Civil Forfeiture under 21 U.S.C. 881

Before insuring real property under Civil Forfeiture 21 U.S.C. 881, the following documentation must be obtained and reviewed:


1.  Order for the Warrant of Arrest of the Real Property. This document must be hand-signed by a judge or magistrate and filed of record in the local real property records.

2.  Copy of the Complaint. This document must specifically request the forfeiture of the property as well as the alleged basis under which the forfeiture is being conducted.

3.  Proof of Personal Service. All owners and/or lienholders of the property (including spouses with marital or community property rights) who are not executing deeds or releases must be given notice by personal service. Generally, this is accomplished via the process and return receipt. Evidence of the personal service must be filed of record in the local real property records. Any transactions where personal service does not occur on all the above must be approved in writing by Agents National Title counsel before a commitment or policy may be issued.

4.  Proof of Notice of Publication. Notice of the forfeiture must be published in the federal district where the land is located. If the proceeding takes place in a district other than where the property is located, notice must be published in both districts.

5.  Order Authorizing Forfeiture. This order must adequately describe and specifically authorize the forfeiture of the real property. This document must be filed of record in the local real property records.

6.  Final Letter from United States Attorney’s Office. This letter from the U.S. Attorney (or other acceptable party) must state that the order is final and non-appealable (generally, 90 days after the entry of the order if no motion is filed).


In addition to the above, the following requirements must also be met to the satisfaction of the company:


1.  The forfeiture must occur in the federal district where the land is located or in the district where criminal prosecution of the owner is occurring.

2.  If an owner of the property is subject to criminal prosecution, that prosecution must be final and no longer subject to appeal.

3.  Verification by inquiry or inspection that no one is in possession of the land (except through the United States).

4.  The proposed insured must execute an affidavit/acknowledgment attesting that they have been advised the forfeiture is involved in the chain of title.

5.  If the sales price of the property exceeds $100,000, you must call Agents National Title counsel and/or submit Agents National Title’s Authorization Request (for unusual risks) for written authorization before issuing a commitment or policy.