Public Benefits of Title Insurance
The 3,000 member companies of the American Land Title Association (ALTA) include title insurance agents, underwriters, real estate settlement service providers, real estate attorneys and title abstractors. Working together as an industry these companies and their employees ensure that privately owned residential and commercial real estate is quickly and legally transferred, indemnifies owners from claims against their property and guarantees lenders recourse to collateral in the event of a default. Like a light switch that always delivers electricity, the land title transfer system in America works so well that most consumers never take the opportunity to learn how or why it works or the personal and societal benefits derived from this highly effective system of assurance.
• Because of the title insurance industry, Americans close their loans faster than any other country – 30 days on average --- and the speed of the transaction saves consumers tens of billions of dollars annually in additional interest costs.
• At no cost to taxpayers, the title industry collects $1.75 billion per year in back income taxes.
• At no cost to taxpayers, the title industry collects $3 billion per year in delinquent real estate taxes.
• At no cost to taxpayers, the title industry collects $325 million per year in delinquent child support payments.
• The title industry spends $225 million per year to correct errors in the public property records that otherwise would lead to serious impairment to the property rights of millions of Americans.
• The title industry is an important source of revenue for local governments, paying $170 million per year to purchase copies of recorded documents.
• Because of the title insurance industry, people can be confident about purchasing property anywhere in the country because they are insured against fraud and defects in the public record.
• Because of the title insurance industry, mortgage lenders are more willing to lend because ownership by the borrower of the collateral (the real estate) is guaranteed.
• Because of the title insurance industry, mortgage-backed securities (MBS/CMBS) can be created and traded, because in the event of a default, recourse to the underlying collateral is guaranteed.