What is an independent land title agent? The question has eluded the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the various state departments of insurance, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and state and national land title associations for over a century. No other title insurance constituency or organization has ever created an adequate definition to describe an independent land title agent — until now.

To: All Members of NAILTA
From: Charles Proctor, President
Board of Trustees, NAILTA
Date: June 11, 2010
Re: NAILTA Board of Trustees Approves “Independent Land Title Agent” Definition

What is an independent land title agent? The question has eluded the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the state departments of insurance, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and state and national land title associations for over a century. No one has created an adequate definition to describe an independent land title agent — until now.
On May 18, 2010, members of the Board of Trustees for the National Association of Independent Land Title Agents (NAILTA) gathered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for a Board Retreat. During the session, I challenged the Board to create a working definition of the term “independent land title agent.”
What the Board came up with and what we have approved as the definition is the first of its kind — a working statement of who we are as professionals and what we commit to by remaining independent settlement service providers.
According to NAILTA, an “independent land title agent” is now defined as follows:
“Any individual or entity authorized and licensed to issue title insurance policies and/or to conduct real estate closings that is not controlled by, whether directly or indirectly, a title insurance company/underwriter, bank, mortgage company, mortgage broker, real estate firm (including agents and brokers), builders, developers, appraisers, surveyors, any subsidiaries thereof, or by any other referral source
and/or
does not share, split, give or receive stock dividends and/or distributions of profits with a title insurance company/underwriter, bank, mortgage company, mortgage broker, real estate firm (including agents and brokers), builders, developers, appraisers, surveyors, any subsidiaries thereof, or by any other referral source.”
Why is this definition important?
Simply put, without knowing first who you represent it is nearly impossible to advocate clearly and effectively for that constituency. NAILTA and independent land title agents across the United States need to be clear about who we are as a group in order to effectively take our agenda to the courthouses, legislatures and agencies around this country. The definition is the clearest signal yet of what we stand for.
I ask that each of you consider this definition and talk to your colleagues about it. Spread the word about NAILTA and tell those that you know who fit this description that there is a place for them to join to help keep their spot at the settlement table. I am proud of our Board for having the courage to distill the independent title agent to a clear essence. I am also proud to be an “independent land title agent.”
If you have any questions about the definition or any other issue created by this memo, please feel free to contact me via email cproctor@cplaw1.com or via telephone at (610) 361-8600. I look forward to seeing all of you in Baltimore, Maryland at next year’s Annual NAILTA Conference in April, 2011.