- March 15, 1994
- Wisconsin Stewart Agents
- Recent Legislation Affecting Underwriting and Other Underwriting Reminders
In the past few years, the Wisconsin Legislature has enacted or revised several title related laws. This memorandum will discuss the underwriting implications of some of these as well as present a few reminders.
Please note that under separate cover I will address Wisconsin's new Limited Liability Company Law.
Wisconsin Limited Partnerships
Section 179.065 states that when title is in the name of a Wisconsin (not out-of-state) limited partnership, a general partner has full authority to execute conveyances in the name of the limited partnership unless the certificate of limited partnership provides otherwise. If the certificate indicates otherwise please call for underwriting assistance.
A sample requirement: We should be furnished a copy of the current certificate of limited partnership for __________ filed with the Secretary of State. We reserve the right to add requirements and/or exceptions upon receipt.
State Tax Liens
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue has recently taken the position that state tax warrants filed in the Clerk of Court's office are liens on real estate for at least 30 years.
Thus, any tax warrants filed after July 31, 1981 should be shown as Schedule B exceptions for at least 30 years from the date of filing or until they are satisfied.
Policy or Policies to be Issued
On Schedule A of commitments, always indicate after the words, ALTA Owner's Policy or ALTA Loan Policy, the year, and where applicable, type of policy. For example:
ALTA Loan Policy (10-17-92)
ALTA Owner's Policy (10-17-92)
ALTA Owner's Policy (Residential 6-1-87)
By virtue of revised Section 706.08(4), when you find a conveyance to a person designated as trustee of a named trust, unless you find a recorded trust agreement, you need only require a deed from that same person as trustee of the named trust to the proposed insured. You no longer need to request a copy of the trust agreement.
If, however, the same person cannot execute the conveyance as trustee, or a trust or like agreement is recorded, then the trust agreement must be reviewed to determine that it is not passive and that the trustee has the authority to execute the conveyance. Proof should also be required of the identity of the current trustee(s).
Where deeds to and from a trustee have previously occurred in the chain of title, or where the proposed transaction arouses your concerns even though the proposed scenario is within the above guidelines, then a case by case analysis is appropriate and the above rules may not be applicable.
"Statutory Restraining Order"
Section 767.087, effective December 9, 1993, prohibits a conveyance solely by one party while undergoing a divorce, legal separation, annulment, marriage affirmation action, property division proceeding or an action to enforce or modify a judgment or order in a family related matter.
In those cases, both parties must execute the conveyance or a family court commissioner or judge must approve the conveyance.
It is recommended that whenever both parties are willing to execute the conveyance, you should also obtain a stipulation, detailing the agreement, which is signed by both parties and their attorneys.
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.