Bulletin: PA000009

Date:
October 21, 2005
To:
All Pennsylvania Issuing Agents and Approved Attorneys
RE:
The Index is NOT Part of the Public Record

Dear Associates:

Recently the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in First Citizen's Nat'l Bank v. Sherwood, 879 A.2d 178 ( Pa. 2005), ruled that the Index is not a part of the public record.  The issue in the case was whether a purchaser may be deemed to have constructive notice of the existence of a mortgage when the mortgage is properly recorded but is defectively indexed.  The Court ruled that the recording was sufficient, even if the document could not be found by a search of the indices. 

The Court relied upon 21 P.S. §357 which provides, "the legal effect of the recording of [written agreements relating to real estate] shall be to give constructive notice to subsequent purchasers..."  Under 16 P.S. §9853 this section applies to those instances when a mortgage is properly indexed, and provides that such proper indexing "shall be notice to all persons of recording of the same."  However, the Court noted that 16 P.S. §9853 does not create a negative inference that a mortgage that is improperly indexed does not give constructive notice.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Pennsylvania State office.

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