ALTA Advocacy Update
SECURE Notarization Act Introduced in the House
Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) and Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) introduced H.R. 3962, the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act of 2021. The House bill is identical to the Senate version introduced prior to ALTA Advocacy Summit. You can read the ALTA press release here.
While there are some stylistic changes from last Congress, the bill still does three main things:
- Permits immediate nationwide use of RON.
- Sets minimum consumer protections.
- Provides certainty for RON’s interstate recognition.
The legislation would complement existing state laws while providing states the flexibility and freedom to implement their own RON standards.
Expanding Real Estate GTOs Discussed in Subcommittee Hearing
The House Financial Services National Security Subcommittee held a hearing on evasion of financial sanctions. During the hearing, a witness raised the topic of expanding the current FinCEN (real estate) Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs).
The hearing was titled “Schemes and Subversion: How Bad Actors and Foreign Governments Undermine and Evade Sanctions Regimes.” It featured witnesses from several good government and transparency groups.
During the hearing, participants discussed the limited metropolitan list covered by GTO and the fact that commercial real estate is not covered and thus falls short in regulating evasion.
Also discussed was how to address commercial real estate most effectively and if the title insurance agent is the most relevant gatekeeper to conduct the due diligence to know who is behind the transaction.
Judicial Security and Privacy Act
There has not been any activity on the Judicial Security and Privacy Act introduced in the last session in the House and Senate. While there is a need to shield protected classes with recognized privacy concerns, that need must be addressed in a way that does not impede normal business activities. ALTA continues to monitor this issue.
Locally, the New York Consolidated Laws, Executive Law – EXC § 108 Address confidentiality program is a “Safe at Home” law designed to protect domestic violence, abuse and crime victims.
ALTA Advocacy Summit
Several New York agents and underwriter staff participated in the Virtual ALTA Advocacy Summit in May. They met with various legislators that represent New York. The main talking points were:
- to seek support of the SECURE Notarization Act;
- keep section 1031 of the tax code that permits like-kind exchanges in place to accelerate our economic recovery from the pandemic by preventing real properties from languishing, underutilized and underinvested;
- GSE reform from which the title insurance and real estate settlement industry benefits from the uniformity and standardization provided by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
ALTA is tracking 1,347 State bills related to the title industry, including bills related to RIN, RON and IPEN, and efforts to pass comprehensive data privacy laws.
One hundred seventy-eight industry-related bills are circulating in New York. You can view the list HERE (link to the PDF attachment provided).
And lastly, join the Title Action Network (TAN). TAN membership is FREE, and it only takes two minutes to sign up by clicking here. As a TAN member, you will receive action alerts for relevant state and federal issues. TAN is strategically designed to ensure that you are only notified about issues that will affect you, your business, and your customers.
Marianne Mathieu, NTP
FNF Family of Companies