Bulletin: CT2013001

Date:
June 24, 2013
To:
All Connecticut Issuing Offices
RE:
UNDERWRITING - Recording Fees to Increase Significantly for MERS Mortgages and other documents to which MERS is a party

Dear Associates:

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has signed the state budget bill, including what is known as the budget “implementer,” Public Acts 13-184 and 13-247. Buried in the budget and implementer are provisions that significantly increase recording fees for documents, such as mortgages and assignments of mortgage, where MERS* is a party to the instrument.

These new MERS recording fees are effective on Monday, July 15, 2013.

The changed fees for MERS-related documents are as follows:

  • For Assignments of mortgage from MERS and releases of mortgage by MERS:

o   $159 for the entire document

  • For any other document to which MERS is a party (e.g., a mortgage to MERS as nominee):

o   $159 for the first page plus $5 for each additional page

* We will use the term "MERS" as shorthand for the defined term "nominee of a mortgage.” While the legislature took care not to mention MERS by name, the legislation is quite obviously targeted at MERS. The increased recording fees apply to transactions involving a "nominee of a mortgagee," which term is defined as "any person who (i) serves as mortgagee in the land records for a mortgage loan registered on a national electronic database that tracks changes in mortgage servicing and beneficial ownership interests in residential mortgage loans on behalf of its members, and (ii) is a nominee or agent for the owner of the promissory note or the subsequent buyer, transferee or beneficial owner of such note." If another entity were to someday materialize which fits this definition, then these increased recording fees would also apply to transactions involving that entity.

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

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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:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None