Lawyers who won a $27.5 million settlement from four title insurance companies are having some headaches distributing the proceeds to more than 66,000 Michigan homeowners who were plaintiffs in the case.

The checks, averaging $345, went in the mail last week. But 594 of the checks bounced, leaving their recipients to pay bad check fees.

Jeff Yellen, a Farmington Hills lawyer representing the homeowners, told the Detroit Free Press he hired a Minneapolis-based consulting firm to handle the payout of the settlement. He blamed the bounced checks on an error by the Minneapolis bank that processed them.

Yellen said the bank will reissue the checks, tacking $20 onto each one to cover bad-check charges. The rest of the 66,000-plus checks were good, he said.

Yellen and two other attorneys filed a class-action lawsuit six years ago on behalf of four Detroit-area residents who said they were overcharged by title insurance companies. Chicago Title Insurance Co. of Missouri, Transnation Title Insurance Co. of Arizona, First American Title Insurance Co. of California and Lawyer’s Title Insurance Corp. of Virginia agreed to settle the lawsuit in February without admitting liability.

The settlement applied to new home purchases between December 1998 and July 2005, and the names of the additional 66,000 plaintiffs were obtained through subpoenas to 500 title insurance agents. The judge in the case set aside $8.7 million of the settlement for attorney’s fees and the costs of bringing the lawsuit.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Real estate news and analysis that gives you the inside track. Subscribe to Inman Select for 50% off.SUBSCRIBE NOW×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription