Bulletin: MD2014003

Date:
November 26, 2014
To:
All Maryland Issuing Offices
RE:
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - Required Statement in Maryland Title Insurance Commitments

Dear Associates:

On May 5, 2014, legislation was signed by the Governor of Maryland, which amended Sections 22-101 and 22-104 of the Insurance Article of the Maryland Code. The law became effective on October 1, 2014.

The legislation was a direct response to the decision of the MD Court of Appeals in 100 Investment Partnership, et al., v. Columbia Town Center Title Company, et al., decided on January 29, 2013. That case held that title agents could potentially be held liable to third parties for negligence when a purchaser relies upon a title commitment with the belief that it provides for "clear title."

The new legislation defines a "title insurance commitment" as "…a statement of the terms and conditions on which a title insurer is willing to issue a policy of title insurance if the title insurer accepts a premium for the policy."  The statute further provides that a title insurance commitment is not a representation as to the state of title, and does not constitute an abstract of title.

Under the new legislation, a title commitment or pro forma sample must contain the following statement:

THIS DOCUMENT CONSTITUTES A STATEMENT OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS ON WHICH A TITLE INSURER IS WILLING TO ISSUE A POLICY OF TITLE INSURANCE IF THE TITLE INSURER ACCEPTS THE PREMIUM FOR THE POLICY.  IT IS NOT A REPRESENTATION AS TO THE STATE OF TITLE AND IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN ABSTRACT OF TITLE.

When to use/Where to print this statement:

This language must be used in all Maryland title commitments issued on or after October 1, 2014. We suggest that it be printed in bold type at the top or bottom of Schedule A.  

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 http://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