Live from the Closet: Addressing E-Signature / Estoppel Struggles & More

Get the Latest Insights from Fund General Counsel Melissa Jay Murphy

Dear Members,

Working with Lenders to get documents signed is a big part of what you do every day.  The challenges of the pandemic and the desire to avoid face to face interaction between a notary and the borrower have made this even more problematic.  Why won't Lenders accept electronic signatures?  Does FNMA allow this?  Information has been confusing since early March.  Join me for this week's Title Now PopUp Webinar where my guest will be Shane Hartzler, Director of eMortgage Strategy and Operations for FNMA.  We will talk about what is going on in the lending market and how it all interfaces with e-signatures.  Thursday at noon.  It's free!  30 minutes.  Here is a link to register.

Some things have NOT changed.  You are still struggling with the process of obtaining estoppel certificates from HOAs and COAs.  Not just the process but the charges that do not seem to comply with the statute.  We are continuing to work on this and have the support of some key legislators so let's help with the effort to get some changes made! The Florida Land Title Association is conducting a survey of title agents and it would help immensely if you would participate in the survey.  You do not have to be an FLTA member to do this so please help!  Here is a link to the survey.

Legislation update.  Bills are finally being transmitted to the Governor for his consideration.  June 10 is the deadline for a recent batch of bills.  We will keep you posted as Governor DeSantis takes action on those that are of interest to you.

More legislation.  I am working with members of the Florida Land Title Association (FLTA) on a couple of issues.  Revisions to the RON legislation to make it more practical to use and to reallocate some of the risks between the notaries and the platforms; a solution to the expansion of what information can be redacted from the public records; estoppel certificates (mentioned already); working with the Clerks on whether and how they should transition to instrument numbers rather than OR book and pages; a better system to deal with missing/old mobile home titles.   These are all issues that need to be addressed.

Communicating virtually has now settled into our daily routines.  Our real estate forum is a great way for you to see what types of issues Fund Members across the state are dealing with every day without having to leave your office (or home).  In the last few days, the discussion topics included Lady Bird Deeds, commercial leasing issues, how do you notice a broker for a contract cancellation, title agencies preparing seller documents, prepayment penalties…..the list goes on and on.  Join in the discussion and learn!  It's easy.  Send an email to David Slachter at  Please include your Fund Member Number in your email so that David can enroll you right away.

This week, I am still recording in my closet….but it’s a different closet.  I moved to my new house (moving is exhausting!) and lost my walk-in closet.  So hoping this new arrangement will sound ok until I get my home office set up.

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