JULY 2019

A fact of business and government today is that customers − both consumers and other businesses – and employees expect to transact digitally. To remain competitive, companies find themselves increasing their efforts to digitally transform their businesses. Successfully implementing this transformation requires careful planning to ensure regulatory compliance, a smooth integration with existing business technology and a positive customer experience.

This article identifies important and significant news and legal developments impacting digital offerings. The article provides an analysis on California's recent law regarding chatbots and it covers recently enacted federal and state laws, federal and state regulatory activities, fresh judicial precedent and other important news about blockchain and electronic signatures, electronic recording, remote online notarization, artificial intelligence, and FinTech. Read complete article .


A recent PRIA Local meeting was held in Central Florida on June 18. The meeting focused on: "Just because you can, should you?" The cause and effects of expanding confidentiality laws in Florida (effective 7/1/19) that include personal identifying and location information: a) broadening the definition of “home address” to include legal and parcel identification numbers, and, b) releasing redacted information. Please see the Central Florida PRIA Local webpage for contact information and to see their agendas and minutes.

Check the PRIA Local Map to help find a Chapter meeting in your area or contact Carolyn Ableman, PRIA Local Coordinator, to find out more or to start your own Chapter.


A flat fee for recording documents in the state of Arizona has gone into effect as of July 1, pursuant to Arizona Revised Statures 11-475, as amended by the Arizona State Legislature in 2018. The fee to record a document in county recorder offices throughout Arizona is now $30. for each complete document. Read complete article. 


"We are off and running toward our 2019 Annual Conference in Colorado Springs in late August. The room block at the Antlers Hotel is sold out which suggests a robust registration for this conference. Already we are seeing a strong response from clerks in Colorado with three new counties joining PRIA in June and planning to attend the Annual Conference.

The conference program will cover a wide range of topics including Weed in the Workplace – Effects of Medical Marijuana in Your Office , presented by attorney Silvia San Nicolas, president and CEO of New Game Compliance, a cannabis compliance firm in Orange County, CA.

You will gain new understanding of title plants, what they do, why they do it and how it affects the recorder’s office. Want to gain a better understanding of eClosing? You’ll see how all the pieces of the closing process fit together.

Looking for more information about blockchain? Karen Koogler, CEO of The Koogler Group, will walk through the history of title from Torrens to blockchain, with a look at what’s next. The Koogler Group is an educational design firm specializing in pre-licensing, job skills training, continuing education and regulatory compliance programs for the title insurance industry.

Wonder what the Remote Online Notarization (RON) platform looks like and how it works? Several providers will demo their platforms and answer audience questions during a breakout session on Thursday afternoon.

These are just a few of the programs you will experience while attending the 2019 Annual Conference. Don’t have a hotel room? Overflow housing information is available now. I do hope to see you in Colorado Springs, August 26-29!"

 Click here for registration options, either online or PDF. 


No doubt we are in the information age and some are saying we are entering the knowledge age. Land records are at the core of our free society. We have every opportunity in front of us to harness the digital revolution and perpetuate this foundation of liberty.

Surveyors are a small but leading voice that can speak to the value and necessity of land records. We need to be extremely vocal with our elected officials when we are concerned about policy decisions. The old adage “You don’t know what you don’t know” is welling up in the digital realm and I’ve been feeling some concern both at the municipal and state levels. The phenomenon I’m seeing is sort of a “disposable information” attitude. Database managers and GIS folks are having trouble digesting relevant historical information that has been superseded. Read complete article .


Two recipients have been selected to receive Ernst Scholarships for 2019-20, one a recorder and one a business person.
Brian N. Dickey, register of deeds for McNairy County, TN, is the recipient of the recorder scholarship. Dickey was just 26 years old when he was first elected in 1998, at which point the county was still issuing hand-written receipts. Within three months, Dickey had secured a computer system for recording documents. 
He focuses on being prepared for “the next big thing” in the recording industry while preserving the historical documents of McNairy Country. An avid volunteer, Dickey served as president of the Tennessee Register’s Association when, during his tenure, he worked with state legislators to educate them on the needs and concerns of the state’s registers. He currently serves on the board of directors of the County Officials Association of Tennessee.
Julian Tu, president of Viva Escrow! Inc., is the recipient of the business scholarship. She has been in the settlement services industry for over 40 years and has worked tirelessly for both the state and regional escrow associations. She currently serves as president of the California Escrow Association and is a board member of the Escrow Institute of California. 
The settlement industry works with many partners including real estate, title, financial and recorders. Working together is key for the consumer’s goal of home ownership. She is committed to pay it forward for a new generation of escrow officers through education and standards. 
Tu is the author of The Art of Escrow written for the consumer and those bewildered by the process of escrow when purchasing a property in California.
Tu will attend the Annual Conference in the Colorado Springs, while Dickey has opted for the Winter Symposium in Austin. Attendance for one conference during the membership year is one of the benefits of the Ernst Scholarship.


PRIA has produced some excellent educational videos - all easily accessed on the first page of the PRIA website.


Mortgage 101 is the topic for the 3 p.m., ET, July 25, webinar which will feature Richard Bramhall, chief underwriting counsel, Westcor Land Title Insurance Co.
PRIA webinars are complimentary for members; non-members pay $25. 

This webinar will identify and explain the roles of the various parties and work products associated with mortgage lending, from the initial application to the completed transaction. The presentation is a light-hearted but comprehensive overview of each step in the mortgage process.
To register for this webinar, click here . Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until all seats are filled.


PRIA's Board of Directors recently established a fifth standing committee to oversee the association’s expanding communications channels. And, what is a committee without volunteers? Michael Miller, clerk, Charleston Co., SC, and Christie Adams, eRecording Partners Network, will co-chair the new committee, but they can’t do it alone.
Volunteers invest their time to attend periodic meetings and offer their intellectual resources to set direction for the committee. Staff does the implementation so there is no heavy lifting for the committee members.  
Joining this new committee is an ideal way to get involved with PRIA and give back to the property records industry. As a volunteer, you will learn from your other committee members and also have some fun!
To volunteer or request additional information on this work project, contact the project co-chairs, Michael Miller , Charleston Co., SC; Christie Adams, eRecording Partners Network; or Stevie Kernick, PRIA chief staff officer.

excerpted from ALTA Advocacy Update by ALTA Interim CEO/COO Cornelia Horner, June 19, 2019

Following on the heels of the European Union's General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) and passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), 17 states debated privacy legislation. In an effort to avoid being left out, Congress also is considering national data privacy legislation. While new comprehensive data privacy legislation hasn't passed at the state or federal level yet this year, we believe the discussions on this issue so far are only a small prelude for what is to come in 2020.

First, a little background. In the policy arena, the phrase "data privacy" is a catch-all for the debate over the rights citizens should have over their personal data and what limits should be placed on how businesses can use that personal data without explicit permission. This is distinct from "data security," which lays out the requirements businesses must take to safeguard data they collect from unauthorized access. Data security also encompasses laws on notification of consumers in the event of a breach or unauthorized access to their personal data. It is this concept that is the subject of the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 48 state data breach laws, at least 12 state data security laws, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners model law and embedded in the ALTA Title Insurance & Settlement Company Best Practices.

Often in policy, there are issues where the policy gets ahead of public opinion and those where the hue and cry of consumers is ahead of the policy. In the United States, the data privacy debate is the latter. Poll after poll shows results similar to this Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll from April: More than 90% of Americans say they should have more control over how businesses sell or share their personal information.

The sentiment that there is a privacy crisis is only growing. It is quickly becoming the most pressing policy issue according to Americans. It is against this backdrop that the Board created a Data Privacy Executive Committee and Task Force. Taking a nod from the California Land Title Association, the Board felt the need to bring together industry leaders and experts to figure out what ALTA can do to help members adapt to and shape these new laws.

The mission of this new group will be to help ALTA members comply, if required, with the CCPA and similar laws, develop guiding principles for our advocacy and help evaluate privacy legislation to ensure that any such legislation addresses privacy in a comprehensive manner.


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