Bulletin: ME000002

Date:
July 16, 1993
To:
All Issuing Offices in the State of Maine
RE:
Environmental Protection Lien Endorsement\ALTA Form 8.1\Environmental Matters

Dear Associates:

ALTA Form 8.1

The ALTA Form 8.1 Endorsement provides insurance concerning environmental protection liens. Attach the endorsement only to a loan policy and not to an owner policy. Issue this endorsement only if the property is improved residential or if you are insuring a construction loan to add residential improvements. Residential property includes apartment projects, condominiums and single family residences.

Paragraph (a) of the Endorsement insures that there are no superior environmental protection liens recorded in the local records or federal district court clerk's office. You only need to review your local records. Also review any EPA liens that we mail to you. You do not need to check the Federal District Court Clerk's office to issue this endorsement.

To provide the insurance of paragraph (b) of the Endorsement, simply use our form (please see referenced form at the end of this bulletin). Fannie Mae authorized us to add an exclusion. This exclusion covers matters that FNMA did not intend to include within the scope of "environmental protection liens." These matters included nuisance statutes, weedcutting liens, and similar matters.

Paragraph (b) does not except to Title 38 Section 1371. This is the Main hazardous waste superlien law. This law does not create a superlien if the land is improved for residential purposes only or if there is a construction loan for improvement for residential purposes only.

Environmental Notices

The ALTA policies exclude liability because of environmental laws. If a notice of violation is recorded in the real property records, you must except to it in Schedule B. Examples include:

Notices of storage, treatment or disposal of hazardous materials on site;

Notices of cleanup or decontamination;

Notices of lien (such as E.P.A., state, local or private) for cleanup of hazardous materials; or

Disclosures or declaration concerning hazardous materials (such as an "Environmental Disclosure Document for Transfer of Real Property" required in some transactions in Indiana).

Do not affirmatively insure against loss because of these notices. Do not remove an environmental cleanup lien as an exception if there was a foreclosure of a prior mortgage or a release of the environmental cleanup lien. The foreclosure may not extinguish the environmental lien. Always except to the environmental cleanup lien and refer to any release of the lien (by saying "to the extent released by") after excepting to the lien.


Rate

The filed rate for this endorsement is $25.00.

Questions

If you have any questions about the endorsement, please call our underwriting personnel.

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.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
5.08 Environmental Laws
Exceptions Manual:
ME Environmental Matters
Forms:
ALTA Endorsement 8.1 (Environmental Protection Lien)