- September 09, 1994
- New York State Counsel, Managers, Underwriters and Agents, Please distribute to Closers and Recording Staff
- Recording Procedures
A number of our agents have reported that instruments are being rejected after being presented for recording, primarily by the City Register's office in the Bronx and Queens, for what appears to be little or no reason.
The consequent delay in getting the instruments on record can enlarge the Company's possible liability for matters which occur within the "gap" between closing and recording.
Section 317 of the Real Property Law provides that an instrument entitled to be recorded is considered to be recorded from the time of delivery to the recording officer.
If an instrument was properly rejected, it would not be an instrument "entitled to be recorded". In that case, attention must be given to having closers and recording personnel carefully review instruments for recordability prior to submitting for recording. During the coming months, it would be appropriate to conduct a review of recording practices, with a view toward eliminating rejections.
On the other hand, if the rejection was arbitrary and capricious, and we can establish the date and time of delivery, we may be able to pass to the clerk any liability for matters which take precedence during the gap period after the initial delivery. To do this, proper recording records must be kept.
You are also strongly discouraged from mailing instruments directly to recording officers for recording. This only adds to the delay if there will be a rejection. It would be preferable, if the instruments cannot be presented to the clerk and clocked in by a member of your staff, to send the instruments to your searcher to handle the recording. If it is at all possible, get a copy of the instrument run through the clerk's clock; if not, have a contemporaneous notation on a copy of the face page of the instrument, made by the person handling the recording, showing the date and time of delivery.
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.