CRE Insider Blog
Welcome to the First American Commercial Title Insurance Blog. 

Mike Berey

Senior Underwriting Counsel First American Title Insurance Company; formerly Chief Underwriting Counsel (New York) and Senior Vice-President, First American Title Insurance Company; Fellow, American College of Mortgage Attorneys; Member, American College of Real Estate Lawyers; Member, Executive Committees of NYSBA’s Real Property Law Section (2000 – 2014) and the New York State Land Title Association; Chairperson, Task Force on Electronic Recording and Webmaster, NYSBA Real Property Law Section (2000-2014); Chairperson, Law Committee (2010-2013) and President (August 2013 – September 2014) New York State Land Title Association; Recipient of NYSBA Real Property Law Section’s 2014 Professionalism Award. Boston College Law School, 1976. Frequent lecturer on mortgage recording tax, transfer taxes, transferrable development rights and New York’s Lien Law. Author of “Current Developments”, a summary of real property-related cases and legislation for New York, since 1997. Author of numerous articles including, most recently, “ Step Transaction Doctrine Applied to New York City Transfer Tax”, New York Law Journal (“NYLJ”) June 9, 2015; “A Primer on New York’s Mortgage Recording Tax”, N.Y. Real Property Law Journal (“RPLJ”) Spring/Summer 2015; “New York’s Court of Appeals Rules on the Lien Law”, NYLJ August 6, 2013; and “New York’s Mortgage Tax Partially Securing Multiple Obligations”, RPLJ Spring/Summer 2013. Current Developments and articles are posted at
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Recent Posts

Fraud In The Inducement

By Mike Berey on January 15, 2019

Plaintiffs sought to recover their property, alleging that they had conveyed their property to the Defendant based on the misrepresentation that the Defendant would assist them in effectuating a short sale to relieve them from a defaulted mortgage debt. The Plaintiffs asserted causes of action for deed reversion, quiet title, unjust enrichment,...

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Topics: Fraud, CRE

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”)

By Mike Berey on December 20, 2018

 FinCEN has issued Geographic Targeting Orders (“GTOs”) requiring certain U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind companies used to pay all cash for high-end residential real estate in New York City, Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties in Florida, Bexar County, Texas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco,...

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Not-for-Profit Corporation Can Sell Only On Board Or Member Approval

By Mike Berey on October 10, 2018

 The Plaintiff and the Defendant, a not-for-profit corporation, entered into a contract for the sale of the Defendant’s real property. The contract was executed on behalf of the Defendant by one of its Trustees but the contract was not approved by the Defendant’s Board of Directors and its Members as required by Not-for-Profit Corporation Law...

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Topics: Non-profit

Secondary Access Over Adjoining Property Denied

By Mike Berey on September 25, 2018

The Plaintiff alleged that New York City’s Buildings Department required that Plaintiff’s building’s fire escapes lead to a secondary means of egress which, according to the architectural plans filed to obtain a certificate of occupancy, was afforded by access to the rear yard of the Defendant’s adjoining property. After the Defendant...

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Oral Contract To Extend Mortgage Not Enforceable

By Mike Berey on September 12, 2018

The notes secured by two mortgages, and a note secured by other collateral, afforded the borrower, Plaintiff Mosdot Shuva Israel (“MSI”), the opportunity between November 17, 2013 and January 31, 2014 to extend the maturity date for each note from their original maturity date of March 17, 2014 for five years. MSI alleged that in early 2013 it...

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Topics: oral contract

Mezzanine Loan Held Not To Clog Equity Of Redemption

By Mike Berey on September 5, 2018

A loan for real estate projects in Kansas City and Cincinnati was secured by a mortgage on the land being developed and by the pledge of the membership interests in the borrower. The lenders commenced a UCC foreclosure sale of the membership interests.

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Topics: mezzanine loan, equity of redemption

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