You are on page 1of 33


ALTA/ACSM 2011 Presentation PA Southeast Regional PREP February 10, 2011


Presentation Format
Part I: What is an ALTA/ACSM survey? Part II: What is different for 2011? Part III: Project Case Studies Part IV: Q&A


Part I:
What is an ALTA/ACSM survey?

ALTA/ACSM 2011 Who uses them: • Lending organizations • Title insurance companies • Land surveyors • Real estate professionals .

ALTA/ACSM 2011 Purpose: • Clear designation of property in question • General standard of care and procedure • Uniform presentation of subject property • Exposes possible liability issues • Guidelines for notifying parties involved of conflicts • Created together by industry relevant organizations: • ACSM • ALTA • NSPS .

. 2011 26 years…2 revisions 19 years…5 revisions ??? Slated to occur every 5 years. etc.ALTA/ACSM 2011 History: 1962 –First version 1986 – Minimum Angle & Distance Requirement 1988 – Table A 1992 – Miscellaneous revisions 1997 – Positional Tolerance 1999 – Table A changes. 2005 – Effective 1/1/2006 2011 – Effective February 23.

and lenders are entitled to rely on surveyors to conduct surveys and prepare associated plats or maps that are of a professional quality and appropriately uniform. . (NSPS) jointly promulgate the within details and criteria setting forth a minimum standard of performance for ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys. the lender. clients. For a survey of real property. title insurers and abstracters. the ALTA and the National Society of Professional Surveyors. the preparation of a plat or map showing the results of the fieldwork and its relationship to record documents as required under Section 6 herein. certain specific and pertinent information must be presented for the distinct and clear understanding between the insured. and the certification outlined in Section 7 herein. the surveying profession. complete and accurate. to be acceptable to a title insurance company for the purpose of insuring title to said real property free and clear of survey matters (except those matters disclosed by the survey and indicated on the plat or map). insureds. the client (if different from the insured).ALTA/ACSM 2011 What is it? As stated by ACSM/NSPS: Members of the American Land Title Association (ALTA) have specific needs. map or record of such survey. and the plat. and in the interests of the general public. insurers. when asked to insure title to land without exception as to the many matters which might be discoverable from survey and inspection. Inc. the title insurance company (insurer). and which are not evidenced by the public records. To that end. and the surveyor professionally responsible for the survey. unique to title insurance matters. A complete 2011 ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey includes the on-site fieldwork required under Section 5 herein. any information in Table A herein that may have been negotiated 7 with the client. In order to meet such needs.

especially if it’s not in all of those legal papers. Please take this 500-page title report full of legal “junk” that you don’t fully understand and show us legal people where “stuff” is.ALTA/ACSM 2011 What is it? As stated by a surveyor: Dear Mr. Surveyor. Please also show us the boundary that will most likely not match. 8 . If you don’t know where “stuff” is please tell us. You want to make sure you get this part right or we will sue you. If anything looks odd on the property please let us know. Everything you show us must look the same as everyone else's plan.S. P.

Schedule C Property metes and bounds 9 . Schedule B Section II with all of the goodies Includes the exceptions and potentially dangerous items 2.ALTA/ACSM 2011 Parts of title report important to surveyors: 1.

ALTA/ACSM 2011 Part II: What is different for 2011? .

ALTA/ACSM 2011 What is different in 2011? New standards are here and effective February 23. 2011 • Completely rewritten format • More comprehensive • Sections virtually removable for use by field and office personnel • 2011 supersedes all prior editions • Clarifies that individual state regulations still apply to standard of care 11 .

• Encroachment language clarified to say “Without expressing a legal opinion…” 12 . etc. Junior/Senior Rights. 2011 • Measurement standards have been clarified • From Relative Positional Accuracy to Relative Positional Precision •Records Research •Clarifies owner responsibility on document research • Includes Adjoiners. Easements.ALTA/ACSM 2011 What is different in 2011? New standards are here and effective February 23.

ALTA/ACSM 2011 What is different in 2011? New standards are here and effective February 23.” • Sky divers • Construction activity • School children 13 . 2011 • Verbiage added for field surveys that states “…observed in the process of conducting the survey.

ALTA/ACSM 2011 What is different in 2011? New standards are here and effective February 23. 2011 • Evidence of overlaps in adjoining deeds… • Deeds usually don’t close • Deeds usually don’t match adjoiners • Discussion needs to be had …but not resolved! • Vicinity Map now must be included • Used to be optional… • E-mail address must be included (sign of the times) •Sealing a document side note… • You can email them now per the new regulations but is it legal in PA??? • Documents must be embossed (crimped) to be legal 14 .

2011 • Surveyors Certification completely revamped • Table A Items • New • Current zoning as provided by insurer • Determination of walls being plumb • Note added to explain accuracy of utility location • Location of offsite easements • Monumenting off-site easements • Professional Liability Insurance • Removed • Gross floor area removed (hotels?) • Location Map 15 .ALTA/ACSM 2011 What is different in 2011? New standards are here and effective February 23.

ALTA/ACSM 2011 Part III: Project Case Studies .

a part of a building.” 2.) “The act of trespassing upon the domain of another…” 17 . or obstruction which intrudes upon or invades a highway or a sidewalk or trespasses upon the property of another. such as a wall or fence which illegally intrudes or invades… ACSM says: 1. An encroachment upon street or highway is a fixture. with or without obstruction.) “A building.ALTA/ACSM 2011 Case Study (AKA: Funny stuff) A few definitions … What does encroachment mean? Black’s Law says: An illegal intrusion in a highway or navigable river.

18 . property. that which belongs exclusively to one. or rights.ALTA/ACSM 2011 Case Study Illegal: Against or not authorized by law Trespass: An unlawful interference with one’s person. Property: That which is peculiar or proper to any person.

Who determines ownership? Isn’t this a judge too? Trespass: How does a surveyor know who has rights? Especially if unrecorded… 19 .ALTA/ACSM 2011 Case Study Encroachment contains all of these words in the definition yet a surveyor is not qualified to determine any of them… Illegal: Is a surveyor allowed to determine what is lawful? Isn’t this a judge’s job?… Property: Appears 64 times in the standards manual.

ALTA/ACSM 2011 Case Study What is the difference between accuracy and precision? 20 .

ALTA/ACSM 2011 Case Study Are you protected? 21 .

ALTA/ACSM 2011 Case Study Are you protected? 22 .

ALTA/ACSM 2011 Case Study Are you protected? 23 .

ALTA/ACSM 2011 Case Study The surveyor’s certification… Undeniably the most fun to be had with lawyers and title companies! And now the new standards took it all away… 24 .

ALTA/ACSM 2011 Case Study Maybe you are not protected… What it used to say… 25 .

ALTA/ACSM 2011 Case Study Definitely not protected… Where is the ALTA Certification? 26 .

restrictions.ALTA/ACSM 2011 Case Study Definitely not protected… “…That the title lines and lines of actual possession are the same…” “…That there are no violations of zoning ordinances. or other rules and regulations. and that there are no easements. encroachments. or uses affecting this property appearing from careful physical inspection other than those shown…” 27 .

20__. or any governmental agency having jurisdiction over the property. alleys. discoverable upon visual inspection. hereby certifies to (insert names of *lender. (iv) all information shown hereon is true. and such description closes by engineering calculation. overlaps. (v) the subject property contains _________ square feet and _______ striped parking stalls. a land surveyor. or affecting the subject property. and other significant items. flood plains. (vi) no portion of the said property shown hereon lies within the one hundred year flood plain or any area subject to special flood hazards as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. title insurer. the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. utilities. (viii) no covenants. borrower. correct. except as shown hereon. under. appurtenant to. and all buildings. traveled ways. “and their respective successors and assigns”) that: (i) this land survey plat has been prepared based upon field work conducted on the property shown hereon. or otherwise known to me appear to have been violated in any respect. waterways. (ii) the description of the property shown hereon is true and correct. ACSM and NSPS in 1997. or overhangs. restrictions. or otherwise known to me. performed by me or under my direct supervision on ____________. 28 . curb cuts. and complete. __. duly registered and licensed in the State of ______________. other improvements. (ix) this map or plat and the survey on which it is based were made in accordance with the "Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys" jointly established and adopted by ALTA. parking stalls. fences. the Flood Insurance Administration. or easements that are of record. located on. driveways. gutters. rights-of-way.ALTA/ACSM 2011 Case Study Definitely not protected… Here is why they changed it… The undersigned. and also in all respects meets the requirements of all applicable law. bodies of water. (iii) this survey plat correctly shows the locations and dimensions of all boundaries of the property. disposal sites. in all cases that are of record. streets. easements. discoverable upon visual inspection. ditches. adjacent to. setback lines. or adjacent to the property constitute or are subject to encroachments. structures. curbs. (vii) no improvements upon. and meets the accuracy requirements of an "Urban Survey" as defined therein. roadways. party walls.

ALTA/ACSM 2011 Case Study Definitely not protected… Best one ever! “…Certify that the lines and lines of actual possession are the same…” “…That there are no encroachments affecting this property other than as shown. that potable and waste water. any utility transformers labeled as containing PCB’s are noted. rivers or other conveyance system is shown on the survey…” 29 . electric. that any discharge into streams. gas and telephone utilities are located on the tract and appear operational.

30 .ALTA/ACSM 2011 Case Study What it says now… BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! That’s too easy.

ALTA/ACSM 2011 How you can protect yourself… • Know what you are asking for •Table A items cost money. Find out if you need all the items you are requesting • ALTA surveys are specific enough by definition. Don’t try to modify the standards it will only invalidate the survey • Know your surveyors competency level • Don’t always shop for price…it may give you a clue of competency level • Be current with changes in the standards • Ask questions…it makes us feel important 31 .

ALTA/ACSM 2011 Part IV Q&A .

0413 Locations in Montgomery & Bucks Counties . P.ALTA/ACSM 2011 Thank You! Greg Gress. 484.L. Inc. Senior Project Manager Bursich Associates.S.941.