Refresher & Reminder to Kick Off 2022

Dear Members,

Welcome to 2022!  The new year is always a good time to re-group, re-set priorities and vow to just "do better."   On the surface, it is "business as usual" for most of us and the holiday break was probably only a brief respite from the challenge of meeting your client and customer needs in this crazy real estate market.  But in case you have room in your brain for a few bits of information, here goes…….

Assembly 2022.  We are planning a great, in-person Assembly this year.  The dates are June 16-18, 2022 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort.  Your favorites will be back:  Title Teasers, Case Law Update and a Claims update.  Dr. Anirban Basu, the economist, will be back to give us his prognostications (always with an interesting cultural twist). Here's what is new: New Member Training will be held simultaneously on site, as well as an Affiliate Track. Registration will open February 1 BUT you can go ahead and book your hotel room ahead of registration for the event.  Here is a link.  Hope to see you there.

RON Refresher.  With the continued presence of the COVID virus, you may see an uptick in situations in which RON is a preferred way to execute closing documents, primarily seller documents.  Here is a quick list of factors to remind you of some of the parameters around the use of RON:

  • Documents executed by a US citizen utilizing RON are acceptable (assuming all requirements for the signing of a deed and affidavit are met, e.g., two witnesses).
    • An online notary from any state (that has authorized RON) is acceptable.  It does not have to be a Florida online notary.
    • The US citizen can be located anywhere, i.e., they can be in a foreign country at the time of the signing.
  • If a non-US citizen is the signer, YOU MUST GET UNDERWRITING APPROVAL if you are issuing title insurance.
  • If you are handling seller documents but not issuing title, be sure whoever is underwriting the transaction has approved the use of RON.  Underwriting guidelines are NOT the same from company to company.
  • There are several more nuances to RON too detailed to go into here. 
    Just reach out to me,, or
    Michael Rothman,, if you have questions. 

Legislative Session Begins January 11:  What is that old saying?  "No man's property is safe while the legislature is in session."  Some truth to that but do not fear!  I will be monitoring bills that are filed and working with Fund staff, the Florida Land Title Association and the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section to try our best to avoid something really terrible. Bills already in the system address topics related to mortgage payoffs (clarifying that a borrower/closing agent can rely on the payoff), terminations of notices of commencement (doing away with the nonsense of having to "cease construction"), fixing MRTA after the Calusa Trust ruling and several bills dealing with the recurring topics of condominiums, exemptions from public records law and residential swimming pool safety.  As we get into the session and bills advance through the system, I will provide updates. 

Let me know how we can help you.

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