Bulletin: IN2014009

Date:
September 18, 2014
To:
All Indiana Issuing Offices
RE:
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - 2014 Legislation

Dear Associates:

The following information is a summary of legislation enacted by the Indiana General Assembly for the year 2014. This listing is by no means comprehensive as to all new legislation dealing with real property and includes only legislation that may be of interest or significance to Stewart Agents and Affiliates. Please distribute this information to your escrow officers, title examiners, title officers, searchers and anyone else that you feel should know about it. 

House Enrolled Act 1224 - Title Insurance Rate Comparison Tool
Effective Date: July 1, 2014
Statutes affected: IC-27-1-22-8

Requires the Indiana Department of Insurance to create a title insurance consumer comparison tool that will include all filed rates of all insurers that issue title insurance policies in Indiana available free of charge to public on the department’s website by September 1, 2014. The information on the tool must be designed to allow "an average consumer of ordinary intelligence to compare and differentiate between substantially similar title insurance rates offered by title insurers". The rate calculator, which covers residential rates only, is now available on the Indiana Department of Insurance website at the following link:  http://www.in.gov/idoi/2876.htm. There is a disclaimer on the website that rates do not include additional fees that may be charged by title companies including abstract or attorneys' fees for title opinions or certificates, charges for searches, escrow, or closing services charged by or paid to local attorneys, abstractors, and title companies.

Senate Enrolled Act 370 - Filed Rates & Forms
Effective Date: July 1, 2013 with certain provisions effective July 1, 2014
Statutes affected: IC-27-1-22-8

SEA 370, effective July 1, 2013, required title insurers to file rates and title insurance forms with the Indiana Department of Insurance for use after June 30, 2013. The Act also authorized creation of a title insurance rating organization to file title insurance rates and forms on behalf of members of the rating organization. The Indiana Title Statistical Services Organization, Inc. was incorporated on August 7, 2013. Effective July 1, 2014, SEA 370 requires all title insurance rates and forms to be filed and approved by the Indiana Department of Insurance prior to use.

Senate Enrolled Act 249 - Homestead Deduction BFP Protection
Effective Date: July 1, 2014
Statutes affected: and IC 6-1.1-36-17

Provides that a bona fide purchaser without notice who purchases property that is later found by the county auditor to have an ineligible homestead deduction is not liable for any back taxes and penalties from the removal of the deduction and no lien attaches to the property. SEA 249 provides county with two options to provide notice of ineligibility: 1) notation on tax duplicate or 2) record notice of ineligible homestead lien in the county recorder’s office.

Senate Enrolled Act 249 - Condo Association Liens
Effective Date: July 1, 2014
Statutes affected: IC 32-25-5-2

Provides that a person acquiring a condominium unit is not liable and condo unit is not subject to a lien for unpaid assessments if the condominium association, manager, or board of directors fails to provide a statement of unpaid assessments within 10 days of the receipt of a written request.

Senate Enrolled Act No. 249 - Constructive Notice
Effective Date: July 1, 2014
Statutes affected: IC 32-21-4-1

Provides that a recorded deed, lease for more than 3 years or mortgage that contains a defective acknowledgement or fails to comply with statutory recording requirements is validly recorded and provides constructive notice of the contents as of date of filing.

Senate Enrolled Act 249 - Adverse Possession by Government Entity
Effective Date: July 1, 2014
Statutes affected: IC 32-21-7-1

Provides that a governmental entity may claim title by adverse possession without having paid property taxes and special assessments due on the property if the governmental entity is exempt from the payment of property taxes and special assessments.

House Enrolled Act 1058 - Electronic Delivery of Insurance Notices
Effective Date: July 1, 2014
Statutes affected: NEW IC 27-1-43 and IC 27-1-44

Permits electronic delivery of insurance documents and other documents legally required in insurance transactions if a notice advising parties of their rights is provided and parties affirmatively consent. Electronic delivery means delivery to an email address or posting on an electronic network or web site accessible via Internet. Provides additional notice and retention requirements if policy is posted on Insurer’s internet website that is accessible by insured.

Senate Enrolled Act 36 - Transfer on Death Deeds
Effective Date: July 1, 2014
Statutes affected: IC 32-17-14-26 (b) (20)

A copy of the death certificate of grantor is no longer required to be attached to the transfer on death deed affidavit recorded by beneficiaries to transfer title upon death of Grantor.

SEA 59 - Guardianship
Effective Date: July 1, 2014
Statutes affected: IC 29-3-8-4, NEW 29-3-9-12.2

Allows a guardian, including a volunteer advocates for senior program or volunteer advocates for incapacitated adults program, to request permission from the court to file a petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or annulment of marriage on behalf of an incapacitated person. Allows the court to grant a request for permission to file a petition for a dissolution of marriage, a legal separation, or an annulment on behalf of an incapacitated person only if the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that petitioning for a dissolution of marriage, a legal separation, or an annulment is in the best interests of the incapacitated person.

HEA 1005 - Environmental Disclosure Act
Effective Date: July 1, 2014
Statutes affected: IC 13-25-3

Repeals the Indiana Environmental Disclosure Act that required seller to provide and record an environmental disclosure document under certain circumstances. See IN Bulletin IN2014006. 

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