New York Passes First-Ever Licensing Requirement for Title Agents

For the first time, New York will join 47 other states in requiring its title insurance agents to obtain licensing and undergo minimum qualification standards.

Included as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D-NY) budget for 2014-2015, the licensing requirement was passed on April 1 and takes effect October 1, 2014. 

Formerly one of only three states that did not require licensing, Gov. Cuomo’s budget gives state financial regulators such as the Department of Financial Services the authority to issue licenses to title insurance agents.

The New York State Land Title Association, Inc. (NYSLTA) applauded the new regulations, stressing that the licensing requirement are designed to “ensure heightened consumer protections and define industry standards.”

“Title agents and their underwriters are instrumental in virtually every real estate transaction that takes place in New York State,” stated Michael Berey, president of NYSLTA. “Today, we have bolstered consumer protections, established well-defined competency standards, and created a regulatory environment that will provide greater transparency.”

The typical one-time cost of a title insurance policy for owners of property selling for $200,000 ranges from $1,029 in Metropolitan New York and its suburbs, to $952 in Upstate New York, according to NYSLTA.

The NYSLTA represents a statewide network of ten insurance corporations and nearly 300 small businesses with employees tallying more than 10,000 people in New York. 

Written by Jason Oliva

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