Fund News and Alerts


Addressing Specific Title Objections Relating to Surveys and Tenants

Addressing Specific Title Objections Relating to Surveys and Tenants

Fund Members must address title objections from lenders, buyers, and even sellers. These parties have different stakes in the transaction, and their title objections will be reflective of their various interests. Contract provisions are also likely to dictate what is or is not objectionable, who may object, when objections and responses must be made, and by which party. When faced with title objections, discerning what can be modified or deleted is both science and art. This article focuses on two of the most common specific title objections, survey matters and tenants in possession, and offers step by step guidance for analyzing the merits of the objections and determining potential resolutions. Read the article 05/01/2022


Sole Member Limited Liability Companies and the LLC Charging Order

Sole Member Limited Liability Companies and the LLC Charging Order

The Fund’s title insurance commitment requirement to confirm the authority of the individual designated to bind an LLC includes the requirement to determine if the LLC is a sole member LLC:

Confirm the authority of the individual designated to bind the LLC by the laws of its jurisdiction of formation, and where the authority is not confirmed by public records, record appropriate evidence of authority. If the LLC is a sole member LLC, provide the name of the sole member for review. The Company reserves the right to make further requirements. (emphasis added).

The purpose of the requirement to disclose whether the LLC is a sole member LLC is to determine if the LLC may be exposed to judgment creditors of the sole member due to the statutory distinction between multi-member and sole member LLCs in the application of charging orders as provided by Sec. 605.0503, F.S. Read the article

04/01/2022


2021 Sightings of Florida’s Legal Chameleon

2021 Sightings of Florida’s Legal Chameleon

This article provides a brief overview of the homestead provisions of the Florida Constitution and a discussion of the relevant case law from 2021.

Homestead Provisions of the Florida Constitution

The Florida Constitution contains three provisions that apply to homestead property. The first, under Art. VII, Sec. 6, Fla. Const. 1968, provides owners of homestead property with tax exemptions related to valuation for ad valorem taxes. The second, under Art. X, Sec. 4(a), Fla. Const. 1968, provides owners of homestead property with protection against forced sale by creditors unless the debt is for taxes or other obligations contracted to purchase or improve the property. The third provision, under Art. X, Sec. 4(c), Fla. Const. 1968, restricts alienation and devise of homestead property.

Historically, courts have liberally construed the homestead exemption from forced sale for the benefit of the person claiming homestead. On the other hand, courts have strictly construed the homestead tax exemption. Accordingly, Fund Members should keep the differing standards of review in mind when analyzing matters related to Constitutional homestead provisions. Read the article

 

03/01/2022


Hello from Fund CEO & President Jeff Rogero

Hello from Fund CEO & President Jeff Rogero

Hello Fund Members,

I wanted to introduce myself to you as the new CEO & President of The Fund. It is an honor to take on the mantle of leadership of great people like Chuck Kovaleski, Jimmy Jones, and Gwen Geier who ensured The Fund always stayed true to our Mission.

02/17/2022


FinCEN Compliance: E-Filing Currency Transaction Reports

FinCEN Compliance: E-Filing Currency Transaction Reports

Since 2016, Fund Members have been responsible for collecting information to comply with Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) issued by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a division of the U.S. Department of Treasury. Twelve GTOs have been delivered to Old Republic National Title Insurance Company and other title insurance underwriters covering time periods of, at most, 180 days, the maximum allowed by regulation. Read the article

02/01/2022


Miscellaneous Fees on the Settlement Statement

Miscellaneous Fees on the Settlement Statement

During the course of routine audits performed on every Fund Member, Fund auditors examine a representative sample of closing files and their settlement statements. The auditors often encounter, and call the Fund Member’s attention to, fees prohibited by law in Florida or by the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). This article will review and explain why these fees are problematic. Read the article. 01/01/2022


Five Common Underwriting Questions

Five Common Underwriting Questions

Fund underwriting attorneys respond to thousands of calls and emails every year. The following five questions are among the most common questions received during the past year.
 

  1. Why does the commitment call for a trustee of a trust to convey as trustee and individually?
  2. May I use this power of attorney for my closing?
  3. What do I do when the owner tells me that a mortgage shown as a requirement to be satisfied on the commitment has been paid off?
  4. Can I use a prior policy to waive commitment requirements?
  5. Is the policy endorsement that the lender is requesting available in Florida?

Read the article

12/01/2021


Good Things to Know About Florida’s New Uniform Partition of Heirs ...

Good Things to Know About Florida’s New Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act

“Heirs Property” refers to land passed down to family members through the laws of intestacy and held by descendants as tenants in common. For many years, heirs property owners have lost their property involuntarily through partition actions in which a cotenant in common seeks a forced partition sale of the property. Such partition sales often negatively impact low to moderate income owners or other disadvantaged groups who do not have ready access to affordable legal representation. Read the article.

11/01/2021


Who is Responsible for Construction Liens for Tenant Improvements?

Who is Responsible for Construction Liens for Tenant Improvements?

Under Florida law, licensed contractors and other professionals who supply labor, services, or materials to improve real property are entitled to a lien against the property they improve. Generally, an owner understands that if they engage a contractor to improve their property, it could be subject to a lien if they fail to pay. This concept is not as straightforward when the owner leases the land to another who intends to construct improvements upon it. Is there potential for the tenant’s construction liens to attach to the real property? The answer is maybe. 

Read the article

10/01/2021


2021 Legislature Amends Florida’s Community Association Laws

2021 Legislature Amends Florida’s Community Association Laws

Florida’s 2021 legislative session concluded on Apr. 30. Consistent with what the Legislature has done over a number of years, bills passed by both houses include some that make various alterations to existing laws governing community associations under Chs. 718, 719, and 720, F.S., as well as other statutes that tangentially relate to community associations. All bills described in this article have already been approved by Governor DeSantis and are now law. The article highlights new laws of potential interest to Fund Members. 
Read the article. 09/01/2021

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