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ILTA Remote Notary Final Rule Public Comment

On December 13th, the final amendments to proposed remote notary regulations are scheduled for approval by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR); however, some questions remain that have been submitted for clarification.

Click here for ILTA’s Second Notice public comment.

***New Journal Requirements***

While the focus of these administrative rules are on electronic notarization, please also note that Section 3-107 of the enacting legislation (Public Act 102-160) included new journal requirements for all notary public services.

These requirements go into effect “the date on which the Office of the Secretary of State files with the Index Department of the Office of the Secretary of State a notice that the Office of the Secretary of State has adopted the rules necessary to implement this Act, and upon the filing of the notice, the Index Department shall provide a copy of the notice to the Legislative Reference Bureau.” ILTA has requested confirmation from the Secretary of State of any adopted rule notice following the December 13th JCAR meeting.

For reference, Section 3-107 of the enacting legislation (click here) authorizes the new journal requirements, and Subpart J of the proposed administrative rules (click here) contain the regulatory requirements for this new requirement.

***Additional Reference Links***

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Responses to ILTA Remote Notary Comments – UPDATED 11/21/22

On November 9th, ILTA received official responses from the Secretary of State regarding our public comments to their proposed April 2022 remote notary regulations.

The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) that will be reviewing the Secretary of State’s proposed rules also confirmed there were around 850 changes made to the initially proposed rules by the Secretary of State in response to public comments.

The complete changes should be officially published in the next week and considered for JCAR approval on December 13th.

Click here for the Secretary of State’s official responses to ILTA’s public comments.

***UPDATE***

Click here for the Second Notice text of all changes made by the Secretary of State to the initially published First Notice rules.

Click here to register for the ILTA Remote Notary Working Group meeting on December 2nd.

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New Agent Application Process

In the evening of November 9th, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) provided notice to title underwriters that there will be a new agent registration application process beginning November 14th.

“We have prepared instructions regarding changes designed to speed up the Agent Application process, effective Monday, November 14, 2022.  Please read the attached instructions closely before contacting the Department to see if your question is addressed. The application basically remains the same, but it now requires the other  documents to be uploaded in addition to the Affidavit and the Agent Statement.

It also details updated instructions for adding DBAs or middle initials and for changing an entity’s name, address, ownership, or type.

Further, note that the second attachment is the revised Title Agent Application Form referred to in the instructions.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments at FPR.TitleInsurance@Illinois.gov.”

And please email or copy info@illinoislandtitle.org on your email to IDFPR as soon as possible if you have any issues with the new process so we can work with the department to avoid implementation problems.

 

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Remote Notary Delay

Publication of final amendments to the proposed April 2022 remote notary regulations have been delayed, but approval of regulations is still expected in December or January. Please note that even with eventual approval of regulations by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), subsequent approval of vendor platforms and notary education programs by the Secretary of State will likely take several months.

  • April 15, 2022 – Secretary of State’s office files First Notice of proposed regulations, which opened a 45 day period for public comment to the Secretary of State’s office (see page 5 of the Flinn Report for a summary of the proposed rules and see page 5874 of the Illinois Register for the full filing);
  • May 30, 2022 – Illinois Land Title Association submits public comment to Secretary of State, click here;
  • July 7, 2022 – Illinois Land Title Association submits public comment addendum to Secretary of State, click here;
  • First Notice Public Comment Period – over 150 public comments submitted to the Secretary of State from various interest groups;
  • November 11 or 18, 2022 – anticipated Second Notice publication, which opens a period for review and public comment directly to JCAR (note: changes are expected to the First Notice proposed rules; once Second Notice is filed, no further changes may be made to a proposed rulemaking unless agreed to by both JCAR and the Secretary of State’s office);
  • December 13, 2022 or January 17, 2023 – anticipated JCAR meeting for final action (note: if JCAR has no objection, the Secretary of State’s office may adopt the rulemaking with any Second Notice changes, which is filed as a Notice of Adopted Rules/Amendments in a subsequent, weekly Illinois Register publication.

***Remote Notary Laws Already in Effect – Notary Commissions***

While many aspects of the remote notary legislation signed into law last summer as Public Act 102-160 are not yet in effect due to ongoing rulemaking (note: this includes new journal requirements not yet in effect), changes to the notary certification process are in effect as of July 1, 2022.

More specifically, the appointment of the applicant as a notary public no longer needs recorded with a county clerk pursuant to the repealed Section 2-106 by Public Act 102-160. The Secretary of State’s office confirmed:

  • the last of the Commission Certificates to be processed by counties (June 30, 2022 or earlier) were mailed out by the Secretary of State’s office to counties the first week of July 2022; and
  • Commission Certificates issued (i.e. “In Testimony” date July 1st or later) are being mailed directly to the Notaries Public.

***Other Laws & Regulations of Interest***

At the end of July 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the SECURE Notarization Act for immediate nationwide use of remote online notarization, which provides for national standards and legal certainty of interstate transactions. As an American Land Title Association initiative, you can click here to join the Title Action Network advocacy in favor of the U.S. Senate moving forward with the legislation.

Also, click here for ILTA’s May 2022 news post that includes additional state and federal regulations of interest.

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ILTA Committees In Action

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APLD Update & Request

Since 2021 title industry cease and desist orders, ILTA has been in ongoing communication with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) regarding changes and enforcement related to the APLD compliance (click here for November 2021 letter to IDFPR).

***Upload Limits & Expired Applications***

In addition to clarification updates on the department’s FAQ page (click here), IDFPR more recently agreed to increase the 500 KB upload limit; ILTA has requested up to at least 2MB for uploads and we are working on a timeline for implementation.

As a result of ILTA joint committee working group discussions, there was also consensus regarding the issue of an APLD expiration timeframe; the problem occurs when applications can expire before many transactions close so ILTA has requested that the APLD expiration timeframe be changed to at least 120 days and if possible, up to one year.

***Help Needed – APLD Examples***

While IDFPR is open to consider other items requested in ILTA’s November 2021 letter to the department (click here), IDFPR has requested more information to better understand how the APLD portal may be changed.

Industry feedback is needed with specific examples and, if possible, screenshots not containing non-public information. In particular, there appears to be two aspects of the APLD portal that may not be the same or clear between the online input screens used by the title industry and lending industry:

  • Loan originator system input lines are not identical to title industry input; and
  • Input requirements for points and fees and miscellaneous data are not uniformly defined.

Specific examples and screenshots not containing non-public information are essential to obtaining APLD portal clarity that will help avoid future cease and desist orders along with the accompanying compliance audit and fine costs. Please email info@illinoislandtitle.org with your information.

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Remote Notary Update – End of Year Implementation

We have indications from the Secretary of State’s office that the current timeline for remote notary regulations means possible implementation around the mid-November or mid-December Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) meetings, see below timeline:

  • April 15, 2022 – Secretary of State’s office files First Notice of proposed regulations, which opened a 45 day period for public comment to the Secretary of State’s office (see page 5 of the Flinn Report for a summary of the proposed rules and see page 5874 of the Illinois Register for the full filing);
  • May 30, 2022 – Illinois Land Title Association submits public comment to Secretary of State, click here;
  • July 7, 2022 – Illinois Land Title Association submits public comment addendum to Secretary of State, click here;
  • First Notice Public Comment Period – over 150 public comments submitted to the Secretary of State from various interest groups;
  • October 14 or 21, 2022 – anticipated Second Notice filing by the Secretary of State’s office, which opens a period for review and public comment directly to JCAR (note: changes are expected to the First Notice proposed rules; once Second Notice is filed, no further changes may be made to a proposed rulemaking unless agreed to by both JCAR and the Secretary of State’s office);
  • November 15 or December 13, 2022 – anticipated JCAR meeting for final action (note: if JCAR has no objection, the Secretary of State’s office may adopt the rulemaking with any Second Notice changes, which is filed as a Notice of Adopted Rules/Amendments in a subsequent, weekly Illinois Register publication.

***Remote Notary Laws Already in Effect – Notary Commissions***

While many aspects of the remote notary legislation signed into law last summer as Public Act 102-160 are not yet in effect due to ongoing rulemaking (note: this includes new journal requirements not yet in effect), changes to the notary certification process are in effect as of July 1, 2022.

More specifically, the appointment of the applicant as a notary public no longer needs recorded with a county clerk pursuant to the repealed Section 2-106 by Public Act 102-160. The Secretary of State’s office confirmed:

  • the last of the Commission Certificates to be processed by counties (June 30, 2022 or earlier) were mailed out by the Secretary of State’s office to counties the first week of July 2022; and
  • Commission Certificates issued (i.e. “In Testimony” date July 1st or later) are being mailed directly to the Notaries Public.

***Other Laws & Regulations of Interest***

At the end of July 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the SECURE Notarization Act for immediate nationwide use of remote online notarization, which provides for national standards and legal certainty of interstate transactions. As an American Land Title Association initiative, you can click here to join the Title Action Network advocacy in favor of the U.S. Senate moving forward with the legislation.

Also, click here for ILTA’s May 2022 news post that includes additional state and federal regulations of interest.

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DS-1 Enforcement Clarification

On September 1st, the Illinois Land Title Association (ILTA) submitted a formal request to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) for clarifications regarding enforcement of DS-1 Form regulations.

Questions remain regarding IDFPR’s enforcement being dependent on the types of fees being paid and the business status of a producer and associate. As a result, ILTA requested IDFPR’s enforcement opinions on numerous enforcement scenarios currently taking place in the industry. The association hopes to avoid any ongoing confusion regarding enforcement of the DS-1 and will provide updates as soon as possible regarding IDFPR’s response.

Click here for ILTA’s letter to IDFPR.

For reference, on May 20th, IDFPR agreed to halt implementation of a new 2022 Disclosure of Financial Interest (DS-1) Form and revert to use of the 1997 DS-1 Form for the foreseeable future.

Click here for the settlement agreement and click here for the related memorandum from IDFPR.

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Personal Message From Your ILTA President

Hello ILTA

I am humbled by the opportunity to lead this extraordinary association in the coming year. ILTA is here to serve you with educational  opportunities; advocacy to our regulator, legislators, industry partners; and opportunities to work and socialize with others in the title biz!

2022 to 2023 ILTA President Mary PellegriniI am proud to be part of an association that has challenged our regulators, advocated on our behalf, educated our staff and worked hard to raise our profile with  industry partners.

As we all know, it’s been a challenging two and a half  years due to the pandemic.  Another challenge for us has been  the retirement of our beloved association managers and friends, Mike and Darlene Lane.  Between the pandemic and a change in managers there have been some stumbles.  We are aware of these and are working hard to right the ship!

Dues notices for 2022 will be going out the week of August 15th. We acknowledge that these notices should have  gone  out in December 2021.  We hope that you can accept our apology, knowing the value we bring to your company every day. Any concerns, please feel free to reach out to me by email at mpellegrini@prairietitle.com or Brian Wojcicki on his cell at 312-972-3060.

Our designation classes have been one of our most successful initiatives.  We are proud of this work and understand that you and your staff take this very seriously. We acknowledge that we have stumbled in this area as well.  We know  that some of your staff are still waiting for their certificates and pins. Additionally, an important part of the designation is  continuing education.  During Covid, this requirement was put on pause.  We are now gearing up to get information out to all designees about their status and  continuing education.

As I said at the convention, I love this industry.  It has given me the opportunity to meet some of the finest people one could hope to know.  It’s going to be a great year.  I am here to listen to your concerns, help if I can and enjoy your company at meetings.

Click here to learn more about opportunities to serve on our committees.  Why not attend our next quarterly meeting on Wednesday, October 19th? Test the waters and see if one of these committees is of interest to you.

Meanwhile, click here to take a peek at what’s in store for us at next year’s convention in Springfield!  Special thanks to Shawn Neely of Doma for his artistry!

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Market Conduct & Top New Laws

Hopefully you are able to join us at the ILTA convention this week where we start with a dive into market conduct legislation as well as top new cases and laws.

Whether or not you could make the convention, your input is essential to potential market conduct legislation. Please email us at info@illinoislandtitle.org with your comments and suggestions.

If you would like access to the convention presentation slides, click here.