Thursday, June 13, 2024

More info on new real estate laws concerning alien ownership …

We wanted to pass along new and updated information from the Oklahoma attorney general’s office in regard to Senate Bill 212, which concerns alien ownership of Oklahoma real estate.

After further review, we have updated the interpretation of the new law, in regards to what deeds in which the affidavits are required.

The affidavit is only required for deeds transferring ownership of real estate on or after the Nov. 1, 2023, effective date. It does not apply to deeds filed of record prior to that date nor does it apply to leases or personal property. If the bank is making a purchase money loan for real estate on or after the effective date, it will require that the affidavit be executed by the purchaser and recorded with deed.

Additionally, the AG’s office informed us it has adjusted the affidavits for individuals to more clearly reflect the ability of non-U.S. citizens who are not yet residents of Oklahoma but who shall become a resident to purchase property. The AG’s office will soon update its webpage with the new form of the individual affidavit.

If you need this form in the next few hours, please click here for this version. Also, please note the changes are reflected in paragraphs two and five, and are consistent with the provisions of section 122.

Also, the AG’s office does not interpret the affidavit requirements to apply to a governmental entity. Whereas section 121 initially states it applies to any deed, the following modifying language provides the individual executing the affidavit attests to compliance on behalf of the person, business entity or trust. Accordingly, because a governmental entity is neither a person, business entity nor a trust, we do not interpret section 121 to require a governmental entity to execute the affidavit when recording a deed.

For background reference on all the above, during the last legislative session, there were changes made to Title 60 O.S. § 121 – Alien ownership of Oklahoma real estate. The highlighted section below is new law that goes into effect on Nov. 1, 2023.

1. No alien or any person who is not a citizen of the United States shall acquire title to or own land in this state either directly or indirectly through a business entity or trust, except as hereinafter provided, but he or she shall have and enjoy in this state such rights as to personal property as are, or shall be accorded a citizen of the United States under the laws of the nation to which such alien belongs, or by the treaties of such nation with the United States, except as the same may be affected by the provisions of Section 121 et seq. of this title or the Constitution of this state. Provided, however, the requirements of this subsection shall not apply to a business entity that is engaged in regulated interstate commerce in accordance with federal law.

2. On or after the effective date of this act, any deed recorded with a county clerk shall include as an exhibit to the deed an affidavit executed by the person or entity coming into title attesting that the person, business entity, or trust is obtaining the land in compliance with the requirements of this section and that no funding source is being used in the sale or transfer in violation of this section or any other state or federal law. A county clerk shall not accept and record any deed without an affidavit as required by this section. The Attorney General shall promulgate a separate affidavit form for individuals and for business entities or trusts to comply with the requirements of this section, with the exception of those deeds which the Attorney General deems necessary when promulgating the affidavit form.

The OBA hosted a Zoom meeting with Brad Clark, from the Oklahoma attorney general’s office, on Monday discuss these changes. You can click here to watch and download the entire meeting, along with questions and answers at the end, and also click here to download and view the slides Clark used during the meeting.