Bulletin: SLS2009012

Date:
August 21, 2009
To:
All Issuing Offices
RE:
Short Form Loan Policy; Reduced Search

Dear Associates:

ISSUANCE OF THE SHORT FORM RESIDENTIAL LOAN POLICY

You may issue the Short Form Residential Loan Policy if the land is a one-to-four family residence on a platted subdivision lot, or if you otherwise secure approval of our underwriting personnel.

You issue the Short Form Residential Loan Policy by using the available Short Form Loan Policy in your jurisdiction. In most jurisdictions, that form is the ALTA Short Form Residential Loan Policy (6/16/07).

Schedule B of these policies contains:

(a) standard exceptions relating to taxes, easements, restrictions, minerals and survey issues; and

(b) affirmative insurance as to taxes, easements, restrictions, minerals (except in Oklahoma), and survey matters.

The Short Form Residential Loan Policy insures that the estate encumbered by the Insured Mortgage is fee simple. If you are requested to insure a leasehold interest to a lender, please call our underwriting personnel.

SEARCH AND EXAMINATION FOR SHORT FORM RESIDENTIAL LOAN POLICY

You must perform a general index search of names of the current seller/owner for the time period of the statute of limitations on judgments in your jurisdiction and for the time period of the limitations on Federal judgments and Federal tax liens. Where customary, you also must perform a general index search of the buyer.

You must check taxes, assessments of all types (such as known homeowner's assessments), and other governmental charges. They must be excepted by separate exception in Schedule B or satisfied, except for taxes not yet due and payable.

You should be satisfied that there are no recent unpaid bills for improvements to the land.

You must search the title to the land for (a) two bona fide deeds back and (b) a purchase money mortgage to an institutional lender (e.g., not an individual seller). A bona fide deed is a deed that appears to involve an arm's length sale (not gift) between unrelated people.

If your short examination reflects any outstanding mortgages or other liens, show them under the requirements section of your Commitment, so that they can be released or shown by separate exception in the policy.

If your short examination reflects title matters (such as a lis pendens or governmental notices) other than easements, restrictions, and minerals, show them under the requirements section of your Commitment, so that they can be released or shown in the policy.

Additional specific exceptions are shown in an Addendum to the Short Form Residential Loan Policy.

If local statutory or regulatory requirements require a more stringent standard, you must comply with that standard.

Please see our other short form bulletins for further guidelines and explanation of short form policies.

If you have questions related to this bulletin, please contact Stewart Legal Services or your local underwriting personnel.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.

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.