Fidelity National Title Company has agreed to pay $365,000 in penalties and reimbursement to California regulators to settle allegations that the company’s Orange County office provided printing, gifts, travel and entertainment to Realtors and lenders in a position to refer the company business.

The California Department of Insurance announced the Feb. 17 agreement Monday, saying it related to illegal rebating activities that allegedly took place from 2000 to 2002. The department said it opened an investigation in September, 2002.

Fidelity National Title Co. has agreed to pay $365,000 in penalties and reimbursement to California regulators to settle allegations that the company’s Orange County office provided printing, gifts, travel and entertainment to Realtors and lenders in a position to refer the company business.

The California Department of Insurance announced the Feb. 17 agreement Monday, saying it related to illegal rebating activities that allegedly took place from 2000-02. The department said it opened an investigation in September 2002.

Fidelity stipulated that it was waiving its right to a hearing in the matter without admitting liability or wrongdoing "to avoid the expense, uncertainty and distractions of litigation."

Fidelity will pay a $345,000 penalty in three installments, plus $20,000 to reimburse the state for attorneys’ fees and costs.

In a press release, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said Fidelity had "brought the questionable practices to a halt" and supported legislation aimed at curbing illegal rebates.

The legislation, SB 133, became effective Jan. 1. It requires that title insurance marketing representatives be certified, and allows the Department of Insurance to bring administrative actions against individual title marketing and sales representatives, not just their employers.

A Fidelity spokeswoman said the company worked closely with the Department of Insurance to obtain approval of the "landmark legislation."

"We have long since put this matter behind us and remain focused on complying with the marketing requirements as set forth in this legislation," said Lloyd Osgood, senior vice president of marketing and communications of parent company Fidelity National Financial Inc.

***

What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor.

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
We are less than 1 week away from Inman Connect! Get your ticket for $99 before prices go up next week.GET YOUR TICKET×
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