Stewart Bulletin

NJ2012002

Date: February 8, 2012
To: All New Jersey Issuing Offices
RE:

New Jersey Recording Laws Revised - Notice of Settlement Extended Effective May 1, 2012

Dear Associates:

After eight years of hard work and lobbying for change, the title industry in NJ has succeeded in fostering the modernization of our recording laws with the passage of Assembly Bill A2565, signed into law on January 17. This revision to the recording laws, codified at N.J.S.A. 46:26A, 26B, and 26C et seq., accomplishes several of the objectives included in the November 2003 NJ Law Revision Commission report relating to title recordation, including the establishment of the statutory basis for the electronic recording of documents.

The new law requires the implementation of a standardized cover page for indexing purposes, the use of which will become mandatory within 5 years. The NJ Division of Archives & Record Management (DARM) shall create this form as well as establish rules, standards, and procedures for all recordings in collaboration with the local county recording offices. The mandate is for DARM to adopt regulations that will "foster state-wide uniformity" in title recordings as we move forward with the use of electronic recording technology.

The new law also sets out a five year timetable for considering implementation of a per-document filing or recording fee rather than a per-page fee as has always existed for the recording of paper documents. DARM is charged with creating the regulations under which the county clerks and registers shall report the number, type and charge associated with recording the various document types and for providing reports including actual average per document charges.

Revised requirements and procedures for the filing of maps, including major and minor subdivision and roadway parcel maps have been set forth in order to standardize and facilitate electronic filings.

Of particular note are changes to the existing Notice of Settlement (NOS) law, including extending the 45 day effective period to 60 days; providing that a second NOS may be filed for an additional 60 days of priority protection; and providing for a Discharge of a Notice of Settlement in the event a NOS must be cancelled on account of error or the noticed deed or mortgage transaction not proceeding. The statute provides a form at N.J.S.A 46:26A-11(c). Stewart Title continues to require the filing of a Notice of Settlement in connection with every deed or mortgage transaction insured in New Jersey.  Please bear in mind that a Notice of Settlement does not cut off liens or encumbrances of which you have knowledge so if the pre-closing run down picks up a judgment or mortgage, or the parties advise of a lien at settlement, those items must be excepted until disposed of.

Additional new provisions in the law include a requirement that all documents be recorded and indexed within two business days of receipt by the county recording office and that any documents that may be rejected be sent back within three days of receipt. 

This new body of law does not take effect until May 1, 2012, so the changes will not become effective until that time. As the effective date draws nearer, additional bulletins will be issued reviewing specific new rules and procedures. 
 
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.  

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References
Bulletins Replaced:
Related Bulletins:
Underwriting Manual:
Exceptions Manual:
Forms:
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