Issue No.248, October 20, 2021

Look For NEW Events Posted Since The Last Issue!
Real Property, Financial Services, & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending October 1, 2021
Foreclosure / Modification Agreement: Lender was entitled to judgment of foreclosure upon proving borrower made three payments before breaching the loan modification agreement – Carus v. VRMTG Asset Tr., No. 3D20-1355 (Fla. 3d DCA Sept. 29, 2021).

Creating beneficial ownership registry 'biggest focus' for Treasury’s anticorruption push, official says
As the Biden administration pushes ahead with an effort to combat global corruption, its primary focus is on a U.S. Treasury Department process to create a registry of the individuals behind legal entities, according to a senior official who spoke last week during an anti-money laundering (AML) conference here.

New Mississippi Initiative Will Combat Leading Cause of Involuntary Land Loss Among Black Families
The Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation™ and the Mississippi Center for Justice announced the Mobile Basin Heirs’ Property Support Initiative, a two-year program designed to help historically underserved families in Mississippi protect and keep their forestland; build generational wealth; and promote productive, sustainably managed forests.

'Predatory' hidden covenants on more than 100 Denton homes were thrown out by a judge. Hundreds more remain unchallenged.
Private transfer fees affecting more than 100 Denton homes were ruled invalid by a Denton County judge last month. But the practice has brought in billions of dollars from homeowners across the United States, according to its top originator, and in Denton County, hundreds more of the covenants remain unchallenged — and likely undetected — by homeowners.

American Land Title Association Registry Expedites Process to Verify Agent E&O Data
The American Land Title Association (ALTA), the national trade association of the land title insurance industry, announced that the ALTA Registry, the national database of title and settlement agents, added a new feature that allows companies to quickly provide errors and omissions (E&O) policy information to underwriters.

Ohio Court Finds Purchaser Did Not Suffer Damages Where Title Agency Failed To Include Lien On Closing Settlement Statement
The Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery County, recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of a title agency, finding that although a contract had been entered into between the plaintiffs and the title agency, the plaintiffs did not suffer any damages as a result of the title agency’s failure to include a lien on the closing settlement statement

Terminating Oral Farm Leases
Farm leases are a common occurrence on land being developed for solar and wind energy projects, due to the size and rural nature of land sought for development. While title searches will discover written leases that are made of record with the county clerk, farm leases are often verbal “handshake” agreements, meaning they go undetected during a standard title search.

Arizona Federal Court Finds False Pretenses Exclusion Bars Coverage for Fraudulent Wire Transfer Under Professional Liability Policy
In Helms v. Hanover Insurance Group Inc., the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona weighed in on the issue whether a professional liability policy provided insurance for a fraudulent wire transfer. This decision is not the first to tackle this issue, and like the other opinions issued across the country, Helms demonstrates that the answer to this somewhat thorny question depends heavily on the specific policy wording at issue.

Dennis Munden v. Stewart Title Guaranty Company
In Munden v. Stewart Title Guar. Co., ---F.3d--- (9th Cir. August 13, 2021), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, applying Idaho law, reversed in part, and affirmed in part, the district court's entry of summary judgment in favor of two title insurers, Stewart Title Guaranty Company (“Stewart”) and Chicago Title Insurance Company (“Chicago”), in connection with the defense of the property owners', Dennis and Sherrilyn Munden (“Mundens”), title relative to the use of a gravel road located on their property in Idaho

Freeport Village suing school district for $45M in feud over potential land sale to Amazon

Suit disputes ownership of nine-acre Cleveland Avenue fields.

Dispute Between Neighbours Over Fence Location Results Liability For Trespass
Fences may make good neighbours but not when they can't agree on where the fence should be located.

“Hacker X”—the American who built a pro-Trump fake news empire—unmasks himself
This is the story of the mastermind behind one of the largest "fake news" operations in the US. For two years, he ran websites and Facebook groups that spread bogus stories, conspiracy theories, and propaganda. Under him was a dedicated team of writers and editors paid to produce deceptive content—from outright hoaxes to political propaganda—with the supreme goal of tipping the 2016 election to Donald Trump.

A father's faith journey to Deacon
The Most Rev. Terry Lavalley, Bishop of Ogdensburg, approached Deacon James Carlin at one of his Deaconate Program classes a year ago. “He said, 'What do you think about the opportunity to be ordained with your son?'”

38 Notorious Projects Born of Spite
The financial world is an unpredictable beast that can see fortunes raised or ruined in a matter of minutes. Investors often look to sages like Warren Buffet for advice. But maybe they should be consulting with a hamster instead.

Meet Mr. Goxx, a Crypto-Trading Hamster Who Is Out-Investing Warren Buffet
The financial world is an unpredictable beast that can see fortunes raised or ruined in a matter of minutes. Investors often look to sages like Warren Buffet for advice. But maybe they should be consulting with a hamster instead.

How Long Island became a hotbed of espionage during the Cold War
The decades-long conflict between the United States and Soviet Union was called the Cold War, but on Long Island the battle ran hot. In 1960, when Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev stayed in a Glen Cove mansion during his visit to the UN, the locals seethed.

When a town disappears: what eminent domain looks like
Creation of the Ashokan Reservoir displaced 2,300 Catskills residents 100+ years ago, leaving bitter memories for descendants

Terrible Real Estate Photographs
By combining random elements of a livingroom, a utility room, a hallway, and a staircase, mankind finally created the Livingway Stairtility Room.