Bulletin: MD2018003

Date:
April 09, 2018
To:
All Maryland Issuing Offices
RE:
RATES AND/OR FORMS UPDATE - New ALTA Form Effective April 9, 2018

Dear Associates:

Stewart Title Guaranty Company has filed the following American Land Title Association (ALTA) form with the Maryland Insurance Administration which is approved for use in Maryland.

ALTA Short Form Commitment for an ALTA Short Form Residential Loan Policy (12-01-2017):

The ALTA form referred to above has been designed to follow the same concepts as the 2006 ALTA Policies in that they were formulated and designed to be more logically organized and precise in wording. The new ALTA forms are largely designed to better coordinate with the 2006 ALTA Loan and Owner’s Policies already approved for use in the state. The format of the new ALTA forms should aid in their understanding and interpretation as they have been written to clarify terms and reorganize the content of the language for easier understanding by the consumer. 

The ALTA Commitment contains the following notable features:

adds a Notice at the top of the Commitment reiterating that the Commitment is an offer to issue a Short Form Loan Policy of Title Insurance, and is not an abstract of title, report of the condition of title, and is not an opinion of title, or other representation of the status of title.

adds a notice stating that the Commitment does not republish any covenant, condition, restriction, or limitation contained in any document referred to in the commitment to the extent that the covenant, condition, restriction, or limitation violates state or federal law based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

* adds a section to Schedule A to insert Transaction Identification Data (Issuing Agent, Issuing Office, ALTA Universal ID, Loan ID Number, Commitment Number, Issuing Office File Number, Property Address, Revision Number), all for reference only.

Please note that the "Notice" provision should be included in the form.

According to ALTA, this new commitment will be a companion form to the 2016 ALTA Commitment. This Short Form Commitment would be commonly used to streamline the transfer of the data necessary for a Short Form Residential Loan Policy when used on a residential loan transaction.

As a reminder, other forms should not be used if a comparable ALTA version is available. If a comparable ALTA version is available, the most current version of the ALTA form available in each state should be used, unless approved by a Stewart underwriter.

Please contact Property Info Customer Care or your title production software vendor to get the new forms uploaded to your system. 

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:
ALTA Short Form Commitment for a Short Form Residential Loan Policy (12-01-17)