Bulletin: SLS2020001

Date:
January 29, 2020
To:
All Issuing Offices
RE:
GENERAL - 2020 Reminder Bulletin

Dear Associates:

This Bulletin reminds you of your obligations as a policy-issuing representative of Stewart Title Guaranty Company ("Stewart"). In addition to possessing the customary knowledge associated with real estate closings in your jurisdiction, you are required to have specific knowledge of and comply with, Stewart's underwriting practices, requirements, and guidelines. These include, but are not limited to, our Underwriting Manual, Bulletins, and Special Alerts. These resources, together with other important information, instructional materials, and commonly used forms are contained in Virtual Underwriter, available online at www.vuwriter.com.  

Please note the following Bulletins relating to topics of current concern:


Underwriting

 

MU2019002

UNDERWRITING - Residential Sale-Leaseback Transactions
Senior Underwriter approval must be obtained prior to insuring any transaction involving a sale-leaseback transaction.

SLS2019005

UNDERWRITING - HEMP
Insuring property used or intended to be used for the growing or production of hemp.

SLS2018005

UNDERWRITING - Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 - Rights of Tenants in Foreclosed Properties
The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act provides protections limiting post-foreclosure eviction of tenants in residential properties. 

SLS2018002

UNDERWRITING - Non-Institutional / Hard Money / Private Lenders Transactions 
Some common fraud factors in non-institutional lender transactions and due diligence steps to avoid fraud claims. 

SLS2016002

UNDERWRITING - Foreclosures Extinguishing Subordinate Mortgages or Title Held By Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FDIC, or HUD
Requirements to insure a foreclosure of a prior lien where there is a lien held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), or HUD.

SLS2014006

UNDERWRITING - Insuring Title Based Upon a Judgment, Order, or Decree: Appeal Period and Proper Notice 
When insuring title based upon a judgment, order, or decree, the order must be a final, non-appealable order.

SLS2014002

UNDERWRITING - Extrahazardous Risks
Underwriting approval is required to insure extrahazardous risks. Contains examples of Extrahazardous risks.

SLS2014001

UNDERWRITING - The Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) and The Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA)
Issues relating to PACA and PSA and related requirements.

SLS2009007

Mechanic’s Liens Recap
Required procedures and recurring issues relating to mechanic’s liens (non-construction loans).

SLS2008015

Paying Off Line of Credit Mortgages
Risks and requirements when paying off credit line mortgages.

SLS2007007

Insuring Around, Over, or Against Outstanding Enforceable Recorded Defects, Liens, and Encumbrances
Requirements for insuring over, omitting or insuring the subordinate nature of an enforceable recorded defect, lien, or encumbrance.


General

 

SLS2019007

GENERAL - Privacy of Personal Information; Updated Privacy Notice [Revised 1-2-20]
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) took effect January 1, 2020.  As the CCPA applies to California residents who may conduct business out of state, this bulletin applies to all transactions.  Contains a link to a new CCPA Privacy Supplement. 

SLS2019006

GENERAL - US Department of Treasury: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) - Geographic Targeting Order: Boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island, NY; Counties of Bexar, Tarrant and Dallas, TX; Counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, FL; Counties of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara, CA; City and County of Honolulu, HI; Clark County, NV; King County, WA; Counties of Suffolk and Middlesex, MA; Cook County, IL 
Continuing guidance on the FinCEN Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO). This amended GTO extends the effective date of the reporting requirement to May 9, 2020. This amended GTO defines a covered transaction as any transaction that would close from November 12, 2019 to May 9, 2020.

SLS2018008

GENERAL - US Department of Treasury: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) - Geographic Targeting Order: Boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island, NY; Counties of Bexar, Tarrant and Dallas, TX; Counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, FL; Counties of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara, CA; City and County of Honolulu, HI; Clark County, NV; King County, WA; Counties of Suffolk and Middlesex, MA; Cook County, IL [Revised 5-16-19]
Continuing guidance on the FinCEN Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO). This amended GTO extended the effective date of the reporting requirement to May 15, 2019. This amended GTO relates to a covered transaction that closed from May 9, 2019 to November 11, 2019. 

SLS2013003

Search Services and Limitation of Title Insurance Underwriting Agreement
Independent agents are prohibited from using the Stewart name on any non-policy product, including any search product.

SLS2011010

Avoidance of Potential Conflicts of Interest
Issuing offices are prohibited from issuing title policies or closing transactions on any property in which a principal or agent has an interest, unless approved in advance.

SLS2010026

Issuing Authority and Escrow Instructions
Issuing agent's authority is limited to the issuance of title commitments and policies.  Issuing agents do not have the authority to bind the Company in any other way, including escrow agreements.

SLS2008001

Patriot Act Requirements and the Special Alerts Database [Revised 01/18/12]
Issuing office are required to comply with the USA Patriot Act and must check the Stewart Special Alerts Database. In addition to the required search of the Special Alerts Database, if you are aware of any alert or cautionary memorandum issued by Stewart or any other underwriter, you may not close a transaction or issue a Stewart policy without disclosure to and prior written approval from, a Stewart Legal Services representative.


Claims Avoidance

 

SLS2019003

CLAIMS AVOIDANCE - Wire Fraud Prevention Tips 
Tips to help consumers protect against wire fraud.
 

SLS2018007

CLAIMS AVOIDANCE - Stewart Title Guaranty Company Anti-Fraud Plan
Stewart Title has an in-house unit which conducts investigations into alleged fraudulent activities affecting it, its affiliates, and its agents. 


Mechanic’s Liens During Construction

 

MU2010009

Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction - No Priority (2)
Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon

MU2010008

Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction - Initial Priority if No Commencement (3)
Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming

MU2010007

Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction - Priority if No Lien or Suit Filed when Disbursing (1)
District of Columbia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Vermont

DE2010002

Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction
 

FL2010002

Mechanic's Liens Coverage on Lender's Policies During Construction

GA2014002

UNDERWRITING - Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction

IL2010005

Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction - No Priority

LA2010010

Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction - Initial Priority if No Commencement 

MA2010002

Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction

MD2014002

UNDERWRITING - Mechanic’s Liens Coverage During Construction - Priority For Future Advances Established Upon Recording of Mortgage

MI2010007

Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction

NC2015001

UNDERWRITING - Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction - Initial Priority if No Commencement

ND2010001

Mechanic's Liens/Construction Liens Coverage During Construction - Priority if No Lien or Suit Filed when Disburse

NJ2010005

Construction Lien Claims in New Jersey

NM2015002

UNDERWRITING - Insuring Construction Loans in New Mexico; New Rules Effective August 1 and August 15, 2014

PA2010009

Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction - Initial Priority if No Commencement

TX2010008

Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction

VA2010001

Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction

WI2010005

Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction

MU2010009

Mechanic's Liens Coverage During Construction - No Priority (2)
Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon

As a reminder, you are responsible for knowledge of and compliance with the information contained in all Bulletins and Special Alerts as posted on Virtual Underwriter (www.vuwriter.com), whether you receive them by electronic distribution or not.

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