- October 10, 2012
- All Georgia Issuing Offices
- Water Bills, Sanitary Sewer and Solid Waste Charges in Georgia
This Bulletin will address the requirements for issuance of title insurance where the owner of the property has unpaid water and solid waste charges.
Single or multi-family residential property. A public or private water supplier may impose a lien against real property to secure unpaid charges for water furnished only if the owner of the property is the same person who incurred the charges. O.C.G.A. §36-60-17(c). Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation v. City of
Where a city or county provides for solid waste collection services, such as trash collection, garbage, refuse or other sanitary services, including water service, a city or county may enforce collection of these amounts due in the same way as they enforce and collect taxes. O.C.G.A. §12-8-39.3. Generally, county and municipal ordinances grant the same priority for delinquent water and sanitary service charges as liens for ad valorem taxes and may be foreclosed in the same manner. Therefore, the city or county may claim a lien against real property in relation to these charges without recording a Writ of Fieri Facias on the General Execution Docket in that county. Where the county tax commissioner does record a Writ, an examiner may not find it because the name of the person who incurred the charges is outside of the chain of title in many cases.
Company Policy: Given the current position of many local governments and private water suppliers in
All assessments, taxes and special assessments which are now a lien or payable or which may become due and payable, including, but not limited to water bills and sanitary bills.
Where unpaid water charges are against a former owner in the chain of title and the lender requires removal of this specific exception, Issuing Agents should collect and appropriately remit payment for these billings.
Commercial or Non-residential Property. While the city or county may not refuse to supply water services to residential property, there is no limitation on non-residential property. Solid Equities, Inc., v. City of
Company Policy: Where there are unpaid water charges, solid waste or sanitary services and the lender requires removal of the above-referenced exception, Issuing Agents should collect and appropriately remit payment for these billings regardless of whether these charges were incurred by a tenant or owner of the property.
If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.
For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.
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.
- Bulletins Replaced:
- GA2008002 Requirements Relating to Unpaid Water and Solid Waste Charges in Georgia
- Related Bulletins:
- Underwriting Manual:
- Exceptions Manual: