Industry News

Colorado shuts down 11 title agencies in continuing investigation

License suspensions tied to probe of alleged kickbacks

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Colorado Division of Insurance announced this week that it has shut down 11 "sham" title insurance agencies, which the division charges were created as vehicles to channel kickbacks to mortgage brokers. The state division also suspended the license of Douglass P. Farr, the title agent listed as the primary owner and responsible producer for the agencies. Farr allegedly misappropriated escrow funds collected by the agencies, according to the announcement. Title insurers Dakota Homestead and Attorneys Title underwrite or have underwritten policies for the agencies, the division stated in the announcement. Earlier this year, the division launched an investigation of ownership arrangements among the roughly 500 licensed title insurance entities in the state and those who refer business to the agencies. The investigation was prompted by an explosion in the number of title agencies seeking licensure, and complaints that the agencies were created solely to provide kickbacks to Realtors...