Covid19 Blog Post Kurt Peterson 2

ACTIONS TO CONSIDER TO GET YOUR REAL ESTATE DEALS CLOSED DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS

April 6, 2020

Updated: April 8, 2020

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the resulting elective and government-mandated shelter-in-place orders have complicated the path to closing of even routine real estate transactions.  In order to ensure timely closings and perhaps avoid a technical breach of contract, parties to real estate transactions should consider the following:

Execution of Closing Documents

Determine in advance whether the authorized signatory is available and where “wet” signatures are required, the signatory’s physical location.  Be aware that escrow companies, if open at all, generally are conducting signings and closings by advance appointment only.  If possible, as a back-up provide for multiple authorized signatories in the company’s closing resolution.

Confirm that the signatory has access to a notary.  If an in-person notary is not feasible, consider whether remote online notarization (“RON”) via video-conferencing is available.  About one-half of all states adopted RON prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (note that Arizona’s RON statute, A.R.S. 41-371 et seq., goes into effect July 1, 2020*), and several states have recently adopted temporary emergency RON orders. In addition, federal legislation is pending to authorize RON nationwide.  Confirm with your title company whether it will accept RON.

Many people who are working remotely for the first time do not have access to printers and scanners.  Consider accepting electronic signatures, if permitted by the parties and the title company.

Delivery of Documents and Closing Funds

Many title and escrow companies’ offices are closed, with escrow officers working remotely, so it is important to confirm the location to which to deliver the original executed closing documents.  .  Because of extraordinary demands on overnight and other delivery services, it is prudent to allow several additional days for delivery of documents.  Wires of closing funds may also be delayed and arrangements should be made well in advance.

Recording Office Closures

Confirm that the pertinent governmental recording office is open, is accepting recordings and is not anticipating any unusual delays.  Although electronic recording is widely offered, there are still jurisdictions that accept only in-person recordings, and there are a number of jurisdictions in which both electronic and public offices are experiencing delays or closure.  

Title Policy Gap

Delays in recording or in the recording office processing recorded documents after acceptance can create a longer than usual (and possibly indefinite) gap period.  Confirm with the title company that the title insurance policy will be issued without an exception for the gap period (or the form of indemnity that will be required to remove the exception).

*April 8, 2020 Update: Arizona Governor Ducey today issued Executive Order 20-26, accelerating the establishment of RON, to be effective April 10, 2020. The Arizona Secretary of State will begin accepting notary applications for RON on April 10, 2020. The application requirements and links to the administrative rules (A.A.C. R2-12-1301 et seq.) may be found at https://azsos.gov/business/notary-public.

About the Author: Kurt Peterson assists clients in the areas of real estate, commercial finance and general business law. Drawing on over 30 years of experience, Kurt’s commercial transactional practice includes real estate acquisitions, financing, leasing, operation and disposition as well as a diverse general business practice representing business owners on corporate formation, risk management, acquisitions, contracts and operational matters. kap@eblawyers.com | 602.222.4951

Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice and is only for general, non-specific informational purposes. It is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. If you have a legal matter, the specific facts that apply to you may require legal knowledge not addressed by this article. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer.

Engelman Berger 21st Year Volunteering at Sojourner Center

Engelman Berger Celebrates our 21st Year By Volunteering at the Sojourner Center

This past week, Engelman Berger celebrated our 21st year by stepping away from our desks for our annual social services day at the Sojourner Center. Each year, our team picks an organization that is making a large and beneficial impact in the state of Arizona and spends the day giving back to the community.

The Sojourner Center helps over 10,000 Arizonans every year, half of whom are children. Since 1977, the Sojourner Center has transformed the lives of over 60,000 Arizona men, women, and children affected by domestic violence by providing them with a safe haven and the necessary support and shelter services. This impactful organization has a residential program that provides Arizona adults and children who are affected by domestic violence with 124 shelter beds and 32 transitional housing apartments.

In an attempt to create a world that is free from domestic violence, the Sojourner Center is extending their housing and protection services to include education and prevention within the community.

We are grateful and thank the Sojourner Center for providing us with the opportunity to give back to the community and spend the day helping get the facility ready for new women and families to arrive.

Tamalyn Lewis Swearing Engelman Berger

EB Congratulates Attorney Tamalyn Lewis for Being Sworn in at the U.S. Supreme Court

Engelman Berger would like to congratulate attorney Tamalyn Lewis for being sworn in at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Tami was among the 50 individuals of whom participated in this special and honorable event hosted by the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. The three other participating individuals from Arizona (pictured) were United States Bankruptcy Judge Daniel P. Collins, United States Bankruptcy Judge Brenda K. Martin, and Polsinelli attorney Lindsi M. Weber.

The National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges is an association comprised of Bankruptcy Judges of the United States that aims to provide judges, lawyers, and other involved professionals with continuing legal education and to promote cooperation among Bankruptcy Judges. The association also strives to secure and encourage a larger degree of quality and uniformity in the administrative side of the Bankruptcy system as well as improve the practice of law specifically in the Bankruptcy Courts of the United States.

Paralegal Kathryn Hardy Engelman Berger

Engelman Berger Welcomes Paralegal Kathryn Hardy to the EBTeam!

Engelman Berger welcomes new hire and paralegal, Kathryn Hardy, to the EBTeam! Kathryn brings over 24 years of experience and paralegal expertise to our office having worked in a wide range of practice areas in both California and Arizona. Kathryn is a litigation specialist and has worked in the areas of bankruptcy litigation, civil and commercial litigation, media and constitutional law, white-collar defense, creditor representation, and intellectual property law. Born and raised in Virginia, Kathryn attended the University of Virginia where she received her bachelor’s degree in Communications. She then went on to obtain her post-baccalaureate Paralegal Specialist Certificate in Litigation from the University of West Los Angeles School of Paralegal Studies. Kathryn will be working closely with attorneys Damien Meyer and Meaghan Kramer.

At Engelman Berger, we are proud to offer our employees both a diverse and united community environment. Having worked at small, medium and large firms, Kathryn wished to join a smaller firm where the practice areas and socialization weren’t lost due to the size of the firm. She was looking for a community of dedicated and integrated individuals, and we are excited to make her a part of our firm.

Welcome to the EBTeam, Kathryn!

Public Finance Joan Hubbert Engelman Berger

EB Expands Our Public Finance Department with the Addition of Joan Hubbert

Engelman Berger is expanding our Public Finance department with the hire of paralegal Joan Hubbert to work with attorneys Julie Arvo MacKenzie and Brigitte Finley Green. Joan brings over 19 years of experience in the area of public finance and has worked with a number of firms in both her home state of New Jersey as well as Arizona.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a Finance concentration from Rutgers University and her Paralegal Certificate from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Ladder Down Rachel Phillips Engelman Berger

EB Attorney Rachel Phillips Accepted to the Ladder Down Arizona’s Class of 2020

At the beginning of the New Year, Engelman Berger attorney Rachel Phillips was selected to be a part of the 2020 Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel Ladder Down Arizona Class of 2020.  Currently in its eighth year in Arizona, Ladder Down is a year-long program that provides training and career development to empower women lawyers in three critical areas: leadership, business development, and mentoring.  Congratulations, Rachel! We are excited to see how you learn and grow through this excellent program.

Rachel Phillips Litigation Department Engelman Berger

Engelman Berger Expands Our Litigation Department with New Hire Rachel Phillips

Engelman Berger is eager to announce the expansion of our Litigation Department with the new hire of attorney Rachel Phillips. Rachel brings over seven years of experience providing her clients with innovative solutions and effective advocacy in the industries of banking and finance, food and beverage, health insurance, property/casualty insurance, sports, waste management, retail, and real estate. Rachel’s prior experience at a large international law firm includes representing and obtaining summary judgment on all counts in favor of a client facing over $16 million in damages claims for alleged breaches of contract, acting as second chair in a full-day trial which resulted in a $10 million deficiency judgment in favor of her client, and much more.  Rachel’s addition brings great diversity to our firm’s commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, and class actions practice areas.

Rachel graduated from Seton Hall University in 2008 before obtaining her J.D. at the University of Arizona James E. Rodgers College of Law in 2012. During law school, Rachel was a Judicial Extern for United States District Court Judge David G. Campbell.

Rachel has been selected to Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars from 2016 to 2020. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the Phoenix Women’s Sport Association and the Maricopa County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.

We are excited to introduce Rachel to our EB Team as we continue to serve clients and take our litigation department to the next level.

Care Holiday Party Engelman Berger

EB Sponsoring CARE’s 3rd Annual Holiday Party at ABI Winter Leadership Conference

Engelman Berger is a proud sponsor of the Credit Abuse Resistance Education’s (CARE) 3rd annual holiday party. The event will be held on December 5th, 2019 from 4:30PM-6:00PM at the American Bankruptcy Institute’s annual Winter Leadership Conference at Terranea Resort in Southern California.

We hope our friends and colleagues attending the ABI Winter Leadership Conference will have the chance to attend the wonderful event. To register for the event, visit this link: https://www.flipcause.com/secure/event_step2/NjI1OTc=/55976?utm_source=ABI+Winter+Leadership+Conference+2019&utm_campaign=c9198e63b5-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_11_21_04_37_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6fdffe59c8-c9198e63b5-185170303&mc_cid=c9198e63b5&mc_eid=1c8c9415fa.

Engelman Berger attorney and CARE board/executive committee member, Patrick Clisham, will be attending the CARE event.

Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE) is a non-profit organization that aims to teach young individuals the skills of financial literacy. CARE was founded in 2002 by a now-retired Bankruptcy Judge and continues to recruit professionals in the bankruptcy and financial service industries to talk directly with young adults about the importance of personal finance.

Winter Leadership Conference Engelman Berger

EB Attorneys Patrick Clisham and Scott Cohen Attend ABI Winter Leadership Conference

On December 5th-7th, the American Bankruptcy Institute is hosting its annual Winter Leadership Conference at Terranea Resort in sunny Southern California. This 3-day conference for business and consumer bankruptcy attorneys as well as financial advisors hosts more than 70 speakers, including over a dozen judges.

Patrick is an ABI Board Member and will also be attending the Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE) board meeting as a board/executive committee member. Scott will be attending the American Board of Certification (ABC) board meeting. ABC is the nation’s premier legal specialty certification organization that certifies attorneys as specialists in bankruptcy and creditors’ rights law. Scott is also looking forward to playing in the annual tennis tournament organized by Rob Kinas, a partner at Snell & Wilmer.

Engelman Berger is a sponsor of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s 40 Under 40 reception through its contribution to the ABC. ABI’s 40 Under 40 program recognizes the legal profession’s leading insolvency professionals who are committed to the highest standards of achievement at both their place of work and within their communities. The 2019 class will be announced at the Winter Leadership Conference on December 5th.

For more information or to register for the conference, please visit this link: https://www.abiwlc.org/.

Thanksgiving Photo Engelman Berger

Engelman Berger Wishes You a Happy Thanksgiving

Engelman Berger would like to wish our clients, colleagues, and the community a Happy Thanksgiving. We hope you are able to spend today with family and friends celebrating all for which you are grateful.

Engelman Berger would like to give special thanks to our amazing team for all of the hard work they do and for making EB such a wonderful place to work. We would also like to give special thanks to our clients who make what we do so worthwhile.