What is LTAMS doing to assist you?

LTAMS is closely following the growing concerns relating to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the impact on our members and their customers. We are here for you every step of the way, working to find tools and solutions for the many challenges you are facing as you work to close real estate transactions and manage your operations during this crisis.

LTAMS is equipped and ready to be an effective information clearinghouse and advocate, so please share your concerns, ideas and success stories with us at admin@ltams.org.

Chancery Clerk Operations

Thus far, we have only heard of a few temporary closures for purposes of sanitizing facilities. However, we are already seeing operational changes (e.g. reduced staff, scheduled filings and staggered shifts).  While many offices remain open with no limitations, a number have elected to limit access to the general public.

Business Continuity Strategies

Below is a list of operational best practices, safe closing protocols and other tips and hints:

The National Notary Association (NNA) has developed health screening forms for the signing agent and borrower in order to protect all parties during a closing.

Having a business continuity plan is essential to keeping an operation going following any type of disaster or crisis. (ALTA)

Remote Online Notarization

Pursuing Temporary Authority to Use RON

At LTAMS’ request, Governor Reeves issued Executive Order No. 1467 temporarily authorizing both “remote ink-signed notarization” and “remote online notarization” for the duration of this emergency. To learn more, read Executive Order No. 1467 and our letter request.

We urge you to carefully read the governor’s executive order in full to understand all the requirements before utilizing this temporary process to comply with COVID-19 public health protocols.

In order to perform a remote ink-signed notarization or remote online notarization, you must be a currently commissioned notary in Mississippi, in good standing and before utilizing either, you must give notice to the Secretary of State by emailing the Remote Notary Notification to remotenotary@sos.ms.gov.  To learn more about the requirements, please see the Secretary of State’s press release.

Pursuing Permanent Authority to Use RON

LTAMS is also working with legislators on a proposed amendment to HB 1156 and SB 2394 to permanently authorize remote online notarization and to create a papering-out procedure to ensure these electronic documents can be recorded in the land records. To learn more, view the proposed final draft of the amendment, a proposed draft of implementing rules, and an Executive Summary on the amendment. Both bills previously passed their respective chambers without amendment.

While video platforms such as Skype and Zoom may be used for remote ink-signed notarizations, they may not be used for remote online notarization (RON). There are specific requirements for a proper RON transaction. Additionally, the national GSEs such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have their own requirements and approved vendors and platforms. As always, check with your underwriter when considering a nontraditional approach to closing in response to the current challenges and ensure that you obtain the prior written consent of all parties to the transaction.

Continuing Legal Education (CLE): Waiver of In-Person Requirement

The Mississippi Commission on Continuing Legal Education petitioned for the temporary removal of the limit on CLE credit earned through online programs. See LTAMS’ letter to the Commission and letter to the Supreme Court in requesting and supporting this waiver. In response to the Commission’s petition, the Mississippi Supreme Court issued Emergency Administrative Order-10, which:

  • Authorizes attorneys to complete all 12-hours of their CLE obligations through online programs or webinars for 2019-2020 CLE year;
  • Extends the completion deadline to September 30, 2020; and
  • Extends the reporting deadline to October 15, 2020.

GSE RON Requirements

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have provided temporary guidance on several policy areas to support mortgage originations, including power of attorney and acceptance of remote online notarization. New guidance also addresses closing protection letters.

On March 31, 2020, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued above updated Selling Guidance, including temporary requirements for remote online notarization (RON) and powers of attorney (POA).

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have made available lists of their approved vendors for systems supporting eMortgages, including vendors providing remote online notarization (RON) services, as seen below in order “to save time for Seller/Servicers seeking to get approved to do eMortgage business with Freddie Mac.”

Clerks Are Essential to the US Economy

During these trying times, it is important to focus on the critical and essential function of the Chancery Clerk’s office to power, sustain and restore the U.S. economic engine. Because of the current response to the COVID-19 outbreak, some clerks are reducing hours, staffing and/or services, and some are closing their operations. These moves are understandable as clerks follow the advice of public officials and make the health and safety of employees and customers a priority.

The Chancery Clerk’s office provides constructive notice of interest in real property. Even during difficult situations, the land title and mortgage finance industries depend heavily on the clerk’s documentation as essential functions for their businesses and for the consumer. Clerks provide title professionals with the ability to search the public land records and, after a real estate closing is complete, to record the documents which establish the property rights of the new owner and the lien priority for the lender. This reliance on proof of land ownership drives the economy of our country.

As we face this health crisis, those of us in the land title industry are working together towards common goals of preserving the integrity of the land records and continuing to facilitate the important transfer of real estate across the country.

Board of Supervisor Orders

Below are some of the letters sent to those local Boards of Supervisors that have issued closure orders:

Board of Supervisor’s Association – 03/30/2020
Kemper County – 03/27/2020
Leflore County – 03/27/2020
Sharkey County – 04/28/2020
Tippah County – 04/28/2020
Bolivar County – 04/29/2020

Chancery Clerk and County Office Operations

LTAMS is tracking the operating status of recording jurisdictions around the state based on our communications with the various Chancery Clerk’s offices, as well as reports from LTAMS members and colleagues. Thus far, we have only heard of a few temporary closures for purposes of sanitizing facilities. However, we are already seeing operational changes (e.g. reduced staff, scheduled filings, and staggered shifts).  While many offices remain open with no limitations, a number have elected to limit access to the general public. Below is the current status of operations at each clerk’s office:

CountyOpenLimited AccessClosede-RecordNotes
AdamsYesYesOpen, but closed to the public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail and drop-off. Abstractors are allowed in the land records room but limited to no more than 5 at one time. All visitors must check-in with the Sheriff’s office.

E-Recording Vendors: MEDIR

AlcornYesNo
AmiteYesNoOpen, generally. The clerk is accepting recordings. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 2 people at one time. 
AttalaYesNo
BentonYesNoOpen, but closed to the public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail and drop-off. Abstractors are allowed in the land records room but limited to no more than 5 at one time.
Bolivar-1stYesNoClosed April 29 through May 12 for COVID-19 cleaning. However, no answer. Status unknown. Presumed closed.
Bolivar-2ndYesNoSame as above.
CalhounYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings by mail and hand delivery. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 10 people at one time.

E-Recording VendorsSimplifile

Carroll-1stYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings by mail and hand delivery. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 2 people at one time.

E-Recording VendorsMEDIR (coming soon)

Carroll-2ndYesYesSame as above.
Chickasaw-1stYesNo
Chickasaw-2ndYesNo
ChoctawYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings by mail and hand delivery (hand deliveries must be dropped off with security at front). Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 1 person at one time. All visitors must check in with the security guard at the front desk.

E-Recording VendorsMEDIR

ClaiborneYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 1 person at a time. Abstractors must call to “schedule” time to conduct searches.
ClarkeYesNoOpen. You must enter through door on North Side by City Hall (door with Handicap ramp). The clerk is accepting recordings. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 2 people at one time.
ClayYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 10 people at one time.
CoahomaYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 10 people at one time.
CopiahYesNo
CovingtonYesNoCome in through Main Street entrance. Must sanitize hands.
DeSotoYesYesOpen, but closed to public. Abstractors will have no access to the public records room. Most records are available to the public on the Clerk’s website. In the rare instance that anyone needs a record, they can email or call the Clerk’s office. The Clerk’s office will then pull the record(s) and send it to them in the most convenient method (email/fax/regular mail, etc.).

E-Recording Vendors: CSC, ePN, Simplifile

ForrestYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail (preferred) and drop-off. Abstractors are allowed in the land records room, but limited to no more than 10 at one time.
FranklinYesNoOpen, generally. The clerk is accepting recordings, but all recordings must be dropped off at the circuit clerk’s office window. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 10 people at one time.

No answer on April 2, 2020.

GeorgeYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 3 people at one time.

E-Recording VendorsSimplifile

GreeneYesNoOpen to public. The clerk is accepting recordings (preference is by mail; hand deliveries must call ahead). Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 3 people at one time.
GrenadaYesNo
HancockYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording (by mail and by e-recording). Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 3 people at one time. Online records back 32 years.

E-Recording VendorsSimplifile

Harrison-1stYesYesOpen, but closed to public. Effective March 23, 2020, Harrison County will be limiting the number of abstractors allowed in the vault to 6 in Gulfport and 4 in Biloxi and putting a table outside the clerk’s office for folks to leave documents that are to be recorded beginning Monday. The doors will be locked and they will only being accepting recordings and redemptions. No passport or notary services.

E-Recording VendorsCSC, Simplifile

Harrison-2ndYesYesSame as above.
Hinds-1stYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording online (e-recording) and by mail. No access to any clerk area; all area acess doors will be locked. No more than 10 abstractors are allowed in the land records room at one time. All abstractors sign in with Security at front door during day, and back desk after hours (for those with key cards). Effective immediatly, all searchers must comply with the Hinds County Title Searchers Procedures.

E-Recording VendorsePN, Simplifile

Hinds-2ndYesYesSame as above.
HolmesYesNoOpen, without limitations.
HumphreysYesNoOpen, but closed to public. Limited staff on-site. Clerk’s office is accepting documents for recording by mail only. Effective April 6, abstractors will be allowed in the land records room, but no more than 2 at a time and for no more than 2 hours each visit.
IssaquenaYesNoOpen, but closed to the public. The clerk is accepting recordings (via mail and hand delivery). Abstractors are allowed access to to land records room, but must call ahead and access is limited to no more than 1-person at a time.  Use of mask is highly encouraged.
ItawambaYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings (via mail). Abstractors are allowed access to to land records room, but must come in back door.

E-Recording VendorsSimplifile

JacksonYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings (via mail or dropbox downstairs).  Abstractors are allowed access to to land records room, but no more than 5 people in the land records room at one time.

E-Recording VendorsCSC, ePN, Simplifile

Jasper-1stYesNo
Jasper-2ndYesNo
JeffersonYesNoOpen. The clerk is accepting recordings.  Abstractors are allowed access to to land records room, with no limitation. All visitors must sign in.
Jefferson DavisYesNo
Jones-1stYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings (by mail and hand delivery). Abstractors are allowed in the land records room by appointment only, with no more than 2 at a time (and limited to no more than 2 hours at a time).
Jones-2ndYesNoSame as above.
KemperYesNoOpen, but closed to the public. The clerk is accepting recordings (by mail and hand delivery). Abstractors are allowed in the land records room by appointment only, with no more than 2 at a time (and limited to no more than 2 hours at a time). Must call ahead to make appointment and you must wear a mask.  No computer is available to public, so all searches must be conducted by books.
LafayetteYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The Clerk’s office is not allowing access, but is still accepting documents for recording and searches may be conducted online. To record, you may delivery by mail or drop off in person by using their side door (knock for access) or through the drive-thru window in the Tax Collector’s office. To search, you may search online back to the 1800s, except for delinquent garbage bills. To confirm delinquent garbage bills, you may call the clerk and they will verify over the phone or will email you the last 3 months of delinquent garbage bills and they can search themselves.

No answer as of April 2, 2020.

E-Recording VendorsCSC, ePN, Simplifile

LamarYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings by mail only – there is no access to the clerk’s office. Hand deliveries must be dropped off at a table in the front of the office.  Hours are 10AM to 5PM. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 10 people at one time.

Board of supervisors meeting April 2, 2020 about limiting access.

LauderdaleYesNoOpen, but closed to public. No more than 10 abstractors are allowed in the vault at one time. Only 1 door open (Main West entrance) and abstractors have to be health screened before going in.

No answer as of April 2, 2020.

LawrenceYesNo
LeakeYesNoOpen, but closed to public. Attorneys, abstractors, and anyone with filings are allowed in the office. You must first call due to the fact that all doors to the courthouse being locked. We will let you in the south door (the end with the flags). If you prefer to do your search online, our records are online back to 2007. They are available for a fee at psearch.syscononline.com.
LeeYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The Clerk’s office is still accepting documents for recording by mail and basket at the front door.  Abstractors are allowed access to to land records room, but must check in with the security guard at the front door.

E-Recording VendorsSimplifile

LefloreYesNoOpen, but closed to the public. Abstractors are allowed to search land records. 
LincolnYesNo
LowndesYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings (by hand and mail delivery). Abstractors are allowed in the land records room, but no more than 6 at a time.
MadisonYesYesOpen to public without limitations.

E-Recording VendorsMEDIR

MarionYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings (by hand and mail delivery). Abstractors are allowed in the land records room, but no more than 5 at a time (and only two computer terminals are avialable – to maximize social distance).
MarshallYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings (by hand and mail delivery). Abstractors are allowed in the land records room, must complete a pre-screen questionnaire.
MonroeYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings my mail and at the door. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but must wear gloves and a mask.

E-Recording VendorsSimplifile

MontgomeryYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings, but land records are closed to the public. Clerk will allow no more than 2 people in the land records room at one time.
NeshobaYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings (preference by mail delivery; but will accept hand delivery at door). Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 2 people at one time.  Call ahead (601-656-3581) for access; must enter by north door; must complete COVID-19 questionnaire. 

E-Recording VendorsMEDIR

NewtonYesNoOpen to public. The clerk is accepting recordings. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 3 people at one time.
NoxubeeYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 10 people at one time.
OktibbehaYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings (by mail and hand delivery). Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 10 people at one time.
Panola-1stYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by hand delivery, mail, and e-recording. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but limited to 1 person at a time. Searches may be conducted online via MEDIR; records available online from 1970 to present. Abstractors are encouraged to wear a mask.

E-Recording VendorsMEDIR

Panola-2ndYesYesSame as above.
Pearl RiverYesNo
PerryYesNoOpen, but no more than 1 person at counter at a time; no more than 1 abstractor in land records room at a time; abstractors are limited to 1 hour each.
PikeYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings (for hand deliveries, you must call ahead); Abstractors are allowed access to land reocrds, but must call ahead and be let in by deputy.
PontotocYesYesClosed. The clerk continues to accept documents by mail and e-recording. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records by appointment only, with no more than two people allowed at one time. Searches may be conducted online back to 1999 via CRMSPublic.com (call for credentials).

E-Recording VendorsSimplifile

PrentissYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings (for hand deliveries, you must knock on door); Abstractors are allowed access to land reocrds, but limited to no more than 5 people at a time; abstractors need to call and we will let them in.

E-Recording VendorsSimplifile

QuitmanYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but access is limited to no more than 1 people at one time.
RankinYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The land records room is still available for attorneys and abstractors, but is closed off from the Clerk’s office.

E-Recording VendorsCSC, ePN, MEDIR, Simplifile

ScottYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting recordings. No more than 3 abstractors are allowed in the vault at one time, and no more than 1 person at a counter at one time.

E-Recording VendorsSimplifile

SharkeyYesNoClosed to public.  The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail (preferred) and drop-off (screening at door). Abstractors are NOT allowed in the land records room. Office may reopen June 1st.
SimpsonYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail (preferred) and drop-off. Abstractors are allowed in the land records room, but limited to no more than 2 at one time.  Records are available online via Delta Computer Systems site (subscription or per document access available). Unsure how far back online records go.
SmithYesNoOpen, but closed to public. Hours are 10AM to 2PM only. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail (preferred) and drop-off. Abstractors are allowed in the land records room, but limited to no more than 2 at one time.
StoneYesNoOpen, but closed to public. Abstractors are allowed to access the records at their convenience. They simply must stop at the one open entrances and address the security guard with the business they have in the courthouse.
SunflowerNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail (preferred) and drop-off. Abstractors are allowed in the land records room, but limited to no more than 10 at one time.
Tallahatchie-1stYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The land records room is open to attorneys and abstractors only, but limited to no more than 3 at one time.

E-Recording VendorsMEDIR

Tallahatchie-2ndYesYesSame as above.
TateYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail (preferred) and drop-off (must call ahead). Abstractors are allowed in the land records room by appointment only, but you must call ahead to confirm access. Land records are available online at tatecounty.ms, click land records. Online records from 1973 to present.
TippahYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is still accepting documents for recording by mail and hand delivery. Abstractors are allowed access to the land records, but must call ahead and no more than 2 at a time in the land records room. All abstractors are encouraged to wear a mask.
TishomingoYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail (preferred) and drop-off (by appointment only). Abstractors are allowed in the land records room by appointment only.  Access to the records is available for free online at www.crmspublic.com. Online records from 1920s to present. Call clerk for login credentials.

E-Recording VendorsSimplifile

TunicaYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail (preferred) and drop-box. Abstractors are allowed in the land records room by appointment only, and limited to no more than 1 at one time.
UnionYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail and e-recording. One abstractor at a time is allowed in the land records room. Must check in with the security guard at the front door.

E-Recording VendorsSimplifile

WalthallYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail (preferred) and drop-off (to drop off, you must call ahead and slide document under door directly to employee). Abstractors are allowed in the land records room, but limited to no more than 2 at one time.
WarrenYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The land records room is open to attorneys and abstractors only by appointment only and limited to 2 hours at a time. No more than 2 people in land records at a time.
WashingtonYesYesOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail, e-recording, and drop-off (by appointment only). The land records room is open to attorneys and abstractors by appointment only, with no more than 3 people allowed in at any one time.

E-Recording VendorsMEDIR (coming soon)

WayneYesNoOpen to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail and drop-off. Abstractors are allowed in the land records room, but limited to no more than 3 at one time. Hours are 9AM to 3PM.
WebsterYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail (preferred) and drop-off. Abstractors are allowed in the land records room, but limited to no more than 10 at one time.  All visitors must wear mask and gloves.
WilkinsonYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail (preferred) and drop-off. Abstractors are allowed in the land records room, but limited to no more than 1 at one time.
WinstonYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail and drop-off (and is working to bring e-recording online soon). No more than 10 abstractors are allowed in the land records room at one time, and no more than 1 person at a counter at one time. All abstractors must indicate whether they have exhibited symptoms within the past 72 hours. Effective immediatly, all visitors must comply with the Office Operational Procedures Due to COVID-19.

E-Recording VendorsMEDIR

Yalobusha-1stYesNoOpen, but closed to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail (preferred) and drop-off, but the doors are LOCKED (must call 662-473-2091) to gain access. Abstractors are allowed in the land records room, but limited to no more than 10 at one time.
Yalobusha-2ndYesNoSame as above.
YazooYesNoOpen to public. The clerk is accepting documents for recording by mail and drop-off. Abstractors are allowed in the land records room, but limited to no more than 10 at one time. Must check with the security guard at the front door.

Last Updated: May 20, 2020 (9:50 AM CST)

If you have updates to the information you find, please let us know by emailing details to admin@ltams.org.

Please note that limited access may come in many forms.  It may mean reduced staff, scheduled filings, staggered shifts. It may also mean that you have to call ahead to be let into the building. Whatever it means, please respect and follow the Chancery Clerk’s safety protocols so that they can ensure the safety of their staff and continued operations.

ALTA is tracking closures of county recording offices nationwide. The document also tracks projected reopen date, if online access is available and if the county accepts e-recording.  See County Office Closures – Nationwide.

Communications in a Crisis

Communication during a crisis is an important component of an overall continuity plan. It can ease the anxiety and questions from those people who are accustomed to interacting with your office on a regular basis, whether they are business partners or consumers. Messaging should be easily accessible, immediate, focused, thorough and continually updated. Communications should include:

  • Status of your office operations
    • Open, as usual
    • Open, by appointment only
    • Closed
    • Closed to the public, but processing
      • eRecording
      • Mail
      • Drop-offs
      • Or specify combination of above
    • Abbreviated hours – indicate hours the office will be open
    • Remote operations
    • Or specify combination of the above
  • Documents being processed
    • Paper recordings
    • Electronic recordings
    • In-person, mail or drop-off (be specific about where to drop)
  • Website capabilities
    • What services are available via your county website
    • List specific URL links
    • Searching
      • Index (how far back)
      • Grantor/Grantee books on line (how far back)
      • Document images (how far back)
    • Print options
  • Acceptance of Remote Online Notarization
  • Anticipated return to regular business operations, if known

Inform the people who use your office – submitters, eRecording providers, attorneys, researchers, lenders, servicers:

  • Via email
  • Office voicemail messages
  • Website updates
  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter)
  • Notification on office doors
  • Newspaper announcements
  • Press releases

On March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a national emergency due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). On March 15, 2020, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), addressing the national emergency declared by the President on March 13, 2020, issued its “Interim Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).”

Governor Reeves’ Executive Order on the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response

Governor Tate Reeves has issued a number of orders related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Below are those orders that apply to the land title industry:

 

 

NameDescription
Executive Order No. 1457 (03/04/2020)Concerning Mississippi’s coronavirus (COVID-19) preparedness and response.
Executive Order No. 1462 (03/21/2020)Concerning the suspension of MDES garnishments and collections efforts.
Executive Order No. 1463 (03/26/2020)Concerning professional services, including legal services and real estate services (including title services) as “Essential Business or Operation.”
Executive Order No. 1465 (03/31/2020)Concerning shelter-in-place order for Lauderdale County.
Executive Order No. 1466 (04/01/2020)Concerning shelter-in-place order for State of Mississippi for all individuals; Essential Businesses identified in Executive Order 1463 may remain open and operate at such level as necessary to provide essential services and functions.
Executive Order No. 1467 (04/06/2020)Concerning authorization for Mississippi notary public’s to use of remote notarization and remote online notarization.
Executive Order No. 1473 (04/17/2020)Concerning the extension of the shelter in place order from April 20, 2020 to April 27, 2020.
Executive Order No. 1474 (04/20/2020)Concerning the extension of the expiration date for all Mississippi driver’s licenses and ID cards set to expire betwen March 14, 2020 and June 30, 2020 to August 3, 2020.
Executive Order No. 1477 (04/24/2020)Concerning move from “shelter in place” to “safer at home,” encouraging people to stay at home when not engaged in essential business; all evictions within the state are suspended, and all law enforcement officers must cease enforcement of eviction orders.
Executive Order No. 1478 (05/04/2020)Extending safer at home from May 7, 2020, to May 11, 2020; authorizing parks and restaurants to reopen, subject to certain limitations.
Executive Order No. 1480 (05/08/2020)Extending safer at home from May 11, 2020, to May 25, 2020; authorizing gyms and salons to reopen, subject to certain limitations.

For a full list of Mississippi Executive Orders, click here.

For a list of federal orders that have specifically listed title insurance as a financial service or otherwise as an essential business entity, please see the federal CISA guidelines and definitions from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (see Financial Services on page 11) and a memorandum for the financial services sector from the U.S. Department of the Treasury that also includes insurance and settlement.

Mississippi Supreme Court Orders

The Mississippi Supreme Court has issued a number of orders related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Below are those orders that apply to court and clerk operations:

 

NameDescription
MSSC – 2020-AD-00001 – Order 1 (03/13/2020)All state courts – municipal, justice, county, chancery, circuit, and appellate courts – must remain open for business to ensure courts fulfill their constitutional and statutory duties.
MSSC – 2020-AD-00001 – Order 2 (03/15/2020)Gatherings of more than 50 people beyond the persons involved in the day-to-day operations of the courts are not permitted.
MSSC – 2020-AD-00001 – Order 3 (03/17/2020)Local courts are authorized to take steps and measures consistent with the Court’s order to protect the health and safety of public.
MSSC – 2020-AD-00001 – Order 5 (03/20/2020)Gatherings may be limited to no more than 10 people. Clerks’ offices must remain accessible by telephone and email during regular business hours. Drop boxes may be used for conventionally-filed documents. Entry may be denied based on a response to the questionnaire.
MSSC – 2020-AD-00001 – Order 10 (05/05/2020)The in-person requirement has temporarily been waived, so that attorneys may earn all of their CLE through online programs or live webinars. The Court also extended the deadline to September 30, 2020 with a reporting deadline of October 15, 2020. This waiver and deadline extension also applies to newly licensed attorneys whose new lawyer requirement deadline is July 31, 2020.

Local and county authorities may adopt their own orders, rules, regulations, resolutions, and actions that are more strict than those established by Executive Order No. 1466, provided that they do not impose restrictions that prevent any Essential Business or Operation as identified in Executive Order No. 1463 as Supplemented from operating at such level necessary to provide essential services and functions during this COVID-19 State of Emergency.

County Orders

A number of counties municipalities have issued a number of orders related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Below is a list of county stay-at-home orders. When they are available, we have included links to those orders.

Chickasaw County
Lauderdale County

Municipal Orders

A number of local municipalities have issued a number of orders related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Below is a list of local municipality stay-at-home orders. When they are available, we have included links to those orders.

Some municipalities have adopted resolutions requiring all essential business employees to properly wear masks or face coverings – meaning they must cover the nose and mouth – and requiring essential businesses to deny entry to any customer – 6 years old and up – who is not wearing a face-covering properly.

Town of Ackerman
City of Amory
Town of Belmont
City of Biloxi
City of Booneville
Town of Bruce
City of Columbus
City of D’Iberville
City of Flowood
City of Fulton
City of Gulfport
Town of Hatley
City of Houston
City of Jackson
City of Long Beach
City of Louisville
City of Okolona
City of Oxford
City of Pontotoc
City of Saltillo
Town of Sherman
City of Starkville
City of Tupelo
Town of Vardaman
City of Verona
City of West Point

Last Updated: May 11, 2020 (10:02 AM CST)

American Land Title Association Resources

Wire Fraud Vigilance

Cyber security researchers have identified a growing number of phishing scams in which fraudsters are using the coronavirus to entice victims. With more employees working remotely, make sure your company is following best practices to protect its data and money.

Remote Digital Closings

On March 18, 2020, U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) on March 18 introduced the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020. Senate Bill 3533 is bipartisan legislation that permits immediate nationwide use of remote online notarization (RON) with minimum standards and provides certainty for the interstate recognition of RON. This technology allows the consumer and notary to be in different locations using two-way audio-visual communication to securely execute electronic documents.

The SECURE Notarization Act would authorize all Notaries in the United States to perform RONs, requires tamper-evident technology in electronic notarizations and provides fraud prevention through use of multifactor authentication.

In 2019, MISMO released its RON standards, which allow the use of audio-visual communication devices to notarize documents in a virtual online environment. MISMO’s RON standards support model legislation that was developed by ALTA and the Mortgage Bankers Association. Multiple U.S. states are now using this model legislation to enact RON laws in their jurisdictions. To date, 23 states have approved the use of RON technology.

The legislation is also endorsed by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Learn more about S.B. 3533.

Additional ALTA Resources

Safe Closing Protocols

Covid-19 coronavirus is at the top of the agenda for businesses globally, for good reason. Here are some key points to consider to ensure your closing office is fully prepared.

Safe Closing Protocols

Below are some safe closing protocols that other land title associations have developed and some of our agent members have implemented. What precautions has your company developed to help keep your staff and clients safe? Please share them with us at admin@ltams.org.

Start by Sanitizing

Encourage guests to use hand sanitizer and/or wash hands upon arrival.

Stagger Closings

Stagger closings (30 minutes) to minimize the number of customers in waiting rooms. Split buyer and seller closings.

Limit People at Closing

Allow only signers to the transaction in the office. Ask agents and lenders to attend by conference call. Family and friends should be asked to respect the need for social distancing.

Reduce Time in Office

Use electronic and other means (mobile notary, eClosing platforms, Facetime, Skype, etc.) to perform as many functions as possible. Consider waiving fees for mobile notaries, wires and overnight delivery. Send papers in advance for review.

Check for Symptomatic Clients

Any guest who exhibits symptoms that may be like coronavirus (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.) must notify staff upon arrival so they can be escorted out of common areas into a private closing room.

Disinfect Post-Closing

After each closing, the chairs, table and door handle will be wiped down with disinfecting wipes or bleach solution.

Closing Table Items

Remove pens, paper, extra reading glasses and other items normally found on the closing tables. Distribute new pens to each closing participant and don’t reuse them.

Reception Area Items

Remove all reading materials, ceramic mugs and other re-usable items.

Children’s Play Area Items

Remove children’s play areas and place in storage.

Hand Sanitizer

Provide hand sanitizer in closing spaces. If none is available, encourage employees and visitors to wash their hands before and after any closing or other meeting.

After-hours Cleaning

Cleaning personnel should use appropriate germ-killing solutions when cleaning office areas after-hours.

Social Distancing

When possible, place people approximately six feet from others.

Workforce Dispersion

Invest in technology solutions that allow employees to work from remote locations, assuring production and service continuity.

Develop Travel Protocols

Issue guidelines for notifying management if employees have traveled recently or have travel planned in the coming weeks. Ask those employees who have or will travel to self-quarantine for two weeks following their return.

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that has infected more than 142,000 individuals in 134 countries, causing the World Health Organization (WHO) to classify this outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Anyone experiencing emergency signs such as difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or bluish lips or face should immediately seek medical attention.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that for the next eight weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S.

For the latest updates and more information go to:

What You Should Know

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person and the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The CDC urges citizens to monitor your health and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.

The information contained on this page is collected from industry volunteers and is rapidly changing. This document is designed to be a general reference only. For the latest information, please reach out directly to the local recording office or municipality.