Old Republic Title Seeks Improved Closing Disclosure

by Daniel Wold
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company
Treasurer, ALTA Board of Governors

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Old Republic Title actively participated with organizations including the American Land Title Association (ALTA) to promote clarification in the real estate closing process that has proven to be confusing for consumers. February 14, 2018, brought a sweet Valentine to the title insurance industry when the TRID Improvement Act of 2017 passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a 271 - 145 vote (with 43 Democrats crossing party lines to support the bill). This is significant, but only a first step.

The Act's chances of progressing in the US Senate are more challenging. Hopefully it can be part of a regulatory omnibus bill and reach the President's desk as part of that process. While a few hurdles remain, there is a beacon of hope here since the bill passed with significant bipartisan support.

Concurrently, ALTA will be reaching out to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and reiterating its request that TRID be fixed so the Closing Disclosure accurately discloses the costs of title insurance under state law. ALTA survey results indicate that the current methodology continues to confuse consumers. Despite the evidence of continuing consumer confusion, our industry's advocacy efforts to date have not borne fruit.

The industry is hopeful that changes at the top of the CFPB will usher in a greater willingness to take on this task and ensure that consumers receive transparency for all costs at settlement (including title insurance premiums). We have long advocated for such an approach, since that would fall squarely within one of the primary goals of TRID, namely transparency. Because of the changes at the CFPB, ALTA and industry participants will continue to press this issue. We can be cautiously optimistic that this defect with the disclosure component of TRID finally will be remedied.

Old Republic Title continues to advocate for clarity within the real estate transaction so consumers can see and understand costs accurately reflected on the Closing Disclosure.


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