Industry News

Stewart Title accused of hiring unlicensed title examiners

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Stewart Title Guaranty and a subsidiary, Electronic Closing Services, have agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle allegations by California regulators that they hired an unlicensed company to help prepare more than 2,000 title insurance policies. Richmond Title Services, the Tennessee-based company accused of operating as an unlicensed underwritten title company, was not a party to the settlement. Stewart Title and Electronic Closing Services did not admit to the allegations but agreed to settle them to "avoid the expenses, uncertainty and distraction of litigation," according to the June 29 settlement agreement. California regulators allege Electronic Closing Services -- which does business as E-Title -- contracted with Richmond Title Services to perform title searches, examinations, reports, certificates and abstracts. Under an initial December 2004 contract, Richmond Title was allegedly paid $710 per title insurance policy issued for such work, plus 100 percent of search revenue. T...