I too have not heard any recent news about this...certainly not that lawyers are out and title companies are in.
Attorney led real estate closings in North Carolina are alive and well. This was addressed a few times in 2002 and 2003 by the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission (FTC/DOJ Letter
) and the NC State Bar (NC Bar
). North Carolina statutes make it very hard, if not downright impossible, for a real estate closing to be conducted without an attorney present.
In my neck of the North Carolina woods at least, closings by title complanies are not heard of. Across state lines however in Virginia, we do it all the time.
I think what you will find in reviewing the opinions of the Bar and the DOJ/FTC is it boils down to simply whether the settlement agent is hosting/conducting a closing meeting or preparing legal documents and giving advice on the legality of the documents.