The Real Estate and Title Section meets each year in January, May and September. The Section is responsible for promulgating the MSBA Real Estate Title Standards, now in its third edition. The Section is constantly trying to keep the title standards current and responsive to the needs of practitioners.
The quality of topical discussions at the meetings, regularly attended by 50 or more attorneys from all parts of the state, makes the meetings "mandatory attendence" in the minds of many Maine real estate attorneys.
The Section regularly conducts 4-5 seminars for the MSBA each year. These seminars cover everything from the nuts and bolts of real estate practice to more advanced topics and current issues.
Business Meeting Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 9:30 am Augusta Civic Center - Washington/York Room
Business Meeting Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 9:30 am Augusta Civic Center - Washington/York Room
MINUTES OF THE JOINT MEETING OF THE REAL ESTATE & TITLE SECTION AND THE TITLE STANDARDS SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE MAINE STATE BAR ASSOCIATION MAY 19, 2004
1. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order on May 19, 2004 at 9:35 a.m. at the Augusta Civic Center by the Chair of the Real Estate and Title Section, Ron Bissonnette. Approximately 52 members were in attendance.
2. DEP Representative
The Chair introduced Don Witherell of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. He informed the Section members of the joint effort of his Department and the Department of Human Services to certify septic system inspectors. Brochures were distributed explaining the program. A list of certified septic system inspectors is available on line at http://www.maine.gov/dhs/eng/plumb/system_inspections.htm.
3. Title Standards Subcommittee
3.1: Minutes. The Chair of the Subcommittee, Howard Lake, asked if anyone would be willing to take minutes of the meeting. He explained he found it difficult to take notes and conduct the meeting. No one volunteered to take minutes. The Chair of the Real Estate Section agreed to prepare minutes in connection with submitting the Oracle Form to the Board of Bar Overseers for CLE credits.
3.2: Maine Partnership Act. Howard Lake distributed a memorandum from Judy Woodbury on the status of the proposed revisions to the Maine Partnership Act. Some of the changes proposed, if adopted, may require revisions to the title standards.
3.3: Title Standard 212, Section II.B.3. Discussion of the proposed revision to this standard was tabled because John Cunningham was unable to attend the meeting.
3.4: Title Standard 804 (Divorce). Discussion of the proposed revision to this standard was tabled because Chris Neagle was unable to attend the meeting.
3.5: Title Standard 503 (Paper Streets). The Chair appointed John Cunningham and Michael Power to recommend changes to this standard and report to the subcommittee at the September meeting.
3.6: Title Standard 202, Section D. Ron Bissonnette reported. He suggested two approaches to revising the requirement to review the court records. One would avoid the requirement if the notice of a suit affecting the real estate has been of record for a specified period with no judgment recorded. This would be based on the provision in 14 M.R.S.A. Section 2401 which gives a judgment no effect unless recorded. There was no support for this approach. The subcommittee preferred the second approach, to update Section D to include judgments as well as abstracts as sufficient. Ron Bissonnette and Chris Neagle will submit a proposed revision to the subcommittee at the September meeting.
3.7: Title Standards 408, 409 and 410 (Joint Tenancy Issues). Sam Kilbourn led a discussion on a series of examples of grants purporting to create or dissolve joint tenancies. As a result of this exercise, the chair appointed Sam Kilbourn, Terry Snow, Joe Chawes and Ron Bissonnette to recommend possible revisions to the standards concerning joint tenancies at the September meeting.
3.8: Title Standards 902 and 603 (Technical Corrections). Ellerbe Cole alerted the Chair in an e-mail that Standard 902 requires further correction. Sam Kilbourn noted that Standard 603 may also require similar corrections. The Chair will contact Ellerbe Cole and ask him to recommend changes to these Standards for the September meeting.
4. Section Business
4.1: Legislative Report. Robin Watts reported and distributed an updated on legislation which the legislative committee of the section has been monitoring.
4.2: Mechanics Lien Statute Amendment. A committee comprised of Knud Hermansen, Robin Watts, Hope Hilton and Ron Bissonnette presented a proposed revision to the current statute. The purpose of the revision is to allow examiners to rely more on the registry record and less on the court records because court records are becoming more difficult and more costly to obtain. Several revisions were suggested by Mike Griffin. The consensus of the Section members present was to extend the time within which the lienor must file the lis pendens certificate or certified copy of the complaint in the registry from 7 days to 30 days. With that change the committee will forward the proposed revision through the appropriate channels for consideration by the legislature.
4.3: Foreclosure Statute Amendment. Don Fowler reported that he, Chris Neagle and John Cunningham have not had an opportunity to work on a proposed revision. The matter was tabled until the September meeting.
4.4: Continuing Legal Education. Mike Griffin reported that the Real Estate Institute sponsored by the Association will be held either March 11 and 12 or March 18 and 19 in 2005. Members are encouraged to submit topics for consideration to Jackie Rogers at the Maine State Bar Association. Sam Kilbourn stated he needs a member to participate as a closing attorney in the telephone seminar on real estate closings scheduled for September 9, 22 or 30.
4.5: CLE Credits. Ron Bissonnette reported that the Board of Bar Overseers has awarded 1 hour of CLE credit and 0.5 hour of ethics CLE credit to the members who attended the January 21, 2004 meeting.
4.6: Uniform Recording System (Registry Computerization and Internet Access). Rick Smith reported on the efforts of the committee comprised of Rick Smith, Ann Adams, John Cunningham, Linda Gifford, Knud Hermansen, Howard Lake, Chris Neagle and Paul Thelin, to encourage the registries to require their vendors to provide on line services which permit title searches which conform to the Maine Title Standards. He obtained the Section’s consensus that a memorandum similar to the one sent to the York County Commissioners dated February 18, 2004, be sent to all registries. He requested assistance in completing a chart he distributed which sets forth the different requirements of registries for accessing records on line.
4.7: Recording Order. Howard Lake raised a concern that the order of recording documents received by registries may vary from registry to registry. He asked the section to consider whether legislation might be needed to enforce uniformity.
4.8: Old Business. None.
4.9: New Business. None.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.
Submitted by: Ronald L. Bissonnette Chair, Real Estate and Title Section Maine State Bar Association
Benjamin W. Lund Esquire Brann & Isaacson LLP P O Box 3070 Lewiston, ME 04243 email@example.com Phone: (207) 786-3566 Fax: (207) 783-9325