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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chancery Clerk Operations
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 email@example.com. 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.
Remote Online Notarization
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.
- FreddieMac COVID-19 Selling-related Frequently Asked Questions (Updated April 10, 2020)
- Fannie Mae COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions – Selling (Updated April 8, 2020)
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: Lender Letter LL-2020-03 (Updated March 31, 2020)
- Freddie Mac: Bulletin 2020-8 (March 31, 2020)
- Veterans Affairs: Circular 26-20-10 (March 27, 2020)
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.”