by: Jimmica Cofield
As we enter into the summer months with the COVID 19 vaccine being readily available and the COVID 19 restrictions lifting, we hope that everyone is feeling some sense of normalcy. Looking back at this time in 2020, we were all in such unusual and unexpected times, but I hope we all learned some valuable lessons. I hope we learned to be more flexible and accepting of changes around us that we can’t control. Also, we learned the value of spending times with friends and family, going out to eat a great meal at your favorite local restaurant and taking a deep breath of fresh air without the restrictions of a mask. 2020 is a year that we will never forget but hopefully the lessons that were learned will not be forgotten either.
The last few months have been very busy, and your legislative committee along with industry and bar association groups have been diligently monitoring such pressing legislative items as the Uniform Partition Act (H367), RON (H776), Redaction / shielding of public records( H304), Discriminatory covenants (redaction or notice) (S427), and particularly the Marketable Title Act that proposes to exempt condos under 47A and 47C as well as the planned communities from the Marketable Title Act. NCLTA will continue to have an active role in the review and discussion of these items and any legislative changes that continue to arise.
We are all looking forward to seeing industry friends and colleagues at our upcoming 2021 NCLTA Convention at the Omni Oceanfront Resort in Hilton Head on September 16-18, 2021. Some of the topics included on the agenda will be claims, an economic update and legal descriptions. We are expecting it to be an informative and outstanding weekend so mark your calendars, and get those registrations completed.
President NCLTA 2020-2021
NCLTA 2021 Convention
by: Tracy Steadman
Register Today! The 2021 Convention date is approaching quickly! The Convention will be held September 16-18, 2021 at The Omni Oceanfront Resort in Hilton Head, SC. We have 6.5 hours of CLE planned with topics including ALTA Update, Ethics, NCBA Real Property Update, Legislative Update, Economic Update and Legal Descriptions.
Please visit the Convention Website and register today for this Must Attend event!
Schedule of Events
Thursday, September 16, 2021
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm NCLTA Executive Committee Meeting
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm NCLTA Early Registration and Badge Pick Up
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Welcome Reception
Friday, September 17, 2021
7:30 am - 8:30 am Registration and Breakfast
8:15 am - 8:30 am Announcements and Welcome
8:30 am - 9:30 am Legislative Update – David Ferrell, Nexsen Pruet
This session will explore the 2020-2021 NCLTA legislative activities.
9:30 am - 10:30 am Economic Update – Mark Seaton, First American Title Insurance Company
This session will provide a general overview of the U.S. economy and examine the various drivers of growth at the present stage of the economic cycle.
10:30 am - 10:45 am Break
10:45 am - 11:30 am NCBA Real Property Update – Christina Pearsall, Schell Bray PLLC
This session will update attendees on the activities of the NCBA’s Real Property Section. Topics will include current legislative issues, Section initiatives, and activities of the Section’s various committees.
11:30 am - 12:30 pm ALTA Update – Dan Wold, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company
This session will provide an overview of the Strategic Priorities that ALTA has set forth to advance the industry.
12:30 pm - 1:00 pm NCLTA Annual Business Meeting
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Pre-Banquet Cocktails
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm Annual Banquet and President’s Reception
Saturday, September 18, 2021
8:00 am - 9:00 am Attorney Section Breakfast and General Attendee Breakfast
9:00 am - 9:30 am Welcome from Palmetto Land Title Association
9:30 am - 10:30 am North Carolina Case Law Update – Chris Burti, Statewide Title
This session will provide a review of various cases, relating to real property, which have been decided by North Carolina courts over approximately the last 24 months.
10:30 am - 10:45 am Break
10:45 am - 11:45 am Legal Descriptions – John McLean, BridgeTrust Title Group
This session will be a practical discussion about how to draft legal descriptions and what you should avoid.
11:45 am - 12:45 pm Ethics – David Woods, Moss Woods, PLLC
This session will explore ethics issues faced by Title Industry Professionals.
COMING SOON!! ALTA 2021 POLICY, COMMITMENT AND ENDORSEMENT FORM APPROVALS, REDLINES AND MUCH MORE!!
by: Nancy Short Ferguson, Chicago Title Insurance Company
The long-awaited ALTA policy, commitment and endorsement forms updates are now published on the ALTA website, with adoption date of 7/1/2021. The final versions were published for members on Friday 7/30/2021, comprising the 9 ALTA policy forms, 2 ALTA commitment forms and 31 revised ALTA endorsement forms (mostly for technical and definitional changes) along with the new ALTA 34.1. https://www.alta.org/policy-forms/ Handy charts comparing the 2006 and 2021 owner’s and loan policy forms are also posted. Redline versions are anticipated to be posted on that site in the near future.
So our NCLTA Board, Forms Chair Karl Knight and Executive Director Tracy Steadman are busily working on the submission to the NC Department of Insurance so they will be available for use by our members when ready. What a great membership benefit for us all!
Most of our companies will have some implementation delays, of course, even in North Carolina where approval and adoption are relatively streamlined through NCLTA filing for us. These will take lots of software revisions. Customer education may be the biggest challenge since there are quite a few substantive changes in the covered risks, conditions and exclusions. See our article from the Spring 2021 NCLTA newsletter for more details. Carolina Update Spring 2021
Some pushback from customers on a few of the changes is to be expected as these enter the market. That is always the case with change, of course. But these were heavily negotiated with all stakeholder groups over many years. So hopefully that educational curve will not be as steep as 15 years ago. (Yes, it has been that long!)
But, for now, the actual underwriting training changes for the Schedules A, B-I and B-II may not be as substantial as we might have feared. And all the underwriters are certainly deeply engaged in the transition and implementation process.
In the meantime, the 2006 forms will remain approved by ALTA and filed with the NCDOI to assure that we can use those until each of us are ready to transition. 12/31/22 is the expected date for decertification.
by: David Ferrell
As of August 20, 2021
Budget negotiations between the House and Senate began this week. Senate leader Phil Berger outlined the process on Tuesday, and said budget writers from the two chambers want to reach a tentative compromise before engaging with Governor Cooper. Then they want the Governor to weigh in before the legislature takes a final vote on the spending plan. “This is a little different from the way we’ve done it in the past,” when lawmakers tried to negotiate a deal with Governor Cooper after he vetoed the budget, Berger said. “Hopefully we can give him an idea of what we’re going to agree to and let him voice his thoughts on those things, and see if there’s some accommodation that can be made to address the concerns.” Berger said he is hopeful that the House and Senate can resolve most of their differences by the end of the month. If an agreement can be reached with Governor Cooper in the following weeks, the goal is to have final floor votes on the budget around September 9.
The Senate appointed its conference committee on Tuesday, and the House appointed its conference committee on Wednesday. Senator Berger says one of the key points of contention involves how certain budget items should be funded. He pointed out that the House budget opted to use the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund (“SCIF”) to pay for programs that the Senate budget funded from other sources. Because SCIF projects were not included in the total spending cap that the House and Senate previously agreed to, the House budget ultimately spends a bit more than the Senate wants.
The budget timeline will dictate when this year’s long session will finally wrap up. Senator Berger said that if a compromise budget can be enacted by mid-September, lawmakers would likely adjourn while redistricting committees conduct public hearings on proposed congressional and legislative maps. Then the legislature could vote on redistricting maps in October. But if the budget process drags on longer, there might not be a break before the redistricting session.
The House approved a package of police reforms Wednesday, including a new duty for officers to report excessive force, and new databases that law enforcement agencies would use to track problem officers. The House also amended a provision in Senate Bill 300, Criminal Justice Reform, dealing with how local police agencies handle videos recorded by police officers’ body-worn and dashboard cameras. This bill passed the House 100-2 on Wednesday, and now goes back to the Senate to consider the House changes.
Wednesday, the Senate tentatively approved sports gambling in North Carolina with a narrow 26-21 vote. Senate Bill 688, Sports Wagering, would legalize betting on sports online, via mobile device, and in person at approved facilities in the immediate area of major sporting events. The North Carolina Lottery Commission would handle regulation of the industry. The state would raise money from industry by getting 8% of the proceeds and by charging for no more than 12 state licenses for online sports betting outlets, not counting additional tribal licenses. The money would go to the state’s general fund to support education. Sixteen of the twenty-one “no” votes were from Republicans, while 10 Republicans voted in favor of the bill. The bill now goes to the House for consideration.
A Senate proposal to allow a new type of health insurance plan started moving in the House this week. On Wednesday, the House Insurance Committee approved Senate Bill 228, Allow Employers to Offer EPO Benefit Plans, which would let insurers create “exclusive provider organizations,” or EPOs, which are typically less expensive than other types of insurance plans because patients must use only in-network providers unless there is an emergency. The measure has backing from several business groups, including the North Carolina Chamber and the National Federation of Independent Business. Senator Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson) presented the bill in committee, and reported that 39 other states already allow for EPO plans, and they typically offer rates that are about 15% cheaper than more traditional insurance plans. Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee raised concerns about whether EPO plans would include enough in-network providers to give patients adequate care without driving long distances. The bill was approved by the House Insurance Committee and now goes to the House Health Committee for further consideration.
The House and Senate adjourned on Thursday and will reconvene on Monday, August 23.
BILLS OF INTEREST
House Bill 650, Omnibus DMV Bill, which contains the manufactured housing title and security interest changes requested by NCLTA, was approved this week by the Senate Rules Committee, full Senate, and was returned to the House to consider the Senate changes.
Senate Bill 507, Modify Business Corporation Act, was signed into law by Governor Cooper. Session Law 2021-106.
Prepared By: David P. Ferrell, Esq. - NCLTA Lobbyist
NEXSEN PRUET PLLC
150 Fayetteville Street, Suite 1140
Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
Telephone: (919) 573-7421
Message from the Editor
Thank you for reading the Summer 2021 edition of our newsletter. I hope you find it informative and helpful. I'd like to thank all the NCLTA members who contributed content Please let us know if you have any questions or comments and if there are any specific topics you'd like to see in future editions.
State Sales Manager
First American Title Insurance Company
600 Green Valley Rd, Ste 307
Greensboro, NC 27408
Phone: (704) 215-0905
Fax: (866) 333-7925
Editorial Committee Chair
Tracy Steadman, Executive Director