Removal of the General Exceptions 

We are often asked if the Schedule B, Survey Exception can be removed from a loan policy. If it's residential property, the answer is easy - "Yes - always"! That's because you will be issuing an Expanded Protection Loan Policy which not only doesn't contain Exceptions for Survey or Parties in Possession Exception but it actually provides affirmative coverage for survey matters. In other words, there are no General Exceptions to "remove" for residential property (Expanded Policy).  


1. Residential Loan policy: If you are issuing an Expanded Protection Mortgagee Policy (long or short form), you do not need to do anything to satisfy this lender requirement.

2. Commercial Loan policyFor non-residential loan policies, a Standard policy  does contain general Exceptions known as "Parties in Possession" and "Survey". These Exceptions are #2 and #3 in a Commitment and #1 and #2 in final policies.   Please remember that in order to remove either of these Exceptions from the policy, you must have VATC underwriting approval so call Andy or Liz.

3. Owner policies: These Exceptions appear in all OPs. To remove them, you must have VATC underwriting approval to remove these Exceptions so call Andy or Liz. 

Fund Transfer Fraud - Topic Of Discussion In The Title Industry

Criminals are altering deposits, payoffs, proceeds, and more, by educating themselves about the players involved in the real estate transaction, their roles and the different requests that may be made in connection with payments. Be ever vigilant: protect your computer systems, educate staff and w arn the individuals involved in the transaction about what is happening in the industry. consider implementing a process to communicate upfront with "all of the players".  Finally, have a written response plan in place should you fall victim  to fraud and continue to review and modify the plan accordingly.  Visit ALTA's Information  Security webpage for tools such as, a wire checklist, rapid response plan and other relevant information.
VATC's Website - A Valuable Resource

We encourage everyone to peruse the VATC website for an overview of our resources to find important information for you when the next "unique title insurance situation" arises.

Our Policy Preparation and Underwriting Guidance sections can serve as a 
checklist for your office. Under Policy Preparation, you will find answers to many of your questions for out of the ordinary issues in transactions ranging from manufactured homes, Sales and Purchases by LLCs, Corporations and Partnerships, and issuing policies with  multiple mortgages. In addition, our Underwriting Guidance section  includes how-to guides for situations which arise in a transaction such as
the use out-of-state, foreign, and military Powers of Attorney, and surveys and parties in possession exceptions.

As ever, we welcome your comments and suggestions for how we can improve the site. Please let us know! Thank you. 
Property Descriptions - What/What Not to Include

Andy and Liz have been suggesting that people shorten their property descriptions because: (a) the longer the description, the greater the chance for typographical error; (b) the more reference clauses there are, the greater the chance to omit what might be important (in context) quotation marks and/or the greater the chance to resurrect old ROFR that were otherwise extinguished or have lapsed.  Sometimes less is more.
  1. A legal description still needs to comply with Title Standard 10.1.
  2. A legal description which simply provides: "All and the same that land and premises that Grantor acquired from ____ by deed ____"  can be sufficient to pass marketable title if the referenced deed (or a deed in the chain of title) contains a Title Standard compliant description.
  3. Reciting/reproducing a full metes and bounds description is NOT necessary if the deed description refers to a lot on a recorded plat, e.g. "Being all of Lot 3 on a survey recorded at Map Slide 34". Typing a full metes and bounds description is not only redundant but, invariably, it results in typographical errors which can result in confusion/title problems.
  4. It is recommended that encumbrances and appurtenant easements be carried forward in the new deed, e.g.  "The property is subject to: ____.  The property is benefited by: __________".
  5. While referencing three, four, or even more deeds "back in the chain" is helpful to future searchers, again, re-typing the chain of title often results in scrivener error.
  6. Shortening descriptions is not a mandate - it is merely a recommendation to reduce the number of problems that arise from very long deeds that, when re-typed, contain errors (or omit something).
Lau's Corner & Title Tips
1099-S Proceeds from Real Estate Transactions: ** IMPORTANT **

Career Network:  We often hear of firms who are hiring. While we welcome phone calls or emails, we have added a career network posted under News and Announcements (bottom right hand corner) of the VATC website. We will only post information if we have permission and we will not act as an intermediary. If you would like to add a post, please email Katie the information as you would like it to appear on our website.