There are several different types of affidavits used in the title insurance process. First, there are affidavits that are used as evidence and are filed in the real property records. The types of affidavits that are allowed to be filed in the real property records varies from state-to-state. For example, in Wisconsin, an affidavit of scrivener’s error is allowed while in Minnesota it is not. An affidavit of scrivener’s error may be used in a circumstance where a mistake was made by the drafter of a document that was filed in the property records. For example, the person who drafted a deed made a small error in the legal description. That person can then execute an affidavit of scrivener’s error to correct in Wisconsin to correct that error.
Minnesota Statute Limitations
In Minnesota, the types of affidavits that may be used as evidence in the real property records are limited by statute. Minnesota Statute Section 507.29 (See also Minnesota Title Standard No. 22) indicates that an affidavit recorded for evidentiary purposes can only be used when authorized by a special statute (e.g. affidavit of trustee, affidavit of attorney-in-fact) or to establish the identity, marital status, relation, death or time of death of a party, identity of a corporation, or identity of another legal entity that is in title. An affidavit can also be used as an estoppel against the person executing the affidavit. The person executing the affidavit, the affiant, must have personal knowledge of the facts and not just information or belief.
Next, there are affidavits that are used by title companies to establish certain facts to allow the title company to provide certain coverages in its title insurance policies. For example, a seller’s affidavit will contain recitals including a statement indicating that labor or materials have not been provided to the property for which payment has not been made. With this statement in a seller’s affidavit, the title insurance company may be able to provide the buyer and the new lender with certain coverage against mechanic’s liens.