COLORADO COVID UPDATES:   05_31

Posted 5.29 Governor Extends Executive Order on Remote Notarization for 30 days: As expected, the Governor has extended his Executive Order Concerning the Temporary Suspension of the Personal Appearance Requirement for Notarization for another 30 days.   Please see the order here.  The order extension will enable Coloradans to continue obtaining required notarizations while observing social distancing.  

PPP Info : The small business administration and US Treasury Department have released an application for business owners to have their Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiven.  Members who received a PPP loan should complete and submit the application to their PPP lender.  

Posted 5.27 Legislature is Back and RON passes another hurdle!:  The Colorado Legislature is back and at 'em.  Great news!  SB20-096, Remote Notaries Protect Privacy passed unanimously in the House Business Affairs Committee this afternoon.  As you may recall, the bill had passed the Senate prior to the COVID break.  Next step: House Appropriations.  

Posted 5.06 Stay at Home/Safer at Home  What's Next :  There are several counties that are still under Safe at Home:  Adams County, Arapahoe County, Boulder County, Broomfield (city and county), Denver (city and county), Gilpin County and Jefferson County until May 8, 2020.   This may not be an exhaustive list so be sure to check city and county health orders in your jurisdiction.  These local orders supersede the state order.

For those of you not under stricter stay at home orders, the state of Colorado moved to Safer at Home on May 1, 2020.  While title insurance has been able to operate throughout this pandemic, there are certain protocols and rules that we need to abide by in order to keep both our employees and customers safe per Public Health Order 20-28.  The Public Health Order is in effect until May 26, 2020 unless extended, rescinded or amended.  Highlights include:

  • Employee Safety:
    • Deputizing a workplace coordinator (s)
    • This included daily temperature screenings.  Click here to download the Employee Health Screening Form
    • Clean and Disinfect High Touch Areas
    • Proper signage and social distancing
    • Providing reasonable work accommodations for vulnerable individuals
  • Customer Safety:
    • Minimize number of in-person meetings and maintain 6-foot distancing
    • Require gloved and masks for any customer interactions.

 These are just a few of the highlights listed in Public Health Order 20-28 Safer at Home.  Click here for the full order. Be sure to play close attention to Section I on page 6 and Appendix C. 

Posted on 05/01.  Governor Extends Executive Order on Remote Notarization for 30 days.:  As expected, the Governor has extended his Executive Order Concerning the Temporary Suspension of the Personal Appearance Requirement for Notarization for 30 days.   Please see the order here.  The order extension will enable Coloradans to continue obtaining required notarizations while observing social distancing.  This goes along with the extension of the Secretary of State Rules we announced earlier this week.  

 Posted 4/28.  Colorado Secretary of State's Remote Notarization Emergency Rules Extended Until May 30 :  The Secretary of State's Remote Notarization Emergency Rules have been extended and will remain in effect until May 30.  While some areas of the state have eased stay at home orders, social distancing is still in place.   We understand that the Executive Order will be extended as well but this as not been confirmed. The Land Title Association of Colorado, once again led a coalition of industry partners in requesting an extension of these rules.   Please see our request here.   Although we had requested an extension for 90 days the extensions were only granted for 30 days.   

Effective 4/16: Guidance on Temporary Flexibilities for Closings: On Thursday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued temporary guidelines for signing documents remotely to help get mortgage transactions closed. Both entities will now allow the use of services such as Zoom, Skype or FaceTime to help facilitate what would otherwise be a traditional closing. Fannie Mae expects the temporary governors’ executive orders and authorizations related to RIN to extend beyond the COVID-19 crisis. A RIN can be distinguished from a remote online notarization (RON) in which notarial documents are signed and sealed electronically, with the notarial seal applied electronically. Fannie Mae encourages the use of RON, but if not available to then consider RIN. You can find more information on the RIN process here

DORA Emergency Declaration Effective April 2, 2020: The Colorado Insurance Commissioner has adopted Emergency Regulation 20-E-04 regarding continuation of Colorado insurance licenses during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This emergency regulation contains information for title agents regarding new licensing and license expiration during this public health crisis. View the full Emergency Regulation by clicking hereFeel free to share this information with your team!

Rules Are Here!: Late in the day, on 3.27 the Governor signed an Executive Order that waives the requirement for personal appearance and allow for the use of remote notarization technology for the next thirty days.

In the order, it authorizes the secretary of state to issue temporary emergency rules to establish the standards and processes necessary to allow remote notarizations, including rules regarding authentication, verification of identity, and audio-video recording. 

Please click here for the notice of temporary adoption.

More Info on the new Remote Notarization Rules: These rules are not the same as what is known as a Remote Online Notarization.  They allow for remote audio/video witnessing of the signature process. It must be a Colorado notary witnessing with web audio/video technology that is able to record the interaction and the parties signing must be located in Colorado.  LTAC suggests that you check with your individual underwriters for guidance.  Please click here for the notice of temporary adoption of the rules.   

Treasurer Office and Tax Certificate Update.  Due to County Office closures and partial closures there have been delays in receiving tax certificates. LTAC reached out to the Colorado Division of Insurance and they have confirmed that these situations do fall under Section 10-11-122(b).   Per that section, you do have to follow up and obtain the Tax Certificate once you are able to. 

LTAC recommends that members order their tax certificates earlier in the process than they have in the past.  In some cases, those tax certificates that have special considerations may have even lengthier delays; under those circumstances you may want to contact the lender.   COCRS has provided a link to with Treasurer Office Updates here.  

GSEs Issue New Guidance on RON, Powers of Attorney:  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac modified their single-family seller guides including temporary requirements for remote online notarizations (RON) and powers of attorney.  The American Land Title Association has great information on these guidelines here.     

eNotes:  We have had a few inquiries regarding eNotes.   Here is a list of Mers Participants

National Notary Association Health Screening Questionnaire.  In effort to continue to supply more resources for our membership we thought this document could serve as an additional tool.    

COVID-19 Real Estate Contract Addendum  The Colorado Bar Association has put together a COVID-19 Real Estate Contract Addendum that real estate brokers can use to "pause" pending real estate transactions where the parties want to close but cannot due to circumstances caused by COVID-19.  Please Click Here for a Copy.