25 CFR § 151.14 - How will the Secretary review title?

§ 151.14 How will the Secretary review title?

(a) The applicant must submit title evidence as part of a complete acquisition package as described in § 151.8 as follows:

(1) The deed or other conveyance instrument providing evidence of the applicant's title or, if the applicant does not yet have title, the deed providing evidence of the transferor's title and a written agreement or affidavit from the transferor that title will be transferred to the United States on behalf of the applicant to complete the acquisition in trust status; and

(2) Either:

(i) A current title insurance commitment issued by a title company; or

(ii) The policy of title insurance issued by a title company to the applicant or current owner and an abstract of title issued by a title compact dating from the time the policy of title insurance was issued to the applicant or current owner to the present. The Secretary may accept a preliminary title report or equivalent document prepared by a title company in place of an abstract of title for purposes of this paragraph (a)(2)(ii) if the applicant provides evidence that the title company will not issue an abstract of title based on practice in the local jurisdiction, subject to the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section.

(3) The applicant may choose to provide title evidence meeting the title standards issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, in lieu of the evidence required by paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(b) After reviewing title evidence, the Secretary shall notify the applicant of any liens, encumbrances, or infirmities that the Secretary identified and may seek additional information or action from the applicant needed to address such issues. The Secretary may require the elimination of any such liens, encumbrances, or infirmities prior to acceptance of the land in trust status if the Secretary determines that the liens, encumbrances, or infirmities make title to the land unmarketable.