Political Committee, Photo IDs & Hernando County Problems

Hello Members!

Hope all is well.  I just got back from an Old Republic Title manager's meeting and learned a lot about what ORT is doing to support its agents and its employees.  Good stuff.  Will share some of what I learned over the next several blogs so stay tuned.  A couple of things to talk about this week.

Help Me Be Your Advocate!  Gaining access to both our regulatory and legislative leaders in Tallahassee is an important part of my role as your advocate in Tallahassee.  I cannot be effective without your help…..and this means a financial contribution to TITL, our political committee.  My ability to meet face to face with legislators and talk with them about our issues and the important role you play in making sure real estate transactions are safe, secure and accurate is absolutely key to our success.  Please, please help.  It's a tough year, I agree, but if every Fund Member would send me the equivalent of their normal hourly rate we would be in great shape!  For those of you in a position to give more, I am very grateful!  Here is a link to the page on our website where you can either download a form to complete and send in with a check OR a link to allow you to donate online.  Either way would be great! 

Lee County Recording Pilot.  Several months ago (in 2023), Lee County implemented a pilot program to require photo IDs of both grantors and grantees be presented before a deed could be recorded.  The pilot program was authorized in legislation passed in 2023 (HB 1014).  Deeds presented for recording through an e-filing system were NOT included in the pilot because of technical issues with the uploading of IDs.  The various e-recording companies have apparently solved this problem and the Clerk will be expanding the pilot to include e-recorded deeds.  YOU MUST CHECK WITH YOUR E-RECORDING VENDOR TO VERIFY THE DATE THEY WILL BEGIN TO REQUIRE THE PHOTO IDs.  Vendors have different implementation dates but some may begin requiring identification as soon as April 15, 2024.  It is our understanding that Lee County expects compliance by all e-recording vendors by May 31, 2024.

Hernando County Hacked!  Hernando County is currently experiencing an interruption in its computer systems, which affects the Clerk of the Circuit Court and its ability to record documents and provide information from the Official Records Book. In addition, the Springhill Clerk’s office is closed.  During this disruption, Fund Members should hand deliver recordings to the Brooksville office of the Clerk, which is open and accepting documents presented for recording along with payment of applicable recording fees, stamps and taxes.  The Clerk has indicated that once the interruption has been resolved that they will index the documents in the order in which the documents have been received. Receipts are not being issued; however, the Clerk has indicated a willingness to initial a receipt provided by the party recording.  The Clerk has indicated the office will also continue to accept mailed documents along with applicable fees, stamps and taxes during the interruption. Note that during the interruption and the resulting delays in the Clerk’s recording and indexing of the documents, there may be practical problems for the purchaser/lender if there is a need to update title.  Also, note that Closing instructions from lenders sometimes require immediate recordation and confirmation of same.  In this case, Members should, in advance of the closing, discuss the interruption with the lender and obtain from the lender closing instructions altered in light of the delay caused by this interruption.  The gap risk remains insured pursuant to F.S. Sec. 627.7841. Please contact Fund Underwriting with any questions or concerns.  The Fund continues to monitor the situation.

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