BEFORE THE DISCIPLINARY BOARD
OF THE VIRGINIA
IN THE MATTER OF
VSB Docket No. 04-000-0128
TROY AURELIUS TITUS
Pursuant to the 15 VAC 5-80-50(D)(5)(d)
of the Regulations under the Virginia Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection
Act promulgated by the Virginia State Bar, the Bar, by Richard E. Slaney, Assistant
Bar Counsel, and the Respondent, Troy Aurelius Titus, Esq., and his counsel,
David Ross Rosenfeld, Esq., hereby enter into the following Agreed Disposition
arising out of the above-referenced matter:
I. STIPULATIONS OF FACT
1. At all times material to this
matter, Troy Aurelius Titus (Titus) was an attorney licensed to practice law
in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
2. On or about November 6, 1998,
Titus was the settlement agent in a residential real estate closing.
3. In investigating a complaint
arising out of the referenced closing, counsel learned Titus had not registered
with the Bar as a settlement agent under CRESPA. Further investigation revealed
that, while Titus did everything necessary to qualify and register with the
Bar as a settlement agent under CRESPA, including the obtaining of the required
surety and fidelity bonds, the completed registration form and registration
fee was not sent to the Bar. Counsel estimates that, during the period he was
unregistered, Titus closed between 1,000 and 1,300 residential real estate transactions.
4. In terms of the lack of CRESPA
registration, counsel are unaware of any complaints made against Titus regarding
real estate transactions during the time Titus was unregistered except for the
closing referenced above, which is the subject of an Agreed Disposition to be
presented to the appropriate District Committee with a recommendation for private
5. While this Agreed Disposition is intended to cover Titus's lack of CRESPA registration from the inception of CRESPA's registration requirement until April 20, 2001 (the date on which Titus registered with the Bar), it is not intended to and shall not cover any allegation of unethical conduct arising from any real estate closing which does not involve lack of CRESPA registration, or any lack of CRESPA registration after April 20, 2001.
II. CRESPA REGULATIONS
Assistant Bar Counsel and the Respondent agree the above factual stipulation could give rise to a finding of a violation of the following CRESPA Regulations:
15 VAC 5-80-30. Registration; Reregistration;
Every licensed attorney, title insurance company, title insurance agent or real estate broker, as well as every financial institution authorized to do business in Virginia under any of the provisions of Title 6.1, Code of Virginia, or under federal law, and every subsidiary or affiliate of any such financial institution, now providing or offering, or intending to provide or offer, escrow, closing or settlement services as a settlement agent with respect to real estate transactions in Virginia shall register with the Bar on or before September 29, 1997, using the registration form available from the Bar for that purpose. Settlement agents beginning to provide or offer such services after July 1, 1997, shall register with the Bar prior to doing so.
Every settlement agent shall thereafter reregister after notice on a schedule established by the Bar, providing updated registration information. Every settlement agent shall have a continuing duty to advise the Bar of any change in name, address or other pertinent registration data that occurs between registrations.
III. PROPOSED DISPOSITION
Accordingly, Assistant Bar Counsel
and the Respondent tender to the Board for its approval the agreed disposition
of a single Five Thousand Dollar ($5,000) fine as an appropriate sanction if
this matter were to be heard in an evidentiary hearing by a panel of the Board.
The fine shall be paid within ten (10) days of the acceptance of this Agreed
Disposition by the Board.
Upon acceptance by the Board of this Agreed Disposition and upon payment of the referenced fine, this matter shall be closed. The Respondent also agrees his prior disciplinary record may be disclosed to the Subcommittee.
Richard E. Slaney, Troy A. Titus, Esq.,
Assistant Bar Counsel Respondent
David R. Rosenfeld, Esq.,