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

Religious Corporations Not Authorized To Mortgage

By Mike Berey on June 12, 2019



A church in East Harlem filed a petition seeking court approval for a mortgage on its house of worship, which was its sole asset, under Not-for-Profit Corporation Law Sections 510 (“Disposition of all or substantially all assets”) and 511 (“Petition for court approval”) and Religious Corporations Law (“RCL”) Section 12 (“Sale, mortgage and...

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Topics: Mortgages, New York Mortgage Tax

No Common Law Easement For Light And Air In New York

By Mike Berey on June 5, 2019

The Plaintiff owned two adjoining units on the 16th floor of the Essex House Condominium. The Defendant owned two units on the 15th floor, directly below the Plaintiff’s units. The Board of Directors of the Condominium, also a Defendant, authorized the Defendant to replace a greenhouse on a terrace which is part of one of the Plaintiff’s units....

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Notice Of Pendency Not Properly Filed By Adjoining Owners

By Mike Berey on February 27, 2019

The Supreme Court, Suffolk County, granted the application the Petitioner had submitted to the Town of East Hampton’s Zoning Board for approval of a subdivision map and directed the Zoning Board to grant final approval. Intervenors opposed the application, filed a notice of pendency against the subject property, and moved for a corrected...

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Topics: Commercial Real Estate

Mortgage Foreclosures / Appointing An Administrator For A Deceased Mortgagor

By Mike Berey on February 5, 2019

The Defendant-mortgagor died in 2009; a mortgage foreclosure was commenced in 2016. No representative was substituted for the decedent in the foreclosure. The foreclosing Plaintiff’s motion to vacate the foreclosure sale, the Order of Reference and the notice of pendency was granted by the Supreme Court, Queens County, which also vacated all...

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Topics: foreclosure

Religious Status Of Property Owner Considered

By Mike Berey on January 29, 2019

A survey showed that a building under construction encroached up to 3.75 inches onto the Plaintiff Church’s property. Justice Modica of the Supreme Court, Queens County, serving as an Emergency Justice, held that the encroachments were not de minimis under the circumstances. The Court issued a temporary restraining order, pending a hearing on...

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Topics: CRE trends, CRE

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

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