ATG COVID-19 Update #16: Revised Wisconsin Underwriting Guidelines

EDITOR'S NOTE: For all ATG updates related to this topic, see COVID-19 Updates.

ATG Agents in Wisconsin

Removing Exception, Eliminating Indemnification and Hold Harmless Agreement Requirement

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wisconsin underwriters, including Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG), amended their title commitments to include an exception for any disruptions in the recording of documents and title search capabilities. Along with this exception most underwriters required buyers and sellers to sign an Indemnification and Hold Harmless Agreement.

The title exception was created because it was unclear whether title companies would be able to conduct regular business at the County Register of Deeds offices. Of particular importance, it was unknown if deeds and mortgages could be electronically recorded if offices were closed. The problem never materialized. Despite some closures and reduced hours, there has been no disruption in the ability to electronically record documents in Wisconsin.

As a result, ATG has decided to remove the COVID-19 exception and eliminate the requirement for sellers and buyers to sign the Indemnification and Hold Harmless Agreement. This decision could be temporary in nature and may be reinstated if the ability to electronically record becomes significantly delayed or impaired in the future. The hard coded COVID-19 exception will be removed from the Wisconsin Commitment.

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me. We appreciate your business and ongoing support.

Thomas G. Cullen
ATG Vice President and Managing Attorney – Wisconsin Operations

Posted on: Fri, 04/03/2020 - 6:21pm