Bulletin: CA2019004

Date:
April 10, 2019
To:
All California Issuing Offices
RE:
UNDERWRITING - Owner’s Affidavit and Indemnity

Dear Associates:

In connection with a request for the issuance of title insurance, the use of an Owner’s Affidavit is encouraged to obtain information that would not otherwise be available about the owners and about the title to the property. An Owner’s Affidavit is also helpful in confirming information that is in question. Many different forms of Owner’s Affidavits are available - some good, some not so good; Stewart Title Guaranty Company (STG) has updated its Owner’s Affidavit form and the new form is entitled Owner’s Affidavit and Indemnity (See attached). This Owner’s Affidavit and Indemnity (Affidavit) is the form approved by STG for use by its issuing agents in the State of California.

The Affidavit addresses a number of topics, some traditional affidavit topics, and some newer items developed from recent claim and loss experiences. These topics include, but are not limited to, construction-related topics, mechanic's liens, improvements, PACE/HERO programs, possession matters, property rights like mineral or water rights, endorsements related to encroachments, utility liens, HOA liens and CC&R violations, and Affiant’s knowledge of actual or potential liens, assessments, claims and litigation.

The Affidavit contains an indemnity provision. STG will rely upon the information in the Affidavit for its issuance of title insurance and the Affidavit will assist STG in defending against claims, or pursuing claims on behalf of, the insured.

STG recommends securing a completed Owner's Affidavit and Indemnity on every purchase transaction. The attached Affidavit form is the only form that should be used; it replaces any prior Owner’s Affidavits. Any changes to this form require prior written approval from an STG California Underwriter. 

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.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None