What's new? Value of an Attorney, Underwriting Alert, Legislative Update

It's getting tough out there again and we are still very busy here at The Fund and are working hard to support you every day.

Dear Members,

It's getting tough out there again.  It is worrisome on so many levels but the most important thing is for you and family to remain safe!  Please take the appropriate precautions.  In the meantime, we are still very busy here at The Fund and are working hard to support you every day.

What's new?

Value of an attorney.  One of the hardest messages attorneys struggle with is how to describe to a realtor and/or a consumer the value brought by an attorney to a real estate transaction.  We struggle with it, too.  We don't struggle with "what to say" but with the "how do we broadcast it?"  How do we effectively get this out to the consumer?  How do we effectively get this out to the real estate brokers and agents?  We are constantly working on this and have developed some great collateral for you to use.  Our "Protect Yourself" campaign contains "flyers" for you to post on your website or send to your clients and referral partners.  We also have social media bundles for you to post on your various social media outlets.  It's great content and you should take advantage of it.  Here is a link to the information for you to review and learn how you can get the materials.  https://www.thefund.com/TheFund/media/PDFs/Importance-of-RE-Attorneys-Flyer-v2.pdf

Underwriting alert re: foreclosures and evictions.  Governor DeSantis has extended the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions through August 1, 2020.  Additionally, the CARES ACT moratorium on residential foreclosures or foreclosure related evictions based on residential loans insured or guaranteed by FHA, VA, USDA or loans that are owned or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac has been extended to August 31, 2020.  You are required to obtain prior written approval from Fund Underwriting to issue a policy based on a foreclosure action where the Certificate of Title or Writ of Possession was issued after March 18, 2020 and prior to the expiration of the CARES Act (now August 31, 2020) and/or Florida's Executive Orders 20-159 (now August 1, 2020).  Title to any property that is derived through a foreclosure initiated during the effective period of the CARES Act and/or Executive Orders 20-94, 20-121, 20-137 and 20-159, will not be insurable.  We sent an Alert out on Thursday July 2, 2010 but here is a link in case you missed it.  https://www.thefund.com/fund-alert/underwriting-bulletin-covid-19.aspx

Legislative Update.  This week, let's review two new laws signed by Governor DeSantis.  First, some tweaks to deal with smaller bank accounts when the account holder dies.  Session Law 2020-110 (HB 143) creates new law allowing financial institutions to pay out the balance in a bank account, without a pay-on-death or survivor designated, to a family member.  The balance must be $1,000 or less and payment cannot be made earlier than 6 months after the decedent's death.  The law goes on to require certain documentation from the family member and protects creditors or other persons if they establish a right to the funds.  This law also creates a (hopefully) streamlined process for smaller intestate estates with property exempt from probate, constitutionally protected personal property or nonexempt personal property worth less than $10,000.00.  Check it out!    Here's a link https://www.thefund.com/TheFund/media/PDFs/Chapter-2020-110-small-bank-accounts-etc.pdf

The other new law I will mention is Session Law 2020-102 (HB 468) that eliminates the need for subscribing witnesses to real property leases.  Here's a link https://www.thefund.com/TheFund/media/PDFs/Chapter-2020-102-witnesses-on-leases.pdf

If you are hungry for more legislative info, here is a link to a memo prepared by Senior Underwriting Counsel Charles Nostra, indicating which bills he mentioned in his Assembly presentation have been signed into law. There are Session Law references for each. Super easy to find.  Just "google"  Florida Session Laws 2020, find the link and then the laws are listed in numerical order based on the session law number. https://www.thefund.com/TheFund/media/PDFs/2020-SESSION-LAWS-as-of-July-1-2020_.pdf

Title Now PopUp Webinars - Summer Break. I am taking a two week break from live Title Now webinars.  But I know you can't live without them!  So on July 9, we will re-air my conversation with ALTA's Steve Gottheim about the FNMA guidelines about RON and loan documents.  And on July 16, we will re-air my conversation with Dr. Anirban Basu from July 2 with his update and commentary on the economy.  Here is a link to register for July 9.  And here is a link to register for July 16.  

CFPB is unconstitutional!  Well, not really.  The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the bureau is constitutional but that its director could be removed by the President of the United States "at will."  The decision found that having a sole director who was removable "only for cause" violated the separation of powers rule.  The court also found that the "for cause" requirement could be excised and therefore the CFPB can continue to operate.  There has been a lot of commentary since the ruling; some predict dire consequences for consumers as a result of the director position being "politicized."  Others have questioned whether actions taken by the current director will somehow need to be confirmed or ratified in some way.  Yet others see this as a great opportunity to push a multi-member commission to run the Bureau rather than a sole director.  Regardless, you need to keep complying with TRID.

That's all for this week.  Please stay safe.  And let us know how we can help you.


Melissa Jay Murphy
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer,
General Counsel and Secretary