Industry News

Missouri overhauls title insurance regulations

Bill provides for greater disclosures, safeguards for escrow funds

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Missouri's governor has signed legislation overhauling the state's title insurance regulations that's intended to provide better safeguards for funds held in escrow, and provide consumers with more information so that they can shop around. Provisions of Senate Bill 66 pertaining to the title insurance industry include a requirement that title agencies provide "clear, conspicuous and distinct" disclosure of premiums and charges, including abstract or title search and settlement, escrow or closing fees. The bill also requires that title agencies deposit escrow funds in separate trust accounts within one day of receipt, and makes it unlawful to commingle the accounts with other funds, disburse the funds held in the account without written agreement, or use the funds or indemnify against debts. The bill was passed in the wake of the failures of eight title insurance agencies, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. In a press release announcing the signing of the bill Friday, Gov. Matt Blu...