How current events impact business & real estate

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Title Insurance Reform in NYS Budget

Accordingly to a Press Release entitled, Governor Cuomo and Legislative Leaders Announce Passage of 2014-15 Budget, NYS now has significant changes to our title insurance industry.

Title insurance insures against defects in title to real property and is required if a purchaser obtains an institutional mortgage as part of their purchase of the real property. Some private lenders do not require title insurance. However, its always a good idea to not only get title insurance in the form of a lender's policy, but also to obtain a fee or homeowner's policy as well because purchasing property is quite expensive in this State and insuring that you own what you thought you bought is a great idea.

According to the Press Release, the Title Insurance Reform coming to NYS is as follows:

The Budget includes measures to provide stronger oversight for the title insurance industry, which will help better protect consumers and lower costs for New York homeowners. The Budget provides the Department of Financial Services (DFS) with authority to issue licenses to title insurance agents for the first time, just as it licenses all other insurance agents and brokers. Licensing will require agents to meet qualification standards and undergo regular training. DFS will also have the authority to monitor abuse by agents and to revoke licenses accordingly, as well as help root out conflicts of interest that drive up costs for homeowners. Together with other measures including regulations DFS will soon issue on title insurance, these reforms are expected to result in a 20 percent reduction in title insurance premiums and closing costs for new home purchases and a more than 60 percent reduction in costs on refinancing transactions.

The 2 keys in this reform is:

  1. Licensing requirements for title closers
  2. Reduced costs of title insurance
As the Department of Financial Services issues the applicable Regulations we will update this blog with more information. 

Stay tuned.