A company that provides home buyers with multiple quotes from title insurance companies is abandoning its strategy of offering consumers cash rewards because the practice falls into a “gray area” of the law, the company said Wednesday.

Get Title Insurance launched its Web site July 31, offering home buyers the ability to get quotes from title insurers who do business in their ZIP code. As an incentive to close the deal, Get Title Insurance offered cash payments to borrowers who purchased policies through the site.

The federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA, prohibits companies from paying rebates or referral fees to each other in order to generate business. But Get Title Insurance Chief Executive Officer Larry Calinda said the rewards his company offered consumers were legal, in part because the payments were made from Get Title Insurance’s operating expenses, and not by title insurers.

A spokeswoman for Get Title Insurance said some title and settlement services companies had concerns about the issue, so the company sought an independent legal opinion from a law firm that has considerable experience with RESPA regulations.

Although the practice was deemed “defendable,” it is “ultimately still a gray area that has yet to formally garner legal clarity,” said Get Title Insurance spokeswoman Jennifer Richter.

Until the legality of the rewards model is “black and white,” Richter said, Get Title Insurance wants “all professionals within the title insurance industry to be confident in their usage of our site.” Beginning today, consumers no longer have the option of asking for a cash reward when they submit a request for a quote.

Richter said the cash reward option has been “used sporadically” and that Get Title Insurance is seeing the successful conclusion of deals whether or not the reward model is used.

“We didn’t see a make-or-break aspect … and decided that it was better to just eliminate it,” for now, Richter said.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
The best event in real estate kicks off next week! Tickets are selling quickly.Register Now×
Limited time: Get 30 days of Inman Select for $5.SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription