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Bar News - December 14, 2012


New Title Standards Approved

By:

The 2012 Title Examination Standards were approved and adopted by the NH Bar Association Board of Governors on Nov. 15, after a presentation by the Real Property Law Section Title Standards Committee.

The 2012 Title Examination Standards amend the 2011 standards in a number of ways based on changes in statutes, case law and real estate practice. This year’s revisions addressed the following topics: recording in Standard 1-4, instrument on record for 10 years or more in Standard 5-23, foreclosure affidavit and notice of sale in Standard 6-10, irregularities and discrepancies in assignments and discharges in Standard 6-19, receivership of ‘good loans’ in Standard 12-2, and receivership of ‘bad loans’ in Standard 12-3.

The Title Standards reflect the real estate standard of practice when dealing with an established title in the registry of deeds. The standards are not intended to be a "how to" guide on conducting a current transaction. (See Standard 1-1: "Purpose. The objective of the title examiner is to determine whether or not the title in question is satisfactory of record...")

New standards are added to identify new laws, cases or practice standards. Two new 2012 standards were adopted:
  • New Standard 5-55 deals with deeds lacking a statement of consideration and addresses the common title-examination issue of the absence of a consideration statement in the document.

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  • New Standard 9-44 deals with small claims judgment attachments and addresses a lien that may arise in small claims disputes.

The 2012 Title Examination Standards contain a revised table of contents and index and are electronically searchable. All past versions of the standards are searchable online. Due to the online search capability, the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 standards have stopped using the 1997 printed chart of changes. The 2011 "Redline" version will remain online for reference and ease of tracking the 2011 to 2012 changes.

A standing committee of the NH Bar Real Property Law Section, the Title Standards Committee of the Real Property Law Section reviews the NH Title Examination Standards annually. The committee meets regularly to review and discuss proposed changes, including suggestions sent directly to the committee, raised at section meetings or submitted electronically.

The 2012 Title Examination Standards are available to section members in "clean" and "redline" versions on the Real Property Law Section page (login required) of the Bar website. The 2012 standards are available to the public at www.nhbar.org in the "Legal Links" area under "NH Practice Guidelines."

The Title Examination Standards were first adopted Feb. 5, 1954. Subsequent revisions were made in 1963, 1974, 1980, 1988, 1990, 1997, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. The new standards are effective Dec. 31, 2012.

The members of the section’s 2012 Title Standards Committee are: Chair Carol Durgy Brooks, James Barney, Heidi Barrett-Kitchen, Christopher Boldt, Jacqueline Fitzgerald-Boyd, Robert Howard, III, Scott Kumpf, Connie Boyles Lane, Denis Robinson, Phillip Stiles, and Carol Willoughby.

The Title Standards Committee will present an hour-long discussion about the revised standards at the section meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. Due to the small number of revisions in 2012, this presentation is in lieu of a CLE. The section presentation by the committee will provide an overview of all revisions with a focus on the two new standards concerning deeds lacking a statement of consideration and small claims liens.

Supreme Court Rule 42(9) requires all NH admitted attorneys to notify the Bar Association of any address change, home or office.

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