Commercial Real Estate Blog by Madison
Author Archives: Mike Donini, Esq.

Water, Water Everywhere… The Complex Issues of Tidelands

By: Michael Donini, Esq., Senior Commercial Counsel, Madison Title Agency

Global warming, melting polar ice caps and super storms are just a few of the news bylines that we hear about on a daily basis. Tidal waters are especially complex. The general rule is that all lands below the mean high tide line are subject to ownership by the state, which holds them in trust for the people of the state. Since tidelands are held by the state, this can represent a challenge in a real estate transaction which involves tidelands. An unaddressed tidelands claim will be a cloud on the property owner’s title.

A wise practitioner would be prudent to recognize the impact of water and water rights on real estate and take the necessary steps to address those issues. Continue reading

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Super Priority of the Purchase Money Mortgage: The Exception to Mortgage Priority Rule

By Michael L. Donini, Esq., Senior Commercial Counsel, Madison Title Agency

A mortgage normally enjoys priority for title / ownership based on the date of its recording. In general, liens or other judgments recorded prior to the mortgage are superior to the mortgage itself. Interests that are recorded subsequent to the mortgage being recorded are generally considered subordinate.
However, there are certain exceptions to the “First in time, First in right” rule of priority. A key exception to the rule is with a Purchase Money Mortgage. Here is why and when Purchase Money Mortgages are given super priority. Continue reading

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Down to Details: Understanding Endorsements in Title Insurance

By Michael Donini, Esq.

While time may not always allow an attorney to read through every detail of the boilerplate title insurance policy, a skilled practitioner should definitely know the exact details of the customized portions of the policy and the scope of the title insurance coverage given by endorsements. Why? Because a full understanding of policy endorsements and their benefits will ensure a client’s proper title insurance coverage. Continue reading

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New Title Insurance Alliance – Is It A Game Changer?

By Michael Donini, Esq.
Senior Commercial Counsel, Madison Title

Earlier this summer, five regional title insurance underwriters reported their decision to join forces and form the American Title Reinsurance Alliance (ATRA). The Agents include National Title Insurance, Alliant National Title Insurance, Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Connecticut Attorneys Title Insurance, and Security Title Guarantee—and more may be joining the fold.

What’s behind this alliance, and what are the pros—and cons? Is it a game changer? Continue reading

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Face-to-Face Closings: Making an Impersonal Transaction Personal

There may be other reasons we are driven to a sit-down closing. Could there be a sub-conscience need for human beings to physically interact with one another? Is there a primordial instinct for human beings to engage others? Continue reading

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Real Estate Closing: When it Comes to Closing Time, It’s Not Quite A Happy Hour

The big day has arrived. The buyer, seller and lender have finished their jockeying for position and decided on the settlement terms for the purchase of a Commercial Real Estate property. Continue reading

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