The selling of mortgages and the originating of loans is a business that is now in the stream of federal commerce, but it is also governed by laws of the locus. If one can make the analogy that federal commerce is like a meandering oceanic stream, one could also analogize that a mortgage loan in this stream is a ship, captained by the bank or broker. The ship’s destination is to deliver a loan to a person who resides in a specific locality, say a harbor. Every harbor has pilots to guide a ship in to her moorings. Real ship captains realize that harbor channels shift with the forces of the tides or are dredged and changed from season to season. These ship captains hire pilots to guide their craft through the changing channels to their moorings. Pilots are experts of their trade and specialists of their harbor. They know the currents, shoals, sand banks and rocks that can damage or sink a ship. A person can not just decide one day that they are a pilot. They must have experience as an apprentice before they are able to take a test to be certified to pilot a ship.
State real property law is similar to the changing shoals and conditions in that harbor. Real estate attorneys are like harbor pilots in that they trained to guide their closing to a satisfactory result. They have studied the laws that affect their locality and put their livelihoods on the line each time they close a loan.
The federal government has grown from the infancy of the Articles of Confederation to a miraculously workable Constitution. The Commerce Clause, and Full Faith and Credit Clause, are necessary tools to govern the ‘united’ States. They are, however, not omnipotent and there are vestiges or remains of state power, in effect, islands in the stream of federal commerce, that must be found and safely navigated in order to successfully close a real estate transaction.
One well known shoal or island is the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. Many people believe that because of the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution, any judgment from another state can be enforced in North Carolina by getting the Clerk of Superior Court to index it, or by ‘recording’ it in the register of deeds.
Fortunately it is not that simple and there are issues that may be questioned before that judgment is final. A
It is in the interest of due process and notice that
The judgment debtor may file a motion for relief from, or notice of defense to said judgment, alleging that the judgment has been appealed, or on any grounds for which relief from a judgment may be allowed in
The Act protects citizens of this state from enforcement of judgments were there was no subject matter or personal jurisdiction. It does not give
A foreign executor or administrator is an example of a shifting shoal. While the executor or administrator is acting in the state where he was appointed, he or she is able to exercise the powers that he or she was given. Cross the state line and those powers generally become ineffective unless the laws of the ancillary jurisdiction provides otherwise. The administration in the foreign state is distinct from any administration in
The shifting shoal could be a
A foreign executor or administrator needs to open an ancillary administration in
Analogies are slippery at best, but they are useful tools of comparison and sometimes amusing. Real property law is similar to that beautiful harbor we can all see in our minds. The water appears to be deep, and the sunset looks pretty reflected on its surface. But underneath that water are sharp rocks massaged by dangerous currents. Perhaps one of Patrick O’Brian’s characters stated it best when he said: “It is a foolish captain who wrecks his ship to save a pilots fee.” The practice of real property law involves all areas of legal practice and when done properly it appears effortless to the uninitiated. The client seldom realizes that the closing attorney has successfully navigated a course of legal obstacles, but that is the beauty of expertise.
 See, Real Property News Letter Volume 23, Number 2, April 2002, page 3
 N.C.G.S. § 1C-1701 et seq.
 Green v.
 Courtney v. Courtney, 40 N.C.App. 291, 253 S.E.2nd 2 (1979).
 N.C.G.S. § 1C-1703 (a).
 N.C.G.S. § 1C-1704.
 N.C.G.S. § 1C-1705.
 N.C.G.S. § 1c-1708.
 See Grant v. Reese 94 N.C. 720 (1886).
 Wiggins, Wills and Administration of Estates § 224 , Page 39 footnote 1
 N.C.G.S. §§28A-26-1 to 28A-26-9.