Did You Receive Compensation from ORHP or Another Old Republic Subsidiary? Your Name Could Already Be in the Plaintiff’s Hands

A class action lawsuit was just filed against Old Republic International, Old Republic Home Protection (ORHP) and Old Republic National Title Insurance Company in federal court in California. The lawsuit alleges that Old Republic and some of its subsidiaries “violated federal and state law by paying commissions and kickbacks to real estate agents in exchange for the agents’ referral” of Old Republic settlement service business. It is also alleged that Old Republic “actively concealed the kickbacks from consumers and federal and state regulators.”

The lawsuit is called Campion v. Old Republic International Corporation and was filed on January 27, 2012 in the United States District Court, Northern District of California, Oakland Division. Click here for a copy of the complaint.

According to the complaint, ORHP made more than 190,000 illegal payments between 2007 and 2009. It is alleged that these payments were made to more than 28,000 offices, agents, brokers, escrow offices, and lawyers. The complaint also alleges that the “payments were not in exchange for settlement services actually provided and were not nominal payments. In the case of kickbacks in exchange for the referral of home protection contracts, for example, the payments averaged approximately one-fifth the premium of such policies.”

The complaint also specifically targets “Marketing Agreements” or “Administrative Services Agreements” between ORHP and real estate brokers or agents. Under these Agreements, ORHP allegedly made payments to brokers or agents when the consumer purchased a home warranty contract. The lawsuit notes that, according to HUD, characterizing “such arrangements as ‘marketing’ or ‘administrative’ agreements does not render the underlying conduct legal” and that the agreements are “only a means to facilitate payments for referrals by persons in a position to refer settlement service business, in violation of RESPA.”

The lawsuit alleges that ORHP and other Old Republic subsidiaries violated RESPA, the California Insurance Code, and California’s unfair competition law by their kickback payments to real estate brokers or agents. The Complaint seeks restitution “of all sums unlawfully collected” from consumers, as well as treble damages and attorneys’ fees.

Did you receive compensation from ORHP or another Old Republic subsidiary? Are you a real estate broker or agent who was paid a fee by ORHP when a consumer purchased a home warranty contract? Are you a party to a Marketing Agreement or Administrative Services Agreement with ORHP?

If so, consider your potential liability. Will the brokers or agents who received compensation be the next targets of the class action lawyers? Will the CFPB and RESPA investigators step in?

Please share your stories of working with ORHP with RE-Insider. Have you experienced these “kickbacks?” We will respect your anonymity and post no names.

Stay tuned as we continue to report on this developing story.

  • mike in san diego

    doh! is it too late to ask for my kickback? those rats didn’t even buy me lunch!

    • RE-Insider

      You may have dodged a bullet there, Mike.

    • title agent

      Lunch? Heck we have title companies in our state buy real estate agents cases of wine, golf outings, gift cards for each closing etc.

  • Naomi Jones

    I always ask my clients if they have a preference of home warranty providers. If they don’t I recommend Old Republic Home Warranty as this is what I use myself. No perks. No kickbacks. I pay what my clients pay for my own service, annually and per service call. I recommend this company because I have had a home warranty with its primary competitor in my region–my own brand’s company actually, American Home Shield. Due to its lack of service I switched and have recommended ORHW since I have been a Realtor (2006). When we have run into a problem with a repair, their customer service department has done its best to correct the situation and satisfy the client.

    • Becky Carroll

      American Home Shield has already been through the class action lawsuit and has settled. The NAR General Counsel praised American Home Shield because part of their settlement was that all brokerages and agents were to be excluded from any legal liability with regards to this suit. American Home Shield is protecting all of their customers. They are also in the midst of fighting congress about excluding home warranties from settlement services. I have never seen a real estate transaction “require” a warranty at settlement.

      ALL warranty companies paid marketing fees.. If the individual agent didn’t receive it, you can bet that the brokerage received it.

      Our company only uses AHS and their new Collection form was approved by a federal judge! Check them out!

  • I have done business with Old Republic for many years. I have never seen or heard anything about them paying anyone to use any of their services. I use them because I get good customer service and like their home warranty plans abd natural hazards reports. I believe the people I do business with are honest and hard working.

  • Donna Nation

    This is bogus, someone trying to get something for nothing. I have always had fair dealing with Old Republic, I will not be a party to this “class action” This is one of the many problems with this country.

  • Kitty Chan

    I used ORHP because they have a great site & is user friendly that is easy to place order online for my clients, and the brochure is available online for interested consumers to decide their choice.

  • This is my 5th year in Real Estate and I recommend ORHP because the customer service is extraordinary. I’ve had their warranty on my home along with other competitors, and Old Republic has given the best service. I have never received a monetary Kickback from them for recommending them. I do admit that they drop by an occasional candy bar or bag of M&Ms to thank me. If their customer service wasn’t the best, I wouldn’t recommend them regardless of the chocolate they bring.

  • Jeff Lloyd

    I have worked with Old Republic and Linda Michelle since the 80’s. My company Horizon Realty, Property tax back and myself Jeff LLoyd never once even had a discussion or ever received kickbacks.

    Old Republic in my eyes has been flawless in there service and integrity ever since i have dealt with them. Perhaps some rogue agents of theres need to be addressed, but i guess the laywers wouldn make there millions off of everyones back that way.

  • allen

    Does giving an agent a $60.00 free service coupon for their client or themselves justify as a RESPA violation????

    • RE-Insider

      If you’re really concerned I’d advise you to seek out counsel from a qualified real estate lawyer.

    • title agent

      Yes it does in most cases. It’s an offering something of value if you send your client to them. It’s a direct violation of respa if you offer anything of value to entice business “referrals”. They are certainly not alone. The title industry has gotten bad over the years. They set up other title companies and allow hand picked agents to own shares and then they get quarterly returns on the investment. Most of the time the initial buy in or capital is small and return on the investment takes only a couple months. It’s a way to capture business and pay back real estate agents, builders and or loan officers for the business they send. It’s not like the old days when customer service earned you business and referrals, its now money and what can you do for me. It’s very sad and the large underwriters, hud and respa allow it to happen.