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Massachusetts Agencies

Manager's Corner

Articles from The Massachusetts Focus

Newsletter of Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Massachusetts Offices
Spring 2004, Volume 3, Number 2

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

Stewart Announces Record Year 2003

For the second year in a row, annual reserves, net earnings, orders, and earnings per share were the largest in the company's history. Revenues for the year 2003 were $2.2 billion, a 26 percent increase from 2002. Net earnings for the year 2003 were $123.8 million compared with net earnings of $94.5 million the previous year. Stewart's assets now exceed $1 billion for the first time in the company's history. 

Title Insurance Preemption Concerns Provoke NAIC To Contact HUD

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) submitted comments to HUD detailing the effects the proposed RESPA rule would have on the state regulation of title insurers. The NAIC provides a national forum for the development of uniform policy when uniformity is appropriate. According to the letter, the NAIC is concerned that the guaranteed mortgage package (GMP) provision of the rule may, if adopted, encourage HUD to preempt state rate filings and standard laws for title insurance. The NAIC is also worried that HUD will use RESPA rule's Section 8 exemption provision to preempt state insurance laws prohibiting kickbacks and fee-splitting. 

Update - RESPA Reform Rule Withdrawn By HUD

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has withdrawn the RESPA reform rule from the Office of Management and Budget due to the "extensive concerns from Members of Congress, consumer groups and the business community," Acting Secretary Alphonso Jackson reported. Although no specific timetable was given, HUD plans to review the concerns from OMB and various other industry and consumer groups, confer with Congress, and issue a revised rule for comment.