For Immediate Release

American Land Title Association Says Any Plan to Reform Housing Finance System Must Preserve Uniform Underwriting Standards

Washington, DC, September 6, 2018 — The American Land Title Association (ALTA), the national trade association of the land title insurance industry, issued the following statement in response to a proposal released by Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and John Delaney (D-Md.) to overhaul the housing finance system:

“ALTA strongly urges preservation of the uniform standards currently provided by the GSEs, including title insurance, in any newly developed housing finance system,” said Cynthia Blair NTP, president-elect of ALTA. “The financial crisis demonstrated that credit underwriting standards were taken for granted and compromised by a race to the bottom. Legal title underwriting standards cannot be compromised or allowed to erode. A federal role in the housing finance system prevents future decay of legal title underwriting standards and protects homeowners, lenders, investors and taxpayers from future losses.

“The United States can tap the wealth locked in the ownership of property because of a system that allows people to use their property as collateral to obtain credit. In the transfer of real estate, trust is built around the services the title insurance and settlement services industry provides to the transaction. There would not be a credit market if there was not trust, and there would be no credit market without the documentation of the transfer of property,” Blair continued. “Any reform plan should recognize the strength of our legal system, support a sound housing finance system and reasonable regulation, and protect consumers’ property rights. Our formal and reliable property records system serves as the bedrock of successful capitalism in the United States.”

About ALTA

The American Land Title Association, founded in 1907, is a national trade association representing more than 6,200 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: Jeremy Yohe
Office: 202-261-2938
Email: jyohe@alta.org

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