For Immediate Release

American Land Title Association Applauds Sen. Tina Smith for Introducing Bill to Research Discriminatory Covenants in Land Records

Washington, DC, July 30, 2021 — The American Land Title Association (ALTA), the national trade association of the land title insurance industry, applauded U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) for introducing legislation to research discriminatory covenants in land records. While federal law has properly made these discriminatory covenants illegal and unenforceable over the years, their existence in property deeds and other official mortgage documents has caused significant pain and harm to countless Americans.

“Historic land records often exist in paper form, making the search for discriminatory covenants onerous,” said Diane Tomb, chief executive officer of ALTA. “Providing funding to research and document discriminatory covenants addresses this challenge and provides a critical first step toward fully understanding the negative impacts of these abhorrent covenants.”

Addressing the existence of discriminatory covenants in land records is a major priority for ALTA. In the past year, ALTA convened a work group of industry experts to examine the scope of the problem, as well as key legislative approaches to remedying discriminatory covenants in land records. The work group is actively collaborating with industry partners and academic experts on recommendations and best practices.

“The title industry is uniquely positioned to be a thoughtful partner in addressing discriminatory covenants and working to end housing discrimination,” Tomb said. “ALTA is strongly opposed to any form of housing discrimination and is committed to proactively working towards solutions that protect the property rights of all homebuyers.”

About ALTA

The American Land Title Association, founded in 1907, is a national trade association representing more than 6,400 title insurance companies, title and settlement agents, independent abstracters, title searchers, and real estate attorneys. ALTA members conduct title searches, examinations, closings, and issue title insurance that protects real property owners and mortgage lenders against losses from defects in titles.

Contact: Megan Hernandez
Office: 202-261-0315

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