Code of Ethics

The foundation of the American heritage of personal freedom is the widely allocated ownership and use of the land. Upon the furtherance of that heritage depends the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. The land title profession is the instrumentality through which titles to land reach their highest accuracy and attain the widest distribution.

The title profession having become such a vital and integral part of our country’s economy, there are imposed on each member of the New York State Land Title Association obligations above and beyond those customarily required of participants in ordinary commercial pursuits and a code of ethics higher and purer than ordinarily acceptable in the marketplace, to the fulfillment of which the title profession is dedicated. Each member of the New York State Land Title Association shall be ever zealous to maintain and improve the quality of service in his/her chosen calling, and shall assume personal responsibility for maintaining the highest possible standards of business practices, and to those purposes shall pledge observance and furtherance of the letter and spirit of the following Code of Ethics.


Governed by the law, customs and usages of the respective communities they serve, and with the realization that ready transferability results from accuracy and perfection of titles, members shall issue abstracts of title, examine titles to real property and report thereon, or issue policies of title insurance only after a complete and thorough investigation, founded on adequate records and learned examination thereof, and shall otherwise so conduct their business that the needs of their customers shall be of paramount importance.


Every member shall obtain and justifiably hold a reputation for honesty and integrity, always standing sponsor for his/her work intellectually and financially.


Ever striving to serve better the public interest, members shall endeavor (a) to encourage and maintain cooperation with each other (b) to encourage and maintain cooperation with members of the bar (c) to facilitate transfers of title (d) to eliminate delays and unnecessary exceptions to title and (e) to make their services available in such a manner and afford a fair return for services rendered and capital employed.


Members shall support legislation which is in the public interest and will unburden real estate from unnecessary restrictions and restraints on alienation.


Members shall at all times engage in practices which will further the public interest and continue the stability of the title profession.