CA Underwriting Summary

From WFG Wiki


  • Minimum Search Requirements Recent records only
  • Plant or other search restrictions Yes
  • Additional Requirements for REO Searches N/A
  • Foreclosure Checklist N/A
  • Special Searches Required (Code, HOA, Utilities)?
  • Survey Requirements
    • Purchase – No
    • Refinance – No
  • UPL Hot Button Issues None


Only licensed underwritten title companies and licensed title insurance companies can issue title insurance. There is no state requirement for the involvement of an attorney, abstractor or other special professional. “Professionals” may be retained to provide information to underwritten title companies or title insurance companies but cannot issue title insurance.

Title and escrow companies are permitted to prepare “form” documents but otherwise legal documents must be prepared by an attorney.


Property Tax

Mortgage/Transfer Tax

No Mortgage Tax

County Transfer Tax - $1.10 per $1,000 of the purchase price less liens and encumbrances at time of sale.

City Transfer Taxes – varies by specific cities that have transfer taxes.

Spousal Joinder Requirements/Homestead

California is a community property state. A non-title holding spouse or domestic partner is required to join in the execution of a deed or deed of trust unless title is as "sole and separate property."

CA has a domestic partnership statute (CA Family Code Section 297).

Power Of Attorney

Construction Liens

Foreclosure Review

Instrument Requirements

Who May Serve As Trustee On Deed Of Trust

California is a deed of trust state. The Trustee can be a natural person or legal entity. There is no residency requirement. Customary for Title Insurer to serve in this role.

Time Limitations

  • US Judgment Liens 20 years, renewable for 20 years
  • State Court Judgment Liens 10 years
  • Federal Tax Liens 10 years (+30 days); can be refiled
  • State Tax Liens 10 years
  • Estate Tax Lien Federal 10 years
  • State Inheritance Tax Liens
  • Mechanics Liens must be filed w/i 30 days following recordation of a "valid" Notice of Completion; 90 days following an "invalid" or no Notice of Completion CA Civil Code 3084
    • recorded mechanics lien lasts 90 days unless suit is filed.
  • Financing Statements
  • Mortgages
  • HOA Liens
  • Condominium assessments
  • Child Support Liens Forever.

Odd Stuff

  • Title insurance companies can issue a Release of Obligation for paid mortgages. Civil Code 2941.7.
  • Title forms and rates are filed with the California Department of Insurance (
  • CALFIRPTA requires withholding of three and one/third percent of the sales price.