Title Companies Move to Eliminate Some Services

Published: July 2, 2009

This information has just been posted by CAR. You may also have been contacted by your Title Representative regarding services they are no longer able to provide. CAR is not in agreement with some of the legal interpretations that have led to this curtailment of services and is working diligently to persuade the Department of Insurance to re-v-sit the issue. CAR is also working hard to find alternate and inexpensive sources of the services we have come to rely on our part hers in Title to provide.

One final note – please don’t yell at your Title Rep. This is entirely not of their doing and they are as frustrated and hamstrung by this as we are.

TITLE COMPANIES TRIM DOWN PROPERTY PROFILES IN RESPONSE TO DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE LETTER

Effective immediately, title companies may be eliminating much of the information they provide on property profiles.  The California Department of Insurance recently issued a letter taking the position that title companies may only give the following information on property profiles:

  • Names of owners of record of a specified real property;
  • Description of real property; and
  • Property characteristics as defined under section 408.3 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code, which means year of construction of improvements, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, number of units, acreage, and other attributes or amenities (such as swimming pools, views, zoning classification or restrictions, and use code designations).

The Department further indicated its position was based on existing law and unrelated to SB 133, the Title Industry-sponsored bill that greatly restricted promotional activities to licensees and became effective this year.  C.A.R. disagrees with this position and is aggressively working to persuade the Department of Insurance to reconsider in light of the legislative intent language of the older law on which the decision is based.

Meanwhile, REALTORS® will likely encounter a title company’s refusal to provide free of charge any other information, such as recorded documents, sales comps, tax bills, or demographics.  This type of information is still available through other sources, such as county recorder’s offices, tax assessor’s offices, and governmental and public record websites and private services for a fee.   Clients may also have their own copies of some of the documents.  In response, C.A.R. is proactively seeking to provide REALTORS® with a viable solution to this situation, by exploring legal and legislative options, as well as the possibility of providing new member services or benefits to lower the cost of obtaining the information.


Realegal® is published by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, a trade association representing more than 175,000 REALTORS® statewide.

Edited by: Stella Ling, [email protected]

To contact C.A.R., click on this link:
http://www.car.org/?view=ContactUs

Written inquiries regarding Realegal® should be directed to Stella Ling, [email protected].

Copyright © 2009 CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.)


Last modified: July 2, 2009 at 11:33 am | Originally published: July 2, 2009 at 11:33 am
Printed: September 25, 2020