Bulletin: CA2019001

Date:
March 27, 2019
To:
All California Issuing Offices
RE:
RATES AND/OR FORMS UPDATE - STGC Rate Manual Update

Dear Associates:

Stewart Title Guaranty Company is filing an amended Schedule of Charges and Forms for Title Insurance in the State of California ("Manual"). This Manual is pending California Department of Insurance approval, anticipated to become effective on April 29, 2019; please post as required. Attached are the links for your convenience. (Click here to view a copy of the “Redline” and the “Accepted” versions).

There are four (4) areas of change in the Manual as detailed below. To best understand the changes and which apply to you, the Manual itself should be read thoroughly and carefully in its entirety.

(1) Section 1.26 - Special Discounted Title Insurance Premiums for Owner-Occupied 1-4 Family Residences has been updated to clarify the applicable qualifying individuals, to include lender’s title insurance premiums for refinances, to include honorably discharged veterans, to identify the military branches the discount applies to and to lower the qualifying age for senior citizens. Specifically, Section 1.26 now reads as follows:

Owner’s Title Insurance Premium in Purchases: A special discount is available to a qualifying individual being charged for the owner’s title insurance premium on an owner-occupied 1-4 family residence. This discount may be offered to: (1) active military personnel and honorably discharged veterans; (2) senior citizens 55 years of age or older; and (3) first-time homebuyers. The special discount may be offered only upon written request, prior to recording/closing, for a discount to the qualified individual, accompanied by verification of qualification for, and entitlement to, the requested discount. The discounted rate charge for the title premiums shall be the applicable title premium less 10%. Endorsements and all other charges remain at the rates set forth herein.

Lender’s Title Insurance Premium in Refinances: A special discount is available to a qualifying borrower being charged for the lender’s title insurance premium on an owner-occupied 1-4 family residence. This discount may be offered to: (1) active military personnel and honorably discharged veterans; and (2) senior citizens 55 years of age or older. The special discount may be offered only upon written request, prior to recording/closing, for a discount to the qualified borrower, accompanied by verification of qualification for, and entitlement to, the requested discount. The discounted rate charge for the title premiums shall be the applicable title premium less 10%. Endorsements and all other charges remain at the rates set forth herein. 

For the purposes of this section only, “active military personnel” and “honorably discharged veterans” include active members and honorably discharged veterans of the following U.S. military service branches: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps; and also includes any active Reserve members and any active National Guard members. 

(2) Section 2.10 - previously a deleted section is now dedicated to the ALTA U.S. Policy which was not identified in the Manual. The new Section 2.10 ALTA U.S. Policy reads as follows:

The charge for the issuance of the ALTA United States of America policy shall be 100% of the Applicable Rate with Western Regional Exceptions and 120% of the Applicable Rate without Western Regional Exceptions. The ALTA U.S. Policy shall not be updated or dated-down. 

The charge for reissuance of the ALTA U.S. Policy (within 12 months from the date of the policy is 25% of the Applicable Rate, based upon issuing the same amount of insurance, plus an increased liability charge, if any, at 100% of the Applicable Rate for the increased liability amount.

(3) Section 3.21 S.T.A.R. - the residential refinance rate has been decreased in the liability ranges of $450,000 to $1,000,000.

(4) Section 9.5 Personal Property Encumbrance - this charge for this guarantee product was updated to more closely reflect the Manual’s former charge for this product. Specifically, Section 9.5 now reads:

The charge shall be 35% of the Applicable Rate based upon the amount of liability requested; the amount reflects the value of the personal property. 

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