The Real Deal New York

Co-sponsor of bill to weaken title insurance regs stood to benefit from rollback

State Sen. Susan Serino’s husband received money in 2016 from title insurance firm
April 02, 2018 11:50AM

Susan Serino

Susan Serino and the New York Senate Chamber

State Sen. Susan Serino, who stood to lose money following new state regulations on the title insurance industry, co-sponsored a bill to reverse the new rules, a new report claims.

In 2016, Serino’s husband Mark earned between $5,000 and $20,000 from Real Property Abstract and Title Services, one of the many title insurance companies that the state’s Department of Financial Services banned from gift giving months later, according to Crain’s.

State Sen. James Seward then introduced a bill in July to water down the new rules, a move that was co-sponsored by Serino and Brooklyn state Sen. Marty Golden. The Senate voted to roll back the department’s decision twice, in 2017 and this year, but the Assembly did not follow suit, meaning the new rules still went into effect.

The New York State Land Title Association, a trade group, has strongly opposed the ban on gifts. They filed a lawsuit against it in February, saying that the new rules will “wreak havoc” on the industry and force layoffs, company closures and reduced services.

Serino’s husband works as a lawyer for Real Property Abstract and Title Services, and Serino owns a brokerage representing homebuyers. She told Crain’s the bill was about getting rid of unnecessary red tape.

“This bill passed in the Senate twice—unanimously—because it’s the right thing to do,” she said. “New York is the regulation capital of the nation, and the bill aims to prevent regulatory overreach.” [Crain’s]Eddie Small