- May 09, 2003
- All Florida Offices and Agents
- Survey Exception Deletion; Survey Affidavit and Indemnity Agreement
This bulletin is to modify our guidelines for deletion of the standard exception for matters of survey and issuance of a Form 9 Endorsement under certain circumstances where an existing survey is available or there is evidence of a prior survey and a Survey Affidavit and Indemnity Agreement has been obtained.
The survey exception may be deleted in residential transactions and commercial transactions. This is permitted not only on a filed plat, but on property with a metes and bounds description. This must also be in conformance with closing instructions from the lender. If you suspect that there are possible problems with the boundaries or with improvements having major violations or encroachments, then you should require a new survey.
The Survey Affidavit and Indemnity Agreement may be used for resales and refinances in the following circumstances.
There must be an existing survey which meets the current minimum technical standards for surveying as required by the Department of Professional Regulation. The survey must be certified to an owner or lender in the chain of title.
There must be evidence of an existing survey. Evidence can consist of an owner's policy or lenders policy where the standard exception for matters of survey has been deleted. If the standard exception has been replaced with specific exceptions those exceptions should be included in the new policy.
The survey affidavits to be used are attached to this Bulletin.
A personal inspection may be required under some circumstances. Upon reading the attached affidavits, you will note that after recitals to the effect that there have been no modifications of the conditions reflected on the survey, there will be the opportunity to note exceptions. If the exceptions are clearly minor, and do not appear to affect the boundary lines of the property, or recorded setbacks or easements, then the Survey Affidavit and Indemnity Agreement may still be accepted without a personal inspection. However, where exceptions are noted which would give you concern as to whether or not setbacks or easements or even the property boundary lines might be violated, then the Stewart issuing office is to dispatch a responsible member of its staff to personally inspect the property to confirm that the modification would appear to be minor such as to not violate sidelines, setbacks or easements. If in doubt, do not accept the affidavit and require a new survey.
Clearly, there is considerable saving to the parties to the transaction by not having to obtain a new survey under circumstances it would not be essential to the transaction. If it seems suitable to impose an "Affidavit and Inspection Fee" charge for the work to be done by the local office for the preparation and examination of the affidavit and survey and for the examination of the premises in question when suitable. The amount to be charged should be determined by the issuing office based upon their current market conditions.
THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.