Bulletin: SC2021001

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Bulletin: SC2021001

Bulletin Document
V 1
Date: August 02, 2021
To: All South Carolina Issuing Offices
RE: UNDERWRITING - Insuring Tax Redemptions More Than One Year After Tax Sale

Dear Associates:

In a recent opinion, Mercury Funding. LLC v. Chesney, Opinion No. 28040, filed June 30, 2021, the Supreme Court of South Carolina found unconstitutional a bill which in part provided "if real property was sold at a delinquent tax sale in 2019 and the twelve-month redemption period has not expired…, then the redemption period for the real property is extended for twelve additional months." No petition for rehearing was filed within the requisite 25 days. (see https://www.sccourts.org/opinions/advSheets/no222021.pdf).

Apparently concerned that the COVID-19 virus could interfere with a defaulting taxpayer’s attempt to redeem their property, the state legislature enacted the one-year extension as a supplement to the statutory one-year redemption period found in S.C. Code Ann. § 12-51-90 (2014).

While the Court acknowledged that this ruling raised “other issues”, it declined to address them until they had been “vetted initially by a trial court.” Stewart anticipates that these related title issues will be litigated or addressed by the legislature in the future and will keep our agents informed regarding important developments.

Effective immediately, Stewart Title will not insure title to property which has been sold at tax sale and redeemed more than one year after the sale, regardless of whether a tax deed has been issued or individual counties issue guidance in conflict with the Court’s ruling.

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:
Exceptions Manual:
  • None
Forms:
  • None