Bulletin: GA2008007

Date:
October 02, 2008
To:
All Georgia Issuing Offices
RE:
Sales Made on Foreclosure under Power of Sale

Dear Associates:

On May 13, 2008, the Governor signed into law Senate Bill 531, which amends the requirements for a proper foreclosure under power of sale pursuant to Georgia law. This new law, which became effective May 13, 2008, amends O.C.G.A. Sections 44-14-162 and 44-14-162.2. The Act now requires the proper recording in the public record of the security instrument and any assignment of that security instrument into the current owner or holder of the indebtedness in default prior to the time of sale. O.C.G.A. §44-14-162. The Act also increases the number of days for the notification period for foreclosure from 15 to 30 days and includes new provisions relating to the content of the secured creditor's notice to the debtor. O.C.G.A. §44-14-162. This notice to the debtor must now contain the correct information on the person representing the current Lender, who has full authority to negotiate, amend and modify all terms of the loan with the Debtor.

COMPANY POLICY: Stewart requires our Issuing Agents to verify that all foreclosure requirements have been met pursuant to our underwriting guidelines and Georgia law prior to insuring a sale out of foreclosure. In a non-judicial foreclosure, the notice, advertisement and sale requirements of O.C.G.A. §44-14-162.2 as amended must be carefully reviewed to ensure that the foreclosure sale was conducted properly prior to the issuance of title insurance on the property.

In addition, Issuing Agents must verify that the current assignment into the foreclosing lender is filed for record prior to the time of sale or no later than the date of the sale of the property at auction. Issuing Agents must also be satisfied that any prior assignments constitute an uninterrupted chain of ownership from the first mortgagee to the last assignee.

BE SURE TO CONSULT YOUR LOCAL STEWART UNDERWRITER WHEN INSURING TRANSACTIONS OUT OF FORECLOSURE IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.

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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.