Bulletin: WA000030

Date:
December 12, 1991
To:
All Washington Agents
RE:
Mechanic's Lien Foreclosure

Dear Associates:

The Washington Court of Appeals has ruled that it is not necessary for a lien claimant to record a lis pendens when foreclosing its lien. John Morgan Construction v. McDowell, 813 P.2d 138 (Wash. App. 1991).

In this case a person purchased property subject to a claim of lien more than eight months after the lien had been recorded. The purchaser thought the lien had expired and was not aware of a pending foreclosure. A lis pendens had not been recorded.

The court held that recordation of the claim of lien was enough. The burden was on the purchaser to discover whether the lien had expired or whether a suit was pending to foreclose. The statutes do not also require a lis pendens.

Please remember that the eight month limitation on the claim of lien is tolled by a foreclosure of any lien within that time, not necessarily by the claim of lien in question. It is also tolled by the bankruptcy of the owner, contractor or lien claimant. Be very careful before disregarding a claim of lien which you believe has expired.

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:
12.12 Mechanic's Liens
Exceptions Manual:
WA Mechanic's Liens
Forms:
None