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Coronavirus Emergency Updates

Read all of the latest updates on the coronavirus emergency and its impacts on the title industry here.

Land Record Operating Status Document. If any Land Records office announces itself as closed, please notify us at [email protected] and we will work with our colleagues at the Maryland Insurance Administration (with a direct pipeline to the courts and the Governor) to get the situation resolved.

Click here to read more about RON, Loan Programs and other information to keep your business running on MLTA's "Business Tools" page.

May 1 - CFPB relaxes TRID rule in the wake of COVID 19. the bureau issued an interpretive rule clarifying that consumers can exercise their rights to modify or waive certain required waiting periods under the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID) and Regulation Z rescission rules. Click here to read more.

April 30 - PSI in concert with the Maryland Insurance Administration will open six (6) testing facilities in Maryland on May 1st. Click here to read the full release and the testing locations.

April 16 - Fannie Mae issues additional guidance (job aid) on RON. Click here to read the update.

April 13 - Secretary of State issues updated guidance on remote online notarizations. Click here to read the updated guidance. The guidance provides additional platforms you may consider and updates the platforms which cannot be used, including Zoom.

April 8 - The GSEs are releasing additional information on their recently updated guidance. Click here for Fannie's Q & As. Click here for Freddie's FAQs.

April 7 - PSI, the firm that administers the Maryland Title Insurance Producer License exam, has extended the closure of all of its testing centers until April 30. Visit the MLTA Pre-Licensing page for more information.

April 3 - Governor Hogan issues an Executive Order to temporarily prohibit initiation of foreclosures and allow a 90 day period of forbearance and deferral on mortgages. During this period, no late fees will be charged and no negative reports will be sent to credit bureaus. Click here to read the order.  

March 31 - In-Person Closings May Still Occur. MLTA has confirmed with the Governor’s office that residential and commercial real estate closings may still occur. The Executive Order 20-03-30-01 (Stay at Home Order) does not list all essential activities. That said, persons leaving their homes to go to and from an Essential Business is permissible under the Order. Section II.b.i. defines Essential Activities as “obtaining necessary supplies or services for one's self or household.” The settlement of real estate is an essential activity for one's self or household and is a permissible reason to leave one's home or residence.  That said, where possible, alternate means such as remote notarization, or remote closing should be practiced.

March 31 - Updated guidance from Freddie and Fannie on RON and LPOA. Here is Freddie's guidance (information is about halfway through the page) and here is Fannie's guidance (pages 3-6).

March 30 - In accordance with the Governor's order and the Secretary of State's guidance, you will have to complete a "Remote Notary Notification" form and submit it to the Secretary of State. Click here to access the form in Word format or click here for the PDF version. 

March 30 - Effective March 30th, Governor Hogan ordered the in-person requirement for notarizing documents in Maryland is temporarily waived for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, subject to guidance provided by Secretary of State John C. Wobensmith. Click here to read the Governor's Executive Order on RON and click here to read the guidance letter. 

March 30 - Governor Hogan issues a "stay at home" order for all Marylanders going into effect at 8:00 pm tonight. Click here to read the Governor's order. A clarification to this order from the Governor, residents may travel between jurisdictions in the national capital area but under the same guidelines as travel within the state (only for those situations deemed essential).

March 30 - The Maryland Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT) has extended the submission deadline for the Annual Report from Title Insurers and Title Producers from March 31 to May 31. To learn more, click here to read the memo from MAHT.

March 28 - U.S. Department of Homeland Security issues an updated advisory on critical infrastructure workers. Click here to read the most current version of the Guidance.

March 27 - For those of you who do business in Washington, DC: Ida Williams, the DC Recorder of Deeds, reminds you that DC is not currently processing or recording any documents submitted by mail. The physical office is closed and the re-open date is currently unknown. Please make use of e-recording, as that is the only currently available means for recording documents. If you haven't signed up for it, do so now. To sign up for e-recording with the DC Recorder of Deeds, click here.

March 26 - All title producer licensees with license expiration dates of March 31, 2020 who have NOT renewed their license yet will be assigned an extended expiration date of June 30, 2020.

March 25 - MLTA has worked with the St. Mary's County Commissioners to reopen the County Treasurer's Office for in-person deed stamping. However, you must request an appointment (20 minute block of time) either by calling the Treasurer's office at 301-475-4200 or visiting their website by clicking here.

March 23 - Governor Hogan orders all non-essential businesses to close at 5:00 pm indefinitely. Under this order, we (ALTA, MLTA) believe title and settlement companies are considered essential and can stay open for business. The directive states: "Workers 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)." Click here for the directive and the list of industries deemed essential. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Treasury has issued a memorandum on the "Essential Workers for the Financial Services Sector." To read more, click here for the full memorandum. Click on these links for a copy of the Governor's Executive Order and Interpretive Guidance.

March 20 - MLTA along with four other statewide associations who work with real property sent a letter to Governor Hogan asking him to recognize our business functions as essential during the coronavirus emergency. To read the content of the letter, click here.

March 18 - The latest administrative order from the Courts declares during the pendency of the emergency, the Clerks of the Circuit Courts shall promptly process all properly filed instruments that are required to be recorded in the Land Records offices. Click here to read the full administrative order.

 

March 17 -MLTA staff and members help reverse the decision to close the Montgomery County Land Records office.

March 12 - According to the Governor's Executive Order issued today, all licenses issued by the state, its agencies or other authorized body that would expire during the current state of emergency will be extended until at least the 30th day after the state of emergency is lifted. To learn more as the Maryland Insurance Administration is working through the process, please contact MIA directly at [email protected] or by phone at 410-468-2411.