Bulletin: TX000030

Date:
July 27, 1995
To:
All Texas Issuing Offices
RE:
New Rules and Forms; Effective August 1, 1995

Dear Associates:

The following were adopted by the Commissioner of Insurance effective August 1, 1995:

Insured Closing Letter to Buyer and Seller. This letter provides stated protection for loss of settlement funds because of fraud or dishonesty of a named licensed Texas Title Insurance Agent. We may issue this letter only if the sales price of the land exceeds $250,000. Call 1-800-729-1903 if a customer requests this letter.

New Rule P-17 (Electronic Production of Endorsements). This Rule allows electronic production of endorsements. The endorsement can be signed electronically (if your technology allows). The Rule does not prevent electronic production of other forms, such as commitments and schedules. You must continue to report endorsements if you produce them electronically. For reporting purposes, each electronically-produced endorsement must carry a unique serial number (assigned by Agency Accounting). If you have any questions about reporting, please call Terri Lapetina in Agency Accounting, at 1-800-729-1900 ext. 8278. If you would like general information about electronic production of endorsements and other forms, please call June Vidrine with Landata at 1-800-330-6278.

Revolving Credit Endorsement (T-35). The Commissioner approved minor changes to this Endorsement. You may order the revised endorsement from Stewart Forms and Information at 1-800-729-1901. Our guidelines remain the same: (1) do not issue on homestead; (2) require the mortgage to disclose the maximum credit line and the credit line feature of the loan; and (3) the loan must have a termination date for the advances.

Minimum Standards of Audit of Trust Funds, etc.). The Commissioner adopted several changes to the instructions and forms. These include a requirement of two signatures (one a licensed escrow officer) on all escrow checks unless the escrow agent has four or fewer employees or unless the escrow agent is a sole proprietorship and the owner signs. "Specific Areas" of the "Minimum Standards" states that "if there are charges shown on the closing statement for items such as overnight mail service, messenger service, copies of documents, recording fees or tax certificates, it should be determined that these charges are actual expenses or reasonable estimates of charges that must be made prior to closing and not arbitrary or uniformly charged amounts for these items on all closing statements."

Owner Title Policy Commitment to Texas Department of Transportation (T-20); Owner Title Policy Commitment for Eminent Domain Proceedings. These changed forms now refer to the Texas Department of Transportation and contain revised survey exceptions. You may order these forms from Stewart Forms and Information.

Rule P-2b (Residential Refinance, Affidavit in Lieu of Updated Survey) (See form through reference section at the end of this bulletin). The revised rule requires us to accept a prior survey on refinances on residential real property. The rule says that we must accept the survey for the mortgagee policy if (1) the survey is no more than 7 years old, (2) the survey was performed for the borrower's purchase or financing of the land, and (3) the borrower executes the required affidavit. Residential real property is land with one-to-four family improvements on a platted lot, on five acres or less, or on 200 acres or less owned by individuals and used for agricultural production.

Company Policy

If you issue a commitment on an apparent refinance of residential real property, add the following note in Schedule C of the Commitment: "When amending the "area and boundary" exception in the mortgagee policy, the Company may rely upon a copy of a prior survey and affidavit by the borrower on residential real property if the borrower executes an acceptable affidavit. The Company may except to matters shown on the survey or the affidavit."

We are willing to rely upon a copy of a prior survey of any date (even over 7 years old) to amend the area and boundary exception on the mortgagee policy on a refinance of residential real property if you secure the attached affidavit from the borrower.

We may agree to accept the affidavit and prior survey on other land and for other purposes; please call our underwriting personnel to discuss.

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:
TX000020 This Bulletin has been replaced by TX000030.
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
T-20 TX Owner Title Policy Commitment to Texas Department of Transportation
 
T-22 TX Owner Title Policy Commitment for Eminent Domain Proceedings
 
T-35 Future Advance/Revolving Credit Endorsement
 
TX Borrowers' Affidavit for Residential Refinance 1