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Meet the 2020-21 NYSLTA Officers

Posted By Robert Treuber, Thursday, August 27, 2020
Updated: Thursday, August 27, 2020
On August 25th, the Land Title Association held the annual election of officers, under special conditions dictated by social distancing and pandemic safety protocols.


The new officers are:

President - Jean Partridge, Benchmark Title Agency

President-elect - James Thanasules, AmTrust Title

Treasurer - Eric Swarthout, Thoroughbred Title Services

Title Section Chair - Steve Vincini, First American Title Insurance

Title Section Vice-chair - Robin Schwartzman, WFG Title Insurance

Agent Section Chair - Richard Giliotti, Judicial Title Agency

Agent Section Vice-chair - DeAnna Stancanelli, National Granite Title Agency

Past-president - Dawn Pereyo, Westcor Land Title Insurance Co.


The election and induction was held outdoors in Rye Brook, NY. ALTA President Mary O'Donnell joined via Zoom to conduct the oath of office.



New President, Jean Partridge, made the following statement as her first official act.


Annual Meeting 2020 - A Word from NYSLTA President Jean Partridge

So, 2020, it’s been….a challenging year. 

In 1964, Bob Dylan famously sang these lyrics, “Oh, the times they are a-changin.”
Just as Dylan’s anthem embodied the shifting American societal landscape during that turbulent decade, the title industry (like the rest of the world) is undergoing its own turbulent era of change amidst the 21st century and the corona virus pandemic. 
My message today is one of optimism. There is no doubt that the coming year will be full of hurdles; however, I am confident that we will persevere and overcome the obstacles placed before us with the dedicated slate of professionals who have just been sworn in as your officers. 
Nevertheless, as the saying goes “I have a tough act to follow”.
First and foremost, I would like to thank Dawn for an incredible job in successfully leading the Association through uncharted territory in what may have been the most unstable year of our professional, and personal, lifetime.
Those with children are all too familiar with the saying “are we there yet” when taking long car rides. I think at this juncture, we all may be experiencing that same feeling. Are we DONE yet? Is it OVER yet? Well, not really. Clearly, we have not yet overcome this extraordinary historical moment of the pandemic, but we have been able to survive, and more importantly, are poised to effect positive change in our industry. We have many goals to strive for:
I believe our primary goals should be to continue to ADVOCATE for our industry and EDUCATE our members.
Additional goals include;
  • Prepare for the ever-changing technological capabilities – more specifically;
  • Electronic/digital closings. Understand, compare RON/RIN/ Rulona.
  • Increase awareness, educate and inform our members and consumers alike regarding the ever-increasing wire fraud and mortgage closing scams.
  • Engage and COMMUNICATE effectively with our regulators.
  • Expand and increase membership, get more diverse members – large and small agents alike from both zone 1 and zone 2.
We need to remember that diversity breeds success and there is strength in numbers!
I understand most of us spend most of our time running our business. As business owners, your voice in the NYSLTA provides leadership to our industry. I encourage you and your colleagues and your staff to become involved with the Association, we need your ideas and energy. 
A final important goal is to increase awareness of what we do, how we do it and most importantly, the GOOD that we do.
We have made some small strides in changing the media and public perceptions of the title insurance industry through recent publications placed by our media communications firm. However, there is more work that needs to be done. We need to spread the message that the system that allows land to be freely bought, sold, and transferred in the United States depends on the work WE do! 
We are important and vital to stimulating the economy as ALTA so poignantly states.
We provide proof that people own their real property and because of this people can use their real estate capital to grow their assets, which stimulates the economy. 
And because our work gives lenders the confidence to provide mortgage loans, we’re the backbone of the real estate economy, which is, in turn, the backbone of the nation’s economy.
Without the work we do, people’s rights to their property could be jeopardized, their collateral and equity lost, and our economy badly impacted.
We need to convey this message, and no one can tell it better than we can.
It is with great pride, honor and humbleness that I commence my term as President of NYSLTA, particularly as we celebrate our 100th year anniversary, which, coincidentally, is also the 100th year anniversary of the enactment of the 19th amendment to the constitution granting women the right to vote. For the first time in our long history, we have had three consecutive woman Presidents and I am extremely proud to be one of them. I am also honored to have been sworn in today by the esteemed Mary O’Donnell, a very impressive woman in her own right and the current President of ALTA. 
I know that with your help we can see the title industry weather this storm and we will come out stronger. We are all competitors, yet we are a cohesive organization that supports each other as we support the American dream of real property ownership. We need to work hard, work together and remember that “optimism is the faith that leads to achievement” - Helen Keller.
In closing, I hope my message of unity and optimism will stay with you throughout the year.
And to reiterate, we are NOT done yet but with optimism, forward thinking, cohesiveness and diligence things will get easier and brighter…. As the lyrics say in the song “Oh, Oh Child” by Five Stairsteps.


Tags:  Annual Meeting  Convention  Election  Executive Committee  President's message 

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A Back-To-Work Tip to make your workspace safer

Posted By Bill Collins, Frontier Abstract - Co-Chair, Back To Work Committe, Monday, August 10, 2020
Updated: Monday, August 10, 2020

While some of our members continue to have most of their employees work remotely, many members have returned to partial or full staffing since the pandemic started.

As the pandemic continues, members keep a close eye out for outbreaks that may happen in their offices.  More and more research is showing that indoor air environment may play a much more important role in the spread of the novel coronavirus than surface transmission.

This article by a professor of engineering who specializes in indoor air quality has some valuable advice for avoiding spread in your office when employee’s test results come back positive.

Click the attached file for the most recent Back-To-Work FAQ.

 Attached Files:
BTW 7-29-20.pdf (208.5 KB)

Tags:  Back-To-Work  Coronavirus  COVID-19 

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July Executive Committee Meeting Agenda

Posted By Robert Treuber, Thursday, July 9, 2020
Updated: Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Executive Committee will meet via phone conference; attendance is restricted to members only.

Call-in info can be found on the Executive Committee page.

You must be signed-in as a members to view this page.


If you cannot remember your log-in credentials, contact staff at .



New York State Land Title Association
July 14, 202
10:30 AM

AGENDA (Subject to change)

1.    Call to order – President Pereyo
2.    President’s Greeting – President Pereyo
3.    Approval of June Minutes - Executive Director Treuber
4.    Exec Director Report – Executive Director Treuber
5.    Advocacy Committee Report – Vice-chair Stancanelli
6.    Title Section Report – Chair Thanasules
7.    Agent Section Report – Chair Giliotti
8.    Law Committee Report – Chair Danzi
9.    BTW Committee Report – Chair Swarthout

10.  Charitable Works Committee - Chair Roper
11.    New Business
12.    Adjourn

Tags:  EC  Executive Committee 

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Back To Work FAQ and Resource Guide

Posted By Robert Treuber, Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Updated: Thursday, July 30, 2020


Questions to consider when creating a BTW Plan UPDATED JULY 28, 2020


The Executive Committee of the NYS Land Title Association formed a special task force in May 2020 to prepare guidance for member companies in anticipation of the eventual lifting of restrictions and the return to the traditional workplace.


The Back-To-Work Group has compiled a multi-page PDF document covering a dozen topics such as liability, good practices, reporting requirements, human resources concerns, office cleaning and disinfecting, PPE, health & wellness, social distancing, business travel and risk assessment.


Logged in members can access the BTW Guide here. 


The file is also available by navigating to: SECTIONS> ABSTRACTERS & AGENTS SECTION and selecting the file named "Back-To-Work FAQ 7-28-2020" PDF (232.43 KB) from the file library on that page.



Tags:  Back-To-Work  BTW  change management  Coronavirus  COVID-19  WFH  Work from Home 

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June Executive Committee Agenda

Posted By Robert Treuber, Monday, June 8, 2020



    New York State Land Title Association
    June 9, 2020
    10:30 AM

    1.    Call to order – President Pereyo
    2.    President’s Greeting – President Pereyo
    3.    Approval of May Minutes - Executive Director Treuber
    4.    Exec Director Report – Executive Director Treuber
    5.    Treasurer Report – Mr. Frates
    6.    Advocacy Committee Report – Vice-chair Stancanelli
    7.    Title Section Report – Vice-chair Vincini
    8.    Agent Section Report – Chair Giliotti
         a.    City of Mt. Vernon
         b.    NYC CEP water bills
         c.    Building loan agreements
         d.    Executive order notarization / RIN
    9.    Land Records Committee Report
         a.    Nassau
         b.    Suffolk
         c.    Mount Vernon
    10.    Municipal Liaison Committee Report
         a.    DEP Update
    11.    Law Committee Report
         a.    Recommended Practices
    12.    Education Committee Report – Chair Polidoro
    13.    Back To Work Committee Report – Chair Swarthout
    14.    New Business
    15.    Adjourn

Tags:  Executive Committee 

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Are You Working From Home?

Posted By Robert Treuber, Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Technology Committee has compiled a guide to tools and technologies for title professionals who are working from home.


You can view/download it HERE or from the WFH Handbook link on this page.


You can also locate the Handbook in the Technology Committee File Library, following the top navigation path:



If you have suggestions for the next edition of the Handbook, please email RGT@NYSLTA.ORG



 Attached Files:

Tags:  COVID-19  technology  WFH  Work from Home 

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Land Recording Status in Suffolk County

Posted By Robert Treuber, Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, April 22, 2020

NYSLTA Land Records Committee has received the following information from the Office of the Suffolk County Clerk.





Due to the COVID19 outbreak and out of an abundance of caution, the Suffolk County Clerk’s Office has closed its building operations to the public.  The health and safety of our employees and constituents is of utmost concern.   By executive order, our on-site staff has been severely reduced with the majority of employees working remotely.


 Business continuity has been achieved as we are able to process documents remotely with minimal processing impact.


As a recording office, we know our job is essential to the economy and we are very much aware that the land title and mortgage banking industries rely heavily on documentation obtained from our office and the timely processing of same.


Title Examiners 

The SCCO has provided a NO COST 24/7 remote access portal for viewing all records that are currently in the system which dates back to 1987 for land records and 2004 for judgements, liens, lis pendens and uniform commercial codes. Automated requests for documents beyond these dates will also be accommodated through the same remote access portal.  Those that wish to download images have that capability as well with a new convenient feature that accepts credit cards.  Help Desk resources are also available to account users.



The status of our office operations is available on the Clerk’s website


 Here is a quick view:

·      Closed to the public, but processing

o   E-Recording  (Simplifile, CSC, EPN)

o   Mail (we strongly recommend FED EX, UPS, USPS express)

o   Drop-offs in the Lobby (subject to change)


·      Documents being processed

o   Paper recordings

o   E-Recordings (Simplifile, CSC, EPN)

o   E-Recordings – Most documents accepted

o   Documents will be processed in date-received order for all incoming submissions (E-recording, mail and drop-offs)

·      Website


o   Recording questions

o   E-Recording questions

o   Map questions

o   Judgement questions


·      Searching

o   Index (1987)

o   Grantor/grantee books on line (1893 forward)

o   Document images (1987 mortgages /deeds)

o   Document images (2004 liens/judgments/UCC/LP)

o   *Document images (1973 to 1984 deeds)

o   *Real Property Tax Maps (1976 images)

o   *Sub-division Filed Maps (1952 west end towns/all east end)

o   Building Loan Agreements (1984 index/2004 images)

o   Mechanics Liens (1984 index/2004 images)

o   Print options (available remotely thru kiosk)

o   *Certified copy requests (available remotely thru kiosk)

o   *Hard copy request program (available remotely thru kiosk)

*New enhancements

·      Acceptance of Remote On-Line Notarization (RON)

o   Yes.  We will accept RON provided that the notary acknowledgment language includes it to be in full compliance within the requirements set forth in Gov. Executive Order 202.7


·      Anticipated return to regular business operations

o   Unknown


·      Outreach

o   Website updates

o   Automated VOIP system 631-852-2001 x800

o   Social media (County Clerk Pascale FB page)

o   NYSLTA, PRIA, E-Recording providers 


Office of the Suffolk County Clerk

Judith A. Pascale

631-852-2001 x800

Tags:  County Clerk  COVID-19  Land Records  Suffolk 

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NYS Tax Department bulletin on digital signatures

Posted By Robert Treuber, Thursday, April 16, 2020

Bulletin issued by the Department of Taxation and Finance - April 15, 2020


NYS Tax Department issues guidance on the temporary authorization to accept digital signatures


Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order in response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 situation temporarily authorizing the Department of Taxation and Finance (Tax) to accept digital signatures in place of handwritten signatures on documents related to the determination or collection of tax liability.


This notice defines the requirements for Tax’s acceptance of digital signatures and sets forth the types of documents to which digital signatures may be applied.  


To view the guidance issued, visit N-20-3, Temporary Authorization to Use Digital Signatures on Certain Documents Due to the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19.


For additional information, visit Tax Department response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Tags:  Coronavirus  digital signatures  Executive Order  NYS Dept Tax & Finance 

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Nassau County Clerk - Office Procedures as of April 13, 2020

Posted By Robert Treuber, Thursday, April 16, 2020
Updated: Thursday, April 16, 2020

The following bulletin has been issued by the Office of the Nassau County Clerk.  Please read in its entirety, as certain part concern examining and recording land records.


You can download the bulletin from the link on this page.



In an effort to protect our staff and the residents we serve, the Nassau County Clerk’s Office is closed for in person access. We continue to operate with very limited staff in accordance with the Governor’s orders. Documents are processed in the order they are received. Please use the following procedures to utilize the services of our office.


**While New York State has delayed the opening of the SCAR filing period, petition forms are still available on the County Clerk’s website to print and prepare at home. Please do not send SCAR filings to the County Clerk’s office until the courts have resumed full operations and a SCAR filing period has been announced.**


Land Records
• Document recordings can be submitted through e-recording, mail/delivery or lobby drop box
• Online records are available at:
• Document requests can be mailed/delivered or placed in lobby drop box


Court Records
• Per the Courts Administrative Order only matters deemed essential are being accepted. The Order can be found at:
• SCAR proceedings are not considered essential by the courts and therefore SCAR applications will not be accepted until further notice
• Document filings only pertaining to essential matters can be submitted through NYSCEF e-filing, mail/delivery or lobby drop box
• Online records are available at:
• Document requests can be mailed/delivered or placed in lobby drop box


For information on Court proceedings please visit


Documents virtually notarized are being accepted during the Governor’s designated period. Inclusion of a certification page attesting to this is encouraged.

Passport Services are suspended. Please visit for additional information.

All other County Clerk services will be provided where deemed essential.
To set up a pre-paid account for in-office services please visit our website and click the Set up Pre-Paid Account link in the tab section to the left.


Document submissions or requests must include the appropriate payment or pre-paid account information and self-addressed stamped envelope for receipt and/or document return to:
Nassau County Clerk
240 Old Country Road
Mineola, NY 11501

For emergencies only, please contact:



 Attached Files:

Tags:  County Clerk  COVID-19  Land Records  Long Island  Nassau County 

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DFS letter: Cybersecurity Awareness During COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted By Robert Treuber, Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, April 14, 2020


Released on April 13, 2020


Re: Guidance to Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) Regulated Entities Regarding Cybersecurity Awareness During COVID-19 Pandemic


To: All New York State Regulated Entities


As we face an unprecedented threat from the novel coronavirus known as “COVID-19,” every organization’s highest priority must be health and safety.  The extraordinary steps necessary to combat the COVID-19 pandemic have also created new challenges as regulated entities work to continue operating and providing critical services.  Among these new risks is a significant increase in cybercrime, as criminals seek to exploit the situation.[1]


The Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) has identified several areas of heightened cybersecurity risk as a result of this crisis.  As called for by DFS’s cybersecurity regulation, 23 NYCRR Part 500, regulated entities should assess the risks described below and address them appropriately.[2]


We also remind all regulated entities that, under 23 NYCRR Section 500.17(a), covered Cybersecurity Events must be reported to DFS as promptly as possible and within 72 hours at the latest.  Prompt reporting will enable DFS to respond quickly to new threats as DFS works to protect consumers and the financial services industry in these difficult times.


Heightened Risks

  1. Remote Working

    The abrupt shift to mass remote working forced by COVID-19 has created new security challenges, and attackers are exploiting these new vulnerabilities.[3]  These heightened risks to regulated entities’ networks and Nonpublic Information[4] include: 

    • Secure Connections.  Companies should make remote access as secure as possible under the circumstances.  This includes the use of Multi-Factor Authentication and secure VPN connections that will encrypt all data in transit.  See 23 NYCRR §§ 500.12 & 500.15.
    • Company-Issued Devices.  As new devices such as computers and phones are acquired or repurposed for remote working, regulated entities should ensure that they are properly secured.  This includes locking down the devices so applications cannot be added or deleted by the user, and installing appropriate security software, such as Endpoint Detection & Response and Mobile Device Management.
    • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Expansion.  Regulated entities that have expanded their BYOD policies to enable mass remote working should be aware of the security risks and consider mitigating steps.  Some personal devices are not properly secured or are already compromised.  If an expanded BYOD policy is necessary, compensating controls should therefore be considered.
    • Remote Working Communications.  Remote working has increased reliance on video and audio-conferencing applications, but these tools are increasingly targeted by cybercriminals.  Regulated entities should configure these tools to limit unauthorized access, and make sure that employees are given guidance on how to use them securely.
    • Data Loss Prevention.  Employees may be using unauthorized personal accounts and applications, such as email accounts, to remain productive while remote working.  Regulated entities should remind employees not to send Nonpublic Information to personal email accounts and devices.  Anticipating and solving productivity problems will reduce the temptation to use such devices.

  2. Increased Phishing and Fraud

    There has been a significant increase in online fraud and phishing attempts related to COVID-19.  For example, the FBI has reported that criminals are using fake emails that pretend to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), ask for charitable contributions, or offer COVID-19 relief such as government checks.[5]

  3. Regulated entities should remind their employees to be alert for phishing and fraud emails, and revisit phishing training and testing at the earliest practical opportunity.  Now that face-to-face work is curtailed, authentication protocols may need to be updated – especially for key actions, like security exceptions and wire transfers.

  4. Third-Party Risk

    The challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic have also affected third-party vendors, and regulated entities should re-evaluate the risks to critical vendors.  See 23 NYCRR § 500.11.  Regulated entities should coordinate with critical vendors to determine how they are adequately addressing the new risks.



The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted normal operations in the financial services industry and beyond, and cyber criminals are exploiting the crisis. Despite the extraordinary challenges, regulated entities should remain vigilant.  By following good cybersecurity practices, entities can identify, mitigate, and manage the risks.


[1] See DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”), COVID-19 Exploited by Malicious Cyber Actors (April 8, 2020).

[2] Heightened cyber risk should also be addressed in the COVID-19 operational preparedness plans called for by DFS guidance issued on March 10, 2020.  See Guidance to New York State Regulated Institutions and Request for Assurance of Operational Preparedness Relating to the Outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus.

[3] See FBI, Cyber Actors Take Advantage of COVID-19 Pandemic to Exploit Increased Use of Virtual Environments (April 1, 2020); U.S. Secret Service, Secret Service Issues COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Phishing Alert (March 9, 2020).

[4] 23 NYCRR § 500.01(g).

[5] See FBI, FBI Sees Rise In Fraud Schemes Related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic (March 20, 2020).

Tags:  Coronavirus  COVID-19  cybersecurity  DFS  technology 

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