- Associated Press - Saturday, April 12, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York’s new budget gives state financial regulators authority to issue licenses to title insurance agents for the first time.

Sponsors say the measure is intended to protect consumers and lower costs for New York homeowners.

The Department of Financial Services is expected to require title insurance agents to meet qualification standards and undergo regular training.

The department already licenses other insurance agents and brokers.


It will also have authority to monitor complaints and abuse, revoke licenses and investigate conflicts of interest that drive up homeowner costs.

The department plans to issue regulations.

The Cuomo administration says reforms should result in a 20 percent reduction in title insurance premiums and closing costs for buying new homes and a cut refinancing transaction costs by more than 60 percent.