The Statewide Title Newsletter and Legal Memorandum

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Issue  111  Article  193
Published:  10/1/2004

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Current Concerns in the State of our Industry
Statewide Title, Inc.

Statewide Title, Inc. is an agent for three national underwriters, Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation and Chicago Title Insurance Company. Our customers are expressing their concerns, which Statewide Title shares, about the positions of our insurers on various issues. Chicago Title has provided the following responses to our questions, and they have invited us to share them with our readers:

Where do you stand with respect to settlement companies and title companies closing real estate transactions?

"Our in-house counsel provided key leadership roles with the Bar Association Real Property Section, spending literally hundreds of hours speaking, corresponding, and preparing materials (much of which is still on the Sectionís web site) and garnering active participation by the practicing bar to defend the recent FTC "attacks." We continue to regularly educate out of state lenders, agents, potential customers and even local attorneys about the need to have representation by an attorney at the closing table and that it is not just a paper shuffle. Chicago Title has no intention of handling real estate closings in the state of North Carolina."

Where do you stand with respect to having paid lobbyists supporting these matters?

"We have not paid any lobbyists in the state of North Carolina for anything related to changing the present closing system. Like most other title companies, we have supported the NC Land Title Association and its lobbyist who works on many matters of mutual concern with the Real Property Section. Along with all major title companies doing business in North Carolina, Chicago Title is involved in trade organizations, like the American Land Title Association which is involved in political issues across the country. To our knowledge, no efforts have been directed at settlement services in the state of North Carolina."

Where do you stand with respect to bank-owned title agencies operating settlement shops?

"All title companies have bank agents, whether in NC or elsewhere. No title company can control what those banks do internally, other than assuring that any title agencies properly following underwriting guidelines in issuing title coverage. Chicago Title does not have any bank agents involved in settlement shops."

We will provide the responses from other underwriters in future editions.

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