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You are here: Home . bulletins . 2006 . cc11

COMMISSIONER'S BULLETIN # B-0031-06

August 15, 2006


To: ALL INSURERS WRITING TITLE INSURANCE IN THE STATE OF TEXAS AND ALL DIRECT OPERATIONS AND AGENTS THEREOF


Re: E-FILING FEES

It has come to the attention of the Texas Department of Insurance (Department) that many counties are allowing records and documents to be filed electronically (e-filing). The Department has received inquiries regarding the charges and fees associated with e-filing. This bulletin is to address questions received by the Department and to address the position of the Department on these issues.

With the increasing availability of e-filing as a means of filing documents in various counties, the Department has been asked whether e-filing fees may be passed through to consumers. The basic premium rate for title insurance covers all of the closing services in a title insurance transaction. One of the services listed in the definition of closing is that "all necessary papers have been filed for record." Specific Areas & Procedures #5 (from Section V of the Basic Manual) states that recording fees may be passed through to the consumer. The Department has interpreted this to mean that the actual fee charged by the county clerk to record the hard copy documents may be passed through.

To the extent an e-filing fee does not take the place of a traditional hard copy recording fee, the e-filing fee is more of a convenience fee tied to a particular mode and manner of transporting the documents to the county clerk. This is more akin to general office overhead, and not eligible for a pass through to the consumer. However, if the e-filing fee is in lieu of the traditional hard copy recording fee, and is, in fact, the fee for recording the documents, the Department is of the view that it would be covered by Specific Areas & Procedures #5 and could be passed through. Henceforth, title agents may pass through either the actual e-filing fee incurred or the actual hard copy recording fee incurred, but not both. The Department's view is that an e-filing fee should not be passed through as an additional charge over and above the traditional hard copy filing fee.

If you have any questions regarding this bulletins, please contact the Title Division at (512) 322-3482 or via email at : title@tdi.state.tx.us.

Sincerely

Robert R. Carter, Jr.

Deputy Commissioner - Title



Last updated: 09/07/2014

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