Policies, Payments & Pilots

Dear Members,

I hope that those of you with kids in school had a smooth "back to school" transition.  I decided to wrap up the summer with a good old fashioned "summer cold." Ugh.  I have a couple of things to mention this week.  But before I get into some business related info, the storm on the west coast reminded me that hurricane season is here.  Don't forget there is a second sales tax holiday coming up to help with the purchase of storm-related supplies.  It runs from August 26 through September 8.  The Department of Revenue has an informative flyer with some FAQs. https://www.thefund.com/info/pdf/disaster-preparedness-sales-tax-holiday-2023.pdf

Policy payment and remittance.  Please don't let your policy back-log build up!  It is so important to issue those policies and send them to us, along with the premium, in a timely way.  There are lots of reasons to do this:  insureds need their policies; it helps with closing out that file;  it clears your outstanding checks; you get credit for that policy with The Fund……lots of reasons, not the least of which is your obligation as an agent to get us both policy and premium quickly.  I know that the next closing is important and you want to focus on it. I am just asking that you create some time in your schedule to address this.  Thanks!  It is really appreciated.

FNMA Pilot Program withdrawal.  ALTA has recently confirmed that Fannie Mae is no longer pursuing the title waiver pilot program it had under development.  The pilot program will NOT be submitted to the FHFA for review or consideration.  This is a significant achievement and one that would not have been possible but for the efforts of ALTA to coordinate an awareness program that included regulators and members of Congress.  Those of you who are members of the Title Action Network (TAN) and who sent messages to our members of Congress also deserve a big thank you.  We have to remain vigilant to prevent shortcuts or unregulated title alternatives that introduce greater risk to consumers, lenders and the housing industry.  Please help me in these efforts.  (A huge "thank you" for the regular updates that Diane Tomb, CEO of ALTA, sends out - here is a link to the most recent. https://www.thefund.com/info/pdf/alta/aol-update-august-2023.pdf)

Lee County recording requirements.  Lee County has implemented their statutory authority under HB 1419 to create a pilot program to require increased scrutiny when deeds are presented for recording.  They are now requiring government issued photo identification for each grantor(s) and the grantee(s) listed on the deed.  The pilot does not currently apply to e-recorded documents; only those presented via mail or in person.  If you are handling a transaction in Lee County, you need to be familiar with these requirements.  https://www.leeclerk.org/departments/official-records-services/record-a-document/requirements-for-recording-deeds  There is a link to provide feedback on this pilot which you may want to utilize.  Combatting title fraud is everyone's job and some level of inconvenience (I might call this "extra diligence") is necessary to avoid a scam.  This pilot is meant to test some different methods for reducing this type of fraud.


That's all for this week.

Let me know how we can help you.

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