Saturday, May 24, 2008

query: title business states don't need lawyer

Your query comes from Pennsylvania. In PA we have a history of non-attorney conveyancers. the modern version is the licensed title insurance agent who is enabled by law to perform a conveyance and prepare documents in conjunction with the issuance of a title insurance policy.

The title agent should not prepare a sales agreement. The title agent should not advise you in matters of law. The title agent should not advocate on your behalf. If you do not need these services, you do not need to hire a lawyer.

Beyond these issues, the entire conveyance can be handled by a licensed title insurance agent.

It's interesting to note that both attorneys and non-attorneys may act as title agents. The issue of conflict of interest is hotly debated when the title agent is also an attorney. Is it in the interest of the consumer to hire an attorney to act as their legal advisor and also their title agent?

Keep in mind that the licensed title agent is acting as an agent or representative of the title insurance company. Their first duty is to the title insurance company and the interests of the title insurance company and your interests may conflict. For this reason savvy consumers do not mix the relationships. That does not mean that you should refrain from hiring a title agent who is also an attorney. It simply means that you should not use that person as your legal advisor. If you feel the need for an advisor hire another attorney. Also, keep an eye on the fees being charged so that you are only paying for title insurance services and not legal services.

1 comment:

arizona homeowner insurance said...

Basically a title agent should not give legal advice. It's probably hard to do as they know their business so well anyway.