Industry NewsMortgage

Title insurers back in black

Fitch issues ratings downgrades for big three

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

The refinancing boom and rising home sales during the second quarter helped slow shrinkage of title insurance premiums, which nonetheless registered their 13th consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines.The title insurance industry generated $2.55 billion in premiums during the second quarter, down 8.1 percent from the $2.77 billion in policies written during same period a year ago, the American Land Title Association reported.That's a less drastic year-over-year decline than the 25 percent drop seen in the first three months of the year, the 34 percent drop registered in the fourth quarter of 2008, or any quarter dating back to the second quarter of 2006, ALTA said.Coupled with a 34.8 percent reduction in loss and loss adjustment expenses and a nearly fourfold increase in gains on investments, the industry as a whole posted $111.4 million in net income for the quarter, compared with a $190.4 million net loss the same time a year ago.Among the four largest underwriters, First Ameri...