Title Nerds hosts Mike O’Donnell and Bethany Abele welcome special guest Mike Ham, the “Coolest Guy in Title Insurance,” to the podcast, along with fellow Riker Danzig attorney Desiree McDonald. In the first segment, the Title Nerds hosts interview Mike Ham, who is a commercial real estate title insurance sales executive with Fidelity National Title Group and hosts a wildly popular podcast, “The Morning Spotlight Podcast,” in which he brings on interesting guests in real estate and other industries. Mike talks about how he started in the title insurance industry, what sparked his podcast, how he helps his clients, and what it takes to be a successful title insurance salesperson.
Then, Riker title team associate Desiree McDonald discusses the case of U & Me Homes, LLC v. Cty. of Suffolk out of New York State (148 N.Y.S.3d 682 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. July 16, 2021)) in which the Court held that a purported restrictive covenant on the property was void and granted the property owner’s motion for summary judgment. In the case, the plaintiff had purchased an undeveloped parcel of land in Southampton that was split-zoned, with both portions permitting residential development. When the plaintiff decided he wanted to build a single-family home on the property, he learned of a developmental restriction that would make his property of zero value. The deed and title search report, however, had not contained any reference to any development restrictions, and indeed, the property had been transferred numerous times previously with no reference to a restriction. The action was brought alleging that the covenant failed to run with the land and that the restriction was against public policy. The Court, very displeased with the County and Town, found no intent for the restriction to run with the land, and said the County and Town had overstepped their bounds and had reversed the role of government. The Town and County then went after the title companies for coverage, and the Court decided that if money was ever to be paid, it should be by the government, not by the insurance companies, something not seen very often in Court’s opinions.
Title Nerds hosts Mike O’Donnell and Bethany Abele welcome fellow Riker Danzig attorneys Ron Ahrens and Mike Crowley to the podcast. In the first segment, Mike O’Donnell and Ron Ahrens talk about coverage investigations in the context of title insurance, drawing on some of their experiences in uncovering fraud and collusion, as well as issues in more routine fact-based investigations. They cover the analysis of covered claims, including what issues are probed, the Eight Corners Doctrine and beyond, privilege issues when a challenge to title is being litigated at the same time a coverage investigation is ongoing, and common exclusions and exceptions. Next, Bethany Abele interviews Mike Crowley about the 11th Circuit’s In re Lindsey case (2021 WL 140661 11th Cir.), which raises two issues of interest to title insurers. First, the case addresses whether a Bankruptcy Court can retain jurisdiction over an adversary complaint seeking quiet title after the debtor dismisses the bankruptcy action. Second, it analyzes the Court’s decision to reform a deed to include the debtors’ 50% interest even though the seller failed to sign individually and later claims he never intended to do so, as the evidence all points to the intention to convey his interest through the bankruptcy. Mike O’Donnell, Bethany Abele, Ron Ahrens and Mike Crowley are all members of Riker Danzig’s Title Insurance and Commercial Litigation Practices.
Title Nerds hosts Mike O’Donnell and Bethany Abele are joined by fellow Riker Danzig attorneys Mary Kay Roberts and Mike Crowley. In this inaugural episode, Mike O’Donnell talks to Mike Crowley about the Fifth Circuit’s Hall v. Old Republic case (990 F.3d 933, 5th Cir. Mar. 10, 2021) concerning coverage for mechanic’s liens, and then turns to changes in ALTA’s Owner and Lender Policies. Bethany Abele and Mary Kay Roberts discuss New Jersey’s new “Daniel’s Law” (A1649 P.L.2020 c.125)/S3453 P.L. 2021, c.24) protecting the disclosure of certain personal information of judges, prosecutors and some others, as well as the impact of the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act /Homeowner’s Association Fees Corrective Bill (S908 P.L. 2020, c.100), and a bill encouraging the Timely Recording of Residential Deeds (A3396/S1319). Mike O’Donnell, Bethany Abele and Mike Crowley are all members of Riker Danzig’s Title Insurance and Commercial Litigation Practices, while Mary Kay Roberts is a lobbyist and Governmental Affairs partner, heading Riker Danzig’s Trenton office.