Issue No.245, September 29, 2021

Look For NEW Events Posted Since The Last Issue!
Redfin CEO, Zillow pour cold water on TikToker's iBuyer theory
A recent viral video suggested iBuyers could jack up the prices of homes. But one expert called the theory 'fairly conspiratorial,' and iBuyers themselves said they still have a tiny share of the market.

Frenzied real estate market imperils land conservation in Washington, Idaho
There is a 1,000-acre ranch in North Idaho, a mix of timber and cattle lands, that borders a “gem lake” with waters that recharge the Spokane aquifer.
“It’s habitat. It’s water,” said Dave Schaub, executive director of the Inland Northwest Land Conservancy. “According to our analysis, it’s climate-resilient land. It’s some of the more climate-resilient land in our region.” In other words, it’s the type of property ripe for conservation, but a fevered real estate market means that the ranch, which is not for sale, likely won’t be conserved.

Real Property, Financial Services, & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending September 10, 2021
Foreclosure / Fees and Costs: Trial court erred by denying borrower attorneys’ fees and costs following involuntary dismissal of foreclosure action based on Florida Supreme Court’s holding in Page v. Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas, 308 So. 3d 953 (Fla. 2020), because (i) the parties were not strangers to the contract and (ii) the contract had a provision allowing the bank to recover attorneys’ fees – Torres v. Bank of N.Y., No. 4D17-1625 (Fla. 4th DCA Sept. 8, 2021)

The Title Reporter — Fall 2021

New issue of The Title Reporter: A Legal Update for the Title Insurance Industry

Unbeknownst to many, the difference between a basement and a cellar, often misconstrued as an endearing colloquial difference, is, in fact, a nuanced legal matter.
At least half the story must be above ground to qualify as a “basement” in New York City. Otherwise, it’s considered a cellar and is not legally habitable — no matter how nice it looks.

A Mostly-Hidden Beachfront Mansion Opens The Door For First Amendment Scrutiny Of Local Government Architectural Review Standards
Recently, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided Burns v. Town of Palm Beach, a novel case about whether the First Amendment protects the architectural expression of “a really big beachfront house that can’t be seen, located on a quiet residential street in Palm Beach, Florida.”

New York Court Holds Title Insurer Did Not Need To Inform Agent Of Title Claim Or Seek Agent's Consent To Settle
The Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County recently granted a title insurance company’s motion to dismiss its policy-issuing agent’s counterclaim, finding that the title insurer had no obligation to inform the agent of a title claim arising from a policy the agent issued, nor did the insurer have to seek the agent’s consent before settling. 

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Will a Creditor be Able to Recover from a Recorded Judgment on a Homestead?

Arizona creditors have several new collection rights for judgment liens. The first new right is that judgment liens now attach to the homestead property.

Bonding Off Mechanic's Liens: Not Just for Property Owners

Property owners are often confronted with a contractor threatening a mechanic’s lien on their property. These liens may stem from a dispute between them and their contractor, or even between a subcontractor and a general contractor that was not compensated for their work. Many in the real estate and construction industry believe they are fully familiar with Conn. Gen. Stat. §49-37, the statute permitting the substitution of a bond in lieu of a lien.

‘They’re going to meet their Waterloo’: woman wins remarkable legal battle against developer
When Tracey Anne Higgins squared off against a wealthy retirement village operator trying to use squatter’s rights to claim ownership of her family’s land, she knew one thing for certain. “I said early in the piece, they’re going to meet their Waterloo,” Higgins says. “They’re messing with the wrong person.”
She wasn’t wrong.

He escaped the dark web’s biggest bust. Now he’s back
Just over four years ago, the US Department of Justice announced the takedown of AlphaBay, the biggest dark web market bust in history. Thai police arrested the site's 26-year-old administrator, Alexandre Cazes, in Bangkok, and the FBI seized AlphaBay's central server in Lithuania, wiping out a marketplace that was selling hundreds of millions of dollars a year worth of hard drugs, hacked data, and other contraband to its 400,000-plus registered users. The FBI called the disruption of the site a “landmark operation.”

Fund’s cybersecurity suit against title insurer dismissed
A federal district court has dismissed a cybersecurity lawsuit filed by a pension fund against a title insurance company that had earlier reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the matter.

Sailmaker’s Hassel Island Eviction Case Headed to Court Tuesday
A long-running eviction case between the National Park Service and the son of a sailmaker who occupied land on Hassel Island for 60 years is set for a hearing Tuesday in V.I. District Court on St. Thomas.

Foreclosure Of Spears’ Home Connected To Man Charged With Running Mega Mortgage Fraud Scam
Jersey City mayoral candidate says he never met Anthony Garvin and can’t recall the name of his friend who brought him the real estate deal.

The Real Estate Theory That Would Change Everything On The Curse Of Oak Island
"The Curse of Oak Island" has aired for eight seasons in total on the History channel, and may soon receive a renewal for a ninth season. While much has changed in the world at large in the seven years since the series' 2014 premiere, the objective of "The Curse of Oak Island" hosts Rick and Marty Lagina has remained perpetually the same: uncover buried treasures long rumored to be hidden throughout Oak Island, a real-life island located near Nova Scotia in eastern Canada.

ONE OF A KIND Inside one of world’s most isolated homes with views of the ‘end of Earth’ from tip of Australia
SURROUNDED by miles of ocean, desolate highlands and "end of the Earth" views - welcome to one of the world's most isolated homes on the tip of Australia. The remote property spans 3027 sqm and overlooks the sprawling Indian ocean off Western Australia's isolated Kimberley coastline.