Bulletin: NY000121

Date:
July 26, 1996
To:
All New York Managers, Counsel and Agents
RE:
Elimination of the Torrens Land Registration System in New York State

Dear Associates:

Pursuant to Chapter 226 of the Laws of 1996, a new Section 436 was added to the Real Property Law which provides for the gradual elimination of the Torrens Land Registration System in New York State.

The new statute provides that no land titles may be registered in the Torrens system after December 31, 1996. From January 1, 1997 to December 31, 1999, the only instruments which will be accepted for registration in the Torrens system will be "adverse instruments", i.e., instruments which do not convey title, and do not require the consent of the owner of the property to establish their validity. "Adverse Instruments" would include, but not be limited to, mechanic's liens, judgments and notices of pendency.

On and after January 1, 1997, "voluntary instruments", i.e., those which convey fee title or affect registered land and which require consent of the owner to establish validity (e.g. deeds, mortgages, easements, leases, etc.), will not be accepted for registration. Instead, the Registrar will memorialize such voluntary instruments (as well as adverse instruments) on the Certificate of Title to the property affected, and then, upon payment of the appropriate recording fee, deliver such Certificate to the County Clerk (or in New York, Bronx, Kings and Queens Counties, the Register's Office), of the County where the property is located for recording.

On or before January 1, 2000, the Registrar will deliver all other Certificates of Title to the County Clerk (or the City Register, if the affected property is located in one of the Counties of the City of New York, except for Richmond) for recording. Once the recording of the Certificate for a property has been made in the County Clerk's (or Register's) Office, title to such property will thereafter be conveyed or encumbered pursuant to Article 9 of the Real Property Law.

If the schedule outlined in the statute is adhered to, the Torrens system will be eliminated by the year 2000. As additional information on the procedures to be used by the Clerks' Offices in complying with the statute become available, we shall advise you.

Should you have any questions, please contact Company 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:
19.32 Torrens Registration System
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None