Advantage Title
December 22, 2017
Advantage Title: Industry Bulletin 2017-05
DFS Regulation 208

BACKGROUND
In October, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) published the final version of Regulation 208 (“Regulation”) which became effective on December 18. A full copy of the Regulation can be viewed here. On December 19, the DFS published a notice on its website providing for a partial stay of the Regulation limited to Section 228.2. This partial stay is in effect until February 1, 2018. All other sections of the Regulation are currently in effect. It is important that we advise you of specific sections of the Regulation that will impact Advantage’s relationship with you. A brief summary is provided below.

MARKETING
Section 228.2, effective February 1, 2018 as noted above, will impact the marketing activities of title companies. Please refer to the Regulation for detail.

ANCILLARY FEES
Ancillary fees are fees not covered by the title premium collected at closing. In connection with residential real property, the Regulation mandates fees (e.g. the service fee to record a document) or imposes limits on fees for what are commonly referred to as municipal or departmental searches. As a result, you will see increased itemization on your title invoices. Please note, the Regulation states that “no title insurance corporation” or “title insurance agent…shall provide… non-title services without a charge.” As a result, it is illegal to waive ancillary fees for any transaction or client.

TITLE CLOSERS
Title closers cannot accept any gratuity or attendance fee from any party at a closing.

An independent closer may charge a pickup fee upon proper notice by the title company. The pickup fee shall be the same irrespective of the number of liens or encumbrances to be paid at closing. Please note, if the title closer is an employee of a title company, a pickup fee cannot be charged at closing.

In the event a closing exceeds two hours, extends beyond normal business hours, requires additional attendances and/or requires significant travel, the Title Insurance Rate Service Association Title Insurance Rate Manual permits the imposition of additional charges. So, the title closer may impose a fee under such circumstances.

CONCLUSION
Members of the title industry and other interested parties are in the process of attempting to effectuate a change to the Regulation via multiple means. We will provide updates upon the occurrence of any future developments. Advantage Title remains committed to being an industry leader and providing the highest level of service to its clients. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 631.424.6100.