DEAR BENNY: We are in the final steps of completing a refinance of our barely year-old $410,000 mortgage. We were pleased with the interest-rate drop, and our local bank was generous in dropping many of the so-called "junk fees" associated with a refinance. However, we are being charged $1,007 for title insurance. When I asked our banker about this, the response was basically, "Well, yes, it is a rip-off but there is nothing we can do about it." My question for you is what do we get for this $1,007? And if we refinance again in a year (you never know), I assume we will have to pay this again? --Shelley DEAR SHELLEY: This is a question everyone always asks, whether they are buying a house or refinancing an existing loan. Why do we need title insurance? The simple reason: The lender always insists on it. If your banker believes it is a "rip-off," ask him if he is willing to waive this requirement. I doubt that he will. Title insurance protects...
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