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ARKANSAS SENATE BILL 172
TITLE - TO ELIMINATE DUPLICATIVE ATTORNEY TITLE INSURANCE LICENSING REQUIREMENTS; TO TRANSFER REGULATION OF TITLE INSURANCE, TITLE INSURANCE AGENCIES, TITLE INSURANCE AGENTS, AND ABSTRACTORS; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.
SUMMARY ? This Bill was originally filed by the Arkansas Bar Association to remove licensed attorneys from the Arkansas Insurance Department's jurisdiction. The ARLTA Board of Directors previously approved the association pursuing legislation that would transfer jurisdiction of the Arkansas Insurance Department to a Commission which includes industry participants. Given the similar goals of the leadership of the two associations, the Arkansas Bar Association and ARLTA have worked together in crafting a bill addressing matters for both associations. The Arkansas Bar Association's bill was amended this past Thursday to replace their language with the language of a bill drafted by members of the ARLTA Legislative Committee which would create the Arkansas Land Title Commission. ARLTA's Board has approved the support of SB172 once amended to be consistent with:
Generally, the Commission would consist of 7 commissioners selected by the Governor meeting the following criteria:
The Arkansas Insurance Commissioner or designee
A title insurer (underwriter) with an Arkansas certificate of authority
Three Arkansas title insurance agents (which must include an abstractor; an attorney from one of the 65 least populated counties in Arkansas; and a representative of a title agency that is in an affiliated relationship as defined by RESPA, other than with a law firm)
A representative of the financial services industry
An Arkansas attorney familiar with real property law who is not affiliated with the title insurance industry
The Commission will employ an Executive Director.
The commission will provide consumer protection by regulating the Arkansas land title industry through commissioners that have an understanding of the unique characteristics of title insurance. Essentially, the provisions of the current Arkansas Title Insurance Act will be transferred to the jurisdiction of the new Commission. Additionally, the Abstractor's Board would be abolished and the Commission would assume jurisdiction over abstractors.
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