Sunday, January 20, 2008

query: can a title agent pad title insurance rates

Can they? Yes. Is it lawful? Well, that depends on state laws and regulations. In Pennsylvania, we have regulated title insurance rates. Title agents are obligated under the agency procedure to adhere to TIRBOP guidelines and set their rates accordingly. Here's a link to our title insurance rate calculator which only shows you four of the potential rates here in PA. We do have other rate levels that we might be obligated to charge in certain circumstances.

Now, the big question is whether or not the title agent you are working with is following their state guidelines. I can tell you I have looked at many many HUD-1 settlement statements prepared by other title agents in which they have failed to charge the correct state regulated premium. The most common failure is giving a reissue rate discount when the consumer is eligible for it.

How do you protect yourself? You shop. If you simply called at least three title insurers and got written quotes, you can compare responses and make an informed decision.

Be careful amd don't simply look at the title insurance premium. Look at other fees. Lien letters and tax certifications are one item often padded by an agent. Also, if they are using a notary signing service to come to your home for closing, they often pad that fee.

Be careful. Be smart.

No comments: