Bulletin: SLS2009017

Date:
November 25, 2009
To:
All Issuing Offices
RE:
Drafting Descriptions of Exceptions

Dear Associates:

Unnecessary subjective descriptions of recorded documents which are listed as Title Policy Schedule B Exceptions can lead to costly litigation in circumstances where no coverage was clearly intended. An example is a Schedule B exception that reads "Easement as set forth in the document recorded at Vol. XXX, Page YYY..." If the document also contains maintenance provisions it might be argued that the exception is limited to the grant of an easement and the maintenance requirements are covered matters. The better practice is to simply reference the document recording information without use of a subjective description, such as "Document recorded at Vol. XXX, Page YYY." If a description is used it should exactly match the title of the document itself, so that it can not be argued that the description is any form of interpretation or limitation of the intended exception.

When issuing a Restrictions, Encroachments, Minerals Endorsement (ALTA 9-06, 9.1-06, 9.2-06, 9.3-06, 9.4-06, 9.5-06 or equivalent endorsement), please comply with the applicable guidelines relating to restrictions, with particular attention to the possible need for separate and explicit exceptions.

If you have questions relating to this bulletin, please contact Stewart Legal Services or your local underwriting personnel.


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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:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None