Title insurers go to extremes to get business

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First a warning, then a widespread investigation, and now a fine. You get the feeling that Mike Kreidler knows who is providing some of the wonderful food, flowers and giveaways at Realtor open houses, and he would like it stopped. Kreidler, the Washington state insurance commissioner, recently announced that his office had fined Ticor Title Insurance Co. and First American Title a total of $35,000 for violating regulations that limit the use of incentives and inducements to obtain title insurance business. Washington state law limits the use of incentives and inducements to $25 per person per year. The Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act, or RESPA, also limits the amount third-party providers can spend on individual agents to $25 a year. That doesn't even cover the cost of a decent seat at a Mariner game, yet the amount was set to show only a token appreciation of thanks for business received. Needless to say, the figure is regularly disregarded even though some off...