Bulletin: GA2010004

Date:
April 28, 2010
To:
All Georgia Issuing Offices
RE:
The Preclosing Gap

Dear Associates:

This Bulletin will address the acceptable gap period from the time of the last record title update until the date of closing. There has been a significant increase in the number of search and exam claims presented to Stewart Title Guaranty Company arising from coverage given against intervening matters in this Preclosing Gap period. Therefore, it is imperative that the Preclosing Gap be as short as possible.

It is proper procedure to conduct a date-down of the title examination covering the period from the date and time of the commitment to the date and time of the closing. The purpose is to inform the parties to a transaction of those intervening matters found of record, if any, and to take the appropriate action to address and dispose of such matters. Issuing Agents are required to ensure that the title examination is dated down through the date of closing and recording or as close as possible. This date down should run from the date of the last update through the last available date a search can be obtained from the courthouse records. We realize that the county courthouse search dates will vary from county to county and that the records of the Clerk of Court may, in fact, be significantly behind in the date of posting. Our focus is on the Issuing Agent's duty to maintain the shortest gap period possible due to the inherent danger.

Issuing Agents should keep written documentation in your closing files of when the last title update was completed and the courthouse effective date in order to prevent issues which may arise when the Company audits files. If you chose to update title online, a copy of the full screen view of each updated search may serve as this evidence.

If the Issuing Agent is aware of any unusual risk, you should contact your local Stewart Title Guaranty Underwriting Personnel.

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

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.