NCBP Task Force
From the Editor
LeinsNC Instructional Guide
It has been a long arduous winter for all of us and I am sure that we are all equally ready for spring this year! Nonetheless, NCLTA has been very active over the last few months on a variety of issues that affect our industry.
NCLTA continues to be deeply involved in the CFPB Task Force and is working cooperatively with our friends in the Real Property Section and at RELANC to assure that licensed North Carolina attorneys will continue to have an important role in the closing process. On March 6, Wells Fargo released a memorandum that has given us the first glimmer of how they may implement the oversight of third party service providers, including North Carolina closing attorneys. Wells Fargo does recognize that the ALTA Best Practices are “guidelines for sound business practices” and encourages service providers to be considering now how to enhance their current practices and to fully implement the ALTA Best Practices. This tells us that, at a minimum, Wells Fargo will expect its service providers to be Best Practices compliant. The memo also introduces the idea of a “new” settlement agent performance scorecard which is under development for rollout in 2014. While we do not yet know all of the components of the scorecard, certainly Wells Fargo plans to track metrics for missing or deficient loan closing documents, including original mortgage documents and title policies.
The expectation of the CFPB Task Force is twofold. First, the task force expects that the rest of the mortgage industry will likely track closely the Wells Fargo model and so we expect similar announcements from others in the industry in the coming weeks. Secondly, Wells Fargo has said that once it makes its final announcement with regard to monitoring third party servicers, it will expect compliance very quickly and in as few as 30 days after the announcement. The CFPB task force is hopeful that all third party servicers, attorneys, title agents and others are in the process NOW of implementing Best Practices. More information on the implementation of best practices for North Carolina attorneys is available at http://www.ncclosingattorneybestpractices.org. This website will continue to be one of the best sources for information regarding the implementation of best practices in NC.
Once again we have been over at the General Assembly advocating our positions with regards to mechanics and materialmen’s liens. Over the last two months a legislative study committee has been considering changes to our mechanics lien law suggested by the Court of Appeals in Pete Wall Plumbing Co., Inc. v Sandra Anderson Builders, Inc., 721 S.E.2d 663 (2011). The committee has been considering whether a contractor hired by a leasehold tenant should be able to obtain a lien not only against the interest of the leasehold tenant but also against the fee owner/landlord. Both the North Carolina Association of Realtors and the North Carolina Bankers Association came out strongly against the proposal. NCLTA offered support of their positions. The Study Committee will not recommend to the full legislature that it take any sweeping action to enlarge the rights of tenants’ contractors. The recommendation of the committee is much more limited to address the unusual facts of Pete Wall by addressing the issue only with regard to governmental projects.
NCLTA was also successful in advocating before the MML Study Committee for a change to NCGS 44A-11.2 that will help clarify what is required in the Notice of Lien Agent form. Both LiensNC and many of our members have been receiving unusual submissions which purport to be Notices to the MLA. Some of them do not include all of the necessary information to properly identify the particular transaction. Others include superfluous information including Notices of Subcontract, Claims of Lien upon Funds and even Claims of Lien on Real Property. The proposed revision to GS44A-11.2 clarifies that the filings must be both legible and that they “shall” include certain necessary information. The revision also includes affirmative language indicating that a Notice to Lien Agent does not satisfy the filing requirements for Notices of Subcontract, Liens on Funds or Liens on Real Property. The NCLTA proposal will be included in the recommendation of the Study Committee for consideration by the full General Assembly in the upcoming short session.
Also on the topic of mechanics liens, the NCLTA Forms Committee recently released revised versions of several of its mechanics lien forms. NCLTA Forms 5, 6 and 7 and the standard Commitment Requirement have been revised to address certain concerns that were raised with the forms as they were originally implemented. The committee has also released instructions for the NCLTA Form 5. The new forms, together with redline comparisons to the prior versions (where appropriate) are available on the NCLTA website at www.NCLTA.org/forms.
Imagine thinking that you are a resident of South Carolina…for voting, schools, taxes, real property records, motor vehicle registrations, etc, etc. Imagine then finding out that you are actually a resident of another state! Well, in case you have not heard, the boundary of the State of North Carolina was recently re-surveyed and it was discovered that the actual boundary between North and South Carolina was not where many folks on both sides of the line have though it was over the last 150 years or so! A few years ago the General Assembly convened NC/SC Boundary Line Commission to address a myriad of issues that this discovery creates. NCLTA has undertaken to try and wade through the issues that relate specifically to the title to real property and to assist the Boundary Commission in fulfilling its mandate. Our organization recently sponsored a stakeholder’s meeting at which more than 20 people from a variety of member companies, state agencies, and county governments got together to contemplate a solution. Chris Burti agreed to take the lead on this issue for NCLTA and is already hard at work so please be sure to thank him for his yeoman’s work on this next time you see or speak to him. There will be more to come on this interesting and complex matter in the coming weeks. We have another stakeholder’s meeting scheduled for April 1, 2014 for all interested members! For more information please feel free to contact either me or Chris.
Finally, just a reminder to save the dates for our 2014 Annual Convention which will be held in beautiful and exciting downtown Charleston, SC on 11-13. Charleston is such an excellent location with many great opportunities for dining, entertainment and, yes, shopping! Please plan to attend this year and invite a friend, co-worker or customer to come as well. We hope to have record attendance at this great locale!
If you have ideas or contributions that you would like to offer, please feel free to reach out to me (email@example.com) or to any of the Executive Committee. We will be happy to hear from you.
The American Land Title Association (ALTA) created ALTA’s Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices (Best Practices) to help members highlight policies and procedures the industry exercises to protect lenders and consumers. ALTA’s goal was for lenders to embrace the Best Practices so that real estate settlements could continue to be conducted by local providers. We got our first indication that ALTA is meeting their goal last week when Wells Fargo, in their quarterly newsletter to settlement agents, announced its support of ALTA’s Best Practices and considers them to be guidelines for sound business practices. Wells Fargo also indicated that it supports the consumer’s ability to choose a local provider as long as “that choice is one able to consistently meet all applicable requirements.” The lender encouraged it settlement agents to develop a plan for the adoption of the Best Practices and to create written policies and procedures that can validate that processes are followed. NCLTA has been participating in the North Carolina Best Practices Task Force to help approved-attorneys do just that.
The Task Force was created last year and is comprised of members from NCLTA, the Real Estate Lawyers Association of North Carolina (RELANC), and the North Carolina Bar Association’s Real Property Section along with representatives from Lawyers Mutual and lenders. The mission statement for the Task Force is as follows:
The mission of the NC Closing Attorney Best Practices Task Force is to establish guidelines for best practices to protect and better represent real estate closing clients, promote quality service, provide ongoing employee training, and meet legal and market requirements. These guidelines are voluntary and designed to illustrate the professionalism with which real estate closings and settlements are required to be conducted in North Carolina and to ensure a positive and compliant real estate closing experience.
The Task Force is working to develop templates tailored to the way we do business in North Carolina. The Task Force is also compiling a list of vendors (encryption providers, shredding services, etc.) whose services will be necessary for compliance with the Best Practices and is seeking discounts for approved-attorneys when available. Rest assured NCLTA is informed about the issues and is working as your advocate in this area. More information about the Task Force and its list of resources can be found at ncclosingattorneybestpractices.com.
Paula Wright passed away on March 23rd, 2014. Paula worked for many years for both Chicago Title and Commonwealth Title in the Raleigh area and leaves many friends in our industry. Paula was only 49 and lost her battle with melanoma. Memorial services were held March 29th in her hometown of Swannanoa where she will be laid to rest. Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, Swannanoa, 501 Park Street, Swannanoa, NC 28778 or UNC Lineberger Cancer Center for Melanoma Cancer Research, 450 West Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.
Make your plans now to join us in Charleston, September 10-13, 2014!
MAKING RESERVATIONS BY PHONE
1. Dial 1-800-468-3571 toll free. Specify the NCLTA or North Carolina Land Title Association.
2. State your arrival date and type of accommodations that you require.
3. Have a credit card available to hold the room.
4. Please make your reservations before August 20th as any unused rooms being held for this function will be released at that time.
5. Check-in time is after 4pm and check-out time is 11am.
Convention Details will be posted at http://nclta.org/2014Convention as more information is made available.
Liens NC Instructional Guide
For your reference, you will find an updated current version of the LiensNC Instructional Guide. This booklet is a watered down version of the website and gives users a quick reference for how to create a new account, file an Appointment or Notice, perform a search, and/or generate a Related Filings Report. It also provides some helpful tips and links to additional resources.
From The Editor
Title Action Network (TAN) is looking for new members. TAN is an organized movement interested in protecting our industry’s future by combining efforts in the communication with our legislators and Members of Congress at a time when it is so utterly important. It costs nothing to join and you don’t have to be a member of ALTA.
Link to learn more: www.alta.org/tan/joinConsent.cfm
Membership notes! It is extremely vital that retain and grow our membership. In this ever changing climate we are in, it is so important to stay in the KNOW and be involved. Underwriters please encourage your agents who are not members to join. Real Property Section members do the same of your members .We all need to be committed to our industry.
Send suggested members to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editorials - Please consider sending your comments to be shared with the Department of Insurance in an effort to educate them on how our industry works.
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