Changes & Threats to Our Industry

Dear Members,

July is right around the corner and several bills affecting real estate are kicking in. This week's focus is on HB 1419 (Chapter 2023-238, Laws of Florida)

Here are the high points of this law:

  • Effective July 1, 2023 (one exception below).
  • Every clerk of the court must create a free recording notification service open to all persons wishing to register for the service.
    • When a "land record" is recorded involving a name or parcel identification number submitted by a registrant for the service, a recording notification must be sent within 24 hours to the registrant.
    • The recording notification must contain, at a minimum, the recording date, the ORB/page or instrument number, instructions for viewing the land record electronically, and a phone number for the clerk's office where questions can be asked.  (I have paraphrased this quite a bit to make it simple!)
    • "Land record" means a deed, mortgage, or other document purporting to convey or encumber real property.  This is very broad, indeed!  Owners might get lots of notices from the clerk.  The clerk might get lots of questions!
    • This service must be in place by July 1, 2024.  Many clerks already have this service but the new law makes it mandatory on all clerks.
    • Property Appraisers can also participate in a notification system.
  • New rules around a quiet title action based on a fraudulent attempted conveyance have been established. 
    • A plaintiff bringing such an action is entitled to summary procedure under s. 51.011, Florida Statutes, which significantly reduces the amount of time a defendant is required to respond when served with a complaint.
    • Clerks must provide a simplified form for the filing of these actions, along with instructions for completing the form.
  • A statutory Quitclaim Deed form has been created.
    • As a condition for an instrument to be recorded:
      • THE POST OFFICE ADDRESS OF EACH WITNESS MUST BE LEGIBLY PRINTED, TYPEWRITTEN OR STAMPED.  This information should be immediately below the witness signature along with their printed, stamped or typewritten name.
      • Don't get caught short and have your documents returned by the clerk!  Make sure you update your forms to reflect this requirement and create new office procedures to make sure this is completed before documents are sent for recording.
  • This bill also authorizes a pilot program in Lee County, Florida, allowing the clerk to make certain requirements of persons presenting deeds and other instruments for recording to provide a government-issued photographic identification card.  There is  a lot of detail around this pilot program in the bill so I commend it to you if this is something of interest.
  • Full text of the bill here:

Attorney Opinion Letters/Title Assurance Alternatives. This topic has kind of gotten pushed aside in the aftermath of the Florida legislative session - and making sure we are ready for the various laws that affect real estate transactions that soon go into effect. But it hasn't gone away…..and it hasn't diminished in importance. The GSE movement toward accepting (or waiving altogether) alternatives to title insurance is a real threat to our industry. Join me for a popup webinar on June 29 at noon to get the latest update from Chris Morton at ALTA on this topic. It's free! 30 minutes!  Here is a link to register.

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