Kansas Real Estate Practices

Attorney Involvement

Please describe any requirements under applicable state law for attorney, abstractor or other special professional involvement, for example, in the search, examination, opinion of title, signing, closing, disbursement, recording, preparation of documents, and/or policy-issuance.

No attorney involvement is required. Commitment and Policy must be issued by a licensed agent. Closing and disbursement must be performed by a licensed agent. Licenses are issued by the Kansas Insurance Department. Non-Residents may obtain a Non-resident license. A Licensed Abstractor must issue a non-insurance product such as a Title Report or Informational Report.

Cancellation/Commitment Fee

Does your state permit or require a cancellation fee or commitment fee upon cancellation?

There is no required cancellation fee. A cancellation fee is permitted if the issuing office has filed charges with the Department of Insurance which includes a cancellation fee applicable to all orders.

Certificate of Release (of Mortgage)

If anyone other than the lender (such as a title agent, settlement agent, underwriter or attorney) has the authority to release the security instrument, please describe.

KSA 58-2309a allows a lender or designated closing agent, upon compliance with the terms of the statute, to enter a satisfaction if the lender or closing agent caused the indebtedness to be paid in full in reliance on a payoff and in conjunction with the sale, financing or refinancing of real estate subject to a mortgage. However, this section is rarely relied upon because the closing agent can be deemed liable in damages for full amount of indebtedness if mortgagee was not paid in accordance with payoff.

Deeds

Please describe the kinds of deeds that are customary for commercial and residential transactions. Please describe the kinds of deeds that are generally not insurable.

Warranty Deed is customary for commercial and residential transactions. A Quit Claim Deed may be insurable if approved by an underwriter.

Joinder of Spouses

If a non-title holding spouse is required to join in the execution of a deed or a security instrument, please describe. Any analogous rights, such as those in a civil union or equivalent, should also be addressed. 

The non-title holding spouse must join in a deed of conveyance or a mortgage. There are no civil unions in Kansas.

Mortgage Tax

Is there a mortgage tax in your state? If yes, is it uniform across the state or does it vary? If it is uniform, please describe. 

There is a uniform mortgage tax equal to 0.26% of the principal indebtedness set out in the mortgage. KSA 79-3102

Payment Customs

Who customarily pays for:
(a) Owner’s Policy?
(b) Transfer Tax & Recording Fee?
(c) Survey Charges?
(d) Closing/Settlement Fees?

(a) Seller pays for the Owner’s Policy unless contract specifies otherwise.
(b) No transfer tax. Recording fees are paid by the Buyer for the deed, by the Borrower for the mortgage, unless the contract specifies otherwise.
(c) Generally, Borrower pays for Survey if required by Lender. Buyer also pays for Survey if required for Buyer unless contract specifies otherwise.
(d) Closing/Settlements fees are generally split between Buyer and Seller.

Policy Countersignatures

What kinds of countersignatures, if any, are required to issue the policy? 

A Licensed Kansas agent must sign the policy. Non-residents may obtain a license.

Real Estate Taxes

Please describe the general tax year, due dates, and delinquency dates, including lien dates and payment cycle.

The tax year is the calendar year. Real estate/ad valorem taxes are due and payable on November 1st of each year. Tax bills for the current year are issued between November 1 and December 15. The taxpayer may elect to pay the entire bill by December 31 or in installments. If taxes are paid in installments, the first installment is due on December 20th. A statement for the second installment is issued in May of the following year and the payment is due on June 20th.

Search and Examination Fees

Is it permissible and/or customary to charge a separate search and/or examination fee, and under what circumstances? If your jurisdiction is all-inclusive, please state that.

It is permissible to charge a separate search and/or examination fee if the agent-filed charges provide for it.

Search Requirements

Is there a minimum period of time for a title search required: (a) by state law, (b) pursuant to marketable record title acts, or (c) by any other applicable title examination standards (e.g., state bar association)? Please respond to each category. If a minimum search period exists for any category, please state it.

KSA 40-235 defines reasonable search and examination and determination of insurability: For owner's policies and loan policies insuring purchase money mortgages, the search and examination shall be conducted by a title insurance agent or an employee of a title insurance company licensed to do business in Kansas or an abstracter licensed to do business in Kansas. The search and examination shall be based upon a search of all applicable records of the county, state and federal offices in which the real estate is located, as may pertain to the marketability of title for a minimum period of 25 years, or from the date of the previously issued title insurance policy, whichever period is less.

Security Instruments (Deed of Trust vs. Mortgage)

Please describe the customary and permissible form(s) of security instruments used in your state. 

Who can be listed as the trustee on the Deed of Trust (e.g., residency and/or natural person requirements, etc.)? Can an underwriter or title agent be designated as the trustee, and, if so, is it customary?

Mortgage.

Standard Exceptions and Requirements

Please identify the standard exceptions and requirements that are customarily used in your state.

The following are the Standard Exceptions filed with the Department of Insurance:

a. Rights or claims of parties in possession not shown by the public records.
b. Easements, or claims of easements, not shown by the public records.
c. Any encroachment, encumbrance, violation, variation, or adverse circumstance that would be disclosed by an accurate and complete land survey of the Land.
d. Any lien, or right to a lien, for services, labor or material heretofore or hereafter furnished, imposed by law and not shown by the public records.
e. Taxes or special assessments which are not shown as existing liens by the public records.

There are no customary requirements.

State-specific Policy Variations

If there are state-specific changes to the provisions in the ALTA policies (e.g., Arbitration, Minerals), please describe.

Deletion of Arbitration Clause Endorsement is required.

Title Insurance Form and Filing Regulations

Please describe the form and/or rate filing requirements, if any, related to policies and endorsements. Please describe any applicable rating bureau. 

The Insurer files forms of commitment, policies and endorsements with the Department of Insurance. The issuing agent or office files its rates and charges with the Department of Insurance.

Transfer Taxes

Is there a transfer tax in your state? If yes, is it uniform across the state or does it vary? If it is uniform, please describe.

There are no transfer taxes. A real estate sales validation (questionnaire) must be submitted with a deed for recordation unless the deed clearly specifies an exemption code. For a copy of the questionnaire, go to: http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/SVQ.pdf. It is only for use in counties approved to accept one-part forms. See following link for list of counties: http://www.ksrevenue.org/pvdratiostats.htm

Usury

Is usury coverage available?

Usury coverage is prohibited by the Department of Insurance.

Withholding Taxes

What are your state’s requirements, if any, with regard to withholding proceeds from a sale, similar to but not including FIRPTA?

None.

Witness Requirements

Are witnesses required on a deed or security instrument? If so, please describe.

No witness requirements.