Coronavirus and Considerations for Real Estate Transactions: CONDOMINIUM & COOPERATIVE OFFERINGS & CLOSINGS

March 19, 2020

At this time, the staff of the Real Estate Finance Bureau (REFB) of the NYS Attorney General’s office are telecommuting and are continuing to review offering plan submissions, amendments, and no-action applications, subject to delays.

Later this week, REFB is expected to announce a slate of temporary policies and procedures. While nothing has been confirmed at this time, it is our hope that this may include a relaxing of requirements for submission of original signatures and documents and the possibility of extensions of deadlines for filing.

In light of the growing challenges in being able to hold in-person closings, Herrick has been in contact with a number of regional abstract companies and national title insurance companies who remain ready to help facilitate closings “in escrow.” While the requirements vary by deal and by parties, general considerations include:

  1. Closing in NYC is contingent on the City Register’s office remaining open for business for purposes of recording deeds and related documents. At present, they remain open and generally permit electronic recording, provided the original document for recording is on file with the title company.
  2. The original documents for recording still require wet signatures by all signatories and notaries.
  3. Some title companies are only accepting wires, not checks.
  4. The abstract or title companies will, of course, insist on indemnities and there may be additional fees for serving as a closing agent.
  5. Closing in escrow has additional challenges and requires more coordination than a traditional sit-down closing, so the sooner arrangements can be initiated the better.

© 2020 Herrick, Feinstein LLP. This alert is provided by Herrick, Feinstein LLP to keep its clients and other interested parties informed of current legal developments that may affect or otherwise be of interest to them. The information is not intended as legal advice or legal opinion and should not be construed as such.