SAN FRANCISCO -- California regulators have yet to prove a lack of competition in the title insurance industry that would give the state the legal authority to move forward with a plan to roll back and cap rates, industry advocates said Wednesday at a public hearing on proposed new regulations. Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi wants to roll rates back to where they were six years ago, before a run-up in housing prices. The rollback would cut title insurance rates by an average of 23 percent, and slash fees for escrow services provided by title companies by 27 percent, saving consumers $1 billion a year, Garamendi says. The rollback, which would be implemented in March, is envisioned as an interim measure while regulators set a cap on title insurance rates using a complex formula i...
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