House Committee Hears From NAILTA on HR 3211

Last week, the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) held a hearing entitled, “How Prospective and Current Homeowners Will Be Harmed by the Qualified Mortgage Rule.” Testifying for banks and credit unions were representatives of the lending industry who gave information concerning the impacts the new rule would allegedly have on their affiliated title insurance operations, among other issues. The most notable of those testifying was Quicken Loans CEO, Bill Emerson, who defended his company’s position that affiliate title operations are necessary to permit Quicken Loans to continue lending to low and moderate income Americans. There were no title insurance industry experts in attendance at the hearing and none were invited by the committee to talk on the issues relative to affiliate title providers. Despite the fact that no one from the title insurance industry was invited to attend or testify, the remaining witnesses gave numerous anecdotal examples of how affiliated title providers are “cheaper” than independent title providers, more “efficient” than independent title providers and “competing on the same playing field” as independent title providers. The members generally accepted the testimony of the witnesses as professional guidance on the values of title insurance. NAILTA did manage to submit written testimony in the form of the enclosed and was also mentioned by Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) during this exchange with Quicken Loans CEO Bill Emerson (click here): NAILTA continues to work with Congress to increase the role of independent land title agents in Washington DC.  Those efforts are assisted by our members, like you, who support us through membership and through our political action committee.  As you can see, we are making...

NAILTA Supports: The 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act: H.R. 3711 and S. 1282:

Congress has introduced two pieces of bipartisan legislation known as the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act – H.R. 3711 (co-sponsored by Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC)) and S. 1282 (co-sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and John McCain (R-AZ)) in an effort to reduce risks to the financial system by limiting banks’ ability to engage in certain risky activities and limiting conflicts of interest as well as reinstating certain Glass-Steagall Act protections that were previously repealed in 1999 by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB). Both bills would act to prohibit banks from becoming an affiliate of an insurance company, including a title insurance company. In this way, banks that currently own or have holding company structures that own or control financial interests in title insurance companies, whether closely-held or jointly-held, would have to terminate those relationships to comply with the bill mandate. Both bills are currently in committee in their respective chambers and their future is uncertain. NAILTA has researched the bills and the predecessor legislation from which they originate from and has drafted the enclosed position paper in favor of the bipartisan legislation. For more information on NAILTA’s position regarding H.R. 3711 and S. 1282, please click here....