READOUT: U.S. Department of the Treasury Hosts Roundtable with Consumer Groups and Industry Representatives on Title Insurance

WASHINGTON – Today, the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury hosted a roundtable discussion with representatives from the financial services sector and consumer groups to discuss the title insurance industry and analyze potential reforms, as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to lower costs for homebuyers.

Title insurance is a product offered by commercial insurers to mitigate title defects and address disputes concerning property ownership and priority of the mortgage lender’s interest arising after closing. Lenders generally require that such insurance be obtained and paid for in connection with closing residential mortgage transactions. 

Senior Treasury officials led discussions that addressed the structure of the title insurance industry, the costs and benefits of title insurance, consumer awareness and protection, and various proposals for reforms to lower costs for homebuyers. Participants in the roundtable included representatives of groups that advocate for consumers and housing access, as well as title insurers and agents, lenders, state insurance regulators, academics, and other stakeholders.

FIO was tasked with convening the roundtable in connection with President Biden’s call for federal agencies to take all available actions to lower home closing costs and help more Americans access homeownership.

Among its other statutory duties, FIO monitors the extent to which traditionally underserved communities and consumers, minorities, and low- and moderate-income persons have access to affordable insurance products; advises the Secretary of the Treasury on major domestic insurance matters; and consults with state insurance regulators regarding insurance matters of national importance. Today’s roundtable will assist FIO in its work as it continues to consider policy options with regard to title insurance.