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Bar News - December 21, 2016

New Title Examination Standards Adopted


The NH Bar Association Board of Governors on Nov. 17 adopted the 2016 Title Examination Standards proposed by the NHBA Real Property Section. The amended standards take effect Dec. 31, 2016.

The Title Examination Standards reflect the real property standard of practice when examining an established title in the registry of deeds. 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 2016 Revisions

The 2016 Title Standards amend the 2014 standards in a number of ways. Changes in statutes, case law or real estate practice often prompt revisions. The following standards were revised:

  • 5-24, “Conveyance of a Subdivided Lot.” The revision adds authority and a comment to highlight that, after July 3, 1970, an unapproved subdivision does not affect marketable title to the underlying land/lots, but may create negative consequences.
  • 5-27, “Limited Liability Company Deeds.” A revision was made to correct citations to RSA 304-C:52 I and III.
  • 5-38, “Lot Line Adjustment – New Subdivision Lines Created” and 5-40 “Lot Line Adjustment – Parcels of One Owner Affected” were revised to reflect the changes noted in 5-24.
  • 6-10, Foreclosure “Affidavit and Notice of Sale.” A revision notes the passage of the Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Service members Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 114-142), which extended the one-year lookback period for military service. A table displays prior lookback periods.
  • 6-18, “Discharge by Affidavit.” A revision provides that a mortgage may be discharged by an affidavit recorded by various interested parties, rather than by a licensed attorney.
  • New Standard 6-24, “Discharge of Collateral Loan Documents.” The new standard addresses the issue created by a mortgage discharge that fails to include a discharge of an assignment of leases and rents that accompanied the original mortgage.
  • New Standard 6-25, “Discharge of Corrective Mortgages.” Mortgages, or confirmatory originals, are often re-recorded, in order to correct minor errors. Subsequent discharges may reference only one of the recordings. This new standard allows consideration of both mortgages to be discharged when only one is referenced in the discharge.
  • Standards 7-3, 7-8, 7-16, 7-19, 7-23, and 7-24 were amended to correct the name change of “Circuit Court – Probate Division” for “Probate Court” made in July 1, 2011.
  • 7-10, “License to Sell Real Estate.” The revision addresses when to rely on a deed executed by a fiduciary under a license to sell real estate and other license to sell issues. Reference is made to former provisions of standard 7-15.
  • 7-14, “Real Estate Description.” The revision addresses that real estate referenced in a Petition for Estate Administration, Inventory or request for Waiver of Administration, should contain a description sufficiently accurate to identify the property, including the address and book and page number of the recorded source deed.
  • 7-15, “Reserved.” This standard was consolidated into related standard 7-10.
  • 7-22, “Testacy” and 7-22, “Intestacy” The revisions recognize that full administration of an estate is not required to transfer real estate pursuant to the terms of the will.
  • 9-26, “Pre-judgment Attachments and Return Date” and 9-27, “Pre-judgment Attachments – Effective Date” were revised to clarify that each applies only to pre-judgment attachments.
  • 9-44, “Judgment Liens.” The revision expands the type of judgment that may create a real estate lien by recording a certified copy of the judgment from small claims judgments to any judgment entered by a court in New Hampshire.

The 2016 Standards and Digest are posted on the NHBA Real Property Law Section’s Title Standards Materials page. Public access to the 2016 Standards is available at in the “Legal Links” area in the “NH Practice Guidelines.”

Members of the Real Property Law Section’s 2016 Title Standards Committee are Carol Durgy Brooks, chair; Heidi Barrett-Kitchen, vice chair; Christopher Boldt; Jacqueline Fitzgerald-Boyd; Robert Howard III; Scott Kumpf; Connie Boyles Lane; and Phillip Stiles.

Carol Durgy Brooks of Concord has been chair of the Standards Committee since 2004.

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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