NYS DFS Regulation 208 Outrage
By Charles M. Barredo
I am speechless…I am without speech!! Therefore, as someone who considers himself proficient with the written word, I am going to do my best to express my opinion and feelings on this matter.
Words like unconstitutional, tortious interference in private enterprise, and just a blatant lack of knowledge and complete disregard of how our business works come to my mind. Is that wrong? Our industry employs thousands of people…this regulation may very well put experienced and dedicated title industry professionals out of work and on the unemployment line. This regulation has the potential to wreak havoc on the entire search, record and close process that WAS WORKING!! THAT STILL WORKS!!
Here’s what really bothers me. We all know that a title bill consists of searches, recordings, title premium, New York State Mortgage and New York State Transfer Tax. So, on a typical $500,000.00 purchase with a $400,000.00 mortgage, the biggest part of the bill is the New York State Mortgage Tax!! Followed by the New York State Transfer tax!!
And that’s not all. In Nassau and Suffolk counties, consumers are charged an additional fee ($355.00 in Nassau and $300.00 in Suffolk) for recording deeds and mortgages. Isn’t that where the consumer is overpaying? Where does all that revenue go? How about addressing these fees first?
Why go after the $150.00 gratuity for a job well done by the professionals that manage the details of each and every closing? That’s not where the consumer is being taken advantage of.
When I began my career as a rookie title salesperson for East Coast Abstract in 2002, I realized that the value proposition, our differentiators, were Stan Levine, whose title acumen is second to no one in our business, and our staff that had worked together as a well-oiled machine for almost (20) years. And BTW, with the exception of Tina White (retired; and whom all our clients loved), everyone else is still here. Clearing ancient mortgages, reading complex surveys, settling delicate boundary lines, etc.; that is what we do and these are time consuming issues. And in the end – We Cleared & You Closed!!
And yes, we had a sales & marketing budget. We pursued new business and we entertained potential new clients. Not illegal!! Now we’re regulated to the point where we can’t even buy you a bagel, a steak sandwich or take you out to a ball game or a round of golf. It’s sad…it’s pathetic…it’s just not right. It’s government overstepping their authority.
Let me take my breath at this point to assure the clients, customers and friends that I have been doing business with at East Coast Abstract, Inc., for (17) years – We’re here to stay – we’re not going anywhere! We are going to continue to provide the high quality of service and attention that you deserve.
As far as my role, it has always been and remains a simple but sometimes delicate task. I have asked for your business and I have accepted the responsibility for the commitments that we have made to you. And on the occasion where we fell short, we made sure that we recovered quickly and accurately. And we always recovered; we always resolved the issue and/or difference of opinion with resolve to learn from that event. I believe this intangible is a cornerstone of the relationship that we have with you, our valued clients.
So, in summary, we want to say “Thank you” for your business over the years. We at East Coast Abstract (ECA) hold in high regard the confidence that you have in us and we value the relationships that we have developed. We look forward to a prosperous 2018 and beyond with you.