Minnesota's budget deficit woes
headlined as the key issue for the 2003 Minnesota Legislature. After the
dust settled, it turned out that the two houses also had time to address other
issues. As it relates to title and real estate, the following is a
subjective snapshot of the top bills passed (or defeated) during this
tempestuous last session. All references to chapters of the session laws
can be read in their full-text version at www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/. Likewise,
the full text of the Minnesota Statutes can be found on-line at www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/stats.
- No More Affidavits of Purchaser! Chapter 5.
Torrens office will no longer require an Affidavit
of Purchaser for title transfers after
2003. Future Certificates of Title will not
recite whether the owner is 18, is married or is under any legal
incapacity. For those new certificates, title examiners will have to
determine the marital status of parties the same way as for abstract
to Memorialize a Notice of
Adverse Claim? Chapter 5.
The language for filing a Notice of Adverse Claim ("NAC") on
Torrens property has been revised. With this
change, it should be possible to register an NAC in
. The NAC ceases to be
notice unless some further action is taken within ten years from filing.
Minn. Stat. Sec. 508.70. Priority of an unregistered interest will, when
registered, relate back to the time of NAC filing. Look for a new uniform
form to match the statutory changes and a possible name change to "claim of
- Medical Assistance Liens: Bringing the Dead Back to Life!
Chapter 14, S.S.
With the passage of the Omnibus Health and Human Services Bill, the
Department of Human Services has significantly expanded its reach to redefine
asset transfer and recovery. Now the DHS can file a valid medical
assistance lien ("MA lien") on the interests of deceased joint and life tenants
(and that can attach to those interests as held by the surviving parties).
The new improved lien (for those dying after
August 1, 2003 ) will survive for 20 years from the later of
the date of filing or date of death. The MA liens will have to be filed
within one year of death to be valid. Fortunately, the new MA lien will
not attach to a surviving joint tenant's interest in their homestead.
- Electronic Recording is a Fact. Chapter 1, S.S.
The 50 cents added to the recording fee two years ago (and last year, for
Torrens ) has been officially appropriated for use by the
electronic real estate recording task force and the pilot projects underway in
recorded their first official
electronic satisfaction on
May 27, 2003 (and the total count increases each day); certificates of
release are expected soon. Can electronic humans be far behind?
- 60-Day Limit for Government Approvals. Chapter 41.
Under Minnesota Statutes Section 15.99, political subdivisions have been
required to approve or deny a written request related to zoning, septic or other
governmental approval of an action within 60 days (or the request is otherwise
deemed to be approved). Chapter 41 modified the terms of this statute and,
among other things, allows an applicant to request an extension of the 60-day
time limit in writing.
- Private Examiner of Titles. Chapter 54.
Under Minn. Stat. Sec. 508.12, subd. 1, Examiners of Title
Torrens property) are county employees except where the
county has less than 75,000 inhabitants (with specific exceptions for Stearns,
Dakota and Olmsted counties). Now Scott and
have been added to the
exception list. The burgeoning populations of these two counties over the
75,000 mark will not mandate that the post of Examiner be internal.
Construction Area. Chapter 128.
For sales of Washington
County real property (where the
property is not served by a municipal water system or there is an unsealed
well), the seller must disclose in writing whether the property is located in a
special well construction area. This law relates to the Baytown Special
Well Construction Area, a large area of polluted groundwater in
- Good Ideas on the Cutting Room Floor: Purchase Money Mortgage
The MLTA/MRESA Legislative Committee had proposed an amendment to the
purchase money mortgage provision (Minnesota Statutes Section 507.03) to clarify
some confusion raised by the case of Newton v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage,
Inc., 646 N.W.2d 888 (Minn.App. 2002). To paraphrase the original
proposal in the Senate bill, where any part of a mortgage was used as purchase
money, the entire mortgage was to be treated as a purchase money mortgage.
The purchase money language was pulled at the last minute before passage;
however, it may well be revived for another run in the next legislative
session. Stay tuned.