Bulletin: CT2020003

Date:
June 02, 2020
To:
All Connecticut Issuing Offices
RE:
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - Legislation and COVID and General Real Estate Updates

Dear Associates:

I. Legislation

This is a reminder that following real estate related bill was passed in 2019 and is effective July 1, 2020:

Conveyance Tax Change: Public Act 19-117 (HB7424, Section 337), effective July 1, 2020, provides that sellers of Connecticut homes will be required to pay a real estate conveyance tax of 2.25% (increased from 1.25%) with respect to the portion of the sales price in excess of $2.5 million ("mansion tax"). Related to this increase and effective January 1, 2021, taxpayers who remain in Connecticut following the sale will be permitted to take a property tax credit against their Connecticut income tax in an amount equal to 1/3 of the conveyance tax paid at the "mansion" tax rate. However, this credit does not become available until the third year after the conveyance tax is paid.

II. COVID-19 Governor Orders 

To date Governor Ned Lamont has issued over 50 Orders as a result of the pandemic sweeping the world. Many of the orders affected real estate matters in terms of temporarily permitting remote notarization, removing witness requirements for conveyancing, staying of appeal periods and court actions. Many of such orders had expiration dates for such matters while others were open ended. In particular we call your attention to the remote notarization procedures set to expire June 23, 2020, unless further extended.

III. Uniform Closing Standards


MISMO, the Mortgage Industry’s Standards Maintenance Organization, has announced the issuance of standardized closing instruction templates that lenders can use as a means of reducing closing errors. The templates were produced by a workgroup created through MISMO consisting of ALTA, AEA (American Escrow Association), MBA and various other industry players. The goal is to eliminate ambiguity and inefficiency by providing the Settlement Agent with a standardized and more streamlined presentation of all relevant loan information and lender requirements. The templates include two distinct documents: a Master Closing Instruction Template and a Transactional Closing Instruction Template, both of which focus on format and organization of closing instructions. While use of the forms is not mandatory, major lenders provided input early in the development process which increases the likelihood that some may eventually utilize them.

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

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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