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Report on meeting with Suffolk County Executive - Oct 7 2016

Posted By Nancy Farrell, Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, October 11, 2016
 

Meeting with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and staff that was held Friday, October 7th.

 

Those that were in attendance were:

 

Suffolk County Executive, Steve Bellone

Presiding Officer, DuWayne Gregory

Deputy County Executive for Intergovernmental Affairs, Jon Schneider

Chief of Staff (office of Presiding Officer), Lora A. Gellerstein

Chief Deputy Commissioner for Economic Development, Theresa Ward

 

Randy Kaplan and Timothy Lachapelle from LIBOR

Elizabeth Alonso, NYSLTA

Nancy C. Farrell NYSLTA

 

Mr. Kaplan initiated the conversation regarding the coalition and their goals. The discussion of targeting the real estate industry and the excessiveness of the fees was focused on. Executive Bellone assured Mr. Kaplan that the real estate industry was not being targeted and that all areas of the government under his control have been re-evaluated, condensed and revamped to be the most efficient and cost effective. But with the sales tax revenue not being what was and is projected, the funds must be made up in other areas. This was the general conversation that was had. Mr. Kaplan was transparent in telling Exec. Bellone that there would be news releases by the coalition and then phone calls next week from members of LIBOR, the LI Builders Assoc. and the LIA. The tone of the meeting was pleasant and professional.

 

Beth Alonso and I agreed with Mr. Kaplan that the fees were excessive, but if and when they went into effect, that there would be sufficient time for the industry to prepare.  Given all the new rules and regulations put on the title and banking industries from both the CFPB (with the new TRID regulations) and the DFS, we explained the constant need for time sensitive disclosures.  The exec’s staffers were receptive to that.  That spurred on the discussion of the exact nature of the fees being imposed.

 

At the time of this meeting, the County Officials had not finalized the list of instruments effected by the increases.  I explained that there are numerous documents that are associated with mortgages, including, but not limited to assignments and Consolidation agreements. We asked that they be very specific as to what documents will be affected by this fee. This should not be left open to interpretation by the county clerk’s office.

 

The $25.00 increase in the real property verification portion of the recording fee is going to be across the board as is the $200.00 fee now. It is our opinion the $300.00 fee is going to be tough for our clients to swallow.  With that, we asked for the most amount of lead time possible, explaining that the lenders and attorneys will raise concerns regarding this steep increase.

 

The budget is still in review, but will be voted on, I believe November 7th. Once passed, then there are some internal mechanics that will bring them to November 15 to be the final date for release.  That will give the industry 45 days until implementation of the new budget items which would take effect January 1, 2017. These dates could be a moving target, but are as close as we could get.

 

We explained that the more lead time the better for both the industry as well as the county clerk’s office.  Beth also suggested that there be a date of absolute to be the governing factor (being the date of the document) which would affect the change in the fee structure.  We explained that in recording  a document there are times when rejections occur and if a document falls between the old and the new recording structure, you cannot go back to a client, purchaser or borrower and request the additional fees. I believe that they understood the point we were trying to make. I again honed in on the fact that it would make it easier not only for our industry, but for the county clerk’s office as well.

 

All in all, I believe that he meeting went well and hopefully our concerns were taken seriously. Only time will tell.

 

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. 

Regards,

Nancy

 

Nancy C. Farrell

President

Venture Title Agency, Inc.

Tags:  Recording fees  Suffolk 

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