Bulletin: NY000623

Date:
March 29, 2019
To:
All New York State Office Counsel, Managers and Agents
RE:
ECB Liens/City of New York

Stewart Title Insurance Company (“Stewart”) has become aware of an increasing number of questions from policy issuing offices regarding ECB violations that have been reduced to judgment.  In response to these questions we have discussed the matter with many of our agents, clients and customers. Further, discussions have taken place between the City of New York and members of the NYSLTA on this topic.  This Bulletin seeks to update Bulletin NY000473 in light of those discussions.

Stewart’s previous bulletin on the topic stated: “An ECB lien is a judgment against the named defendant and encumbers all the property owned by the defendant in the county where it is filed.  Accordingly, all ECB liens must be raised and disposed of whether affecting the property being insured or affecting other property if the owner is the named defendant.”

While this remains an accurate statement, New York City maintains a City-wide index for ECB judgments, which is viewable from any of the County Clerk’s offices in NYC.  Accordingly, NYC (and many of you) are treating an ECB judgment docketed against the name of the owner in any county of NYC as a lien upon the PUE.  Therefore, Stewart is amending its underwriting directive in alignment with this practice.  All ECB liens found in any County of New York City must be raised and disposed of whether affecting the property being insured or affecting other property if the owner is the named defendant.

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:
NY000473 ECB Liens/City of New York
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None