Bulletin: MU000018

Date:
December 22, 1995
To:
All issuing offices in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
RE:
Title Search Requirements

Dear Associates:

The Company has received many requests to publish the requirements for a title search on which a title policy is based. The Company is committed to obtaining the most comprehensive search necessary to complete the policy. Therefore, subject to any local regulatory requirements, and to the requirements of Bulletin NL000017, Use of Starter Files, search guidelines are as follows:

These search guidelines are subject to the following:

  • "Deed" means a bona fide arms-length sale transactions.
  • Applicable to one-four improved residential properties only.
  • Master policy certificates and short form policies may only be used as starters in conjunction with the issuance of new master and short form policies.
  • A general index search must be performed 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.
  • You must check taxes, assessments of all types, and other governmental charges.
  • If you are asked to give extended coverage on an ALTA owner's or loan policy, the transaction must be underwritten as if there were no prior policies.

When issuing an ALTA owner's or loan policy with specific Schedule B exceptions.

(1) If you have a prior owner's or loan policy with specific schedule B exceptions, you may search from the date of this policy; or,

(2) If there is not a prior policy, then you may search from an examined subdivision base file or for whatever time period meets local or state-promulgated search standards, but in no event less than 20 years.

When issuing an ALTA master policy certificate or ALTA short form loan policy:

(1) First lien policy

(a) If you have a prior policy, owner's, loan or master/short form, search from prior policy or two (2) deeds back; or,

(b) If you do not have a prior policy, search for two deeds back.

(2) Subordinate lien policy--search for one deed back.

When issuing a limited coverage policy---search for one deed back.

In the event you have any questions, please contact any of your Stewart underwriting representatives.

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:
MU000018 Title Search Requirements
 
NL000017 This Bulletin has been replaced by SLS2009004.
Underwriting Manual:
19.28 Title Examination Standards
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None