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Section 8: Fees for Title Services

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General

The title policy premium established by the Texas Department of Insurance covers:

  • title examination;
  • five year sales data;
  • issuance of a title commitment and updates;
  • securing and disbursing money;
  • final search of title; and
  • issuance of the title policy.

An additional fee for services that are not specified by the Commissioners of Insurance as being covered by approved title insurance rates may be paid to a title company as a “closing” or “escrow” fee, provided such services are reasonably necessary to complete the closing and the fees are commercially reasonable. Such additional fee may be paid for each State-numbered parcel. Although in some instances, circumstances may require that separate policies be written when purchasing a parcel, only one charge for the fee mentioned above may be paid on each parcel. Such Closing Fees vary among title companies in the various areas of the State. Therefore, the Department should evaluate the additional fee as they deem appropriate for each situation, based upon what title companies in that area are charging private customers for similar services. Care should be exercised to ensure that the property owner is not charged with any closing expenses incidental to the transaction, other than those set forth under Title Requirements and Procedure for Title Examination, Escrow, and Closing and Escrow Services by Title Company. Approved title insurance rates can be obtained from any title company.

If the Department requests a title company to furnish tax information when title insurance is ordered, the title company may be reimbursed for the documented costs of the required tax certificates. The title company's request for reimbursement must include documentation to support costs for the certificates.

A title company may submit a request for advance payment of $200 of the total premium to be paid for a title policy. Only one $200 advance premium charge may be made per title policy to be issued regardless of the number of title policy commitments involved. If, for example, more than one commitment is issued to cover the acquisition of two or more interests in a single parcel, only one $200 advance premium charge will be payable. When a title company requests an advance premium, the title company will be required to submit Department of Insurance Form T-20, Owner Title Policy Commitment for negotiated parcels or Owner Title Policy Commitment for Eminent Domain Proceedings for parcels obtained through condemnation.

These commitment forms are in addition to the industry standard title commitment that is issued for each parcel. Form T-20, Owner Title Policy Commitment should be submitted along with the parcel payment request and the advance premium reflected on Form 132, Billing Statement, or ROW-A-15, Payment Request, as appropriate. If ED proceedings are necessary, the Owner Title Policy Commitment for Eminent Domain Proceedings should be submitted along with the request for payment on the award and should also be reflected on Form 132 or ROW-A-15, Payment Request, as appropriate,. For this purpose, the date of submittal of the commitments is defined as the date TxDOT actually receives the proper commitment from the title company. This commitment must be according to the terms of TxDOT's request to the title company. The submittal date of the title policy commitment, as here defined, must be shown on Form 132 or ROW-A-15, Payment Request, as appropriate, requesting payment of the advance premium charge. It is emphasized that "commitment" does not refer to a preliminary title or examiner's report.

The $200 advance premium charge will be credited against the total title insurance premium when the property being insured is acquired within the thirty-six (36) month time period which starts with the date of issuance of the title policy commitment. No credit will be allowed if title is not conveyed within this period of time.

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