Bulletin: ME2008001

Date:
May 07, 2008
To:
All Maine Issuing Offices
RE:
Periods of Search

Dear Associates:
This bulletin is intended to clarify our search requirements, Stewart Title Guaranty Company has authorized the following periods of search:

I.

a) For all searches, you should conduct your regular search of names of parties who are in the chain from the time of commencement of your examination, including those parties shown as vested in title.

b) For all searches, you should do your regular search for taxes, assessments and other charges.

II. Only, as to searches on (i) residential one to four family dwellings, (ii) where the present owner(s) took by a bona fide full consideration deed and (iii) gave a purchase money mortgage to an institutional lender, you are authorized to search the title to the land for a period which is the shorter of the period of:

a) ownership of the current and prior owner (two owner search)

1. or a period of ten years to either a warranty or quitclaim deed, so long as the deed or deeds are bona fide and so long as the grantee in at least one deed gave a purchase money mortgage to an institutional lender.

III. For condominium purchase transactions, you may search the title for a period which is the shortest of the following:

  1. The period of ownership of the current and prior owner.
  2. Ten years to either a warranty or quitclaim deed.
  3. The period from the recording of the declaration forward.

Provided, the deed or deeds must be bona fide, full consideration deeds and the grantee in at least one deed must have given a purchase money mortgage to an institutional lender.

IV. For refinance transactions, you may limit your search to the current owner, so long as the deed to the current owner is bona fide, full consideration deed and so long as the current owner gave a purchase money mortgage to an institutional lender.

V. Where recitals in the current owner deed either (i) give notice of any past covenants, conditions, restrictions, easements, or other matters by specifically excepting to instruments or rights, or by generally excepting to covenants, conditions, restrictions easements or other matters appearing in the public records, or (ii) create covenants, conditions, restrictions or easements, such matters or exceptions in the deed must be set forth as exceptions in Schedule B of the commitment and policy.

VI. If you have actual knowledge of any covenants, conditions, restrictions, easements or encumbrances (such as by examination of a plan, tax map, survey, plot plan or otherwise), such matters must also be set forth as exceptions in Schedule B of the commitment and policy.

VII. Full searches pursuant to the applicable title standard(s) are required for commercial transactions, transactions where the legal description is uncertain or vague or transactions where you have knowledge of matters that may give rise to a cloud in the chain of title.
For the purpose of this Bulletin, a “bona fide” deed is one that appears to involve an arm’s length sale (not gift) between unrelated parties.
Should you have any questions regarding starting points, the period of search or any other underwriting issue, please contact Gary H. Bernier, Esquire, at 1-866-899-7987 ext. 1, or gbernier@stewart.com; or Benjamin A. Jones, Esquire, at 1-866-899-7987 ext. 2, or ben.jones@stewart.com.

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