Advantage Group
March 25, 2020
COVID-19 Update

First and foremost, I hope you and your families are well during these extremely challenging times. I want to provide you with a brief update regarding our current capabilities, and will continue to share updates and guidance as needed.

IS ADVANTAGE OPEN FOR BUSINESS?

Yes. The vast majority of our staff is working remotely via secure connections. Furthermore, as New York State has deemed insurance an “essential business”, we continue to have a minimal staff working in our offices in accordance with local and federal safety guidelines.

IS ADVANTAGE ABLE TO ACCOMMODATE AN IN-PERSON OR ESCROW CLOSING?

Yes. As to in-person closings, we are currently available to handle subject to adherence to socially responsible safety measures such as social distancing and appropriate hygiene. We are also available to close transactions via escrow. In short and generally speaking, an escrow closing is one in which all parties send pertinent closing documents to the title company to be held in escrow until the date of closing, at which time the parties will provide appropriate written direction to the title company to release documents to break escrow and close. Although commonplace when insuring commercial property, these types of closings are atypical for residential transactions. Nevertheless, with appropriate direction and coordination amongst all parties to a transaction, these types of closings can be facilitated in an efficient manner.

I HEARD THAT THERE ARE SOME COUNTY CLERKS OFFICES THAT ARE CLOSED OR PARTIALLY CLOSED. CAN YOU INSURE MY TRANSACTION?

For the vast majority of transactions, the answer is “yes.” Despite the closure or partial closure of some of the 62 counties in New York, there are paths to insure most transactions. Closures may create different issues such as a temporary inability to record and/or inability to search. However, we have already found and will continue to find innovative solutions to close and insure your transaction.

I HEARD THAT THE GOVERNOR ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER ALLOWING REMOTE ONLINE NOTARIZATION (“RON”). CAN ADVANTAGE ACCOMMODATE AND FACILITATE RON?

Yes. On March 19, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order No. 202.7, a copy of which can be viewed here, allowing remote notarization until April 18, 2020. The Executive Order requires strict compliance with express conditions to the use of audio-visual technology. Advantage can facilitate RON assuming the affiant has the ability and hardware to comply with the Executive Order and with Advantage’s underwriting requirements.

If you have any questions about this communication or about a particular transaction, please contact me at jwillen@advantagetitle.com, Drew Steigler at dsteigler@advantagetitle.com, or Debra Thompson at dthompson@advantagetitle.com. We can also be contacted by phone at (631) 424-6100.

Providing exceptional service is our paramount goal. Please continue to use us as a resource during this difficult time. We are diligently following all developments that affect our industry and our dedicated staff will be here as always to accommodate your needs going forward.

I wish all of our clients, colleagues and friends safety and good health.


Joseph M. Willen
President & CEO
Advantage Group