Remote Notarization in New York in the Age of COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 virus, lawmakers across the country are scrambling to pass a number of measures to blunt the ill effects of the pandemic to allow for real estate and loan closings.  Specifically, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken steps to enable “remote notarizations” in an effort to maintain social distancing practices.

New Jersey’s Governor Murphy Issues Executive Order Halting Residential Evictions and Foreclosures

On March 19, 2020 and in response to COVID-19 concerns, Governor Murphy signed Assembly Bill No. 3859 into law and immediately issued an executive order prohibiting the removal of anyone from a residential property as a result of an eviction or foreclosure proceeding.  Under A3859, whenever there is a Public Health Emergency, “the Governor may issue an executive order to declare that a lessee, tenant, homeowner or any other person shall not be removed from a residential property as the result of an eviction or foreclosure proceeding.” 

Florida Appellate Court Holds FDIC’s State Court Case Was Barred by Statute of Limitations, Even Though FDIC Filed in Federal Court Before the Limitations Period Expired

In a split decision, the District Court of Appeal of Florida recently held that the FDIC was barred from bringing a state court action due to the statute of limitations having expired, despite the fact that the FDIC initially timely filed in federal court, but the federal court dismissed the action at defendant’s urging due to the FDIC’s failure to abide by a venue provision.  See Fed. Deposit Ins. Corp. v. Nationwide Equities Corp., 2020 WL 912944 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Feb. 26, 2020). 

Nevada Federal Court Holds Exclusion 3(d) of Title Insurance Policy Bars Coverage for HOA Lien

The United States District Court for the District of Nevada recently held that an insured lender was not covered under a title insurance policy for an HOA lien because the lien was recorded after the policy date, regardless of when the HOA recorded its Declarations of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions.  See HSBC Bank USA, N.A. as Tr. for Registered Holders of Nomura Home Equity Loan, Inc., Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2006-HE2 v. Fid. Nat’l Title Ins. Co., 2020 WL 886940 (D. Nev. Feb. 20, 2020). 

Indiana Supreme Court Holds Statute of Limitations for Foreclosure Should Not Be Shortened Under “Rule of Reasonableness”

The Indiana Supreme Court recently reversed prior appellate decisions and held that there is no “rule of reasonableness” imposed on actions regarding closed installment contracts, such as promissory notes and mortgages, and that the limitations period is six years and begins running either at a missed payment, acceleration, or the note’s maturity date.  See Blair v. EMC Mortg., LLC, 2020 WL 762592 (Ind. Feb. 17, 2020). 

Maryland Court of Appeals Holds Confession of Judgment Executed in Connection with Past-Due HOA Fees Was Unenforceable

In a split decision, the Court of Appeals of Maryland recently held that the plaintiff homeowners’ association (the “HOA”) could not enforce a confession of judgment executed by a homeowner relating to her past-due HOA fees, finding that it violated Maryland consumer law and mandated the dismissal of plaintiff’s action.  See Goshen Run Homeowners Ass’n, Inc. v. Cisneros, No. 3, 2020 WL 415404 (Md. Jan. 27, 2020).  In the case, defendant purchased a home in plaintiff’s development.  

New York Federal Court Holds Title Agent Entitled to Professional Liability Coverage Despite Pre-Policy Subpoena

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York recently granted a title agent’s motion for summary judgment regarding a professional liability insurer’s duty to defend the agent, despite the fact that the agent was served with a subpoena before the liability insurer issued the policy.  See Protective Specialty Ins. Co. v. Castle Title Ins. Agency, Inc., 2020 WL 550700 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 3, 2020).