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NEW YORK, MAY 18, 1918.
Experts Tell How New Torrens Law Will Work
Registrars of Counties in Greater New York Preparing a Form for
Registration of Titles.
THE Registrars of the five counties in New York
City have agreed on a uniform fee and a standard
form of petition for the search of titles under the
Torrens law, recently enacted.
The scale of fees and form of petition have been sub¬
mitted to the Supreme Court for adjudication. On
property valued at $50,000 the fees would be as follows:
Filing- notice of petition, $1; publishing, mailing, and
BY CYRIL H. BURDETT,
Vice-President New York Title & Mortgage Co.
THE Governor has signed the bill amending the Tor¬
rens Law of this State, and the public officials of
the counties composing Greater New York, as well
as the officers of the so-called Torrens Title League* are
hailing the fact with elation, as paving the way for a gen¬
eral use of the Torrens Registration proceeding in passing
titles in the ordinary course of buying and selling, and
loaning upon, real estate. These gentlemen are the extreme
advocates of the Torrens Title Registration System and
are constantly attacking the good faith of everyone who
fails to agree with them, although the latter are quite as
good friends of this law as such self-elected advocates.
The Real Estate Board, through the chairman of its
Torrens Title Committee, Professor Alfred G, Reeves,
has always asserted a friendship with the law and sought
to make it workable along practical lines and within con¬
stitutional limitations, as well as to popularize it among
real estate owners, and the officers of title insurance com¬
panies on this committee have co-operated in all sincerity
with the other members of the committee in acting for the
best interests of those aflfected by the law.
The title insurance companies, being perhaps more
familiar than anyone else with the workings of the law
and its limitations, practical and constitutional, have
given to the law of 1916 their approval, but have opposed
the amendments now adopted because of the constitutional
objections and because of the complete overturn of the
method of service.
Assemblyman Youker is quoted as saying that the
amendments were passed "over the united and persistent
opposition of all the title companies of New York City,
who succeeded in eliminating from the bill only one pro¬
posed amendment to the present law." This is hardly cor¬
rect, because of the fact that we were able to eliminate
from the bill, not only the very dangerous provision which
put the county back of the Assurance Fund, irrespective '
of the amount-paid in by the registered owners—which the
Attorney-General held to be clearly unconstitutional, and
were successful also in preventing the adoption of the
amendment framed by the Assembly Committee, which
extended recourse to the fund to all persons who should
(Continued on page 641)
posting notice, $15; examination fee, $1 a thousand of
assessed valuation, plus $10 expenses; assurance pre¬
mium, $1 a thousand; first certificate, $5, resulting in a
cost of $131 for establishing the original search on
property valued at $50,000.
Every additional certificate of title issued on that
property thereafter will cost $3, no matter how often
title changes hands.
By WALTER FAIRCHILD
Secretary of the Torrens Title League.
THE governor, on May 9, 1918, signed the Youker
bill, amending the New York Torrens Registra¬
tion law. The amendments constitute Chapter
572 of the Laws of 1918. By these amendments the
New York law becomes very similar to the law of
For the first registration the title is examined under
order of court. This official examination is done by an
examiner in the registrar's office, although the court
may, in its discretion, if the applicant so requests,
accept a report from a title company in lieu of the
official examiner's report, A survey must be furnished
by the petitioner.
The court sets a day when the petition will be heard
and notices of the hearing are sent out by the registrar.
On the return day, if no objections are found, the title
is ordered registered. An assurance premium is then
paid to the registrar and the owner receives his certifi¬
cate of title. No appeal from the final order of registra¬
tion can be taken after thirty days, when the certificate
To make application a petition must be made out,
giving all the facts about the title known to the
The petition must be filed with the county clerk, who
is the clerk of the Supreme Court, and at the same
time a notice, stating that the petition has been filed,
must be filed with the county clerk and also with the
registrar. The court immediately enters an order,
referring the petition to the official examiner to
examine the title. The order also fixes the return day,
and directs the .registrar to give notice of the hearing.
A form of notice of hearing is given in Section 386 of
the law. At least twenty days' notice is required, and
ft is given by the registrar, who publishes the notice in
a newspaper and within seven days send a copy of the
notice by registered mail to each person interested
and also posts it on the land at least fourteen days
before the return day. From twenty to thirty days ts
required to put the proceeding through in an ordinary
(Continued on pag^ 632)