Bulletin: VA2013001

Date:
March 01, 2013
To:
All Virginia Issuing Offices
RE:
UNDERWRITING - Virginia Recording Problems

Dear Associates:

Problem: Stewart Title Guaranty Company has been advised that certain Virginia Clerks of the Court recording offices have been experiencing problems with their Land Title Office Public Access software systems (LTO). The jurisdictions are:

Counties of: Accomac (Eastern Shore of Virginia), Amelia, Appomattox, Buckingham, Cumberland, Giles, Henrico, Montgomery, Northumberland, Nottoway, Page Powhatan, Prince Edward, Richmond County, Russell and Spotsylvania.

Cities of: Charlottesville, Petersburg and Radford.

Information and What to Do: Our current understanding is that the Thomson Reuters LTO (Land Title Office Public Access) recording software is not picking up all documents that have been presented to the clerk’s office and entered into the systems, either when checked online, or even in person using the database at the clerk’s offices. The indexes at the various Clerks’ offices are incomplete and not reliable at the present time. Each individual clerk’s office must be consulted as to the extent of the difficulties they are having.

  • Stewart Title Guaranty Company will require that any title search done since November 1, 2012, for a transaction that has not yet been closed, be updated by an in-person search at the local courthouse. Any case that has already been closed and recorded does not have to be re-searched.
     
  • When a re-search or any new search is performed, the searcher must print out the index search sheet from the local clerk’s office on every search.
     
  • PACER needs to be checked on all cases for judgments and bankruptcies.
     
  • Agents should consult with their searchers and outside contractor search companies to make sure that a manual search of all documents recorded since November 1, 2012, be done. Clearly, in more populous counties and cities, this process will be problematic, but title agents and search companies must seek to protect themselves and ascertain the validity of all title searches where possible.
     
  • Any agent that has ordered and/or received a search from PropertyInfo since November 1, 2012, in any of these jurisdictions should consult with their PropertyInfo office to request a re-search be performed per the guidelines noted above.

Stewart Title will keep all agents and vendors advised of this ongoing situation. Our understanding is that the software providers to the clerk of courts’ offices are diligently working to correct all deficiencies. We will advise once this situation has been resolved.

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.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