Bulletin: MI2017001

Date:
January 25, 2017
To:
All Michigan Issuing Offices
RE:
UNDERWRITING - Abolishment of Dower

Dear Associates:

Please be advised that on January 6, 2017, the Governor of Michigan signed into law Public Acts 378, 489, and 490 of 2016 which laws abolish the statutory and common law rights of dower. Please note that the laws take effect 90 days from enactment, and that pursuant to PA 490, the right of dower will survive for a widow who has elected the right of dower in Probate where her spouse died before the effective date of April 7, 2017.

Here are the links to three public act versions of the dower legislation.

SB 558 – http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2015-2016/publicact/pdf/2016-PA-0489.pdf

SB 560 – http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2015-2016/publicact/pdf/2016-PA-0490.pdf

HB 5520 - http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2015-2016/publicact/pdf/2016-PA-0378.pdf

As a result of this legislation, beginning April 7th, Stewart Title will not require the signature of the “non-owning” spouse on a conveyancing instrument (deed, assignment or land contract) to insure buyer/grantee. This rule applies to husbands, wives, and same-sex marriage couples. Only the signature of the “owning” spouse will be required to convey the real property interest. If title is held by both spouses, then both signatures would be required.

However, Stewart will continue to require the signature of the non-owning spouse on all non-purchase money mortgages on homestead property (refinances or second mortgages) including the non-owning spouses in same sex-marriages as is consistent with current practices.  

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