came from the Saint Sulpice Seminary in Montreal and had been damaged by fire and water.

Tiong Bahru Social Club review: Won’t you be my algorithmic neighbor?
Many of us can relate to, have related to, or will relate to Ah Bee, the young hero of the near-future, tech-fantasy film Tiong Bahru Social Club. He lives with his mom in a Singapore high-rise, and his existence is comfortable but unremarkable—an office job during the day and a spot on the couch, watching TV next to his mom, each night. With this 30th birthday fast approaching, his family grows anxious and decides the time for change has arrived.

Hennepin County selects first woman to run real estate recording office in 160 years
For the first time in 160 years, Hennepin County has appointed a woman as recorder and registrar of titles. "I'm honored," said Amber Bougie, who took over the role after serving as chief deputy recorder the past eight years. "I'm looking forward to many more years of service as a leader with Hennepin County."

This Library Attracts The Public By Dressing Up One Librarian’s Cat As Literary And Movie Icons
To attract the public and increase the number of readers and consumption of art in general (even if it is those nostalgic films like The Princess Diaries, Star Wars, and so on), social worker and Horatio’s owner Lisa Shaffer turns her cat into iconic Hollywood, historic and pop-culture figures, be it real or fictional characters.

The Fierce Legal Battle at the Heart of the Fight Over Reclining Airline Seats
On a recent episode of Amicus, Dahlia Lithwick spoke with law professor Michael Heller about Mine!: How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives, which he co-wrote with James Salzman. Mine! seeks to do for ownership what Freakonomics did for incentives and what Nudge did for our cognitive biases. It opens up a new, counterintuitive, and fascinating way to think about the world that we all take for granted.

When a Captive Shark Vomited Up a Human Arm—and Sparked a Murder Investigation
The 14-foot tiger shark at the Coogee Aquarium in Sydney, Australia, was behaving strangely. It had lost the energy and appetite it showed when it first arrived at the facility one week prior, on April 17, 1935. It was moving sluggishly around its 25-by-15-foot pool, bumping into the walls and sinking to the tank’s floor, where it swam as if something was weighing it down.