A Message From Our CTIC & CLTIC GA Operations
We at CTIC & CLTIC continue to closely monitor the latest developments regarding COVID-19. We realize that you are relying upon our ability to continue to provide guidance during these uncertain times.
As announced late yesterday, the Mayor for the City of Atlanta issued an executive order that directs all individuals living in Atlanta to stay at their places of residences as of Midnight today with the exception of those individuals that provide essential services or work for organizations that provide essential services.
Law Firms, Title Agencies and its employees PROVIDE ESSENTIAL SERVICES and are EXEMPT from the order. Here is Link to a notice that was drafted by CTIC and CLTIC General Counsel that can be used by our Title Agents and Law Firms to provide to Lenders, Realtors and other Customers. Please personalize the notice as appropriate.
We are committed to staying connected with you as we all navigate these unprecedented times. If you should have a question please contact us. Below is the most recent communication from ALTA.
Title and Settlement Considered ‘Essential’ Under Shelter-in-place Orders
March 23, 2020
Several states across the country have already issued stay-at-home orders amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic affecting nearly one in three people. The executive orders only permit “essential businesses” to remain open and follow guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
According to the guidance, businesses in the title and settlement industry are considered “essential.” These functions fall under the financial services sector. These workers are defined as those who are “needed to process and maintain systems for processing financial transactions and services (e.g., payment, clearing, and settlement; wholesale funding; insurance services; and capital markets activities.”
United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin also issued a memo on March 22 that reinforces the fact that settlement and insurance services are considered "essential."
Also, county recorders could be considered critical. Two categories that are deemed essential government operations are:
- workers that maintain digital systems infrastructure supporting other critical government operations
workers at operations centers necessary to maintain other essential functions
According to data collected from the industry, at least 243 jurisdictions are closed out of 3,210 being tracked. ALTA and several state land title associations are encouraging state governments to keep county recorders, registers of deeds and auditors to remain open in order to facilitate the conveyance of property or the refinance of mortgages. The Ohio Land Title Association and Ohio Association of Realtors co-signed an open letter to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine requesting an executive order be issued requiring county recorders and auditors “maintain minimal hours of operation for official filings and requests, processing of recorded information and providing accurate records of the counties’ official records.”
Meanwhile, the California Land Title Association, California Escrow Association, California Bankers Association, California Association of Realtors and California Mortgage Bankers Association co-signed an open letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Concerned that interruptions to certain government services could have severe economic ramifications, the associations requested that the work of the county registrar and recorders “be declared an essential service which should remain open, with steps taken in order to minimize any risk to workers.”
Additionally, the Wisconsin Land Title Association (WLTA) sent a letter to the Wisconsin Registers of Deeds noting that online searching capabilities are limited in approximately 58 Wisconsin counties. Because of this, the WLTA asked for physical access to land records in those local Register of Deeds offices so title agents can appropriately provide title insurance. The WLTA asked that the Register of Deeds offices be open to title companies “on a reasonable basis,” such as by appointment while imposing time and sanitary limitations.
Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is a list of resources and helpful links from the American Land Title Association (ALTA), National Notary Association (NNA) and the FNF Family of Companies:
Useful Governmental Resources:
WireSafe - Continue To Be Vigilant:
Signing Notice Forms: