No tips, please: Title closers say gratuities ban will cripple them – The Real Deal

By | December 19, 2017

New York State title closer compensation

This headline from an article at The Real Deal describes the situation that title closers, and by extension real estate attorney’s and title companies, in New York began facing as of yesterday, December 18, 2017!

This is the day that the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) Regulation 208 officially went into effect changing the way in which title closers in New York can be compensated and the way that title companies can market their firms.

Hallmark Abstract Service, in an effort to address title closer angst over the potential loss of income they are facing, got out in front of the issue and set-up the following schedule covering closer compensation for those who work for us:

At Hallmark Abstract Service we view those who attend closings on our behalf as major and critically important cogs in the process who serve as our eyes and ears in the trenches and the last line of defense protecting our clients best interests!

With that in mind, this is the Hallmark Abstract Service plan as things stand now…

  1. If there is no pick-up at a closing the Hallmark Abstract attendance fee* will rise from the current $50 to $250.
  2. If there is one pick-up at a closing the Hallmark Abstract attendance fee* will rise from $50 to $150.
  3. If there are two or more pick-ups at a closing the Hallmark Abstract attendance fee* will remain at $50…

…* For clarity, the attendance fee is not a line item on the title bill. It is paid by Hallmark Abstract Service to our closers!

(Source: ‘The Ostrich Effect And The New York State Title Insurance Industry‘)

Hallmark Abstract Service President Michael Haltman Quoted in The Real Deal Article, ‘No tips, please: Title closers say gratuities ban will cripple them

Hallmark Abstract, which has offices in Manhattan and Jericho, N.Y., increased how much it will pay closers for attending closings — upping its rate from $50 to $250. (That’s if there is no “pick-up,” meaning the closer has to physically bring a check to the bank to satisfy a loan.)

“As one of the smaller firms in the marketplace I have tried to get out in front of the closer issue by releasing our compensation plans that we hope will be fair for all involved,” Mike Haltman, Hallmark’s owner, said in an email. One reason he’s looking out for the closers, he said, is that he thinks other aspects of the regulations will help level the playing field and reduce costs for customers.

“The concern, of course, is that there will be firms who completely disregard the new rules,” he said.

For anyone with questions about NYSDFS Regulation 208 or any other aspect of title insurance in New York, please contact Michael Haltman at (516) 741-4723 or mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

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