Bulletin: DC000020

Date:
April 11, 2007
To:
Offices Authorized to Issue Title Insurance in the District of Columbia
RE:
Revocation of Requirement for Execution by Spouses and Domestic Partners
Dear Associates:

It is with pleasure that we advise you that it will no longer be necessary to obtain the execution of non-title spouses and domestic partners on deeds of trust.   Recent legislative changes in the District of Columbia have now clarified this issue and this will no longer be an underwriting requirement for District of Columbia loans.

As noted in Bulletin DC00019, Section 15-502 of the District of Columbia Code provided as follows:

"A mortgage, deed of trust, assignment for the benefit of creditors, or bill of sale upon exempted articles is not binding or valid unless it is signed by the spouse or domestic partner of a debtor who is married and living with his or her spouse or domestic partner."

Unfortunately, DC Code Section 15-501 included as exempted articles "the debtor's aggregate interest in real property used as the residence of the debtor".  Because of this, our DC underwriting requirements mandated that non-titled spouses and domestic partners also sign all deeds of trust which would be insured by Stewart Title. 

Through the tremendous work of the DC Land Title Association, remedial legislation was introduced to address this issue and the legislation was enacted into law on March 14, 2007.  Thus, it is no longer necessary to require that a non-titled spouse or domestic partner sign a deed of trust encumbering property in the District of Columbia.

Please note that these changes do not affect the other various rights that have been granted to registered domestic partners in the District of Columbia .  All other portions of Bulletin DC00019 with respect to domestic partners continue to be applicable and should be followed.  This is especially important when dealing with cases where property is being distributed via intestate succession. 

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:
DC000019 Rights of Spouses and Domestic Partners
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None