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In “Block, Lass Share a Forum,” published Oct. 22 in the Los Alamos Monitor, Public Regulation Commissioner elect Jerome Block Jr., a former title insurance executive, is quoted as saying that he does not “have a personal opinion” about the need for title insurance reform in New Mexico.
Allow me to explain why Commissioner Block needs to back reform instead of remaining neutral and allowing the out of state title insurance underwriters to continue to take daily advantage of New Mexico homebuyers.
Out of state title insurance industry lobbyists pushed through a law in 1985 that essentially outlaws free market competition in the setting of title insurance prices in New Mexico.
In other states, homebuyers can shop around for the best price, but not in New Mexico.
As a result, out-of-state title insurance underwriters have profit margins higher than 50 percent in New Mexico, according to the PRC, and New Mexico homebuyers pay about $40 million annually more for title insurance than they would if the price were set by the market.
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