Misguided Attacks On Title Insurance Could Have Grave Consequences

In the last couple of years Fannie Mae
FNMA
and its government overseer, the Federal Housing Finance Agency have taken aim at the title insurance industry – an often overlooked but important part of the housing finance infrastructure that protects homeowners from possible issues regarding the provenance of the title of any home they are attempting to purchase.

For instance, Fannie Mae’s recently-scrapped title waiver pilot program – which would have resulted in the GSE taking on an altogether new role in the primary market with which it has no experience nor authority – and recent expanded acceptance of unregulated attorney opinion letters in lieu of title insurance on certain loans are evidence of the reality that government regulators have gaping misconceptions about what title insurance entails and the risks involved with alternatives.

These attempts to sidestep title insurance is a mistake, and any ostensible cost savings would likely be outweighed by the lack of coverage and uncertainty these efforts would create in the real estate market.

Title insurance is fundamentally different from property and casualty insurance or other insurance products, where most of the upfront cost is marketing. Title companies incur significant upfront expenses related to conducting public records searches and rectifying any problems found before the buyer closes on the home. For a one-time fee that typically costs the borrower approximately 0.5% of the home’s purchase price, less than most all other fees involved in the mortgage process over the life of a loan, title insurance companies ensure clear property ownership rights for home buyers and provide comprehensive coverage if a problem arises.

Title insurance rates are regulated at the state level, and due to significant fixed costs to produce a title policy, the industry’s profit margins are much lower than other lines of insurance. The National

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Financial services lawyer questions focus on property funds in MIS review

In his response to the government’s announced review of the regulatory framework for managed investment schemes, partner at Hall & Wilcox specialising in financial services and funds management, Vince Battaglia, has raised concerns about whether certain types of registered schemes should be subject to specific regulations or higher standards of regulation than others. He also questioned whether the review is placing too much emphasis on property funds.

Namely last week, Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones said the MIS review will examine whether the regulatory framework is fit-for-purpose, identify potential gaps, and consider what enhancements can be made to reduce undue financial risk for investors.

However, having looked into the documents supplied by the government, Mr Battaglia found that “there appears to be a focus on property funds”.

“This is evident by the Minister calling out both some failed property or property-related funds, but also liquidity requirements. Key questions arise as to whether the failures in the funds mentioned in his release (Sterling Income Trust, Trio Capital, and Timbercorp) were particular governance failures of that responsible entity rather than a failure of regulation in principle, and whether the unusual nature of the real estate investments of Sterling Income Trust and the risks associated with it bear any relationship with traditional property funds,” Mr Battaglia said.

Mr Battaglia also raised an additional concern regarding whether it is appropriate for the law to differentiate between registered schemes based on the asset class being invested in, such as real estate or real estate derivatives, by imposing specific or higher standards of regulation.

“Managed investment schemes invest in all kinds of assets, many of which are more speculative in nature than real estate,” he said, adding that the review appears to be broader than merely the laws regulating registered schemes.

Ultimately, he said,

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Advantages of amending Law on Land

Although land is owned by citizens, the state has given people the right to use land which is considered and protected as property rights and civil rights. The focus of the current problem is the market price and the valuation at the same time with the granting of business autonomy to enterprises, based on benefit sharing with the state or paying taxes.

Advantages of amending Law on Land
Le Net and Tran Thai Binh, lawyers at LNT & Partners

When identifying and addressing this problem, we rely on the theoretical basis of the legal system as well as put it in the context of the economy to analyze the benefits of applying regulations and legislation, to see if the application of legal provisions leads to policy abuse , or causes damage or loss to the interests of the state rights of land users or not. As it is concluded that the benefits of amendments and supplements are greater than the costs, some amendments to the law can be offered.

According to current regulation, there are the following forms of land use: allocation of land with/without land use levy; lease of land with one-off rental payment for the entire lease period; and lease of land with annual rental payment.

At first glance, the current regulation brings the benefit of encouraging land users to pay land use fees or one-off rental payment fees to have full land use rights, avoiding the situation of not paying enough land use levy but having transferred the rights to another persons.

However, such a provision has two important drawbacks. First, the one-off or annual rental payment is such that the owner does not indicate who pays more or benefits more in the case of whichever is higher. Secondly, a one-off rental payment instead of an annual rental payment leads to inherent unfairness,

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Members of RI’s Chace family, Buff Chace, feuding over $70M trust

PROVIDENCE — One of Rhode Island’s most prominent families is locked in a bitter legal dispute over the alleged mismanagement of a $70-million trust, and it’s pitting cousin against cousin.

Malcolm Chace IV, his siblings and their children are seeking to have their cousin Arnold B. “Buff” Chace Jr. removed as trustee of a $70-plus-million trust that Malcolm’s father, Malcolm “Kim” Chace III, left his heirs upon his death in 2011.

Malcolm IV’s faction cites a climate of animus and distrust in requesting Buff’s removal. They say they have been spurned for more than a decade in their attempts to get an accounting of how the trust has been managed. They accuse Buff of breaching their trust and his duties by engaging in self-dealing and using the fund for his own enrichment.

Providence developer Arnold B. “Buff” Chace Jr.  faces a legal challenge from a cousin over his performance as trustee of a $70-million family trust.

“I think some of the paperwork raises questions. Who got what, and who benefited? Those are the issues,” said former US Attorney Robert Clark Corrente, who is among the lawyers representing Malcolm IV and 12 other beneficiaries.

Also at stake is whether a trustee can invest trust assets in an entity in which they hold an interest, particularly without notice to the beneficiaries, Corrente said.

Federal lawsuits:Challenges denial of waterline tie-in for Jamestown homeowner

Corrente said he believes “unequivocally” that trustees have an obligation to notify the beneficiaries about transactions.

“We think the law is clear on that,” he said. Deposits in the case are in progress.

Dueling allegations of self-dealing

Buff Chace and co-trustee William Saltonstall, Kim’s stepson, shot back in court documents that any charges of animus and distrust are a “manufactured pretext” for Malcolm IV to enrich himself and come in retaliation for Malcolm IV’s father not naming him trustee. They accuse Malcolm IV, who goes by Malcolm Jr., of wanting to manage the

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Number of US legal jobs now exceeds pre-Great Recession record high

  • The legal sector added 3,000 jobs in June, reaching 1,185,600 jobs, according to US Labor Department
  • Law firm corporate practice hiring has slowed, but litigation, real estate are busy, recruiters said

(Reuters) – The US legal services sector now has more total jobs than it had when the count hit its previous high point in 2007 shortly before the Great Recession, according to US Labor Department data released Friday.

The legal sector added 3,000 jobs in June, reaching a total of 1,185,600, the preliminary seasonally adjusted Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed. This exceeds the historic high of 1,179,500 jobs the sector reached in May 2007, according to BLS data.

The legal services job count includes lawyers, paralegals and other legal professionals. BLS legal sector jobs data is available stretching back to 1990.

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Newly revised data for May 2022 also shows the sector cracked its previous 2007 record that month, with a total of 1,182,600 legal sector jobs.

The May 2022 data was revised up from 1,178,800. BLS jobs numbers are subject to adjustments in months after they are first released.

Overall US job growth beat expectations in June, and the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6%.

Legal recruitment leaders said demand for lawyers remains high in certain practice areas. However, the practice groups for which firms are hiring have shifted, they said.

In 2021, law firms battled for talent amid a surge in client demand and shortage of lawyers to handle the work.

There has been a slowdown in law firm hiring for capital markets and mergers and acquisitions attorneys, said Katherine Loanzon, a managing director at legal recruitment agency Kinney Recruiting.

Global M&A activity dipped 21% in the first half of 2022 over the same period in 2021,

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Dvorak Law Group | Inside Business

Dvorak Law Group Welcomes Two New Associates Timothy J. Kubert Skylar Young Dvorak Law Group is pleased to welcome Timothy J. Kubert and Skylar Young to the firm. Timothy Kubert is a member of the firm’s business and corporate practice group where his practice includes a full range of real estate and corporate transactions. The team represents owners, investors, developers, and corporations at all stages of buying, selling, and leasing real estate. He also advises clients regarding the formation and structuring of business entities and provides outside general counsel services to corporations of all sizes. Skylar Young is a member of the firm’s business and corporate practice group. Her practice includes a broad range of general corporate and business matters, including mergers and acquisitions, securities, and reviewing, managing, and negotiating a variety of vendors, and supply chain contracts, including technology and licensing agreements. Skylar also assists clients in building and protecting their intellectual property, and with data privacy and security matters. About Dvorak Law Group, LLC Dvorak Law Group, LLC is a full-service business, estate planning, and litigation law firm with offices in Omaha, Hastings, Sutton, Columbus, and North Platte, Nebraska. It serves individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, and government entities in Nebraska and throughout the country. To learn more about Dvorak Law Group, visit www.dvoraklawgroup.com.

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Attorney given annual award for professionalism

Wallace

Wallace

Attorney David A. Wallaceof Bentley Goodrich Kison, was recently given the Judge John M. Scheb Professionalism Award by the Judge John M. Scheb American Inn of Court.

The award is given annually to a Sarasota County attorney who exemplifies professionalism in his or her day-to-day practice and who contributes time and talents to the overall cause of professionalism within Sarasota’s legal community.

Nominations are sought from community members, and nominees can be Inn members or nonmembers. The recipient is selected by secret ballot of the Masters of the Inn.

Wallace, a member of the Judge John M. Scheb American Inn of Court, is a board-certified specialist in appellate law and a Florida certified mediator. His practice includes appeals and civil litigation in state and federal courts.

Bentley Goodrich Kison, of Sarasota, is a business and commercial litigation law firm.

Marsh

Marsh

Kristine (Kuffel) Marshfounder/president of Destination Knowledge, is the newest member of the Vistage Sarasota Chapter, CEO of Peer Advisory Board.

Marsh joins a global community of CEOs/business owners who meet monthly to confidentially discuss business challenges, share expertise and support the accelerated profitable growth of their firms.

Vistage benefits include industry expert speakers, monthly executive coaching, access to a global network of 23,000 business leaders and the ability to draw on the insight and support of local executives.

Vistage Sarasota is interviewing for new members. For more information, call 941-539-5467 or email Kimberly MartinezVistage Sarasota market chair, at [email protected].

Miller

Miller

Lynn MillerPGT Innovations code compliance manager, was recently appointed as chairman of the American Society for Testing and Materials’ impact-resistance task group.

The American Society for Testing and Materials is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems and services.

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