A major shift is taking place when it comes to getting home title insurance in Whatcom County.
First American Title has closed its Bellingham and Lynden offices to any new business. Customers with pending transactions on or before April 18 will continue to receive service from the company, said Marcus Ginnaty, media relations manager for First American.
Whatcom Land Title Company will offer insurance products underwritten by First American, adding to its existing relationships with two other title firms, said Ashley Hulbert, human resource and marketing manager at Whatcom Land Title.
With the anticipated increase in work, Whatcom Land Title plans on hiring around 10 people in the next month, adding to its current staff of 52, Hulbert said. Some may come from First American, but it is through a hiring process and not is a merger situation, she said.
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With this latest change, Whatcom Land Title and Chicago Title are the remaining title companies with offices in Whatcom County. Those two title companies each have an office in Bellingham.
Whatcom Land Title is locally owned and a positive company culture is important to its success, Hulbert said.
The change comes during a busy time locally in the real estate industry. With low inventory and high demand for homes in the market, an increased need for title insurance and escrow services is keeping those in the industry busy. Title insurance is a one-time fee based on the value of a home – it protects the homeowner from certain legal or financial responsibilities, Hulbert said.