MBA State Relations Committee Update State Highlights

Advocacy News and Information From the Latest Issue of the MBA State Relations Committee Update

MBA, ALTA and State Associations Express Concerns with New Vermont RON Law; Michigan Enacts RON Law

This week, MBA along with the Vermont Mortgage Bankers Association, the American Land Title Association (ALTA), and the New England Land Title Association sent a letter to the Office of the Vermont Secretary of State to express concern with the enactment of H.526, which authorizes the Secretary of State to promulgate rules enabling the use of remote online notarization (RON). The statute provided this authorization without guidance on certain core principles reflected in the MBA-ALTA model bill which is reflected in the laws of other states that have followed the model's language. The letter urged the Secretary of State to pause on implementing regulations until the State Legislature has had the opportunity to review these other statutes and make changes to reflect the core principles of these laws. MBA and the Vermont MBA offered to be a resource for the Vermont Secretary of State during the months ahead to achieve a result that is more consistent with those of other states. Additionally, Michigan joined Minnesota, Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, Montana, Texas and Nevada in permitting remote online notarization. This is the fourth state in 2018 to fully enact RON legislation. The language of the Michigan bill reflects the core principles of the MBA-ALTA model bill, which can be found on the MBA Remote Online Notarization Resource Center.  

The California Enacts Sweeping Data Privacy Law in Lieu of Worse Ballot Initiative

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a sweeping new consumer data privacy bill, A.B. 375. The bill was the subject of intense debate in the last week. Working together, MBA and the California MBA alerted the GSEs and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) about the potential adverse impact the initiative could have on the industry's ability to conduct routine financial transactions due to the extraordinary limits and opt out rights on data sharing activities. In response, FHFA General Counsel Alfred Pollard wrote a letter before passage to members of the Legislature highlighting the problems with the initiative. While the new law is an improvement over an earlier withdrawn ballot initiative, there are still many concerns. The law takes effect on January 1, 2020, which offers all parties an opportunity to discuss unintended consequences with legislators during the remainder of this legislative session and in 2019.