Bulletin: IA2014001

Date:
December 18, 2014
To:
All Offices Issuing Policies Covering Iowa Property
RE:
UNDERWRITING - Iowa Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common

Dear Associates:

The purpose of this Bulletin is to advise policy-issuing agents of a change in Iowa law that will become effective on January 1, 2015.

At the present time, Iowa Code §557.15 provides that "A conveyance of real property to two or more grantees each in their own right creates a tenancy in common, unless a contrary intent is expressed."

Legislation enacted in 2014 creates several exceptions to the foregoing. Effective January 1, 2015, Iowa Code §557.15 will provide:

  1. "A conveyance of real property to two or more grantees each in their own right creates a tenancy in common, unless a contrary intent is expressed in the conveyance instrument or as provided in subsection 2.
  2. A conveyance of real property to two or more grantees in a conveyance instrument in any of the following circumstances creates a presumption of joint tenancy with rights of survivorship unless a contrary intent is expressed in the instrument and subject to subsection 3.
    1. The instrument identifies two grantees as married to each other at the time the instrument is executed.
    2. The instrument describes the conveyance to the grantees with the phrase ‘joint tenants’, ‘joint tenancy,’ or words of similar import.
    3. The instrument describes the conveyance to the grantees with the phrase "or their survivor" with reference to the grantees, or words of similar import.
  3. An order of annulment, dissolution, or separate maintenance entered pursuant to §598.21 is a muniment of title to the real estate described, and severs a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship and creates a tenancy in common in equal shares, unless otherwise provided in the order."

These changes should be helpful in resolving many questions that arise with respect to joint tenancy and tenancy in common.

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