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Relating to licensing and appointment of title insurance escrow officers; changing the limit applicable to a fee; authorizing a fee.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 2491 makes clarifications to the licensing and appointment requirements for title insurance escrow officers. Specifically, changes would be made to Chapter 2652 (Escrow Officers) of the Insurance Code.
This legislation would amend requirements that a title insurance agent must follow before employing an escrow officer. Before an escrow officer may work for a title insurance agent, the information of that officer must be registered with the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). This information would be available to the public.
When an escrow officer renews his or her license, they must pay a renewal fee on top of the forms.
This legislation amends continuing education requirements for an escrow officer by allowing TDI to enter into an agreement with an independent contractor to provide these educational programs.
HB 2491 would add Section 2652.1511 that concerns the appointment procedures of an escrow officer. Specifically, this legislation would allow an escrow agent to work for more than one title insurance agent. Additionally, this new sections covers the information a title insurance agent must submit to TDI on the appointment of an escrow officer; when that escrow officer may begin working for the Title insurer and when that escrow officer’s appointment expires.
The remaining parts of this bill would integrate the provisions from Section 2652.1511 with the rest of Chapter 2652.
Currently, some of the laws that regulate escrow officers are vague. This vagueness has resulted in confusion for TDI and for licensed escrow officers. The main problem is that both entities are unsure whether an escrow officer needs one license or multiple licenses to work for more than one title insurance agent.
According to the author’s office, TDI has sought the legislature for a remedy to this confusion. HB 2491 would clarify that an escrow officer would only need one license to work for multiple title insurers.
By falling on the side of one license rather than two, this bill promotes limited government. We support HB 2491.