Bulletin: CO000005

Date:
June 28, 1993
To:
All Stewart Title Owned Offices and Agents in Colorado
RE:
Legislative Summary 1993

Dear Associates:

The following is a summary of bills enacted by the 1993 Colorado Legislature and subsequently signed into law by Governor Romer which have some impact, either directly or indirectly, on the business of title insurance in Colorado. The effective date of each of these bills is July 1, 1993.

House Bill 93-1201 (Release of Liens of Deeds of Trust)

Last year's Senate Bill 92-43 (C.R.S. 38-39-102) modified the deed of trust release procedure by allowing a title insurance company licensed and qualified in Colorado to provide an indemnity agreement to the public trustee when: (1) the original note cannot be produced as required by law; and, (2) when the Title Insurance Company has caused the deed of trust to be paid off. The indemnity agreement must be signed by the title insuror, in this case Stewart Title Guaranty Company, by their authorized representative.

This year's bill allows title insurance companies, additionally, to request that the public trustee release a lien of a deed of trust. The following requirements are necessary for the request for release. First, the public trustee must receive a written request from the title company that is duly executed and acknowledged. Second, the title company must provide an indemnification agreement indemnifying the public trustee from all damages as a result of issuing the release (last year's bill). Finally, an officer of the insurance company must execute an affidavit stating that the company has caused the indebtedness secured by the deed of trust to be satisfied in full (last year's bill).

Application, if any, to independent agents is being studies. Additional information will be forthcoming in the near future.

House Bill 93-1270 (C.C.I.O.A.)

This bill revises certain definitions used in the "Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act" and rewords the description of their applicability. These changes do not appear at this time to require substantive changes in our closing or title procedures.

House Bill 93-1270 (Licensing of Persons in the Insurance Business)

This bill enacts the "Single Insurance Producers Licensing Act". This governs the qualifications and procedures for licensing insurance producers. This bill also instructs the insurance commissioner to issue uniform, perpetual licenses to individuals and agencies (in place of current specialized, two-year renewable licenses). The only requirement is that the licensee complete prelicensure education and take a test. If the applicant has been licensed within the twelve months preceding the date of the receipt of the application, the applicant is not required to take the exam. The license may be renewed upon payment of a fee and completion of the continuing education requirements.

Expiration dates and continuation fees are determined by resolution. In addition, there is no longer the requirement that an agency appoint the licensee before a license is issued. Finally, this bill eliminates the current bond requirement.

Please contact Bob Adams if you have any questions regarding your specific licensing requirements.

House Bill 93-1288 (Bail Bonds)

This bill requires that the bonding agent provide the property owner with a release of the lien within thirty days after receiving notice that the time for appeal has lapsed. In addition, the agent must give the property owner the original note and deed of trust, security agreement or other instrument securing the bond obligation.

At this time, it does not appear that this bill changes any of our closing or title procedures.

House Bill 93-1139 (Procedures for Records Maintained by the County Clerk and Recorder)

This legislation requires the county clerk and recorder to record and index notices of federal liens or notices of revocation of certificates of release, nonattachment, discharge or subordination of any tax lien. (This change affects only those counties which previously had not recorded and indexed such notices.) A list of all tax certificates and tax deeds must be posted in a conspicuous place in the county courthouse for at least thirty days.

The county clerk and recorder is no longer required to obtain an abstract of mining claims within the county and to retain the abstract as a public record. Additionally, the boards of the county commissioners are no longer required to cause maps or plats to be made designating mining claims shown in the abstracts on file with the county clerk and recorder.

Senate Bill 93-54 (Escrow Requirements)

This act provides that a seller who pays the real property tax due (on property which is the subject of a contract for deed) is exempt from the property tax escrow requirements (established by last year's Senate Bill 92-149, requiring a property tax escrow account to be set up with the Pubic Trustee in some cases) provided:

  • the real property is not subdivided into parcels which are less than five acres;

  • the seller pays the property tax within thirty days of receiving the notice of taxes due; and,

  • the seller pays the property tax prior to seeking reimbursement for the taxes from the purchaser.

Senate Bill 93-223 (Brokerage Relationships in Real Estate Transactions)

This bill creates new provisions regulating real estate professionals. A broker may act as either a "dual agent", a "single agent", a "subagent" or a "transaction broker". A broker is presumed to be a "transaction broker" unless there is a written agreement providing otherwise. A transaction broker is a broker who assists one or more parties throughout a contemplated real estate transaction. The broker is not the agent or advocate for the interests of either party to the transaction. This bill sets forth the duties, obligations and responsibilities for each type of broker.

This bill does not appear to have an impact on the way we presently conduct our business, but it will have an impact on our realtor customers, so please be generally aware of these changes.

House Bill 93-1252 (Roads)

This legislation provides that the transfer of all or part of any property containing a road (established by law) does not act to vacate the road (even if the transfer is to a government agency). In the same way, the transfer does not act to diminish the rights of any person in the road. If any public rights have been established by law in a road that provides access to any parcel of land, such rights may be transferred when the parcel is transferred.

If any roadway is vacated or abandoned by a government agency, the documents vacating or abandoning the roadway must be recorded. In addition, any road dedicated as a county road may not be vacated by any means other than a resolution approved by the board of the county commissioners.

This bill does not appear to amend the method by which we find title vesting with regard to public roads.

The following Bills have no significant impact on our title or closing procedures at this time:

  • House Bill 1120 (Voluntary Alternatives for Tax Returns)

  • House Bill 1040 (Delinquent Property Taxes

  • House Bill 93-1169 (Amount of Property Tax on Real Property)

  • House Bill 93-3 (Office of Consumer Counsel)

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
11.10 Legislation
Exceptions Manual:
CO Deeds of Trust
 
CO Mortgages
 
CO Streets, Alleys and Roads
 
CO Vacation
Forms:
None