Extensions, Cancellations, Applications, Protections & Connections

Hope you are all doing well.  Here's some info that I think you will find helpful. 

Dear Members,

Hope you are all doing well.  Here's some info that I think you will find helpful. 

Florida Bar CLE deadline extended.  Due to the coronavirus, The Florida Bar offices are closed, with limited staff working remotely.  All course accreditation has stopped until they reopen.  Most importantly, CLE reporting deadlines for February, March, April and May 2020 have been extended to a new reporting deadline of August 31, 2020.  Online and downloadable CLE programming is still available, but they will not be filling orders for CDs, DVDs and printed course books until they reopen the offices.

Fund Assembly in May cancelled.  You have already received an announcement that we have cancelled Assembly that was scheduled for mid-May.  We are working on alternative dates to provide you with much of the same program content; this will be an online program designed to provide as much flexibility as possible to "hop on and hop off" as you need.  Stay tuned for that information.  And mark your calendars for Assembly 2021:  May 20 - 22, 2021 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort here in Orlando.

Florida online notary application tips.  If you are planning to register as a Florida online notary, here are some tips we were given by the office in Tallahassee that processes your registration application:

  • On the application, in response to the statement, “I will use the following RON Service Provider in compliance with Florida Law:”
    • Include the name of the RON platform you will be using; "Yes” is not an acceptable response
  • E&O Insurance requirement of $25,000
    • If using existing business or title agency E&O insurance, you must include the clause that shows online notary error & omissions is included; just sending the cover page is not acceptable
    • They suggest you purchase a separate individual E&O policy for the applicant.
  • Copy of Notary Certificate
    • An applicant must provide a copy of their original Notary Commission Certificate
    • If applicant does not have one, a copy may be provided by their bond agency (expect 3-4 weeks for delivery)
    •  A screenshot of notary commission information on State notary site is not enough
  • Bond
    • Only one bond for the full amount of $25,000 may be submitted
    • You cannot purchase a $17,500 bond and combine it with your existing $7,500 bond for your standard notary commission

Municipal Liens and the gap. As discussed in my last email, although several have eliminated foot traffic, no recording offices have stopped recording.  Instruments can still be recorded via mail, overnight delivery and e-recording. Until further notice, Old Republic Title will continue to insure the gap created by a temporary inability to record without requiring any special gap indemnity or affidavit. So when you issue a commitment as an Old Republic Title agent, the commitment, policy and CPL protections will remain in force as if the transaction was properly recorded on the date of disbursement. All recordings must be accomplished as soon as the recording office re-opens.

Municipal liens have to be handled a little differently.  Some of you have reported difficulty and delay in obtaining municipal lien searches.  In the event that a municipal lien search becomes impossible to achieve during this time, you may consider some form of acknowledgment from purchasers that holds you and Old Republic harmless, and a modification to the contract to waive search requirements. Should you encounter a recorded municipal lien for which it is not possible to obtain a payoff letter, please contact underwriting for guidance in evaluating this insuring risk. As this situation evolves, we may have to modify parameters or guidelines. We will not do this without prior notice to you. If you have any questions, please contact underwriting at underwriting@thefund.com or (800) 432-9594, option 2.

Security pointers.  The current COVID-19 situation has caused many of you to send employees home to continue supporting your operations and your customers.  Adjusting to work from home conditions and the stress of the pandemic makes it the perfect time to discuss protecting you and your company from a security incident. We are recommending that you implement or confirm your basic security hygiene and at-home security protection.  Attached is a resource for you to use and share with your staff. http://www.thefund.com/information-center/pdf/security/cybersecurity-covid-19-title-agent-security-tips.pdf

Talk to your fellow Fund Members around the state!   Register to be a member of the "Slachter Real Estate Forum," a group of Fund Members across the state.  It's a simple list-serve where you can post questions, comments and information that are shared with all of the Forum members.  You will get feedback and responses quickly.  It is like having the "partner down the hall" that many of you don't have.  And in this day and time, sharing concerns and possible solutions is something we all need!  Sign up today!  It's free if you are a Fund Member.  You have to send David Slachter your full contact information AND your Fund Member number.  Just email him at david@slachterconsulting.com.

Let me know how we can help you.

Stay safe!


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