15 Apr COVID-19: Operations Update – 1031 Exchange Deadline Changes & More
We hope this latest update finds you well and that, for those who celebrate, you had a happy Passover and a happy Easter.
We are pleased to report that our operations are still running smoothly, and not much has changed in that regard since our last update. We are returning searches in a timely fashion, closing deals, and getting documents recorded. And rest assured that we still have access to our internal database of back titles, our search database, and a title plant of over one million files. We remain committed to serving you – as uninterrupted as possible – during this uncertain time.
Of note this week, the IRS recently announced that taxpayers who are currently engaged in a 1031 exchange will be granted some relief from the 45-Day Identification and 180-Day Exchange period deadlines (Notice 2020-23). The update appears to provide that any affected taxpayer with a 45-Day Identification period or 180-Day Exchange period deadline between April 1 and July 15, 2020, will have an automatic extension to July 15, 2020. You can read the full update at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-20-23.pdf.
Municipal Office Closures
Currently, more than 2,100 municipal offices nationwide are partially or fully closed. For an up-to-date listing of the current county recording office closings, we recommend checking out the list compiled by ALTA – and keep in mind that it is frequently changing.
E-Signing & Notarization
E-signing is available through applications such as DocuSign for some documents that do not require notarization. For those that do, remote online notarization (RON) is broadly allowed in most states if requested by the client, provided that the lender also approves of its use. In the instance that RON is not allowed, we will arrange for an approved mobile notary to meet buyers or sellers at an outside location for signing.
As a reminder, we are currently limiting in-person closings to a minimum. However, if you have reason to visit our offices, please rest assured that we are taking all of the proper precautions set forth by the CDC and WHO, including maintaining a six-foot distance at all table signings, minimizing the sharing of paper, and offering unused signing pens that our customers can take home with them.
The Town Title Executive Team