A report from the Government Accountability Office has cited competition and pricing as areas of concern in the title insurance business.The report calls on the Department of Housing and Urban Development to "consider expanding the information in its homebuyer information booklet; evaluating the costs and benefits to consumers from [affiliated business arrangements]; clarifying regulations related to referral fees and ABAs; and enhancing the agency's coordination with state regulators." It also called on Congress to increase HUD's enforcement ability under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act to levy civil money penalties for Section 8 violations. In a letter (included in the report) written by Federal Housing Commissioner Brian Montgomery, HUD said amending RESPA would allow it to "protect consumers from unnecessarily high settlement charges caused by kickbacks and referral fees that tend to increase unnecessarily the costs of title insurance and other settlement services." The report was done at the request of Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., the ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services. Rep. Bachus said it showed that "the title industry could be improved through better oversight by state and federal regulators, as well as better education of consumers."

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