Bulletin: OK2007001

Date:
May 15, 2007
To:
All Issuing Offices in Oklahoma
RE:
House Bill 3009 - Amendment to Title 36 O.S. 2001, Section 5001 (C) Oklahoma Title Insurance Statute

Dear Associates:

The Oklahoma Legislature has amended the requirements for issuing title insurance in Oklahoma. House Bill 3009, signed into law on June 7, 2006, amends Title 36 O.S. 2001, Section 5001 (C) of the Oklahoma Statutes. The new law, which will become effective July 1, 2007, provides an alternative to the requirement for examination of a duly certified abstract of title, as defined in the Oklahoma Abstractors Law, prior to the issuance of a policy of title insurance.

Effective July 1, 2007, for the purpose of issuing title insurance in Oklahoma, a duly certified abstract extension or supplemental abstract may be prepared by an abstractor licensed in the county where the property is located, and starting from the effective date of a prior owner’s policy of title insurance, issued by a title insurer licensed in Oklahoma. The "supplemental abstract" must be examined by an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Oklahoma. The amended statute requires that the "prior owner’s policy of title insurance" must be provided by the insured at the time a "valid order", pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Abstractors Law, is placed.

The "new statute" continues the requirement under Title 36 O.S. 2001, Section 5001 (C), that "every policy of title insurance . . . .issued by any company authorized to do business in this state shall be countersigned by some person, partnership, corporation or agency actively engaged in the abstract of title business in Oklahoma, as defined and provided in the Oklahoma Abstractors Law or by an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Oklahoma, duly appointed as agent of a title insurance company . . . ."

We believe that it will be necessary for the examining attorney to base his/her examination of title on both the '“prior owner’s policy" and the "supplemental abstract". Therefore, the examining attorney must be provided a copy of the "prior owner’s policy" to examine in conjunction with the "supplemental abstract". We expect that the examining attorney's opinion will be limited to the title evidence presented for examination.

In the event that you will be utilizing this new procedure, we require (1) that the "prior owner’s policy" provided by the insured be complete, including the policy jacket; (2) that the search and examination of title begin no later that one year prior to the effective date of the "prior owners policy", in order to determine that nothing adverse has been filed in the "gap"; (3) that the "start" or "from" date of the "supplemental abstract", authorized by HB 3009, will be a minimum of one year prior to the effective date of the "prior owners policy", and (4) that the "vesting deed" must be shown in the "supplemental abstract". In the event that the "vesting deed" was filed for record prior to the "one year period", the "start" or "from" date of the "supplemental abstract" will be the date and time of recording of the "vesting deed".

STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY POLICIES:

You may utilize a "prior owners policy", with specific Schedule B exceptions, issued by Stewart Title Guaranty Company, as the basis for issuance of a subsequent policy of title insurance, pursuant to HB 3009.

OTHER UNDERWRITERS POLICIES:

You may utilize a "prior owners policy", with specific Schedule B exceptions, issued by a well regarded national or regional underwriter, as the basis for the issuance of a subsequent policy of title insurance, pursuant to HB 3009.

COPY OF THE NEW LAW:

See Exhibit "A" Title 36 O.S. § 5001 (C)

Please contact a Stewart Oklahoma underwriter if you have any questions concerning this or any other topic for which you need assistance.

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.

 

EXHIBIT "A"

Oklahoma Statutes Citationized
   Title 36. Insurance
     Chapter 1
         Article Article 50
         Section 5001 - Qualifications of Title Insurers - Issuance of Title Insurance Policy or Certificate of Title

This Statute Will Go Into Effect

On: 07/01/2007

A. Any foreign or domestic stock insurer authorized by its corporate charter to engage in business as a title insurer shall be entitled to the issuance of a certificate of authority as a title insurer in this state upon meeting the applicable requirements of Article 6, Authorization of Insurers and General Requirements, of the Oklahoma Insurance Code, except that existing title insurers may have their certificate of authority renewed by maintaining surplus in regard to policyholders of not less than Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00).

B. A person engaged in the business of preparing or issuing abstracts of, but not guaranteeing or insuring, title to property, or a person acting only as agent for a title insurer, shall not be deemed to be a title insurer.

C. Every policy of title insurance or certificate of title issued by any company authorized to do business in this state shall be countersigned by some person, partnership, corporation or agency actively engaged in the abstract of title business in Oklahoma as defined and provided in the Oklahoma Abstractors Law or by an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Oklahoma duly appointed as agent of a title insurance company, provided that no policy of title insurance shall be issued in the State of Oklahoma except:

1. After examination by an attorney licensed to practice in this state of a duly certified abstract extension or supplemental abstract prepared by an abstractor licensed in the county where the property is located, from a certified abstract plant in the county where the property is located or per a temporary certificate of authority as provided in Section 6 of this act, from the effective date of a prior owner's policy of title insurance issued by a title insurer licensed in this state provided by the insured pursuant to the policy at the time a valid order is placed pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Abstractors Law brought forward to the effective date of the abstract plant. Subject to the conditions and stipulations, the exclusions from coverage, exceptions from coverage and endorsements to the policy, any policy issued based on a prior owner's policy and a supplemental abstract shall insure the insured against loss or damage sustained or incurred by reason of unmarketability of title from sovereignty to the effective date of the policy, not to exceed the amount of insurance stated in the policy; or

2. If the previously insured owner does not provide a copy of the owner's policy of title insurance, then a title insurance policy may be issued after examination by an attorney licensed to practice in this state of a duly certified abstract of title prepared by a bonded and licensed abstractor as defined in the Oklahoma Abstractors Law.

Historical Data


Laws 1957, HB 501, p. 407, § 5001; Amended by Laws 1959, HB 785, p. 138, § 1; Amended by Laws 1980, SB 511, c. 185, § 7, eff. October 1, 1980; Amended by Laws 2006, HB 3009, c. 269, § 1, eff. July 1, 2007 (superseded document available).

 

Citationizer© Summary of Documents Citing This Document


Cite

Name

Level

 

Oklahoma Attorney General's Opinions

 

Cite

Name

Level

 

1982 OK AG 46,

Question Submitted by: The Honorable Dorothy D. Conaghan, Oklahoma House of Representatives, Oklahoma House of Representatives

Discussed at Length

 

1983 OK AG 281,

Question Submitted by: The Honorable John L. Clifton, Oklahoma State Senate, Oklahoma State Senate

Discussed at Length

Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals Cases

 

Cite

Name

Level

 

1991 OK CIV APP 58, 815 P.2d 1219, 62 OBJ 3041,

American Title Ins. Co. v. M-H Enterprises

Discussed

Citationizer: Table of Authority


Cite

Name

Level

 

Title 36. Insurance

 

Cite

Name

Level

 

36 O.S. 5001,

Qualifications of Title Insurers

Cited

 

 

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
MU000018 Title Search Requirements
 
NL000017 This Bulletin has been replaced by SLS2009004.
 
SLS2007001 This Bulletin has been replaced by SLS2009004.
Underwriting Manual:
19.28 Title Examination Standards
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None