Issue No.246, October 6, 2021

Look For NEW Events Posted Since The Last Issue!
New Hampshire Amends Notary Laws and Allows for Remote Online Notarization
New Hampshire recently passed Senate Bill 134, which, among other things, revises state provisions related to notarial acts and electronic recordings.

The Property Line: Organizational Document Considerations in Commercial Real Estate Transactions
There are a variety of ways to structure an investment in commercial real estate, which might be held by a single bankruptcy remote entity, by a joint venture, or by an operating company. Cameron Weil, Real Estate counsel, joins host James O’Brien to discuss organizational structures for real estate transactions and the different types of legal entities that are used to implement those structures, including a discussion of single purpose entities.

The State of Remote Online Notarization
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many states implemented temporary measures allowing public notaries to perform notarial acts virtually. Over a year and a half after the initial states of emergency were instituted, some states have allowed these temporary measures to lapse, while others have codified them into law.

Real Property, Financial Services, & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending September 17, 2021
RESPA / Qualified Written Requests: Loan servicer did not violate RESPA by acknowledging receipt of a qualified written request one day after RESPA deadline because plaintiffs suffered no damages based on one-day delay – Munoz v. CitiMortgage, Inc., No. 8:20-cv-02311 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 10, 2021)

A new study augments a body of evidence that homes in Black and Latino neighborhoods are undervalued. 
A study from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, known as Freddie Mac, adds to a growing body of research that finds racism in the appraisal industry is undervaluing the homes of Black and Latino Americans compared to white-owned homes.

Read More [Contributed by Bill Collins, Frontier Abstract]
California Gov. Signs Landmark Duplex and Lot-Split Legislation into Law
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, on Sept. 16, 2021, signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 9, a landmark law that would allow for the ministerial approval of certain housing development projects containing up to two dwelling units (i.e., duplexes) on a single-family zoned parcel. The legislation, which was passed by the California Legislature on Sept. 1 and takes effect Jan. 1, 2022, would also allow for the ministerial approval of certain lot splits to allow property owners to construct up to two units on the newly created lots.

Riker Danzig Releases Episode 3 Of Title Nerds, The Title Insurance Podcast
On September 28, 2021 Riker Danzig released Episode 3 of “Title Nerds,” the Firm’s title insurance podcast. Title Nerds hosts Michael R. O’Donnell and Bethany A. Abele welcome special guest Michael Ham, the “Coolest Guy in Title Insurance,” to the podcast, along with fellow Riker Danzig attorney Desiree McDonald.

The Right Way to Obtain Multi-Line Rights in a Right-of-Way Transaction in Texas
There are many misconceptions about how multi-line rights are created in Texas. Contrary to popular belief, a multiple pipeline right-of-way cannot just be created by changing “pipeline” to “pipelines” in the granting provision.[1] In fact, if there is not an express provision in the easement granting the right to lay additional lines, a court will not imply rights beyond those of the easement.

New York Court Grants Summary Judgment in Action to Void a Restrictive Covenant
The Supreme Court of New York, Suffolk County, recently granted a property owner’s motion for summary judgment and held that a purported restrictive covenant on the property was void. See U & Me Homes, LLC v. Cty. of Suffolk, 148 N.Y.S.3d 682 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. July 16, 2021). In the case, the plaintiff purchased an undeveloped parcel of land that was split-zoned by the defendant Town of Southampton (the “Town”), with a portion permitting 2-acre residential development and a larger portion permitting 5-acre residential development.

Read More [free registration required to read]
A Second Look: United States Bankruptcy Court for The District of New Jersey Clarifies Start of Look-Back Periods for Avoidance Actions Involving Real Property
Debtors and trustees seeking to avoid the hardship of a foreclosure often attempt to employ sections 547 and 548 of the Bankruptcy Code.[1] In accordance with the former section, a debtor may avoid any transfer of an interest in property “on or within 90 days before the date of the filing of the petition.” When there is an allegation of a fraudulent transfer, the latter section provides, “The trustee may avoid any transfer . . . incurred by the debtor that was made or incurred on or within two years before the date of the filing of the petition.”

Generational property in The Bahamas: how to acquire documentary title
In The Bahamas, "generational property" is land owned by many descendants of the original landowner. The following issues, among others, commonly arise in relation to generational property:

  • there is no documentary title holder of the land;
  • the land often cannot be sold;
  • there is often no certainty of ownership of a particular plot, lot or tract of the land; and
  • legal title to the land cannot be passed from one person to another.

Do you have a licence for your home’s front yard parking?
Last September, a client of mine whom I will call Meghan purchased a beautifully renovated home in Midtown Toronto for a price well above asking. Built in the 1920s on a 30-foot lot, the home came with a private drive.

Employees May Not Be Working Inside Office Buildings, But Cyber Criminals Are
“With any type of confusion, and certainly one at the scale of a pandemic and mass exodus from office buildings, the bad guys see opportunities,” says Michael Bahar, litigation partner and co-lead of the global cybersecurity and data privacy practice in Eversheds Sutherland’s Washington D.C. office, in this episode of The Insuring Cyber Podcast. “They prey on that confusion. When you have physical office spaces and workspaces suddenly vacated, that’s a real opportunity for the bad guys to find another way to attack organizations.”

The fractionalization of everything
The latest investing trend is buying tiny pieces of houses, cars, and Playboy memorabilia.

Deciding To Dream
Puebla, Mexico, is a long way from Southlake — 1,126 miles to be exact. At one point it was my home. Looking back, I can’t help but ask “How in the world did I get here?”

Former Troy Real Estate Exec Sentenced For Michigan Lottery Scheme
 A man addicted to the Michigan Lottery was sentenced to more than four years in prison Wednesday for a scheme that cost investors more than $23 million. Viktor Gjonaj of Troy told people that he was plowing their money into real estate deals. Instead, he was playing the Daily 3 and Daily 4 games — more than $1 million a week by 2019.

All Things Real Estate: ‘House sitter’ claims she’s a renter, won’t leave premises
When we got back in town, we discovered the locks had been changed. And while we could hear people in the house, no one would answer the door. Not knowing what else to do, we called the police. An officer arrived, and after we told him our story, he knocked on the door and the young woman answered. She claimed that she and her boyfriend lived there and that they were renters because they had a lease, which she produced for the officer.

Emojipedia: An Essential Legal Resource?
Emojis have filtered their way into our lives in recent years, the question we should be asking is not how they got here, but what we should do with them now that they’ve arrived. How, when appropriate, can we use them effectively with clients? After all, they are here to stay.

Vaulting Ambition
Mr. Baker is the brains and the propulsive force behind an audacious new proposal to span the East River with a hybrid structure that would be part building, part bridge, and part mass transit conveyance, connecting the Dumbo/Vinegar Hill section of Brooklyn to the Manhattan neighborhood of Two Bridges.

Four Centuries Later, This Ski-In Ski-Out Swiss Chalet Remains An Ideal Escape
Long before Gstaad, Switzerland, became a ski destination for celebrities, a Catholic notable fleeing religious persecution built a rural chalet on a sunny hillside.

This Presidential Pets Mugs Is the ‘Ultimutt’ Gift for History Lovers
Over the centuries, U.S. presidents have had some memorable pets. For instance, Calvin Coolidge had a pygmy hippopotamus named Billy, and Theodore Roosevelt kept a menagerie of eclectic animals, including a small bear named Jonathan Edwards, which was sent to him by supporters in West Virginia.