Selling Guide

Published August 29, 2017

B7-2-03: General Title Insurance Coverage (03/31/2015)

This topic contains information on general title insurance coverage.

Terms of Coverage

The title insurance policy must ensure that the title is generally acceptable and that the mortgage constitutes a lien of the required priority on a fee simple or leasehold estate in the property.

The title policy also must list all other liens and state that they are subordinate to Fannie Mae’s mortgage lien.

Loan Origination Date Title Policy Requirements
On or after January 1, 2008 The title policy must be written on one of the following forms:
  • the 2006 American Land Title Association (ALTA) standard form;

  • an ALTA short form if it provides coverage equivalent to the 2006 ALTA standard form and does not materially impair protection to Fannie Mae;

  • in states in which standard ALTA forms of coverage are, by law or regulation, not used, the state-promulgated standard or short form which provides same coverage as the equivalent ALTA form, provided that those forms do not materially impair protection to Fannie Mae.

Prior to January 1, 2008 The title policy must either use the appropriate 2006 ALTA form noted below, or ensure that title coverage meets the requirements in place at the time of mortgage loan origination.

Effective Date of Coverage

The effective date of the title insurance coverage written on forms that do not provide the gap coverage included in the 2006 ALTA policies may be no earlier than the later of the date of the final disbursement of loan proceeds or the date the mortgage was recorded.

Because the 2006 ALTA forms provide protection for the time between loan closing and recordation of the mortgage, policies written on those forms may be effective as of loan closing.

Amount of Coverage

The amount of title insurance coverage must at least equal the original principal amount of the mortgage.

Other Requirements

If a mortgage is registered with MERS and is originated naming MERS as original mortgagee of record, solely as nominee for the lender named in the security instrument and the note, and the lender's successors and assigns, then the "insured mortgage" covered by the title insurance policy must be identified in the title insurance policy as the security instrument given to MERS, solely as nominee for the lender and lender's successors and assigns. However, under no circumstances may MERS be named as the insured of a title policy.

The title insurance coverage must include an environmental protection lien endorsement (ALTA Endorsement 8.1-06 or equivalent state form provides the required coverage).

References are to the ALTA 2006 form of endorsement, but state forms may be used in states in which standard ALTA forms of coverage are, by law or regulation, not used, provided that those endorsements do not materially impair protection to Fannie Mae. As an alternative to endorsements, the requisite protections may be incorporated into the policy. For loans originated prior to January 1, 2008, endorsement forms that meet Fannie Mae’s requirements at the time of origination are acceptable.

Title policies may not include the creditors’ rights exclusion language that ALTA adopted in 1990.

Related Announcements

The table below provides references to the Announcements that have been issued that are related to this topic.

Announcements Issue Date
Announcement SEL-2015–03 March 31, 2015
Announcement SEL-2015–01 January 27, 2015
Announcement SEL-2014–12 September 30, 2014
Announcement SEL-2013–06 August 20, 2013
Announcement SEL-2011–04 May 24, 2011