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Fidelity National Title Insurance Faces Class Action over Kickbacks


Los Angeles, CA: Angry homeowners have filed a federal consumer fraud class action lawsuit against Fidelity National Title Insurance and other major title insurers alleging the companies kicked back fees to real estate agents for real estate settlement services.

According to the lawsuit, lead plaintiff Matthias Hildebrandt claims Fidelity National Financial Inc. settled with the U.S. government in 2011 for violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). RESPA protects homebuyers by prohibiting kickbacks and fees for real estate settlement services in federal backed mortgage loans. The lawsuit alleges that Fidelity ran the scheme using a web-based platform called TransactionPoint, which "allowed kickbacks and referral fees to be disguised as 'sublicense fees' or 'access fees.'"

"Through TransactionPoint, agents or brokers selected real estate settlement service providers for real estate transactions and, in turn, real estate brokers and agents entered into standard form sublicensing agreements with vendors, including defendants, to enable the vendors to be listed and selected through TransactionPoint as service providers for the transaction," the lawsuit states.

Fidelity paid predetermined fees for each referral, but real estate agents and brokers "performed no bona fide work for the fees," according to the lawsuit. "In short, the scheme allowed defendants and participating real estate agents and brokers to camouflage illegal kickbacks and referral fees as sub-license payments." The lawsuit states that the kickback for a home warranty policy, was up to one-fifth of the premium, while a kickback for a title insurance policy was $100 per policy.

The class alleges Fidelity paid millions of dollars in kickbacks and referral fees, to "hundreds, if not thousands" of real estate agents and brokers.

Also named as defendants are Commonwealth Land Title Co., Chicago Title Co., Ticor Title Co. of California, Lawyers Title Co., Fidelity National Disclosure Source LLC, and Fidelity National Home Warranty Co. The class is seeking restitution and treble damages for RESPA violations.

The class is represented by Keith Cochran with Chapin Fitzgerald Sullivan & Bottini of San Diego.

Fidelity National Title Insurance Class Action Legal Help

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Published on Jun-5-12

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by
thomas moloian
on
this title company is total fraud and should be put out of business by california dept of real estate! they cheated me big time on extra costs of my escrow and i can't even file charges against their inscrupulous business tactics!

all i can do now is tell whole world how corrupt they really are.

Posted by
Jim
on
Does anyone know whatever came of this? Was it settled? Did it go to trial?

Posted by
Rich Cecere
on
I'm in New Jersey. Kickbacks have been going on for 20 years starting with Weichert.

The consumer (the buyer) finds a house and uses a Realtor. The Realtor recommends a few attorneys who "play ball". Meaning the attorney understands that he/she will use the title agency that is affiliated with the Realtor. If the attorney doesn't comply ... goodbye referrals from that Realtor. In order to not get blacklisted and save their real estate practice, they comply.

90% of all title insurance orders placed in NJ are controlled by the Realtor. It's illegal. Title Insurance is supposed to be objective. You wouldn't take a used car you were thinking about buying to the mechanic who works very closely with the dealership selling you that used car would you? Objectivity folks.

Posted by
Carla Clenney-Martinez
on
I have a Civil lawsuit in LA Superior Court case #BC455989.

I am a victim of FIDELITY & TICOR TITLE & on LA HOUSE worth over $1.5-2 million & 1 house in Lake Gregory SBcounty worth $350,000 lost to Robo signing Fidelity subsidiary North American Title & Deutsche Bank fraud & forgeries to pull Title reports not authorized by me, 5 RE Brokers 3 RE Agents involved in Ponzi scheme with New haven Financial Calabasa Ca, see Ripoff Report, causing Title loss on 2 homes, which I have suffered now 8 yes but still living in LA Venice home. My attorney recently retired and I am just now being told by securities lawyers I am a victim of elaborate Pontiac scheme.

I have found State accusation H-35387 of DRE clear back in 2008 which I should have been a part of and your class action lawsuit.

Please email or call me. I am looking for a new attorney.

Thank you,
Carla

Posted by
Josephine Buchanan
on
On 9/9/2009, I sold my residence and paid $1,233.80 towards title charges to Chicago Title which I believe was overpriced.

Posted by
Jane H.
on
I was a victim of bank fraud and mortgage/title fraud where I wound up loosing my part of the house that is worth 1.3 million dollars. We also had another house in Arizona that had a mortgage with Bank of America.

The Attorney General for the State of AZ sued BofA for the situation with the Arizona house, however, my main damages are for the Nevada house. I believe that the title/loan officers were working with each other and violated my legal rights which caused major damages. I was told by an investigator for the state to file against the title company, etc.

I am looking for a firm that can resent people in NV. I can prove the fraud that was committed against me. I even had state investigators look into the matter and they told me to file claims against the bond companies.

There is around 500 K of bond money and I have placed claims in. I am looking for legal representation for the problems that I have suffered. I was also a Victim of Domestic violence and feel that I face discrimination as a result of the matter. The judge in my family case deemed that the house was community property.

I never filed a Quit Claim to take myself off which is required by Nevada Law. I am asking for help. I can also prove the false notaries on my paperwork by the bank and had a police report that was filed on the situation. I really could use the help and have heard you are a top law firm. My damages are around 500K that I would be able to prove for loss of use, loss of property, fraud, etc.

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