TitleBytes News & Happenings

2021 Fall Education Seminar Re-Cap!

Dec 10, 2021

By: Cindy Immonen, NTP, CLTP, VP, Account Manager of FNF

Our Education Committee planned an amazing return of our Fall Education Seminar… yep virtual, and it was valuable education! We hope you were able to dial in to listen and watch. We hosted four topics all us Title Geeks would find interesting with Association updates too.

Our first topic was Railroads & Title Insurance! By Bob Wuerfel, CLTP, President, Lighthouse Title Group and C. Lynn Sager, MI State Underwriting Counsel, First American Title Insurance. They both covered the historical significance of railroads in Michigan, to be able to recognize various title issues relating to railroads in a chain of title and provided various railroad related resources. Michigan played a big role in the railroad history. In 1833, the first railroad tracks west of Schenectady, New York were laid in here in Michigan by the Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad between Adrian and Toledo. Michigan is home to the oldest active original wooden train trestle east of the Mississippi River – Located in Hamilton, MI. It was constructed in 1916! Their presentation was very educational and informative for our members.

Our second topic was the New ALTA 2021 Commitment and Policy Forms! By G. Leigh Curry, VP, Regional Underwriting Counsel, Midwest, Doma (NATIC). As always, the forms have been developed by the ALTA Forms Committee and approved by the ALTA Board. In May this year ALTA approved the updates of our 2016 Commitment, 2006 Owners Policy, 2006 Loan Policy, 2013 Homeowner’s Policy, all of the Short Form Loan Policies, and many many Endorsements. With Michigan being a ‘Form Filed State’, our Underwriters have filed these forms and are awaiting approval of use. You will have time for this change as the current ALTA forms won’t be decertified until December 31, 2022. Why a change with all of these forms… Changes in the law through legislation, litigation, and regulation; Partner industry recommendations and concerns; Title Industry recommendations; and Advances in technology. Leigh provided in detail the changes to our Policy Jackets, the Schedule A & B for the Owners and Loan. He reviewed our changes to the ALTA Commitment and some of the Endorsements.

Our third topic was Water & Title Insurance! By Maura A. Snabes, ESQ., CES, CLTP, NTP, SVP, Corporate Counsel and Jerome Jelinek, ESQ., CEO and General Counsel of CSS (Corporate Settlement Solutions). Michigan water laws can be scary for us in the Title World! They both reviewed Ownership of Bottomlands; Riparian Rights; Division of Bottomlands; Use of Water Surface; Boundary of the Great Lakes; and Commitment Exceptions. They explained these items with their drawing of Land and Water – lakes, rivers, and streams. Their material covered many scenarios with ‘Blackacre’.
Our fourth topic was regarding Escrow Agreements! By Gregg A. Nathanson, ESQ., Couzens, Lansky Fealk, Ellis, Roeder & Lazar, P.C.; Lavinia Biasell, ESQ., Transnation Title Agency; Liz Halabu-Casselman, ESQ., Birmingham Title & American Title Agency of Lenawee; and assisted by Caitlin McCourt Leszczynski, ESQ., Legacy Title Agency. Our very knowledgeable panel reviewed ‘What is an Escrow Agreement’ and ‘What Should an Escrow Agreement Cover?’. They then took a deeper dive into dispute resolution with the Agreement and pitfalls with an Agreement. The Panel stressed – having all your ‘i’s’ dotted and ‘t’s’ crossed at the beginning of holding an Escrow (be it money or documents) can save a ton of grief when an issue arises.

The Education Committee planned time for many updates from four of our MLTA Committees:
• Legislative Committee Update with Matt Sowash of MI Legislative Consultants & John Bommarito, ESQ. ATA National Title Group – Lansing Legislative update.
• Legislative Committee Update with Lavinia Biasell, ESQ., Transnation Title Agency – additional Mobile Home updates.
• Professional Designation Committee — Maura A. Snabes, ESQ., CES, CLTP, NTP, SVP, Corporate Counsel, CSS (Corporate Settlement Solutions) — MLTA Designation Update and Announced our newest Designee’s.
• Sponsorship Committee – Wes Parkinson, MI Agency State Manager, Westcor Land Title Insurance – updates for MLTA Sponsorships.

We have posted the presentations and speakers handouts at the MLTA website under Events, then click on ‘Past’.

The Education Committee thanks our many sponsors for our virtual 2021 Fall Education Seminar! We are also so appreciative of our wonderful presenters for contributing their time and knowledge to helping our members grow in the industry!

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