Bulletin: CA2021007

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Bulletin: CA2021007

Bulletin Document
V 1
Date: October 18, 2021
To: All California Issuing Offices
RE: UNDERWRITING - Updated Owner’s Affidavit and Indemnity

Dear Associates:

            A completed Owner’s Affidavit and Indemnity (“Owner’s Affidavit”) is a valuable tool for pre- and post- closing matters including title clearance matters and claims and litigation concerns. 

The information sought and questions asked on this notarized form have been developed through transaction, litigation and claims reviews as well as agent experiences. Obtaining a completed Owner's Affidavit is strongly recommended and encouraged on every transaction – sales or refinances, residential or commercial. In addition to receiving the form, be sure to review the Owner’s Affidavit to confirm that it is filled out completely, there are responses to each item, and to determine if the transaction requires any further investigation or analysis based upon those responses. Any information or response that raises doubts regarding the transaction or raises matters not already addressed in the transaction should be thoroughly investigated. 

            Specifically, the Owner’s Affidavit address various 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 matters, mechanic's liens, property improvements, PACE/HERO programs, possession matters, property rights like mineral or water rights, endorsements related to encroachments, road maintenance assessments, utility liens, HOA liens and CC&R violations, permits and zoning laws, and Affiant's knowledge of recorded or unrecorded matters affecting the property and actual or potential liens, assessments, claims and litigation. Newly added items include Affiant’s assurance that documents affecting title or property will not be recorded throughout the transaction and that Affiant will cooperate promptly to assist with corrective or curative information or documentation requested. 

The Owner’s Affidavit also contains an indemnity provision as the title agent and insurer Stewart Title Guaranty Company (STG) shall rely upon the accuracy and correctness of the information and responses when issuing policies of title insurance. The Owner’s Affidavit often assists title agents and STG in defending against litigation and claims, or pursuing claims on behalf of, themselves or the insured. 

The recently updated version of the Owner’s Affidavit and Indemnity is available through this link. This new form replaces all prior versions. Any changes to this Owner’s Affidavit and Indemnity form requires the prior written approval of STG California Underwriters.

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