Bulletin: CO2013002

Date:
August 07, 2013
To:
All Colorado Issuing Offices
RE:
LEGISLATIVE UPDATES - Colorado Legislation - 2013

Dear Associates:

The following are summaries of some of the bills passed during the 2013 legislative session of interest to the title insurance industry.

HB-1017 - This bill addresses the situation where a homeowner has been offered a modified payment schedule or other loan modification by one loan servicer but, after the loan is transferred to another servicer the loan is enforced without regard to the negotiated modification. This bill states that the successor servicer is subject to and shall honor the homeowner's acceptance of the offer.

HB-1134 - This bill requires the HOA information officer to act as a clearing house for information concerning rights and duties for owners, declarants and HOAs by compiling a database of contact information of registered associations and preparing educational and reference materials regarding the operation of HOAs. It also provides that a study be done of other states that have an HOA oversight body and report to a legislative committee their experiences on such things including reporting suspected violations of CClOA, assisting in dispute regulation by offering to mediate or referring the parties to alternate dispute resolution services, and, if a sufficient numbers of members of a HOA request, to appoint election monitors and conduct the election of the HOA's directors.

HB-1136 - This bill extends the coverage of state and federal laws on employment discrimination to cover employers with fewer than 15 employees, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and allows a claim of age discrimination for people age 70 and older. Additional remedies are now allowed including in situations where intentional discrimination is found but with limits. Portions of this bill are effective August 7, 2013, and others affect acts committed after January 1, 2015.

HB-1138 - This bill creates a new type of legal entity in Colorado to be aware of. An authorized benefit corporation is basically a standard for profit corporation that includes, or adds a statement that it is a benefit corporation to its articles of incorporation and specifies an additional purpose of providing a general or specific public benefit.

HB-1276 - This bill provides that an HOA may not refer an account for collection without notification of the amount due and offering the owner a six month payment plan. The HOA cannot foreclose its lien for assessments unless the total amount due is at least equal to six months of regular assessments and the HOA executive board has formally approved foreclosure on an individual basis. This bill applies to common interest communities created both before and after July 1, 1992, the effective date of CCIOA.

HB-1277 - This bill requires any person who manages the affairs of an HOA for a common interest community on or after July 1, 2014, to meet certain qualifications and obtain a community association manager license.

HB-1307 - A Supreme Court case from the summer of 2012 held that a deed of trust which contained an address and/or parcel number but no legal description did not impart constructive notice and was not entitled to be recorded. This bill provides that the absence of a legal description may, in the totality of the circumstances, but does not necessarily, invalidate the recording of the document or determine its validity as against a person obtaining rights in the property. The lack of a legal description is not by itself, without regard to the totality of the circumstances, determinative of whether the document is valid against a person gaining rights in the property or whether it is valid or invalid.

58-11 - This is the Colorado Civil Union Act. It authorizes any two unmarried adults, regardless of gender, to enter into a civil union. The process of obtaining a license and later a civil union certificate is similar to obtaining a marriage license and marriage certificate. The effects of a civil union are far-reaching and many incidents and responsibilities under the law that are imposed upon or granted to married spouses will now apply to parties in a civil union. Most of these are unrelated to real property and title insurance but the bill does provide general statements that the rights and abilities concerning the transfer of real property that a married couple have would apply equally to parties to a civil union. There are similar provisions relating to probate matters and homestead laws. It appears that the current law relating to the dissolution of marriage would also apply to the dissolution of civil unions.

58-18 - Prohibits an employer's use of consumer credit information for employment purposes unless it is substantially related to the job. The bill prohibits the use of credit reports in hiring or promotion for non-executive and non-professional positions.

58-119 - This bill clarifies the requirement that a title insurance company or agent obtain a tax  certificate when issuing an owner's title policy by providing that the requirement only applies with respect to the sale of residential real property. It also requires the commissioner of insurance to promulgate rules that identify alternate documentation that a company or agent may use when a normal tax certificate cannot be obtained from the county such as when the amount of taxes due are being recalculated early in the year.

58-182 - This bill amends portions of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act relating to transactions involving resales of timeshares. It requires the disclosure of specified information about the entity's services.

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

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.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None