Industry News

Alleged title insurance kickback scheme explained

So-called scheme said to involve title insurers, reinsurers, builders

The alleged title insurance kickback scheme under investigation by California and Colorado insurance officials isn't simple. In fact, it's extremely complicated – some might say devious, which isn't too surprising given that the so-called scheme is said to violate the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.   But Erin Toll, deputy insurance director of the Colorado Department of Insurance and leader of that state's investigation, has a simple explanation:   Picture a triangle with the broadest part at the top, like a pyramid. Now picture the homebuilder at the top left corner of the triangle. The title insurance company is across from the homebuilder, at the top right corner of the triangle.   The homebuilder approaches the title insurance company. The homebuilder knows the title insurance company is eager for the volume business the homebuilder has to offer.   So, the homebuilder makes an offer, Toll alleges. According to Toll, if the title insurance company ...