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Bar News - December 17, 2014

New Title Standards Adopted


The annual review of the New Hampshire Title Examination Standards has resulted in six revisions. The NH Bar Association Board of Governors on Nov. 20 unanimously approved the revised standards, which will take effect Dec. 31.

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…”

Highlights of 2014 Revisions

The changes in title standards amend the previous standards in a number of ways. Changes in statutes, case law and real estate practice have been noted. The following revisions were made to existing standards:

  • 1-4, “Recording.” The standard is revised by adding further information to the note concerning actual, constructive and inquiry notice as discussed in the NH Supreme Court case Bilden Properties LLC v. Birin.
  • 4-10, “Business Name – Indexing.” The standard is amended to reflect variations in a name and the appropriate indices search for each name as a result Bilden.
  • 5-45, “Durable General Power of Attorney – Executed After 2003.” The standard is amended to add notation of the recent NH Supreme Court case Eaton v. Eaton.
  • 6-10, “Foreclosure Affidavit and Notice of Sale.” The standard is amended to address frequent changes in the non-judicial foreclosure notice requirements. The comment is revised to recommend the frequent amendments to the notice requirement and appropriate use of an affidavit to clarify notices given.
  • 7-5, “Pretermitted Heir.” The standard is revised to add citation to the Treloar, Robbins and Denby cases.
  • 7-14, “Real Estate Description.” The standard is revised to add that an erroneous description in an inventory or a failure to include real estate in a petition for administration should not be considered a defect in title.

The revised standards can be found on the NH Bar Association website,, on the Real Property Law Section’s Title Standards Materials page, where digests and past versions are also available and searchable. The revised standards also are available to the public online in the “Legal Links” section of the Bar’s website, in the “NH Practice Guidelines” area.

Substantive changes are noted with the year “2014” at the end of each revised standard. Changes in topic heading, minor typographical errors or punctuation are not noted with the year. New standards can be easily spotted as containing only one date: 2014. Additions are shown in double underlining; deletions are shown with strikethroughs.

The NH Title Examination Standards are reviewed and revised annually. Suggestions for revisions may be posted through the Real Property Law Section email list service by its members with the subject line “Title Standards Suggestions.”

Proposed revisions are posted each September, followed by a 30-day comment period, section discussions and approval, prior to presentation to the NHBA Board of Governors.

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