Sunday, July 17, 2011

ALTA's Anne Anastasi Testifies Before the Financial Services Subcommittee

1. If ALTA believes what Ms. Anastasi says about the important function of a title insurance agent at the closing table, why does ALTA take no stand against the use of notary signing agents who are not employees, likely not licensed and even more likely not well trained, if at all?

2. Owner title insurance is a product that protects the buyer and is rightly, in my view, a product purchased on behalf of the buyer, just like the home warranty. It makes perfect sense to place this cost on the buyer side of the Settlement Statement and simply have the seller credit funds to cover the costs if that is the custom or how the contract was negotiated. The inability of the industry to adjust to a different form of disclosure says more about the industry than the document.

3. Federal regulations such as those promulgated under RESPA for the Good Faith Estimate are specifically targeting specific types of transactions and meant to disclose to consumers those costs which lenders impose so that consumers can make good decisions about which lender and which loan program they select. This document is not meant to be a tool for the selling of owner title insurance. The phrase "not required" contains two simple, easy to understand words. I think consumers get it.

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