“Time is of the essence” is a clause in place in many of the real estate contracts in Virginia. It is also a clause that seems to me to be ignored to some degree. After teaching a number of classes on the contract, it is clear to me that real estate agents and their clients … Continue reading Time Is Of The Essence? What Does That Really Mean…
Do you have dormant accounts, or dormant funds in your current accounts? Are you aware that oftentimes these are the funds that are targeted by untrustworthy employees to steal? Escheatment is a tool to assist you in cleaning out those accounts. After funds are held for a specified period, and attempts were made to contact … Continue reading Don’t Fear the Reaper
Everyone in real estate knows that the market is scalding hot in the summer and lukewarm in the winter. This means that settlement agents will find themselves with a bit of free time in the off-season. Instead of wasting that time, put it to good use by completing the following checklist to do the necessary … Continue reading Housekeeping!
By Katherine C. Crawford, Southern Virginia Counsel, First American and By Kris Sleeth, Virginia Agency Counsel, First American Electronic closings are the future. Also known as digital closings or eClosings, the transition from wet settlements to hybrid closings to a completely paperless closing has begun. We are seeing increasing demand from the public to deliver … Continue reading eClosings: An Underwriter’s Perspective
By Donald Tomlinson, Director/Editor, Examiner Monthly It seems like I get the same question in almost every closing: “When are we going to be able to sign these documents electronically?” As someone who is employed doing the very thing they are advocating eliminating, it takes a great deal of effort to not wince when I … Continue reading e-Changes and other practical closing matters
Introduction Non-attorney settlement agents are governed at the state level by the Virginia Code, the Virginia State Corporation Commission Bureau of Insurance, and the Virginia State Bar RESA guidelines, legal ethics opinions, and unauthorized practice of law opinions. The rules and regulations are not necessarily complex, but may be open to interpretation. The Seller’s Side … Continue reading Virginia Settlement Services – A Practical Review
Once a year you get notified that the agency’s RESA audit is due to be conducted. What will the auditor be looking for? According the Virginia Code § 55-525.24(A): All funds deposited with the settlement agent in connection with an escrow, settlement, or closing shall be handled in a fiduciary capacity… What does fiduciary capacity … Continue reading How to have a successful Real Estate Settlement Agent Audit
By Skip Sacks, Virginia State Counsel Stewart Title Guaranty Company Our story begins in the spring of 2011. I was reviewing Stewart Title Guaranty Company’s Virginia claims totals for 2010 and it was clear that the recession was causing a huge increase in claims volume and losses. My colleagues at competing underwriters confirmed that they … Continue reading Claims, ALTA Risk Codes and Lessons from the Great Recession