On March 30th, The OC Register reported that Fidelity National Title was to pay $345K in penalties to settle a 00-02 stemming from charges in employees were accused of accepting kickbacks in exchange for referrals (Fidelity made no admission of guilt).
Kick backs are just one example of a RESPA violation – a buyer will ask to work with company A, but instead the escrow officer goes with company B in exchange for financial incentives or gifts. Meanwhile, you, the buyer, receive a service provided by a potentially less capable company. Considering how much trust one puts into the home buying services they request, this is a true breach of trust.
- OC Register: http://ocbiz.freedomblogging.com/2009/03/30/title-insurer-pays-365000-to-settle-kickback-claims/10149/
- Sacramento Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2009/03/30/daily17.html?ana=from_rss
Click here to see the accusations against Fidelity (court filing): http://www.docstoc.com/docs/5168659/Court-documents–Accusations-Against-Fidelity-National-Title-Insurance-Co
And the stipulations with Fidelity (court filing): http://www.docstoc.com/docs/5168660/Court-documents-Fidelity-National-Title-Insurance-Co-Stipulations
Have you experienced this kind of activity before? Let me know, I would love to speak with you.