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TRENTON-With broad backing from within the title insurance industry in New Jersey, Gov. Christie Whitman has signed State Assembly Bill A2265 into law. The bill, introduced and co-sponsored by Assemblymen Kit Bateman and Alan Augustine, changes the title insurance playing field by allowing such institutions as state and federally chartered banks, savings banks and savings and loan associations to be licensed to produce title insurance.

“From the beginning, we have supported this legislation,” according to Joseph I. Rosenbaum, president of Madison title Agency, Lakewood, NJ. “We believe it’s in the best interests of real estate buyers.”

It also figures to open up some opportunities for existing players. “Rather than try to build from scratch, many banks will seek to set up joint ventures,” Rosenbaum predicts. He admits that his firm has already been talking to several banks. “They’ll provide the deal flow, we’ll provide the expertise,” he says.

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