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Windermere, Notarize Seek to Eliminate Exclusionary Title Documents

February 25, 2021

Discriminatory language is being uncovered in title documents that once sought to limit who could buy a property, and the real estate community and tech companies are stepping up to try to eliminate it.

Restrictive racial covenants excluded people of color from purchasing, leasing, or occupying homes in certain neighborhoods since the early 20th century. Notarize, a digital notary, announced it’s offering free digital notarizations in an effort to try to help strike racist language still uncovered in title insurance documents.

Notarize’s move comes after Windermere Real Estate publicized the existence of title documents containing racist language. The language, as reported by HousingWire, included statements like “no person or persons of Asiatic, African, or Negro blood, lineage, or extraction shall be permitted to occupy a portion of said property.” It went on to read: “This property shall not be resold, leased, rented or occupied except to or by persons of the Aryan race.”

Windermere offers an overview of how to remove such language from title documents on its website.

Notarize, a startup offering digital notarizations and part of the National Association of REALTORS®’ Second Century Ventures 2017 REach program, created a website devoted to how to get a free digital notarization in removing restrictive racial covenants from title documents. Learn more at notarize.com/windermere.

Notarize is offering the free notary service as part of its efforts to help combat the racist title language in Washington state and has plans to roll out services soon in Nevada, Idaho, Colorado, California, Oregon, and Arizona.

In the video below, Windermere outlines how real estate professionals can eliminate restrictive racist language they uncover in title documents.