New California Law: Buyer’s Choice Act

Known as the “Buyer’s Choice Act”, this new law prohibits a seller of residential property from requiring the buyer to use an escrow service company or purchase title insurance chosen by the seller and also prohibits a seller of residential property from, without good cause, disapproving the use of a title or escrow company chosen by a buyer. A sell er who violates these provisions would be liable to the buyer for a civil penalty.

The Benefits: Buyer’s Choice not only benefits buyers by saving them time and money, but also supports local businesses. Buyers of bank-owned properties (foreclosed homes) now have the choice of using a local escrow office to handle their transaction. And local escrow companies that can offer the best resources and services in this current housing crisis will be able to save homeowners money and better expedite the transfer of foreclosed properties.

AB 957 will also impose new penalties on REO sellers that violate the law, and will empower state regulators to go after both RESPA and “steering” violations.

Thank you Fidelity National Title Company for providing this information to us.