ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys
Moderator(s): Burk Cornelius
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Table A Item 19 - Wetlands 0 B. Cornelius If asked to certify to ALTA Table A Item 19, try using this note:  "No apparent wetlands are located on the subject property according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory located at" It seems to work for most lenders
by B. Cornelius
Monday, July 1, 2013
ALTA HUD Certifications 0 B. Cornelius HUD Multi-Family Acquiesces to ALTA/ACSM Position on Certificationby Gary Kent, Chair of the NSPS ALTA/ACSM Survey CommitteeEffective February 23, 2011, the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys mandated that only its unaltered Section 7 certification is to be used. This move was made in response to a seemingly endless supply of lender-mandated certifications that surveyors were told they "had" to use on Land Title Surveys even though their use routinely caused surveyors to make express guarantees and warranties that invalidated professional liability insurance and violated their state laws and Board rules.The only allowable alteration to that certification is as may be required under Section 3.B. of the 2011 ALTA/ACSM Standards — referencing requirements of jurisdictions and agencies that regulate the practice of surveying. This most commonly, if not exclusively, refers to certification requirements mandated by a number of State Licensing Boards for surveyors practicing in their jurisdictions. Obviously, notwithstanding the "only" and "unaltered" wording of the ALTA/ACSM Section 7 certification, if state law mandates certain certification wording, surveyors working in those jurisdictions have to include such wording on their ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys. Although attorneys working for HUD Multi-family routinely invoke Section 3.B. as justification for telling surveyors that they have to use the HUD certification, they are off-track on that issue because — while HUD has its own requirements — it most certainly does not "regulate the practice" of surveying in any jurisdiction.Ever since the introduction of the 2011 ALTA/ACSM Standards, surveyors across the country have spent innumerable hours arguing with HUD attorneys over this issue. Under Section 7 of the standards, the only logical middle-ground on the certification conundrum was for the surveyor to provide the HUD certification on separate letterhead, cross-referenced to the survey. The survey plat itself would bear only the Section7 certification, but HUD could still get its wording — albeit not on the face of the survey. Some HUD offices and attorneys would accept this compromise, while others would not, thus putting the surveyor and the attorney on a collision course that usually wasted a lot of time and energy.Recently, an alert surveyor in Alabama notified the NSPS ALTA/ACSM Survey Committee of a HUD website that he found which at long-last lays this issue to rest. The webpage — the link to which surveyors should keep available for quick reference — is entitled Multifamily Document Reform Implementation Frequently Asked Questions — Surveyor's Report and Instructions. It states the following in response to an FAQ about the certification issue: "[HUD Multi-Family] Housing will accept the HUD Certification on a seperate [sic] sheet of paper and cross referenced to the survey."It is not clear when this FAQ was posted, but it should end the acrimonious debate between surveyors and attorneys over how to address the HUD certification. NSPS is still working to find a way to engage HUD on the entire issue of the redundancy of its own separate certification, but in the meantime, due to this HUD position, surveyors no longer should have to weigh making clients angry against violating the ALTA/ACSM Standards.
by B. Cornelius
Thursday, May 30, 2013

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