Title Insurance Bill Signed Into Law by Governor Schwarzenegger

September 25, 2008

SACRAMENTO, Calif., -- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Senate Bill 133 (Aanestad). SB 133 which was sponsored by the California Land Title Association (CLTA). The bill provides the Department of Insurance with significant new power to regulate marketing practices in the title insurance industry. In particular, the bill creates the first program in the country to register and regulate title company sales representatives.

"SB 133 enhances consumer protection while maintaining the healthy, competitive title insurance marketplace in California," stated CLTA Executive Vice President Craig Page. "The legislation is just the latest example of the industry's effort to promote consumer choice in the title insurance market. The competitive market in California has led to title insurance rates that are below the national average according to Bankrate.com," added Page.

SB 133 passed through the Legislature with overwhelming, bi-partisan support and is supported by the California Department of Insurance. Earlier in 2008, the CLTA joined with Insurance Commissioner Poizner in launching the TitleWizard, a web site where consumers can view title rates and real estate information.

The California Land Title Association (CLTA) is a non-profit corporation founded in 1907 and proudly celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. The Association's membership is comprised of title insurance companies and underwritten title companies conducting business throughout the state of California. The goals of the CLTA include expediting the transfer and insurance of title to real property throughout California, increasing the public's awareness of the value and purpose of title insurance, and protecting private property rights.

Title insurance is used by homebuyers and lenders for protection against back taxes, undisclosed liens, legal judgments, forgeries, fraud and a host of other potential legal/financial problems that can arise when purchasing or refinancing property. Most of the title insurance premium goes towards identifying and eliminating these potential problems before the close of escrow. Consumers pay only once for title insurance -- there are no monthly premiums -- for coverage that lasts as long as they own the property.

Source: The California Land Title Association

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.