Title Insurance Key to a Healthy Housing Recovery: Expert Analyst Brett Huff Discusses the Regulatory Environment for Insurance Stocks with The Wall Street Transcript

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - June 10, 2013 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Insurance Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs and Equity Analysts. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Low Profitability and Low Interest Rates - Commercial Line Brokers and Underwriters - Consolidation Trends - Emerging Market Expansion - Analysis Of Personal, Commercial & Reinsurance Subsectors

Companies include: Stewart Information Services C (STC), Fidelity National Financial, I (FNF), First American Corp. (FAF), Brown & Brown Inc. (BRO), Arthur J Gallagher & Co. (AJG), Willis Group Holdings Ltd. (WSH) and many more.

In the following excerpt from the Insurance Report, an expert analyst discusses the outlook for the sector for investors:

TWST: What regulatory issues are you monitoring at the moment that could have an impact on your group?

Mr. Huff: Well, there are the regulatory issues for title insurance, which I think are less acute than they are for banks, for provision of loans, defaults and things like that. While we'll always pay attention to the regulatory environment for title, we don't think there are any big issues out there on the horizon for title insurance right now.

We think title insurance, frankly, is one of the keys to a healthy housing recovery, simply because lenders in general won't loan money to consumers unless there is a title insurance policy associated with that particular title and property. So I think that the title insurance actually sits in a reasonably good place overall.

However, there is one thing that's going on that we're paying attention to, and that's called the introduction of a qualified mortgage, or QM. And the qualified mortgage is a regulatory idea that a particular mortgage needs to have specific qualities to it; qualities that the regulators think make it a safer mortgage for the consumer who is buying it and a more transparent mortgage for the secondary market that might be buying it.

I think the analogy that I would use is what I think many would know as a conforming loan as defined by Fannie (FNMA) and Freddie (FMCC). I think this is sort of a more complex and probably more sophisticated extension of that idea. And whenever a new regulation hasn't been fully implemented yet, and whenever that QM regulation is fully implemented, it always causes some confusion in the market. It's not specifically directed at title, but in general that could give pause or it could slow down the housing market activity briefly.

But both lenders and others in the market, the value chain for providing mortgages and loaning for homes, will need to digest...

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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