Arkansas 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.

The commitment and final policy must be issued by a Licensed Title Insurance Agency and signed by a Licensed Title Insurance Agent. There is no requirement for attorney involvement. This is in keeping with Act 684 of 2007 and its associated rules.

Cancellation/Commitment Fee

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

There is no requirement or prohibition for this.

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.

Only a duly authorized servicing entity can release the lien other than the lender.

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 Deeds and Limited Warranty Deeds are predominantly used. QC Deeds are generally used for curative work.

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. 

Except when a spouse is holding title as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship with another person, non-title holding spouses should always join in to release dower, curtesy and homestead.

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. 

None.

Payment Customs

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

(a) Seller
(b) Buyer
(c) Buyer
(d) Split 50/50

Policy Countersignatures

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

Yes, this still holds true for Arkansas.

Real Estate Taxes

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

Taxes are paid in arrears in Arkansas. Due and Payable March 1 and delinquent after October 10th. Amounts still owing after October 10th become a lien on the property.

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.

Some agents charge a separate search fee and others include it with the title insurance fee. This is a matter of local custom.

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.

Arkansas Law requires a minimum 30 year search.

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?

Both Deeds of Trust and Mortgages are used. A trustee can be: A licensed Arkansas Attorney. A Bank or S & L authorized to do business in Arkansas. A duly licensed Trust Company. An agency or authority of the State of Arkansas. See ACA § 118-50-102. An underwriter or title agent cannot be a trustee unless they qualify with the above.

Standard Exceptions and Requirements

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

Standard Exceptions:

1.       Rights or claims of parties in possession not shown by the Public Records.

2.       Easements, or claims of easements, not shown by the Public Records.

3.       Encroachments, overlaps, boundary line disputes, or other matters which would be disclosed by an accurate survey or inspection of the land.

4.       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.

5.       Taxes or special assessments which are not shown as existing liens by the Public Records.

6.       All taxes for the year _____ and subsequent years.

7.       Minerals of whatsoever kind, subsurface and surface substances, including but not limited to coal, lignite, oil, gas, uranium, clay, rock, sand and gravel in, on, under and that may be produced from the Land, together with all rights, privileges, and immunities relating thereto, whether or not appearing in the Public Records or listed in Schedule B. The Company makes no representation as to the present ownership of any such interests.  There may be leases, grants, exceptions or reservations of interests that are not listed.

Requirements:

A properly executed and recorded deed, mortgage or deed of trust. A proper satisfaction and release of a deed of trust or mortgage are some standard requirements.

State-specific Policy Variations

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

None.

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. 

All forms must be filed with and approved by the Arkansas Insurance Department. ICL rates must be filed with the Department also.

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.

Yes, the transfer tax is uniform and is $3.30 per thousand.

Usury

Is usury coverage available?

Usury coverage is available and should be based on conflicts of law analysis.

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 other than Child Support liens, State Tax liens and Municipal liens.

Witness Requirements

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

None.