CAARE Petition on RESPA

Our colleagues at the Consumer Advocates in American Real Estate (CAARE – www.caare.org) have developed an online petition seeking to extend RESPA’s statute of limitations to 6 years from 1 year.  Seeing that consumer rights advocates around the country agree that RESPA protections are under attack, we’d encourage our members to investigate the purpose of the petition and to sign it. To participate, please click here: http://caare.org/RESPA...

NAILTA Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court

NAILTA has filed an amicus brief in the Edwards v. First American case currently pending before the United States Supreme Court.  Oral arguments in the case will be heard in Washington, DC on November 28, 2011.  NAILTA filed the brief in support of Denise Edwards, a real estate consumer who closed a mortgage transaction with First American and its captive agent, Tower City Title Agency, in Cleveland, Ohio. NAILTA Amicus - Edwards v. First...

ALTA Sides with CBAs

ALTA and each of the national title underwriters joined RESPRO, NAR and MBA in filing amicus briefs in the Edwards case opposing independent title agents and supporting a narrow view of RESPA Section 8. January 19, 2011- Prior to the filing of an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court concerning the Edwards v. First American Title action, ALTA and the national title insurance underwriters were largely mute on the subject of whether they supported or opposed the growth of controlled business arrangements.  Back in the early 1980’s, ALTA was on record as steadfastly opposing any controlled business arrangement.  However, over the last thirty years, the industry has seen the steady growth of these anti-competitive business ventures. On December 30, 2010, ALTA and the national title insurance underwriters, including Stewart Title, Fidelity National and Old Republic Title, joined with RESPRO, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) to file two separate amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs before the United States Supreme Court attempting to seek reversal of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Edwards. ALTA and its cadre of referral sources, direct operators and other non-title insurance proponents believe that RESPA precludes suits against alleged violators unless the claimed damages stemmed from an overcharge for a particular settlement service.  By making this argument, ALTA and the national underwriters believe that the only damage caused by a controlled business arrangement is that which results in an overcharge, not the fundamental conflict of interest inherent in the controlled business arrangement or the fact that many, if not all, CBAs are nothing more than conduits for referral payments and kickbacks.  In...