On Tuesday June 9, Scott Hagerstom from AFP and I testified before a Wayne County Committee which was considering a county sponsored title corp at the request of the Register of Deeds Bernard J.Youngblood. What has Wayne County got to do with title searches and insurance. Needless to say, we thought it was a bad idea and said so. The title companies, as you would suspect, had something to say on the issue as well.
Our main concerns were that government should not be in business. If they did this, what kind of transparency and oversight would there be? How would the liability be paid for? Who would pay the $10,000,000 that is anticipated for start up? What success has there been where it was tried before. Has It been tried before and succeeded?
Wayne County's track record, in my book, has not been very good. Even if it starts out costing less, taxpayers will eventually wind up picking up part of the tab. Even those people who do not have the resources to own their own property. They had to stop the meeting because of conflicts but they are going to schedule another for more discussion. Good thing.
Forbes Magazine said that title insurance is the richest insurance racket. If Youngblood believes that, why does the county not prosecute instead of go into the business?
Youngblood's attorney, Patrick J. Bruetsch, approached us after the meeting. He says the county will have nothing to do with this, Youngblood just wants to endorse the idea. We asked then why is it before the committee. Then he said Youngblood will only let credible investors be involved. We asked "how does he get to pick the investors if he is not involved?" He claims he misspoke. He then proceeded to say much the same twice more. Something stinks here. The county should stay clear of this. They have enough problems to deal with. When they can do the job with what they have, even then it should not be expanding government. Besides, who is paying for youngbloods attorney? Why does he need one if he only wants to endorse the project?
If someone can do the job cheaper let them go in the business. If the title insurance companies are price fixing as they implied, then call in the feds.
The WCTA was organized in March of 1982 because of a deep concern over rapidly escalating and unjust property tax assessments. We are a non-profit, non-partisan volunteer taxpayer organization dedicated to obtaining fiscal integrity and responsibility from all levels of government.
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