Industry News

National real estate title insurers under investigation

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The Colorado Department of Insurance may sanction nine real estate title insurers for alleged illegal kickbacks, an action that could have broad national consequences for the industry. Already, Fidelity National Financial, one of the companies under investigation, has terminated all its captive reinsurance treaties across the country as of Feb. 9, according to Erin Toll, Colorado's deputy insurance commissioner. Reinsurance is a key element in the investigation, which involves nine major insurers and one small subsidiary, and has been going on since October. Colorado's Department of Insurance is readying sanctions against the insurers for alleged illegal kickbacks to home builders, lenders and real estate agents in exchange for guarantees of business. The practice of kickbacks, or giving or accepting money in exchange for title insurance business, is a violation of Colorado statute and the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. The department says the schemes involved reinsur...