Colorado

General Procedures and Information

Method of Issuing Title Insurance

Title companies issue title insurance and related forms in Colorado.

Foreclosures

Foreclosures are judicial or non-judicial in Colorado.

Foreclosures involving mortgage instruments are judicial. However, if a deed of trust to the public trustee with a power of sale is the security instrument to be foreclosed upon, a non-judicial process is used. A deed of trust to a private trustee with a power of sale is considered a mortgage and must be foreclosed judicially.

In a non-judicial process, a notice of election and demand for sale must be filed with the public trustee in the county where the property is located. The public trustee must advertise the property for sale in accordance with the terms of sale specified in the deed of trust. Within ten days from receipt, the public trustee must record the notice of election and demand for sale. The notice of sale must be advertised once a week for five successive weeks in the county where the property is located unless a longer period of advertising is provided in the deed of trust. Within ten days after the first publication of notice, the public trustee must mail a copy of the notice to the grantor.

The sale must be held not less than forty-five days and not more than sixty days (or longer period provided in deed of trust) after recording notice of election and demand for sale.

For specific questions, contact Colorado underwriting personnel.

References:

Related Bulletins: None.

Corporate Directory: Colorado Contacts .

Redemption Rights

The debtor or anyone liable on the debt may redeem the property within 75 days of the date of the foreclosure sale, except if the property is defined as agricultural real estate, then the redemption period is six months from the date of the foreclosure sale. C.R.S. 38-38-302

Survey Standards

Stewart Title Guaranty does not require a survey for deletion of the survey exception in loan policies involving 1-4 residential properties and commercial properties with liabilities of $10 million or less. The 1-4 residential properties must be subdivision lots or acreage tracts of twenty-five acres or less.

References
Related Bulletins:

MU000028   Survey Requirements - Loan Policies

MU000038   This Bulletin has been replaced by MU2007002.

Document and Form Information

Acknowledgments

These are the standard forms of acknowledgment:
  • CO Acknowledgment-Individual 1
  • CO Acknowledgment-Corporation 1
  • CO Acknowledgment-Partnership 1
  • CO Acknowledgment-Attorney-in-Fact 1
  • CO Acknowledgment-Public Officer, Trustee or Personal Representative 1

Conveyances

The customary form of conveyance is by Warranty Deed. [CO Deed-Warranty (Joint Tenants) 1]. Other common forms of conveyances include the following:

  • CO Deed-Warranty (Corporation) 1
  • CO Deed-Warranty (Special) 1
  • CO Deed-Warranty (Special Corporation) 1
  • CO Deed-Quitclaim 1

Witnesses are not required on conveyances in Colorado.

According to Colorado Revised Statutes Sections 12-55-203 and 204, all documents affecting title to real property in Colorado which have been acknowledged out of state before a notary public, shall be deemed to have been properly acknowledged as long as the acknowledgment form used is in substantial compliance with the laws of the state where the acknowledgment is taken.

Releases/Satisfactions

The standard release form is the CO Release of Trust Deed 1. Other common release forms are:

  • CO Release-Deed of Trust Without Original Note (Denver County) 1;
  • CO Release-Deed of Trust Without Original Note (All Counties, Except Denver) 1.

Security Instruments

Although mortgages are used occasionally, the most common form of security instrument used in Colorado is the deed of trust. The named trustee of the Deed of Trust should be the Public Trustee of the County in which the property is located. Deeds of Trust which name a private trustee are considered a mortgage and must be foreclosed judicially.

Witnesses are not required on mortgage instruments in Colorado.

According to Colorado Revised Statutes Sections 12-55-203 and 204, all documents affecting title to real property in Colorado which have been acknowledged out of state before a notary public, shall be deemed to have been properly acknowledged as long as the acknowledgment form used is in substantial compliance with the laws of the state where the acknowledgment is taken.

Title Insurance Form Regulations

Title policy and endorsement forms are not required to be filed in Colorado.

References:

Forms List: Colorado Forms .

Fees, Rates and Taxes

Deed Transfer Taxes and Documentary Stamps

The current rate for the state documentary fee is $0.01 per every one hundred dollars of consideration.

The purchaser customarily pays the state documentary fee.

References:

Related Bulletins: None.

Mortgage Transfer Taxes

Colorado does not have a mortgage tax.

Real Estate Taxes

Real estate/ad valorem taxes may be paid in one or two installments. If payment is made in one installment, the due date is the end of April. If two payments are made, due dates are the end of February and the end of June.

Recording Fees

Recording fees for a document are $6.00 per page plus an additional $1.00 surcharge per UCC Financing Statement filed for record in the personal property indexes of the County Clerk.

Search and Examination Fees

Search and examination fees are included in the title insurance premium except on multiple chains of title.

Title Insurance Rates

Title insurance rates are filed with the State Department of Insurance.

The seller customarily pays for the owner's title insurance policy and the purchaser/borrower pays for the loan policy.

For specific questions, contact Colorado underwriting personnel.

References:

Corporate Directory: Colorado Contacts .

Spousal Rights

Spousal Rights

Colorado does not have dower and curtesy rights.

Colorado is not a community property state.

Colorado has an automatic homestead exemption if the occupancy and type of property meet the statutory requirements. C.R.S. 38-41-201 When the owner of the property is married and the spouse does not also hold title to the property, then the spouse may homestead the property. This is done by recording a declaration of homestead in the county where the property is located. C.R.S. 38-41-202 If a declaration of homestead is recorded then the title commitment will need to make a requirement for execution of the deed or deed of trust by the non-owner spouse. Typically there is no recorded declaration of homestead by the spouse and in those cases no signature by a non-owner spouse is necessary.

Statute Of Limitations

Statute Of Limitations

In Colorado, if a judgment is to become a lien against property, a transcript of the docket entry of judgment certified by the court clerk must be recorded in the county in which the property owned by the judgment debtor is located. The judgment shall become a lien for 6 years from the entry of the judgment. A judgment creditor may revive (renew) the judgment as provided by statute every 6 years up to a total of 20 years. To revive a judgment, the judgment creditor must file an action for revival within 30 days from the expiration of the 6 year period. C.R.S. 13-52-102.

If the underlying judgment is for child support or maintenance a delegate child support enforcement unit shall issue a notice of lien and record the same in the county where the obligor owns an interest in real property.  From the recording of the notice of lien, it is a lien on the obligor’s real property for 12 years and may be extended or renewed indefinitely beyond 12 years by re-recording the lien every 12 years. C.R.S. 14-10-122(1.5).

Employer Contribution Tax Liens (labor and employment) attach to the property of the employer. The lien is created on the date the claim of lien is filed. C.R.S. 8-79-105. The lien is valid until paid. C.R.S. 8-79-103. A previously recorded encumbrance on the property can foreclose out this lien. C.R.S. 8-79-103(1).

Gasoline and Special Fuel Taxes must be assessed and remain a lien until 3 years after the date the tax was payable. When a “Notice of Lien” is recorded the lien will continue for one year after the filing of the notice. C.R.S. 39-21-107.  These liens may be foreclosed by a previously recorded encumbrance. C.R.S. 39-20-103.

Judgment Liens for Colorado Taxes are issued upon a Distraint Warrant. The warrant is presented to the clerk of any district court within the state who will issue a transcript of judgment.  The lien is created on the date that the transcript of judgment is recorded. The limitation period is six years from the entry date of the judgment and may be foreclosed out by a previously recorded encumbrance on the real property of the debtor. C.R.S. 39-21-114(3).

A Sales Tax Lien is a lien on property of a retailer. The taxes must be assessed and remain a lien until 3 years after the date the tax was payable. When a “Notice of Lien” is recorded the lien will continue for one year after the filing of the notice.  C.R.S. 39-26-125. These liens may be foreclosed out by a previously recorded encumbrance on the property of the retailer. C.R.S. 39-26-118(3)(a).

Use Taxes must be assessed and remain a lien until 3 years after the date that the tax was payable. When a “Notice of Lien” is filed, the lien will continue for one year after the filing of the notice. C.R.S. 39-26-210.  These liens may be foreclosed out by previously recorded encumbrances on the real property. C.R.S. 39-26-118 and C.R.S. 39-26-205.

Withholding Tax Liens attach to all property belonging to the employer.  The lien is created on the date of assessment and continues until it is paid.  This lien may not be foreclosed out by a previously recorded encumbrance on the real property and has priority over all liens currently existing on the property including those for general property taxes. C.R.S. 39-22-604(7)(a).

Colorado Rate Manual

Colorado Rate Manual

To view the Rate Manual for the state of Colorado click here.

Real Estate Practices

Attorney Involvement

Please describe any requirements under applicable state law for attorney, abstractor or other special professional involvement, for example, in the search, examination, opinion of title, signing, closing, disbursement, recording, preparation of documents, and/or policy-issuance.

Title searches, examinations, closings and policy production are, ordinarily, performed by non-attorneys. Non-attorney title professionals are permitted to prepare form deeds provided that they are instructed to do so by a licensed realtor or attorney.

Cancellation/Commitment Fee

Does your state permit or require a cancellation fee or commitment fee upon cancellation?

State law does not prohibit, or require, the charging of a cancellation fee or commitment fee. The charging of such fees is permitted provided the underwriter’s filed rate manual contains a cancellation/commitment charge rate rule.

Certificate of Release (of Mortgage)

If anyone other than the lender (such as a title agent, settlement agent, underwriter or attorney) has the authority to release the security instrument, please describe.

A licensed title underwriter may release a deed of trust provided that it, or its agent, was responsible for the payoff of the subject loan. The underwriter release must be accompanied by an indemnification agreement in which the underwriter indemnifies the public trustee against any loss resulting from a deficient payoff.

Deeds

Please describe the kinds of deeds that are customary for commercial and residential transactions.  Please describe the kinds of deeds that are generally not insurable.

Residential sellers usually use a general warranty deed.  Commercial sellers usually use a special warranty deed.  Warranty deeds, bargain and sale deeds and quit claim deeds are insurable provided they do not contain a material deficiency (e.g., faulty legal description).

Joinder of Spouses

If a non-title holding spouse is required to join in the execution of a deed or a security instrument, please describe.  Any analogous rights, such as those in a civil union or equivalent, should also be addressed. 

A non-title holding spouse is not required to join in the execution of a deed or a security instrument unless he/she recorded a declaration of homestead. If a declaration of homestead is recorded, the title commitment must contain a requirement calling for the execution of the deed, and/or security instrument, by the non-titled spouse.

The Colorado Civil Union Act authorizes any two unmarried adults, regardless of gender, to enter into a civil union. The process of obtaining a license and later a civil union certificate is similar to obtaining a marriage license and marriage certificate. The effects of a civil union are far-reaching and many incidents and responsibilities under the law that are imposed upon or granted to married spouses will now apply to parties in a civil union. Most of these are unrelated to real property and title insurance but the bill does provide general statements that the rights and abilities concerning the transfer of real property that a married couple have would apply equally to parties to a civil union. There are similar provisions relating to probate matters and homestead laws. It appears that the current law relating to the dissolution of marriage would also apply to the dissolution of civil unions.

Mortgage Tax

Is there a mortgage tax in your state?  If yes, is it uniform across the state or does it vary?  If it is uniform, please describe.

There is no mortgage tax in Colorado. 

Payment Customs

Who customarily pays for:

(a) Owner’s Policy?
(b) Transfer Tax & Recording Fee?
(c) Survey Charges?
(d) Closing/Settlement Fees?

Who customarily pays for:

(a) Owner’s Policy? Seller
(b) Transfer Tax & Recording Fee? Buyer
(c) Survey Charges? Seller or buyer per contract
(d) Closing/Settlement Fees? Seller or buyer per contract

Policy Countersignatures

What kinds of countersignatures, if any, are required to issue the policy? 

The countersignature portion of the commitment and policy must be signed by a title licensee/individual resident producer.

Real Estate Taxes

Please describe the general tax year, due dates, and delinquency dates, including lien dates and payment cycle.

The general tax year extends from January 1 to December 31. Taxes for the previous year are due on January 1. If those taxes are not paid on or before June 15, they shall be deemed delinquent on June 16. The public auction of tax liens on lands upon which taxes remain delinquent shall commence on or before the second Monday in December of each year.

Search and Examination Fees

Is it permissible and/or customary to charge a separate search and/or examination fee, and under what circumstances?  If your jurisdiction is all-inclusive, please state that.

The rates are all-inclusive. Thus, separate charges are not assessed.

Search Requirements

Is there a minimum period of time for a title search required: (a) by state law, (b) pursuant to marketable record title acts, or (c) by any other applicable title examination standards (e.g., state bar association)?  Please respond to each category.  If a minimum search period exists for any category, please state it.

State law requires a search that will allow for “a reasonable examination of the title” and “a determination of insurability of title in accordance with sound underwriting practices for title insurance companies”.

Security Instruments (Deed of Trust vs. Mortgage)

Please describe the customary and permissible form(s) of security instruments used in your state. 

Who can be listed as the trustee on the Deed of Trust (e.g., residency and/or natural person requirements, etc.)? Can an underwriter or title agent be designated as the trustee, and, if so, is it customary?

The customary instrument is the deed of trust. Ordinarily, the public trustee is listed as the trustee on the deed of trust.

Standard Exceptions and Requirements

Please identify the standard exceptions and requirements that are customarily used in your state.

Standard exceptions, shown below:

  • Rights or claims of parties in possession not shown by the public records.
  • Easements, or claims of easements, not shown by the public records.
  • Encroachments, overlaps, boundary line disputes, or other matters which would be disclosed by an accurate survey and inspection of the subject property.
  • Any lien, or right to a lien, for services, labor, or material hereto or hereafter furnished, imposed by law and not shown by the public records.
  • Taxes or special assessments which are not shown as existing liens by the public records.

Additional standard exceptions include:  6. unpatented mining claims, reservations or exceptions in patents or in acts authorizing the issuance thereof; and 7. water rights, claims or title to water.

Ordinarily, requirements are customized depending on the circumstances affecting the transaction.

State-specific Policy Variations

If there are state-specific changes to the provisions in the ALTA policies (e.g., Arbitration, Minerals), please describe.

None.

Title Insurance Form and Filing Regulations

Please describe the form and/or rate filing requirements, if any, related to policies and endorsements.  Please describe any applicable rating bureau. 

State law provides for a “file and use” practice in which rate schedules and rate rules must be filed prior to use. Policy forms, and other types of forms (e.g., commitment forms, endorsement forms), do not have to be filed.

Transfer Taxes

Is there a transfer tax in your state? If yes, is it uniform across the state or does it vary?  If it is uniform, please describe.

There is no state transfer tax. However, there are 11 municipalities that charge a transfer tax. Those municipalities are Aspen, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Frisco, Gypsum, Minturn, Ophir, Snowmass Village, Telluride, Vail and Winter Park.

Usury

Is usury coverage available?

Usury coverage is available on loans where the interest charged does not exceed 45 percent. C.R.S. 5-12-103 (2012).

Withholding Taxes

What are your state’s requirements, if any, with regard to withholding proceeds from a sale, similar to but not including FIRPTA?

If the seller is a non-resident, or a corporation that does not maintain a permanent place of business in the state, the withholding tax will be the smaller of 2 percent of the sales price or the net proceeds from the sale.

Witness Requirements

Are witnesses required on a deed or security instrument?  If so, please describe.

None.

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