PREFACE



[NOTE: The following Preface was prepared in June 1994 by Comer W. Padrick, Jr. as Reporter for the Title Standards Revision Committee of the Real Property Law Section, was adopted by the Section and published in the 1995 “Real Property Law Deskbook”.] On November 1, 1963, the Board of Governors of the volunteer Georgia Bar Association approved 42 title standards, which the Real Property and Titles Committee had prepared. On December 4, 1965, the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia, upon the recommendation of the Section of Real Property, adopted and approved those standards. On March 18, 1966, the Board of Governors adopted 12 additional standards and on June 2, 1972 the Board of Governors, upon recommendation of the Section of Real Property, approved standards which had been substantially revised and to which new standards had been added. Those standards, which were approved on June 2, 1972, have remained unchanged until June 18, 1994, on which date the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia adopted these Revised Standards, upon recommendation of the Real Property Law Section.

A title standard is a statement officially approved by a bar association, which declares the answer to a question of a solution for a problem involved in the process of title examination. It is not a law, but gains its effect from voluntary compliance by attorneys.

A set of standards may be called a crystallization of the practice of title attorneys. Their main purpose is to eliminate technical objections which do not impair marketability, as well as objections which arise from misapprehension of the law.

The late Joseph L. Abraham, the father of the original Georgia standards, commenting on the desired effect of uniform standards, posed the following query in the Introduction to the 1972 Revisions: "How many times has it been said (perhaps even by yourself): ` I think the title is good all right, but I am afraid that some other attorney will turn it down?' If all attorneys in this state abide by uniform standards, this fear will be eliminated as to all problems the standards embrace."

The Georgia standards rely heavily upon Simes and Taylor, Model Title Standards (1960) -- a research project sponsored by the University of Michigan Law School and the American Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law.

The nine principal title companies doing business in Georgia in 1963 approved in writing the portion of the standards initially adopted that year and agreed to be governed by them. In approving these standards originally, the Board of Governors resolved: "That all members of the Bar Association and all other lawyers throughout the state are urged to follow such title standards in all cases in which they might apply." If the members of the State Bar of Georgia will comply with this resolution, the standards should be of great benefit both to the lawyers in Georgia and to the public at large.

The Revised Title Standards are the result of the efforts of many members of the Bar who have devoted precious time, thought and energy to the improvement and expanded coverage of the standards. In 1989 the Title Standards Revision Committee of the Real Property Section of the State Bar of Georgia was formed with Gregory A. Ward and Donald J. Schliessmann, Jr. as Co-Chairmen. "Comments on Existing Title Standards" dated September 27, 1990, was prepared by the Committee's study group comprised of Richard J. Beam, Jr., David E. Bullard, Bruce P. Cohen, A. Zachry Everitt, Henry S. Rogers, III, and Donald J. Schliessmann, Jr. The Title Standards Revision Committee has continued to remain active in its revision activities with Gregory A. Ward and Bruce P. Cohen as Co-Chairmen. Using the comments of the above study group as a beginning point, and expanding the coverage of the standards from recommendations and suggestions of and numerous conferences with the Co-Chairmen of the Title Standards Revision Committee and Eric D. Ranney, Chairman of the Real Property Section of the State Bar of Georgia, the Reporter has been assisted immeasurably in this project by the personal professional expertise and contributions of the following "Specialists/Experts:"

Danny C. Bailey

Richard J. Beam, Jr.

Robert Park Bryant

Georgia E. Butler, II

Brian P. Cain

Janice E. Carpi

John D. Cartledge

Leigh L. Clack

Carol V. Clark

Bruce P. Cohen

Linda B. Curry

William J. Dawkins

William H. Dodson, II

Mark D. Euster

Ralph S. Force

Alan S. Gaynor

William R. Harp

Suellen M. Henderson

D. Byron Hilley

Ellis C. Hooper

Amelia H. Huskins

Philip E. Johns

Joann G. Jones

James B. Jordan

Barbara E. Keon

Tom L. Lane, Jr.

William J. Lieberbaum

Karen Comeau McDade

Paul M. McLarty, Jr.

Martin L. McLendon

Charles E. Moore

Theodore W. Morris

Mark A. Nelson

James M. Ney

Ernest C. Ramsay

Eric D. Ranney

Richard E. Raymer

Henry S. Rogers, III

Joan Boilen Sasine

Donald J. Schliessmann, Jr.

Robert W. Storey

Gregory A. Ward

Michael T. Westfall

John A. White, Jr.

Joe D. Whitley

Marvin H. Zion

The Reporter wishes to also recognize the valuable research performed by the Research Assistant, Nancy Yanowitz.

Title Standards of 19 other states along with the Uniform Standards referred to above have been reviewed. It is the opinion of the members of the Revision Committee and the Reporter that the format presently used in Georgia is the preferred method for setting forth each standard. Generally, the standard, which is a statement of a general proposition, presented as concisely as practicable, is set forth first, followed, where necessary, by the commentary, which is a broader explanation of the standard. Where possible, the commentary contains references to Code and case citations.

If these Revised Title Standards assist members of the Real Estate Bar to obtain for their clients marketable titles free of needless technical and legally unfounded objections, then the purpose of these Standards will have been achieved. Comer W. Padrick, Jr.

Reporter

June 1994

Addendum

Various revisions to the Title Standards were prepared by the Title Standards Revision Committee of the Real Property Law Section in 2005. After approval by the Executive Committee of the Section on April 19, 2005, the revisions were submitted and approved by the Section membership at the annual meeting and Property Law Institute seminar at Amelia Island on May 14. On August 18, 2005, the revised Title Standards became effective when they were adopted by the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia. In addition to a general updating of cases and statutory cites throughout the Title Standards, substantive changes were made to Section 11.1, dealing with limited liability partnerships; Section 14.7, relating to cancellation of deeds to secure debt; Section 15.8, relating to cancellation of mechanics liens; Section 16.5, dealing with cancellation of judgments; and Section 31.12, covering federal estate tax liens.

A copy of the official version of the current Title Standards is posted on the Section website at www.garealpropertylaw.com. Notice of subsequent revisions will be posted there, also.

Leon Adams, Jr.

Chair, Title Standards Revision Committee

January 2008

Addendum

Further revisions to the Title Standards were adopted by the Section at the May, 2014 Real Property Law Institute, having been previously approved by the Section’s Executive Committee. Subchapters 4.5, 4.6, and 4.7 were added to address attestation and notice issues raised by recent appellate court decisions. Chapters 40 and 41 were added to address issues relating to title acquired through the FDIC and through court appointed receivers. The Title Standards Subcommittee of the Section’s Executive Committee continually attempts to keep the Standards relevant and current as the practice of real estate evolves over time. Please feel free to contact a member of the Executive Committee if you have suggestions as to how the Standards might be further improved.

Scott Logan

Chair, Title Standards Subcommittee

August 2014

Addendum

Further revisions to the Title Standards were approved by the Executive Committee of the Real Property Law Section on April 19, 2016 and adopted by the Section at the May, 2016 Real Property Law Institute, having been previously approved by the Section’s Executive Committee. Subchapters 4.5, 4.6, and 4.7, 8.5 and 9.2 were revised to address House Bill 322 and the revisions to the following statutes: O.C.G.A. §44-5-30, §44-14-33,34 and §44-14-61,62. Subchapter 17.1 was revised to reflect the change in the notice requirements from 15 to 30 days including commercial properties. The Title Standards Subcommittee of the Section’s Executive Committee continually attempts to keep the Standards relevant and current as the practice of real estate evolves over time. Please feel free to contact a member of the Executive Committee if you have suggestions as to how the Standards might be further improved.

Hilary Herris Fentress

Chair, Title Standards Subcommittee

August 2016