Massachusetts Agencies

Manager's Corner

Articles from The Massachusetts Focus

Newsletter of Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Massachusetts Offices
Fall 2002, Volume 1, Number 3

Manager's Corner
by Thomas M. Flynn, Vice President and New England Division Manager

Stewart Title's parent company, Stewart Information Services Corporation, reported all-time record highs for net earnings and revenues for the second quarter of 2002. For the six months ended June 30, 2002, Stewart earned $29.1 million compared to $18.5 million for the same six-month period in 2001. Revenues year-to-date increased 35 percent to $756 million. Stewart Title continues to be recognized as a stable, solid and progressive underwriter as evidenced by impressive marks received from the industry's foremost rating companies:

Demotech, Inc.A"
Fitch RatingsA+
Lace FinancialA+

Two national issues to update you on: you may recall from our last newsletter that the American Land Title Association had sued Radian Guaranty, Inc. in the state of California, attempting to prohibit them from offering their Radian Lien Protection product as an alternative to title insurance. In June the California Department of Insurance issued a cease and desist order against Radian to immediately stop marketing, soliciting and selling this insurance product. California joins several other states in their rejection of this product. This development is good news for the title industry as a whole. The other national issue of note is the proposed rule changes to RESPA by HUD. The "Homebuyer Bill of Rights" proposal promotes the concept of "packaging" closing fees to give consumers a firm closing price early in the transaction. At first glance the rule appears to really be about the lenders' packaging settlement services for consumers. There would seem to be some difficult questions in trying to include in this proposal title and closing services that are provided for the benefit of the buyer and the seller.

Reminder: if you are interested in searching for back titles and/or producing your own Insured Closing Protection Letters online, please contact your Stewart Title representative, who will be happy to assist you in setting up these services in your office.