Introducing our Federated National Land Team
 
 
The Federated National Land Team, from left to right: Jennifer Hall, Julia Solo, Sonia Blake, Michael Benzi, Michelle Palijaro, Miriam Agostinacchio. Not pictured: Elisa Chiarella-Priolo and Vincent Monte
 

Sonia V. Blake, Esq.
sonia.blake@federatednl.com
Partner

Sonia V. Blake is a Principal and Co-Founder of Federated National Land, LLC (FNL). She is an attorney, admitted to practice in the State of New York’s Appellate Division (Second Judicial Department) and Eastern and Southern District Courts, as well as the Jamaica West Indies Bar. For the past 15 years, Sonia has focused on providing underwriting support relating to complex residential and commercial transactions in the form of risk analysis and technical advice. At FNL, as senior counsel, Sonia is responsible for overseeing the preparation of title reports, compiling specialized search reports and review, drafting of Zoning Exhibits in connection to zoning lots mergers and apportionments, as well as providing guidance on title clearance issues for clients, lenders, and outside counsel for acquisitions and sales. Sonia also implements closing strategies throughout the due diligence process where she utilizes her years of experience to provide guidance and recommendations to clients, to balance the appropriate level of risk to suit their business goals and needs.  Prior to co-founding FNL, Sonia spent 5 years as senior title counsel for Federated Title Services.  Before joining the Federated team, Sonia briefly practiced law at a Brooklyn law office, where she worked on real estate and mortgage transactions for both commercial and residential projects. She also handled probate petitions and documents for filing at the Surrogate’s Court and assisted senior litigators with summons, complaints and motions. Previously, Sonia acted as a senior attorney at Signature Title Agency & Land Services, where she coordinated with title companies on multi-million dollar co-insurance transactions, prepared and executed ALTA Policies and Endorsements, prepared Zoning Exhibit documents and researched legal issues relating to title and real estate.

Sonia received her bachelor of law degree from the University of the West Indies where she graduated with honors, and received her General Council of Legal Education Certificate from the Norman Manley Law School in Kingston, Jamaica. Sonia is a member of the New York State Bar Association.

 

Michael E. Benzi, Esq.
michael.benzi@federatednl.com
Partner

Michael E. Benzi is a Principal and Co-Founder of Federated National Land, LLC (FNL). As an attorney, he is admitted to practice in the State of New York. Michael’s focus is primarily in commercial and residential real estate, with a specialty in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) transactions. He developed his expertise in LIHTC law and municipal finance as an associate with Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan, LLP, (N/K/A Winston & Strawn LLP). There he acted as bond counsel to the New York City Industrial Development Agency in connection with their straight-lease and bond programs, as well as acting as an outside counsel to the National Equity Fund, Inc., which is the largest not-for-profit syndicator of low-income housing tax credits in the country. Over the past twenty years, as part of his real estate practice, Michael also represented many institutional lenders concerning residential lending in New York. Additionally, he developed a niche expertise in affordable housing, and has represented developers and lenders with multi-unit projects all over the City. In 2004, Michael helped to create Paradigm Title Agency & Settlement LLC (Paradigm) where he served as Chief Operating Officer. While there, he expanded the company from a small start-up title agency into a thriving business capable of handling a range of transactions from small residential deals to complex multi-million-dollar commercial projects. In 2007, Michael formed Federated Title Services, LLC (FTS). Given Michael’s extensive commercial experience, he quickly established FTS’ reputation in the commercial title arena where the company became known for its ability to navigate the complexities of challenging commercial title transactions. Due to the success of FTS, in 2015 Michael, along with Sonia V. Blake, Esq. and Michelle E. Palijaro, co-founded Federated National Land - a certified M/WBE title agency.

Michael is a graduate of Fordham University and Brooklyn Law School. He has been a panelist for numerous affordable housing seminars and conferences, including a continuing legal education seminar entitled 'Future Perspectives on Affordable Housing & Economic Development in New York City: Policy & Practice' for the New York City Bar Association.

 

Michelle E. Palijaro
michelle.palijaro@federatednl.com
Partner

Michelle E. Palijaro is a Principal and Co-Founder of Federated National Land (FNL). She began working in the real estate, mortgage, and title industries over 19 years ago. At FNL, Michelle provides clients with her unique perspective for their title needs. She offers a comprehensive array of services to clients based on her history of managing all aspects of running a title agency - from the inception of a business relationship to post-closing work. 

As a senior title officer at FNL, Michelle works on clearing title exceptions, coordinates issuance of title insurance coverage, manages policy changes and amendments, communicates with client’s banks, seller’s and purchaser’s attorneys, schedules closings, as well as participates in special initiatives developed at the company. Prior to Co-Founding FNL, Michelle joined Federated Title Services in 2010 as a Closing Coordinator. Before joining the Federated Team, Michelle worked as a Title Insurance Production and Closing Coordinator with The Monte Group in Rockland County, NY and their six subsidiary companies: Vincent J. Monte Agency, Inc., Monte Coombs Monte & Associates, LLC, Oracle Title Agency, LLC, Executive Land Title Services, Inc. (NJ), Vincent J. Monte & Associates, LLC, and Monte Land Services Group, LLC.  While there, she processed all client applications, managed and reviewed title abstracts, conducted pre-and post-closing clearances, prepared title commitments, recorded legal documents, managed HUD‐1 preparation for New Jersey settlement closings, allocated funds to appropriate disbursement, operating and escrow accounts, conducted monthly reconciliations for client accounts and participated in marketing, sales and title closings. Before working at the Monte Group, Michelle began her career working as a New York and New Jersey Residential Mortgage Broker and Senior Mortgage Loan Processor at Power Financial Associates Ltd., Inc. in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Michelle has a certification in Title Insurance Underwriting from New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies. She received a BA with honors in Anthropology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and obtained a BA in Early Childhood Development at the State University of New York at Buffalo, also graduating with honors.

 

Julia A. Solo, Esq.
julia.solo@federatednl.com
Title Counsel

Julia A. Solo is Counsel and Business Development Officer for Federated National Land (FNL) LLC. Julia’s 20-year legal career has been focused in affordable housing along with a sub-specialty in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) transactions.

Prior to joining FNL, Julia acted as Chief Legal Officer for the New York Equity Fund (NYEF) and Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s New York City Office (NYCLISC). At NYC LISC Julia oversaw NYEF's closings, as well as participating in all legal work for NYC LISC, including those relating to development and asset management issues. Prior to her time at NYC LISC, Julia practiced law at Nixon Peabody LLP, a premier national law firm with a strong discipline in subsidized housing and US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) financed transactions. While at Nixon Peabody, Julia represented investors and syndicators on a range of complex LIHTC transactions in New York City and throughout the United States. Earlier in her career, Julia served as Assistant General Counsel at the National Equity Fund (NEF) where she worked as part of a team to structure and close a diverse portfolio of tax credit transactions developed by non-profit developers with a focus on Supportive Housing Projects throughout the North East. Julia began her legal career in the General Counsel’s Office of HUD, both in the Washington, D.C. Headquarters Office, as well as their New York Regional Office. Julia is a graduate of the University of Michigan and a magna cum laud graduate of the University of Buffalo Law School. She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.

Julia also serves as a member of New York City’s Women in Housing and Finance, the New York City Bar Association and the American Bar Association’s Forum on Affordable Housing.

 

Jennifer M. Hall, Esq.
jennifer.hall@federatednl.com
Title Counsel

Jennifer M. Hall is Counsel for Federated National Land (FNL). Prior to joining FNL in 2016, Jennifer's career in title insurance began before law school working for a family-owned title insurance agency in Dayton, Ohio. Later, as an associate with a Manhattan law firm, she litigated title insurance claims on behalf of insured owners and lenders. Many of her cases involved fraud, adverse possession and priority disputes. After nearly seven years of litigating, she became counsel for local title insurance agencies helping to clear title issues and resolve various problems that arise in closing real estate transactions.

Jennifer provides continuing education to lawyers and realtors including courses on TRID foreclosures and short sales, and title insurance claims. She has been a member of the New York State Land Title Association and a participant of its Law Committee.

Jennifer is a graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee and Thomas M. Cooley in Lansing, Michigan. She is an attorney duly admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey.

 

Miriam Agostinacchio
miriam.agostinacchio@federatednl.com NJ Title Producer /
Post-Closing Coordinator

Miriam Agostinacchio is a New Jersey Licensed Title Insurance Producer and Post-Closing Coordinator for Federated National Land (FNL). Miriam joined FNL's Team in 2015 and her responsibilities include coordinating disbursement of settlements proceeds, processing escrow payments, recordation of all necessary documents, as well as other post-closing responsibilities.

 

Vincent J. Monte
vincent.monte@federatednl.com
VP Business Development /
Title Officer

Vincent J. Monte has been with the Federated team since 2010. Prior to joining FNL he has been involved in the title insurance business since 1966. In his varied background as Vice President of a major underwriter before starting his own Agency the Vincent J. Monte Agency, Inc. in 1983, Vince has insured numerous commercial and residential transactions such as the Palisades Center Mall in addition to various multi-million dollar fee and mortgage policies in Manhattan and throughout the New York metro area, such as Manhattan Woods Golf Course, and a range of Shopping Centers, Housing Developments and Government Complexes.

With over forty years of title insurance experience, Vince's background and governmental expertise are invaluable in a real estate driven economy.

 

Elisa Chiarella-Priolo
elisa.chiarella@federatednl.com
Production Assistant

Elisa Chiarella-Priolo is a Jr. Reader/Production Assistant who joined the FNL Team in 2012 Elisa handles applications, typing and production of title reports for Federated National Land (FNL). Elisa has worked in various NYC title companies running production departments.

 

New York Office
501 Seventh Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10018
Tel: 212-796-4280 • Fax: 212-208-4301

  New Jersey Office
100 Lakeview Avenue, Suite 1, Jamesburg, NJ 08831
Tel: 732-722-1850 • Fax: 732-812-8075
 
Call or email us to let us know how we can assist you on your next project. fnl@federatednl.com