To Our Clients:
Governor Hogan’s Executive Order of March 23, 2020, limits business operations to ESSENTIAL services. Lakeside Title Company and Lakeside Law Firm fall under the essential services categories of financial and legal services respectively. Therefore, unless we receive further instructions or guidance to the contrary from the Governor, our title insurance underwriters, or from the Maryland Land Title Association, we plan to continue business operations by serving our clients while taking further extraordinary precautions to keep everyone safe.
LAKESIDE TITLE has over 90 employees and those that can work remotely have been set-up to do so. Therefore, you should expect limited staff in the office. We will be adhering to social distancing protocols and limiting the number of Lakeside staff members in our office. Our policies have been updated to reflect our processes for handling in-person appointments and transactions. Those policies are outlined here.
- BY APPOINTMENT ONLY IN OFFICE CLOSINGS. LAKESIDE TITLE is enforcing a policy that dictates we will only be seeing clients by appointment only AT THE FOLLOWING LAKESIDE TITLE OFFICES ONLY: Columbia, Westminster, Waldorf, Gaithersburg, Timonium, Frederick, Annapolis, Baltimore City, White Marsh, and King George, VA. This policy will be strictly adhered to until further notice. These offices are operating with essential staff only, and those without appointments will not be able to enter any of our offices. Further instructions will be posted at the entrance of each location and these protocols will be distributed to all parties prior to any closing. This policy is for the protection of our clients, our settlement officers, and staff. Fortunately, we still have many options for Lakeside Title closings locations.
- HAND SANITIZING REQUIRED. Everyone who enters a LAKESIDE TITLE office will be required to sanitize their hands, NO EXCEPTIONS. Anyone who is exhibiting any symptoms, feels sick, or has been exposed to COVID-19 will not be allowed in the office. All of our clients and partners are like family, but at this time we must refrain from our usual handshakes and hugs, which will be replaced with friendly smiles and waves! We have ensured that all surfaces in the meeting rooms will be thoroughly disinfected between appointments and items you usually see on our settlement tables will be disinfected or in some cases removed completely.
- SIGNATORIES & AGENTS AT CLOSING. We realize that real estate closings are usually celebratory events that include family and friends. However, for the health and safety of everyone involved, we will only be allowing one agent per seller side and one agent per buyer side to attend the signing with their client. Real estate agents and loan officers should speak to their clients ahead of closing and may make arrangements to call in or utilize FaceTime or other applications to be present remotely during the scheduled closing time. We want to adhere to the Governor’s order and not lose the privilege of operating and completing essential real estate closings.
- SHORTER CLOSING TIMES. Additionally, when allowed by the lender and whenever possible, settlement documents will be highlighted for signatures beforehand to make the closing go as efficiently as possible. We will do our best to provide documents before the settlement in order for you to formulate questions prior to closing. Per Maryland law, a properly licensed settlement officer LAKESIDE TITLE settlement agent will ALWAYS be available to answer questions during closing.
- REMOTE ON-LINE NOTARIZATION/E-CLOSINGS/E-REORDING. Although our underwriters have given us the ability to ensure certain electronically notarized transactions and Lakeside is set-up with several electronic notarization vendors, it is not guaranteed to be available on every transaction. Maryland’s RON (remote on-line notarization) legislation was not scheduled to be effective until 10/1/2020 and many of the e-closing vendors are not able to handle the large demand created by the COVID-19 crisis and many lenders are not set-up with specific vendors. Rest assured that LAKESIDE TITLE will attempt to utilize electronic notarization whenever it is possible. LAKESIDE TITLE will be utilizing e-recording whenever possible. We have been e-recording in many jurisdictions for almost four years. We will do our best to get all legal documents recorded as quickly as possible after closing.
- COMMISSION CHECKS: If you have a commission check waiting for you at LAKESIDE TITLE, it will be sent via wire transfer or FedEx/ at no extra charge (*the receiving bank may impose a wire fee, please inquire). Please contact us with wiring instructions or the address for your FedEx delivery. ALTERNATIVELY, clients may pick up their checks from the settlement table, if preferred.
- WE ARE HERE TO HELP. In the event that your usual LAKESIDE TITLE Settlement Officer or Processor is out of the office or unable to complete the work on your settlement, another member of our team will be able to help. LAKESIDE TITLE will continue to review recommendations by Federal and Local health agencies, and policies will be updated if the situation changes.
Our staff and our clients are very important to us. We will take all measures necessary to safely continue to close transactions while adhering to the Governor’s order. We appreciate your patience and flexibility during this time, and most of all, we hope that everyone stays safe and healthy.
More than a title provider, we are your partner.
Lakeside Title Company recognizes the value of providing the tools realtors, lenders, buyers, sellers and builders need to make transactions run smoothly. We pride ourselves on protecting our clients every step of the way and delivering a great experience for you and your client. Lakeside Title Company is more than a title provider, we are a true partner.
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