Common Title Endorsements

title endorsement is an addition or limitation of coverage that is attached to a title insurance policy. Endorsements provide coverage that tailors the policy to fit the needs of the insured for a specific transaction.

Following are common endorsements you will find.

100-06 – Restrictions, Encroachments & Minerals

This endorsement offers an explicit extension of coverage to an ALTA Extended Coverage Loan Policy by adding insurance for certain recorded and “off-record” matters. The coverage is extended for Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs): encroachments and the rights to use the land surface for mineral developments. This endorsement is not issued in conjunction with policies covering raw land or construction loans.

100.12-06 – CC&R’s, Right of Reversion

Also used with ALTA policies. Form 100.12 assures a lender or owner that existing CC&Rs do not contain any enforceable reverter, right of re-entry or power of termination.

100.18-06  – CC&R’s, Right of Reversion

Provides insured ALTA lender or owner with coverage against loss by reason of the exercise or attempt to exercise reverter rights in CC&Rs.

100.23-06  – Minerals, Surface Damage

Provides insured ALTA lender with coverage against loss by reason of the exercise of surface rights for the extraction or redevelopment of minerals leased under an oil gas lease.

100.29-06  – Minerals, Surface Damage

Provides insured ALTA lender with coverage against loss by reason of the exercise of surface rights for the extraction or redevelopment of minerals expected from the description of the land or shown as a reservation in Schedule B.

103.1-06  – Easement – Damage or Enforced Removal

Provides insured lender with coverage against loss by reason of the exercise of the right of use or maintenance or a particular easement by the easement holder.

 103.3-06 – Encroachments, None Exist

Provides insured lender with coverage against loss by reason of the forced removal of improvements which encroach upon a particular easements.

103.7-06 – Land Abuts Street

Provides insured owner or lender with assurance that the land described in Schedule A abuts upon a specific, physically open public street.

104.1-06 – Assignment of Mortgage

Provides assignee of the insured mortgage with assurance concerning (a) validity of a recorded assignment transferring the beneficial interest to the named assured assignee: and (b) full or partial reconveyances, modification or subordination of the insured mortgage.

110.5-06 – Modification of Mortgage

Provides insured ALTA lender with assurance concerning proper modification of the insured mortgage, including express priority coverage.

110.9-06 – Environmental Protection Lien

Provides insured ALTA residential lender with coverage against loss by reason of lack of priority over (a) any federal or state environmental protection set forth in Schedule B, and (b) any state environmental protection lien providing for by any state stature in effect at Date of Policy, except as provided for by state statues specified in the endorsement.

111.10-06 – Revolving Credit Loan – Optional Advance

Assured lender that future advances made under a “revolution line of credit” shall have the same priority as do advanced made as of Date of Policy.

111.5-06 – Variable Rate Mortgage

Provides insured ALTA variable rate mortgage lender with coverage against loss by reason of (a) invalidity or unenforceability of the insured mortgage resulting from the terms therein providing for changes in the rate of interest, or (b) loss of priority of the insured mortgage lien caused by the changed in the rage of interest, unpaid interest added to principal and/or interests on interest.

115-06 – Condominium

Provides insured lender with assurance that the estate or interest covered by the policy is a condominium, in fee, and such is entitled to be assessed and taxed as a separate parcel.

116-06 – Designation of Improvements, Address

An Address Endorsement used with ALTA policies, designating the street address of the land insured and specifying the type of improvements on said land

Federal Scrutiny of All-Cash Purchases

FinCEN Logo

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO’s) requiring several title insurance underwriters to identify the names of individuals involved in shell companies and other legal entities that make all-cash purchases for high-end residential real estate. Effective August 28, 2016, the GTO’s were augmented to include Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Diego counties for transactions in excess of $2 million.

Why They are Targeting These Transactions?

FinCEN is concerned that all-cash transactions in these areas are being used by individuals to hide their assets and identity by purchasing residential properties through limited liability companies or other opaque structures.

According to FinCEN, the initial GTOs are helping law enforcement identify possible illicit activity and informing future regulatory approaches. In particular, a significant portion of covered transactions have indicated possible criminal activity associated with the individuals reported to be the beneficial owners behind shell company purchasers. FinCEN said this corroborates concerns that the transactions covered by the GTOs (i.e., all-cash luxury purchases of residential property by a legal entity) are highly vulnerable to abuse for money laundering. Federal and state law enforcement agencies have also informed FinCEN that information generated by the GTOs has provided greater insight on potential assets held by persons of investigative interest and, in some cases, has helped generate leads and identify previously unknown subjects.

“The information we have obtained from our initial GTOs suggests that we are on the right track,” said FinCEN Acting Director Jamal El-Hindi. “By expanding the GTOs to other major cities, we will learn even more about the money laundering risks in the national real estate markets, helping us determine our future regulatory course.”

To help mitigate this potential money-laundering vulnerability, FinCEN will require certain underwriters to identify and report the true “beneficial owner” behind a legal entity involved in certain high-end deals in these two areas. The reporting requirement also pertains to the underwriters’ subsidiaries and agents.

“We are seeking to understand the risk that corrupt foreign officials, or transnational criminals, may be using premium U.S. real estate to secretly invest millions in dirty money,” said FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery. “Over the years, our rules have evolved to make the standard mortgage market more transparent and less hospitable to fraud and money laundering. But cash purchases present a more complex gap that we seek to address. These GTOs will produce valuable data that will assist law enforcement and inform our broader efforts to combat money laundering in the real estate sector.”

What Transactions are Affected?

Under specific circumstances, the orders require certain underwriters to record and report to FinCEN the beneficial ownership information of legal entities purchasing certain high-value residential real estate without external financing. They will report this information to FinCEN where it will be made available to law enforcement investigators as part of FinCEN’s database.

Any underwriters  that received the order must file a currency transaction report with FinCEN if these things occur:

  • Location deal occurs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, or San Diego counties
  • All-cash deal (no financing)
  • For named California counties, purchase price is in excess of $2 million
  • There’s a corporate buyer
  • Purchase price paid via monetary instrument

What Are They Requiring to Be Reported?

The report must include:

  • Information about the identity of the individual primarily responsible for representing the buyer. The title company must obtain a record of the individual’s driver’s license, passport of other similar identification
  • Date of closing of the covered transaction
  • Total amount transferred in the form of a monetary instrument
  • Total purchase price of the covered transaction
  • Address of real property involved

If the purchase involved in the covered transaction is a limited liability company, the underwriter must provide the name, address and taxpayer identification number of all its members.

FinCEN has provided an example report here.

FinCEN has published a list of Frequently Asked Questions here.

Record Keeping

Additionally, covered title companies must retain all records relating to compliance with the order for five years, store the records so they are accessible with a reasonable period of time and make the data available to FinCEN or other law enforcement or regulatory agency, upon request.

Final Words

FinCEN said title insurance companies play a central role in real estate transactions and can provide valuable information about potential illegal activities.

“FinCEN appreciates the assistance and cooperation of the title insurance companies and the American Land Title Association in protecting the real estate markets from abuse by illicit actors,” FinCEN said in a release.