Bulletin: WI2020002

Date:
June 08, 2020
To:
All Wisconsin Issuing Offices
RE:
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - Limitations for Enforcement of an Easement Right

Dear Associates:

When asked to insure an appurtenant easement interest under a commitment or policy to be issued, in addition to the factors outlined in Virtual Underwriter, examiners must consider Wis. Stat. 893.33, regardless if the easement interest in question has been affirmatively insured under an acceptable starter policy. Wisconsin Statutes §893.33(6) – (9) require the easement interest to be recorded, or expressly referred to, in another timely recorded instrument within the preceding forty years for it to be enforceable. Additionally, when the provisions of §893.33 took effect on July 1, 1980, it shortened the existing limitations for enforcement of certain easements from 60 years to 40 years. Therefore, certain easements first recorded between July 2, 1960, and June 30, 1980, would be unenforceable as of July 1, 2020, unless recorded, or expressly referred to, in another recorded instrument within the preceding forty years.

The provisions and limitations against enforcement of an easement right does not pertain to all possible easement interests. Any easements that may affect the subject parcel as disclosed on starter policies, current search work, or as otherwise disclosed or known, must be shown as an exception regardless if the 40-year limitation has run under §893.33. Any request to remove an easement as an exception on a commitment or policy based on the deadlines running under the provisions of §893.33 must be approved by a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

A copy of the existing statute(s) referenced herein can be found at:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/document/statutes/893.33

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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:
5.00 Easements And Easement Insurance
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None