Alaska 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 specific requirement for the involvement of attorneys. The actual use will depend upon the complexity and magnitude of the transaction.

Cancellation/Commitment Fee

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

Under most circumstances will be required by regulation of the Division of Insurance.

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.

Per AS 34.20.115, be accomplished by a licensed title insurance producer holding acceptable evidence of payment or upon request of the beneficiary. Must follow statutory procedure.

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.

Generally statutory warranty deed, infrequently by quit claim deed (personal representative, trustee, receiver, etc.).

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. 

Normally will be required if dealing with the marital domicile, otherwise will vary with the circumstances of the vesting and the transaction.

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?

 

Owner’s policy - by seller (establishing acceptable condition of title)
Transfer tax and recording fees - buyer pays recording fees
Survey charges - negotiable
Closing settlement fees - split, negotiable

Policy Countersignatures

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

Countersignature by authorized title insurance producer.

Real Estate Taxes

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

These matters vary by locale. Many localities do not have real estate taxes.

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.

Alaska is an “all-inclusive” jurisdiction.

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.

No minimum search requirement (25-year minimum title plant required by AS 21.66.200). Many patents are less than 20 year olds. No mandated standards for examination. No marketable record title act.

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?

Deed of trust, rarely mortgage. No present statutory requirements for trustee on deed of trust. Attorney for trustee may conduct sale.

Standard Exceptions and Requirements

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

 

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

2.  Easements, or claims, of easement, 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. (a) Unpatented mining claims; (b) Reservations or exceptions in patents or in Acts authorizing the issuance thereof; (c)Water rights, claims or title to water, whether or not the matters excepted under (a), (b) or (c) are shown by the Public Records.

7. Rights of the state or federal government and/or public in and to any portion of the   land for right of way as established by federal statute RS 2477 (whether or not such rights are shown by recordings of easements and/or maps in the Public Records by the State of Alaska showing the general location of these rights of way).

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. 

Forms and rate filings are done with the Alaska Division of Insurance on a company by company basis. No rating bureau or other filing organization.

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.

None.

Usury

Is usury coverage available?

Division of Insurance has ruled that usury is not proper subject of title insurance and forbids this coverage.

Withholding Taxes

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

No state requirements.

Witness Requirements

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

None: normal notarial acknowledgment is sufficient. (Alaskan postmasters may serve as notaries, using registered mail canceller as seal.)