Bulletin: FL000089

Date:
April 17, 2001
To:
All Issuing Offices in Florida
RE:
Mutual Indemnification Agreement Expanded

Dear Associates:

For the past several years we in the industry have enjoyed the administrative simplicity of a Mutual Indemnification Agreement (MIA) whereby for certain routine matters Underwriter's have been indemnifying each other in order to provide better service to the customers of our industry. A new agreement has now been prepared and has been joined in by every Underwriter doing business in the state of Florida with the singular exception of American Pioneer, which has declined to join in the new agreement. American Pioneer matters can still be indemnified if they meet the standards of the earlier agreement.

The new agreement expands the use of the MIA in several ways. The following is an outline of the new agreement.

General requirements for Reliance upon the revised Mutual Indemnification Agreement:

Must retain for your files at least one of the following:

a)Owners Policy at least one (1) year old insuring the seller or mortgagor in the current transaction; or,

b)Mortgagee Policy at least (1) year old insuring a lender who has taken title to some or all of the covered land insured under the policy.

Matters covered automatically by the revised MIA:

a)Conveyances of a possible homestead without joinder of a spouse if the grantor was married;

b)Liens arising from money judgments (but not a certificate of delinquency for child support) and federal or state tax liens up to a face amount of $250,000.00.

c)Unsatisfied mortgages securing on their face no more than $250,000.00 so long as it does not secure revolving credit or equity lines of credit.

d)Lack of guardians or attorneys ad litem to represent an absent defendant or deficiencies in or absence of a diligent search affidavit (when required by law) in any judicial proceeding ("The Case") which results in a final, unappealable judgment affecting the title to the property; and,

e)Lack of or insufficient notice of record of the authority of an attorney in fact or trustee to make a prior conveyance to the seller or mortgagor in the current transaction so long as the indemnitor's policy insuring the title without exception is at least one year old.

General Conditions of Coverage:

1)The indemnitor's policy must be at least one year old and contain no exception for the subject title objection listed above;

2)There must be no record notice of any proceeding to enforce the judgment, tax lien, or mortgage;

3)There must be no record notice of any proceeding to attack or set aside the title resulting from the case or the conveyance referenced in items "(d)" or "(e)", above;

4)The amount of the automatic indemnity is limited to the Face Amount of the indemnitor's policy or $250,000.00 whichever is LESS;

5)This indemnity is limited to policies issued on Florida properties only; and,

6)An indemnitor is the underwriter who has already issued its policy without exception to the covered matter. An indemnitee is an underwriter whose policy is issued in reliance upon the automatic indemnities given in the Revised MIA.

Note #1: A policy issuing agent should obtain permission from the underwriter of the new policy (the proposed indemnitee) to rely upon the terms and provisions of the Revised MIA before insuring over one or more of the defects referred to in items a) through e), above.

Note #2: Nothing in the Revised MIA prevents an underwriter from issuing separate letters of indemnity or refusing to indemnify in cases not covered under the Revised MIA or requires any underwriter to issue a letter of indemnity, if at all, within the time set for the closing.

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:
FL000078 Indemnification Letters/Mutual Indemnification Agreement
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None