(1) Except as provided in this section, a person may not practice law or represent that person as qualified to practice law unless that person is an active member of the Oregon State Bar.
(2) Subsection (1) of this section does not affect the right to prosecute or defend a cause in person as provided in ORS 9.320.
(3) An individual licensed under ORS 696.022 acting in the scope of the individual’s license to arrange a real estate transaction, including the sale, purchase, exchange, option or lease coupled with an option to purchase, lease for a term of one year or longer or rental of real property, is not engaged in the practice of law in violation of subsection (1) of this section.
(4) A title insurer authorized to do business in this state, a title insurance agent licensed under the laws of this state or an escrow agent licensed under the laws of this state is not engaged in the practice of law in violation of subsection (1) of this section if, for the purposes of a transaction in which the insurer or agent provides title insurance or escrow services, the insurer or agent:
(a) Prepares any satisfaction, reconveyance, release, discharge, termination or cancellation of a lien, encumbrance or obligation;
(b) Acts pursuant to the instructions of the principals to the transaction as scrivener to fill in blanks in any document selected by the principals;
(c) Presents to the principals to the transaction for their selection any blank form prescribed by statute, rule, ordinance or other law; or
(d) Presents to the principals to the transaction for their selection a blank form prepared or approved by a lawyer licensed to practice law in this state for one or more of the following:
(A) A mortgage.
(B) A trust deed.
(C) A promissory note.
(D) An assignment of a mortgagee’s interest under a mortgage.
(E) An assignment of a beneficial interest under a trust deed.
(F) An assignment of a seller’s or buyer’s interest under a land sale contract.
(G) A power of attorney.
(H) A subordination agreement.
(I) A memorandum of an instrument that is to be recorded in place of the instrument that is the subject of the memorandum.
(5) In performing the services permitted in subsection (4) of this section, a title insurer, a title insurance agent or an escrow agent may not draft, select or give advice regarding any real estate document if those activities require the exercise of informed or trained discretion.
(6) The exemption provided by subsection (4) of this section does not apply to any acts relating to a document or form that are performed by an escrow agent under subsection (4)(b), (c) or (d) of this section unless the escrow agent provides to the principals to the transaction a notice in at least 12-point type as follows:
YOU WILL BE REVIEWING, APPROVING AND SIGNING IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS AT CLOSING. LEGAL CONSEQUENCES FOLLOW FROM THE SELECTION AND USE OF THESE DOCUMENTS. THESE CONSEQUENCES AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS. YOU MAY CONSULT AN ATTORNEY ABOUT THESE DOCUMENTS. YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS ABOUT THE TRANSACTION OR ABOUT THE DOCUMENTS. IF YOU WISH TO REVIEW TRANSACTION DOCUMENTS THAT YOU HAVE NOT YET SEEN, PLEASE CONTACT THE ESCROW AGENT.
(7) The exemption provided by subsection (4) of this section does not apply to any acts relating to a document or form that are performed by an escrow agent under subsection (4)(b), (c) or (d) of this section for a real estate sale and purchase transaction in which all or part of the purchase price consists of deferred payments by the buyer to the seller unless the escrow agent provides to the principals to the transaction:
(a) A copy of any proposed instrument of conveyance between the buyer and seller to be used in the transaction;
(b) A copy of any proposed deferred payment security instrument between the buyer and seller to be used in the transaction; and
(c) A copy of any proposed promissory note or other evidence of indebtedness between the buyer and seller to be used in the transaction.
(8) The notice and copies of documents that must be provided under subsections (6) and (7) of this section must be delivered in the manner most likely to ensure receipt by the principals to the transaction at least three days before completion of the transaction. If copies of documents have been provided under subsection (7) of this section and are subsequently amended, copies of the amended documents must be provided before completion of the transaction.
(9) Failure of any person to comply with the requirements of subsections (3) to (8) of this section does not affect the validity of any transaction and may not be used as a basis to challenge any transaction. [Amended by 2003 c.260 §1; 2007 c.319 §24]Section: Previous 9.139 9.142 9.145 9.148 9.150 9.152 9.155 9.160 9.162 9.164 9.166 9.180 9.190 9.191 9.200 Next
Last modified: August 7, 2008