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On April 28, the Pennsylvania Department of State issued revised guidance for real estate professionals, appraisers, notaries, title companies, and home inspectors in light of the Covid-19-related closures of non-essential businesses. The revised guidance limits in-person residential real estate activities to transactions related to existing homes under contract prior to March 18, 2020, new construction homes under a contract calling for closing or delivery on or after March 18, 2020, where a buyer can demonstrate that they had entered into an agreement for sale of their prior residence prior to March 18, 2020 or where a property subject to sale, home equity loan or home equity refinancing is located in certain regions of Pennsylvania.
On April 23, the Massachusetts legislature passed, and the governor signed, S. 2645, which authorizes virtual notarization. Specifically, S. 2645 allows a notary public to perform a notarial act utilizing electronic video conferencing in real time, and meets standards specified in the act for electronic notarizations.
On April 20, Pennsylvania enacted legislation allowing for remote or virtual notarization for the duration of the Covid-19 emergency and for 60 days thereafter. The statute details the requirements for such notarizations, including that the notary must create and retain an audio-visual recording of the notarial act.
On April 14, New Jersey passed legislation permitting remote notarization using communication technology for the duration of the public health emergency and state of emergency, provided certain requirements stipulated in the legislation are met.
On April 13, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department issued Notice #2020-10 addressing obligations of domestic insurance companies during the Covid-19 pandemic. The notice details (i) extensions of 30 or 60 days for various regulatory filing deadlines; (ii) waivers of the hard copy, original signature, notarization and other in-person related filing requirements; and (iii) adjustments for remote examinations.
The Washington Department of Financial Institutions, Division of Credit Unions issued two FAQs addressing Covid-19 related issues. In the first, the division clarified that a safety deposit box is considered an essential function, and that credit unions should make every effort to allow members continued access. In the second FAQ, the division explained that the governor of Washington authorized electronic notarial acts, and that credit unions may provide remote notarial services.
On April 10, Missouri’s secretary of state announced three approved electronic notary service providers, noting that additional vendors are expected to be approved at a later time. The announcement came in light of the state’s shift to remote practices in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
On April 10, Maryland’s secretary of state provided updated guidance regarding the waived in-person notarization requirement as part of the state’s Covid-19 response. The guidance provides requirements for performing remote notarizations, lists remote notary vendors, and provides a brief set of FAQ pertaining to remote notary practices in general. The temporary waiver of the in-person notarization requirement was ordered by Governor Hogan on March 30, and is set to expire when the declared state of emergency lifts.
On April 9, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issued an executive order temporarily allowing remote online notarization as long as it meets certain conditions and follows the regulations outlined by the secretary of state and noted in the executive order. The order remains in effect until May 1, or until the statewide state of emergency expires.
The Iowa Division of Credit Unions published a comprehensive resource containing information on Covid-19 regulatory updates. The document covers a range of regulatory changes applicable to credit unions, including: (i) the SBA-Paycheck Protection Program; (ii) Annual Meeting requirements; (iii) foreclosure moratoriums; (iv) remote notarizations; (v) member assistance; (vi) fraud awareness; (vii) moneys and credits tax filing deadline extensions (viii) loan deferments; and (ix) limitations of services/branch closures.
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss “Be Your Compliance Best in 2022” at the California Mortgage Bankers Association webinar
- Lauren R. Randell to discuss “Significant legal developments in the Northeast” at the 37th Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss “Small business & regulation: How fair lending has evolved & where it is heading?” at the Consumer Bankers Association Live program
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss “Regulators always ring twice: Responding to a government request” at ALM Legalweek
- Jonice Gray Tucker and Kari Hall to discuss “Equity, equality, regulation and enforcement – The evolving regulatory landscape of fair lending, redlining, and UDAAP” at the ABA Business Law Committee Hybrid Spring Meeting