Title Now Podcast

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How the New Title Fraud Legislation Impacts You

New legislation to combat title fraud was enacted this year – HB 1419/Chapter 2023-238, Laws of Florida – and there are several provisions that directly affect real estate practitioners. You need to know about this new law!

Length: 32:33
Published: 10/06/2023

Listen In: Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts


Here is a link to the new law, HB 1419.  https://www.thefund.com/information-center/pdf/chapter-23-238-title-fraud.pdf

Here are some points raised by the many questions we received during the webinar:

  • Witness addresses came up a lot.  It is ok to use your office address when an employee acts as a witness.
  • Witness address requirement is effective January 1, 2024 but it is good to change your forms and processes now.
  • Witness address requirement applies to all "instruments by which the title to real property or any interest therein is conveyed, assigned, encumbered, or otherwise disposed of." It is part of the requirements for a document to be "entitled" to recordation.  So it applies to warranty deeds, quit claim deeds, mortgages, easements, etc.
  • Documents executed via RON must also meet this requirement.
  • If the notary acts as a witness (in addition to notarization), their address must be included just like other witnesses.
  • If a witness is concerned about privacy, then you will have to explain that this is required by law and if they refuse, another witness will need to be located.  This is why it is so important to communicate with signers ahead of time so they are aware of the requirements.
  • DoubleTime has made these changes, which are contained in the most recent release.  You need to install this version of DT in order to get the revised forms.
  • We can't avoid fake addresses.  If people are going to lie, they are going to lie.  But this statutory change will facilitate investigations after the fact and will help the industry (and law enforcement) tremendously.
  • No change to the information required from the notary.  Their address is not required.  But that information is available from the applicable state agency that regulates notaries in Florida and other states.