Aimed at preventing banks from dictating the escrow and title services used in bank-owned (REO) property transactions, California's Assembly Bill 957 was approved and immediately implemented last month. However, some real estate agents and brokers question the effectiveness of the bill, dubbed the Buyer's Choice Act. "I don't know if it's going to make a difference," said Ralph Gorgoglione, a real estate agent with John Aaroe Group Inc. of Sherman Oaks. Kris Berg, broker-owner of San Diego Castles Realty and an Inman News columnist, said the intention of the bill is good, but the reality is it will change nothing in terms of escrow and title provider selection when dealing with REO properties. Under the bill, sellers of one- to four-family homes are barred from requiring a buyer to purchase a particular title insurer or escrow provider as a condition of selling the property, which is already prohibited under the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESP...
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