- May 18, 1997
- All New York State Office Counsel, Managers and Agents
- Correspondence from the New York City Register on Various Issues Affecting the Title Industry
This bulletin will briefly summarize correspondence sent to the New York State Land Title Association (NYSLTA) by Joy Bobrow, the City Register. Copies for these letters can be reproduced by this office or the National Legal Department in Houston. The letters touch on several issues of importance to members of the title insurance community.
In the first letter dated May 8, Ms. Bobrow advises that the New York City Administrative Code (Sec. 7-614, Par. 11 [text is indented after this paragraph]) provides for the imposition of a higher recording fee (up to twice the normal charge) where the print size of a document is less than 8 points. As an example, she states that where a document page is set up in double columns, the point size of the print on the document would be less than 8 points, and consequently, subject to the higher recording fee. Up to the present time, the recording clerks have not charged the higher fee for such documents. However, Ms. Bobrow has requested the NYSLTA to tell its members that her recording staff will now require the correct recording fee to be collected on documents having a print size of less than 8 points. Please advise your closers and recording personnel of this change.
Sec. 7-614, Par. 11
"For purposes of this section, the size of each page accepted for recording and indexing shall not exceed nine inches by fourteen inches, and every printed portion thereof shall be plainly printed in type of which the face is not smaller than eight point. The register and the county clerk acting as recording officer may in special circumstances accept a page exceeding the size or with smaller print than that prescribed herein, on such terms and at such fee, subject to review by the supreme court, as he or she may deem appropriate, but the fee for such recording and indexing shall be not less than double the fees otherwise chargeable by law therefor."
In a second letter dated May 13, Ms. Bobrow acknowledges that from time to time, there have been complaints that instruments are being rejected by the City Register for petty or improper reasons. Although she believes that most of the rejections by her staff are proper, she has requested that companies that have such complaints provide her with copies of the documents which have been "improperly" rejected. She will review them and determine whether the rejection was an appropriate one.
Finally, on May 15, Ms. Bobrow discussed the issue of recording instruments against newly created condominium units where tax block and lot numbers have not yet been placed into the City computer system. The City had not been recording documents against individual units where the tax lot entries had not "hit" the City Computer.
Acknowledging that the City's position had created a problem for the title industry, the City changed its policy and agreed that it is necessary to record instruments against the newly created lots. However, since the recording clerks are unable to "verify" the block and lot numbers without the tax map, Ms. Bobrow is requesting that a Company's recording person or examiner make a copy of the applicable page of the recorded Declaration of Condominium which shows the list of tax lots and present it to the recording clerk with the instruments to be recorded against the condominium unit. As long as the block and lot on the documents match the apartment number of the condominium's address (as shown on the applicable page of the Condo Declaration showing the block and tax lots - copies for these letters can be reproduced by this office or the National Legal Department in Houston), Ms. Bobrow indicated that the instruments will be indexed against the individual block and lot of the condominium unit in question.
Should you have any questions, please contact the undersigned.
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.