Industry News

Title insurance probe widens in Missouri

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Missouri regulators have initiated enforcement actions against 16 title insurance agencies accused of charging rates not approved by the state and misrepresenting to consumers the actual cost of a policy. Ten of the companies hit with administrative complaints by the Missouri Department of Insurance last week are also accused of using unfair rate schemes that resulted in higher charges for less knowledgeable customers. Two of those companies are suspected of using rebates or kickbacks to drum up business. The title insurance agencies were given 15 days to request hearings to respond to the charges, which stemmed from a series of onsite investigations launched Oct. 24.  Robert Mecfessel, president of the Missouri Land Title Association, told the St. Louis Dispatch that the title insurance agencies had not violated the law or acted unethically. "It's our belief that the law is ambiguous and confusing and subject to various interpretations by the companies and the department,...