Keeping lawyers central to real estate deals: A message from LAWPRO's CEO on recent lobbying re: Reg. 69/07
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In a recent letter to the Minister of Finance, the Title Insurance Industry Association of Canada (TIIAC) asked for a review of the regulation that prohibits a title insurance company from issuing a title insurance policy without first having had an independent lawyer - not employed by the title insurer -- provide a certificate of title.
This is just the latest in a series of efforts by TIIAC and its members to lobby government officials to revisit (and remove) what LAWPRO considers an important piece of consumer protection legislation. This lobby - and LAWPRO's response to it -- have been on-going since the mid-1990s.
LAWPRO is not a member of TIIAC and in fact was denied equivalent membership by its US-based founders when TIIAC was first created.
LAWPRO's TitlePLUS title insurance program is founded on the premise that a real estate lawyer is pivotal to any real estate transaction. With the TitlePLUS program, it is the real estate lawyer who explains to the client the many ways in which the client can take title, and describes the title insurance options available. On direction from the client, the lawyer applies for a TitlePLUS title insurance policy.
We therefore do not support the TIIAC request to revisit the need for Regulation 69/07. On the contrary, we strongly endorse its continued existence as an important consumer protection/access to justice issue. Ensuring consumers have access to expert legal advice and guidance when they purchase a home (likely their most expensive single investment) is fundamental to effective consumer protection.
This is a message and position that we consistently and continually take to the appropriate parties within the government, including the Ministry of Finance and its officials, as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure that the interests of the public as well as those of the bar are well-represented in legislative and regulatory circles, and that officials in decision-making positions are well-versed on the implications of topics such as Regulation 69/07. We also make sure, through our activities, that all parties - whether in power or opposition - know about and understand our position on this issue and others.
LAWPRO always has worked - and continues to work - with like-minded organizations to advance the interests of the bar and the public on many topics and issues as needed at all levels - including governmental.
Kathleen A. Waters
January 31, 2018