Bulletin: LA2010009

Date:
August 27, 2010
To:
All Louisiana Issuing Offices
RE:
Search and Examination Requirements - Act 1028--2010 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature La R.S. 22.512(17)(b)(vi)

Dear Associates:

Act 1028 of the 2010 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature amends R.S. 22:512(17)(b) and (vi) (bb) and (gg) which provides for specifics as to length of search period and examination of title when it furnishes the basis of a title insurance report or title insurance policy relating to immovable property for such transactions occurring on or after September 1, 2010. A copy of Act 1028 is attached hereto.

The amendment to (b) simply replaces the word producer with the word agent, to-wit: "Transacting or proposing to transact by a title insurer or a title insurance agent any of the following activities when conducted or performed in contemplation of or in conjunction with the issuance of title insurance report or policy:"
The amendment to (vi)(bb) is additional language which requires the mortgage records be searched for a period of twenty (20) years, but exempts transactions made prior to January 1, 2013 by Road Home Corporation, the Louisiana Land Trust or any political subdivision of property originally acquired in connection with the Road Home Program.

The amendment to (vi)(gg) is additional language which requires a minimum search period of thirty (30) years or an arms length conveyance, whichever is greater for sale transactions and requires a minimum search period of ten (10) years or two links, whichever is greater for situations where only mortgage is being insured. Exempt from these requirements are transactions made prior to January 1, 2013 by Road Home Corporation, the Louisiana Land Trust or any political subdivision of property originally acquired in connection with the Road Home Program.

Recent judicial decisions suggest that a title agent must be ready to issue an owner's policy if requested. Agents are urged to discuss the benefit and availability of an owner's policy sufficiently prior to a transaction to ensure that the search period is adequate to accommodate such a request without delaying the transaction.

Stewart requires compliance with this Act as well as other provisions of Louisiana Law. We would like to remind all issuing agencies to consider that some properties may be associated with circumstances which would deem it appropriate to go beyond the minimal requirements. The size of the transaction, issues revealed by the examination, such as a minor's mortgages against a parent that may be viable for 22 years, lack of an arms-length transaction, etc. are examples of such circumstances. When in doubt as to the length of your search, please discuss with your state underwriter.



Act 1028 of the 2010 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature (Click to View)

If you have questions relating to this bulletin, please contact Louisiana Underwriting Personnel at (800) 209-4675 or Stewart Legal Services.

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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