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COVID 2019 Industry News

Benchmark Title Agency LLC > COVID 2019 Industry News

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The Time for Remote Co-op Closings Has Arrived

Benchmark Title Agency, LLC has been at the forefront of remote closings since the pandemic began. With the increase in market activity, it is worth revisiting this important topic. The article was written by clients of Benchmark and does an excellent job of advocating and explaining why remote closings (especially today and for co-ops) are vital to the real estate industry. Reprinted with permission from N.Y. Real Property Law Journal.   Thomas DeCaro, President Jean Partridge, Chief Counsel & Managing Member   Download Article...

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Access to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection’s (“DEP”) information system is no longer available

Dear Valued Client, The title insurance industry was just advised by the NYC Department of Finance that, effective May 22, 2020, access to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection’s (“DEP”) information system is no longer available, and that information support will only be granted via an alternative (and inferior) information system. While the title industry leadership and the New York State Land Title Association work on re-establishing the complete and unfettered access it previously relied upon, for the time being, the only available information is: Account numbers Account balances We are no longer able to provide: Account status (active/inactive) Billing history Payment history Estimated charges (based on previous periods) Recent/Previous...

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Thank you to our brave healthcare workers!

During these long days of battling against the coronavirus, our healthcare professionals are facing long hours, and unprecedented challenges. To help keep our community strong and show our gratitude to our first responders throughout this crisis, we send pizzas to the frontline staff at White Plains Hospital every Friday. “It’s our small way of taking care of those that are taking care of us,” says Jean Partridge, Co-Founder and Managing Member of Benchmark Title Agency, LLC....

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The Executive Order permitting Audio Visual Notarization has been extended until June 6th

Original Post from: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20228-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 202.28Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency WHEREAS, on March 7, 2020, I issued Executive Order Number 202, declaring a State disaster emergency for the entire State of New York; and WHEREAS, both travel-related cases and community contact transmission of COVID-19 have been documented in New York State and are expected to be continue; NOW, THEREFORE, I, Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 29-a of Article 2-B of the Executive Law, do hereby continue the suspensions...

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Benchmark Operational Update (May 05, 2020)

Dear Clients, Six weeks ago we updated you on Benchmark’s unique ability to seamlessly continue business as usual while our staff worked remotely. It remains business as usual at Benchmark, and while most of our staff will continue to work remotely, some are now returning to our office at 222 Bloomingdale Road. Our attorneys and staff are still processing new orders, clearing files, and facilitating closings. And although the majority of closings are presently escrow style or “remote”, we are still conducting traditional sit-down closings, although with some modifications for your health and well-being (including the required use of masks and gloves!)....

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Forbes: How To Close A Home Purchase In 2020

For all the encroachment of digitalization by the likes of Zillow and Quicken Loans, the business of selling real property has remained a resolutely hands-on, face-to-face field. Until now, when COVID-19 has shoved a stick in the spokes of practically every aspect of a real estate transaction—from showing property, to inspections, appraisals and mortgage loan approvals. Perhaps no part of the process has been affected more than closings. Traditionally, in most cases, a real estate closing has involved the buyer, seller, agents, closing officer and an attorney or two gathering in a title company closing room. After inspecting and hand-signing stacks...

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Navigating The New Title Closing Process

As a result of social distancing and related measures, the title closing process has changed. During a traditional in-person closing, the familiar notary process results in “wet” signatures of both the signer and notary. Due to current circumstances, there are now additional notarization methods that may be able to be utilized; such methods are known as Remote Online Notarization (“RON”) and Remote Ink-Signed Notarization (“RIN”) We have prepared a chart for your comparison of the varying types of notarization processes. Download Notarization Process Chart   Since RON is not permitted in New York, the below information is specific to the RIN method: Pursuant to Executive...

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Executive Order No. 202.7: Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency

Effective immediately and through April 18, 2020, by Executive Order, notaries can notarize documents via audio/video means. You may read the entire text of the Executive Order via the link below, but the salient points are: Any notarial act that is required under New York State law is authorized to be performed utilizing audio-video technology provided that the following conditions are met: The person seeking the Notary's services, if not personally known to the Notary, must present valid photo ID to the Notary during the video conference, not merely transmit it prior to or after; The video conference must allow for direct interaction...

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