- August 01, 1995
- All South Carolina Issuing Agents
- Mobile Homes
There seems to have been an increase in underwriting questions regarding the issuance of title insurance where a mobile home is located on the subject property.
Generally, when the agent becomes aware of the existence of a mobile home on property to be insured, we should assume that the mobile home is not affixed to the land and considered personal property. Thus, the mobile home would not be insurable and the following exception should appear in Schedule B of the policy:
The land described in this (commitment of policy) shall not be deemed to include any house trailer or mobile home located on the premises.
The Manufactured Housing Unit endorsement (ALTA Form 7) provides for inclusion within the coverage under the policy of any manufactured unit located on the land at the date of the policy. When the agent is requested to delete the mobile home exception or issue the ALTA Form 7, the following is required:
It must be determined that the mobile home has become permanently affixed by inspection or by information from a reliable source, such as the surveyor or appraiser. Factors required to be present include the removal of the wheels and axles, the trailer set on a permanent foundation and permanent utility connections.
The title to the mobile home must be surrendered for cancellation by the Department of Motor Vehicles. If the title is in possession of a lien holder, the commitment should require the cancellation of the lien appearing on the title and surrender of the title to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The mobile home should be taxed as real property. Recharacterization of the property is a requirement of the DMV for cancellation of the title. Caution: The different counties vary widely in their criteria for recharacterization of mobile homes as real property. You should check with the tax office as to their requirements before closing a transaction where a ALTA 7 endorsement is required.
Also, please remember to examine any restrictive covenants for prohibitions against mobile homes.
For further information, please see Section 12.24 of the Underwriting Manual.
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.