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Fellow Escrow Humans,

Happy New Year! 2020 started off with a bang for me, as I left my job after 15 years and embarked upon a new adventure. New decade, new beginnings! Though I preach the importance of being open to change, it is still not an easy thing to do. It’s hard to leave behind the people that you care about, and at the same time, it’s exciting to start a new journey, getting to know new people and a whole new company culture.

At OCEA, we’re excited to be celebrating our 70th year of existence in 2020, and one of our goals for the year is to increase our membership. I am calling on you, our members, to help us with that goal. At the rate that we are experiencing changes in both legal updates in California as well as the digitalization of our industry, it is important - at minimum - to be a member of your trade association, in order to receive important notifications all year long. It’s even better to get involved and have your voice heard. Please encourage those you know to become a member of Orange County Escrow Association so they will be in the know and so that we may have the strength in numbers it takes to have our voices heard at the State and National levels!

Another goal for 2020 is for OCEA to be more visible on social media. Again I’m calling on our members to help us out. If you haven’t already done so, please “like” us on FaceBook, and visit the OCEA website where, among other useful bits of information, there’s a list of all of our 2020 Silver Sponsors. All sponsor logos link to their websites.

Our January meeting was an enormous success with an attendance of over 150, all curious about the Franchise Tax Board’s new Form 593 -- marking the first major change since California Withholding (“CalFIRPTA”) was instituted in 1988. Sonia Caramazza and Jessica Butkiewicz of the FTB flew in from Sacramento to discuss and answer our many questions about the new form and reporting requirements. If you hadn’t heard, the FTB now requires reporting on every closed sale involving real property valued at $100,000.00 or greater - whether or not withholding is required. Are your procedures in place? Thanks to all who attended this great interactive educational event! If you missed our meeting, check CEA’s website for future events on this and other important topics. The two FTB ladies are making the rounds of various SoCal regional escrow associations, so make sure you find and attend a meeting, to ensure you’re up on the latest information. Failure to report will subject your escrow company to fines and penalties.

MANY THANKS to our January meeting sponsors - Eric Spitz of MyNHD, Robyn O’Neil of BBS Notary, Greg Kunath of Superior Press, and Larry O’Brien of The Escrow Training Institute. We so appreciate your abiding support!

Mickey Vandenberg

Celebrating 70 Years of Unlocking Education

And another THANK YOU, for the generous donations of gifts from:

Axos Bank
Pacific Escrow

Bank of Hope
Hallmark Escrow

BBS Notary
California Bank & Trust

Citizens Business Bank
The Escrow Training Institute

We look forward to bringing you additional educational events throughout the year. Please mark your calendars now, and plan to join us at our next four dinner meetings:

March 18th

May 20th

September 16th

November 18th

Watch your email for our meeting notices and reservation information - and spread the word. Please consider bringing a colleague or client with you! We look forward to seeing you then! As always, if you have any suggestions or topics that you are interested in hearing about, please let us know! We’re here for you.

I thank you for the opportunity to represent you as OCEA’s 2020 President and look forward to seeing you at our next OCEA dinner meeting!

Mickey Vandenberg
2019/2020 OCEA President