With the passage of the New York 2014-15 budget, New York becomes one of the last states in the country to license title agents. The budget includes measures that authorize the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to regulate and issue licenses to title insurance agents for the first time. Among other requirements, the regulations will require title agents to provide certain disclosures to consumers and meet qualification standards and continuing education requirements. According to a press release from Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget office, the DFS will have "the authority to monitor abuse by agents and to revoke licenses accordingly, as well as help root out conflicts of interest that drive up costs for homeowners."
New York has some of the highest title insurance costs in the country, and the new reforms will reportedly save consumers money. According to the budget office, the regulations DFS will issue "are expected to result in a 20 percent reduction in title insurance premiums and closing costs for new home purchases and a more than 60 percent reduction in costs on refinancing transactions."
The law will take effect October 1, 2014.