Industry News

Study: Affiliated businesses don’t charge more for title insurance

Industry says further state regulations not needed

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Title insurance and other title-related settlement services don't cost more when they are provided by companies with ties to real estate brokers, lenders and builders, an industry-sponsored study maintains. Congress and many state legislatures have passed laws regulating affiliated business arrangements because of fears that they may stifle competition at the expense of consumers, and serve as a conduit for illegal kickbacks and referral fees. The study, bankrolled by an industry association, found that while affiliated businesses are taking a growing share of the market for title settlement services, they do not charge more than nonaffiliated businesses. The results are being touted by the study's sponsor, the Real Estate Service Providers Council, as an argument against any new state regulations that go beyond the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA. The study "blows the lid off any theory that affiliated businesses provide inadequate service or overcharge consu...