For the purpose of this chapter, the term:
(1) “Abstract of title” means a written history, synopsis, or summary of the recorded instruments affecting a title to real property.
(2) “Affiliate” means, with respect to a person, another person that directly, or indirectly through one or more intermediaries, controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the person.
(3) “Aggrieved party” means a lender, title insurer, consumer, or the District of Columbia, who shall have suffered economic harm as a result of matters insured under any fidelity coverage required under this chapter.
(4) “Attorney” means a person who is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia.
(4A) “Business entity” means a corporation, association, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or other legal entity.
(5) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking.
(6) “Escrow” means written instruments, money, or other items deposited by a party with a depository, escrow producer, or escrowee for delivery to another party upon the performance of a specified condition or the happening of a certain event.
(7) “Escrow Officer” means a person who maintains an escrow or indemnified deposit account.
(8) “Indemnity” or “indemnity deposit” means funds or other property received by the title insurer as collateral to secure an indemnitor’s obligation under an indemnity agreement pursuant to which the insurer is granted a perfected security interest in the collateral in exchange for agreeing to provide coverage in a title insurance policy for a specific title exception to coverage.
(8A) “Individual means a natural person.
(9) “Person” means an individual or business entity.
(10) “Personal property” means stock ownership in a cooperative housing association.
(12) “Qualified financial institution” means an institution that is:
(A) Organized or, in the case of a United States branch or agency office of a non-U.S. banking organization, licensed under the laws of the United States, a state, the District of Columbia, or another jurisdiction of the United States and granted authority to operate with fiduciary powers;
(B) Regulated, supervised, and examined by an authority of the United States, a state, the District of Columbia, or another jurisdiction of the United States having regulatory authority over banks and trust companies;
(C) Insured by the appropriate federal entity; and
(D) Qualified under any additional rules established by the Commissioner.
(13) “RESPA” means the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974, approved December 22, 1974 (88 Stat. 1724; 12 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.).
(15) “Subsidiary” means an affiliate controlled by a person, directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries.
(16) “Title insurance business” or “business of title insurance” means:
(A) Issuing as an insurer, or offering to issue as an insurer, a title insurance policy;
(B) Engaging in, or proposing to engage in, any of the following activities when conducted or performed in contemplation of or in conjunction with the issuance of a title insurance policy:
(i) Soliciting or negotiating the issuance of a title insurance policy;
(ii) Guaranteeing, warranting, or otherwise insuring the correctness of title searches for all instruments affecting titles to real property, any interest in real property, cooperative units, and proprietary leases, and for all liens or charges affecting the same;
(iii) Executing title insurance policies;
(iv) Effecting contracts of reinsurance; or
(v) Abstracting, searching, or examining titles;
(C) Guaranteeing, warranting; or insuring searches or examinations of title to real property or any interest in real property;
(D) Guaranteeing or warranting the status of title as to ownership of or liens on real property or personal property by any person other than the principals to the transaction;
(E) Doing, or holding oneself out to do, business substantially equivalent to any of the activities listed in this paragraph in a manner designed to evade the provisions of this chapter; or
(F) Matters indemnifying against the incorrectness or marketability of title.
(17) “Title insurance commitment” means a preliminary report or binder issued prior to the issuance of a title insurance policy containing the terms, conditions, exceptions, and any other matters under which the title insurer is willing to issue its title insurance policy.
(18) “Title insurance policy” means a contract insuring or indemnifying owners of, or other persons lawfully interested in, real or personal property or an interest in real or personal property against loss or damage arising from any of the following conditions existing on or before the policy date and not expressly excepted or excluded from coverage:
(A) Defects in, or liens or encumbrances on, the insured title;
(B) Unmarketability of the insured title;
(C) Invalidity, lack of priority, or unenforceability of liens or encumbrances on the property;
(D) Lack of legal right of access to the property; or
(E) Unenforceability of rights in title to the property and other matters affecting the title to, or right to use and enjoyment of, the property.
(19)(A) “Title insurance producer” or “producer” means a person who is authorized to perform, on behalf of a title insurer, the following acts in conjunction with the issuance of a title insurance commitment or policy covering real or personal property situated in the District of Columbia:
(i) Determining insurability and issuing title insurance commitments or policies, or both, based upon the performance or review of a search or abstract of title; and
(ii) Soliciting or negotiating title insurance business.
(B) The term “title insurance producer” or “producer” shall not include:
(i) A financial institution (and its employees) that does not solicit, procure, or negotiate title insurance contracts for compensation or conduct title insurance business;
(ii) An employee of an abstracting company;
(iii) A person whose activities in the District are limited to advertising, without the intent to solicit insurance in the District, through communications in printed publications or other forms of electronic mass media; provided, that the person does not sell, solicit, or negotiate insurance that would insure risks of persons residing in or located in, or activities to be performed, in the District;
(iv) A salaried full-time employee who counsels or advises his or her employer relative to the insurance interests of the employer or of the subsidiaries of the employer; provided, that the employee does not sell, solicit, or negotiate insurance, or receive a commission;
(v) An employee of a title insurer; provided, that the employee’s activities are not focused on transactions in the District of Columbia, his or her primary responsibilities cover multiple states, and his or her involvement in transactions is to coordinate with title insurance producers licensed in the District of Columbia who conduct title insurance business.
(20) “Title insurer” or “insurer” means a company organized under laws of this state for the purpose of transacting the business of title insurance and any foreign or non-U.S. title insurer licensed in the District to transact the business of title insurance.
(21) “Underwrite” means to accept or reject, or have the authority to accept or reject, risk on behalf of a title insurer.
Effect of Amendments
The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-40 deleted the subsection (a) designation; added (4A) and (8A); substituted “or business entity” for “partnership, limited liability company, association, cooperative, corporation, trust, or other legal entity” in (9); repealed (14); substituted “indemnifying against the incorrectness” for “insuring the correctness” in (16)(F); and substituted “real or personal property” for “residential or personal property” in (19)(A).
For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2122 of Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-463, July 2, 2010, 57 DCR 6542).
Short title: Section 2121 of D.C. Law 18-223 provided that subtitle L of title II of the act may be cited as the “Title Insurance Producer Act of 2010”.