Title, Mortgage & Power of Attorney Reform Measures Pass House of Delegates

Central Virginia- Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R) announces passage of three legal reform measures: House Bills 714, 715, 719. By request of the Virginia Land Title Association, House Bill 715 passed by a vote of 98-0 and provides for title insurance companies to exercise the authority that settlement agents currently possess to release the lien of a deed of trust and authorizes a settlement agent to release a deed of trust lien upon written confirmation from the lien creditor that such obligation has a zero balance. In the instance that a lender and settlement agent each have gone out of business during the life a loan, this measure gives the title company the authority to release the lien upon receipt of evidence that all requirements of the loan have been met and that the loan is paid in full.  Without this legislation, property owners must either pay an attorney to have the lien judicially released, or file a claim on their policy of title insurance.  The bill will allow title issues to be resolved with less time and money passing a savings along to the individual consumer. 

Another measure, House Bill 714 passed by a vote of 98-0.  This bill clarifies that, in the event of a foreclosure sale, which are more frequent in this economy, a trustee shall cause the proceeds of the sale to be applied to the payment of taxes on the property.  Simply put, a Trustee's Deed is a deed of foreclosure; a Trustee's Deed is prepared after the foreclosure sale of a property and recorded in the land records of the county in which the property is located.  The Trustee's Deed transfers the property to the buyer who purchased the foreclosed property.  Peace’s bill requires that proceeds of the sale of a foreclosed property go toward paying the taxes.

Also passing by a vote of 98-0 this week was House Bill 719, a measure which establishes in the Code of Virginia a Uniform Durable Power of Attorney that was adopted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 2006.  Powers of attorney will be dealt with in a uniform manner and portability and acceptance of powers of attorney will be improved as well as the protection incapacitated principals.   The original Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act, last amended in 1987, was at one time followed by all but a few jurisdictions.  Despite initial uniformity, the study found that a majority of states had enacted non-uniform provisions to deal with specific matters upon which the Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act is silent.

These legal reform measures will be heard in the Senate of Virginia.

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to his third term representing the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. The District includes parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties & all of New Kent County.