In many states, bar associations have drafted "Title Examination Standards," outlining the standard rules and procedures governing the examination of real estate records and transactions.
The primary purposes of the standards of title examinations are:
- To promote uniformity of practice pertaining to the examination and marketability
- To eliminate objections or defects based on the examiners' fears that the thoroughness of their examinations may be disparaged by subsequent examinations
Many states have adopted standards based upon local law and experience in title matters. In addition to these statewide standards, title standards have been adopted by local bar associations on a district, county, or city level.
Title standards exhibit considerable variations and formats, and are revised, repealed, or added to from time to time.
Marketable title acts do not necessarily conflict with these standards because most questions of marketability arise during the period not affected by such enactments.
The only sanction for failing to observe the standards is the disapproval of the state bar association. The standards; effectiveness depends upon general observance. Enforceing the standards through legislative action is believed to be improper, and incorporating the standards in statutes make them inflexible.
In the majority of cases, title insurance goes one step forward by underwriting in situations where objections would be raised under the local standards.