Industry News

State Senate considers setting title insurance rates

Missouri title insurers welcome state regulation

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A special state Senate committee in Missouri is pondering possible regulation for the state's title industry, and home builders, mortgage brokers and title insurers are clashing over the proposed regulation. The Missouri Senate's Interim Committee on Title Insurance met in August and September and has a final meeting Sept. 14 to examine the process of setting title insurance rates for the state, as well as other possible regulation. Title insurers support the measure, saying price competition between title insurance companies is driving them out of business. But others in the industry, including home builders and mortgage brokers, disagree. Four Missouri title agencies closed their doors in a six-month period earlier this year. Notably, Capital Title of St. Louis, which had 13 offices in the area and handled about 8 percent of local house closings, shut down in January, and St. Charles, Mo.-based Phoenix Title closed in April with at least $1 million missing. Title insurer...