HOUSTON (April 22, 2005) - Stewart Title of California Inc. has announced its settlement with the California Department of Insurance (DOI) Commissioner, of the Commissioner's allegations of unlawful rebate activities in several Southern California counties during the period of September 1999 through November 2001. Stewart Title of California also agreed to the entry of a cease and desist order.
Stewart Title of California has agreed to a monetary penalty of $590,000 in settlement and an additional $160,000 to cover costs and expenses associated with the investigation, pursuant to the California Insurance Code.
"The stipulation and waiver signed by Stewart Title of California particularly provides that there is no admission of wrongdoing," said Mike Skalka, general counsel, Stewart Title Guaranty Co. Stewart Title Guaranty Co. is the title insurance underwriter for Stewart Title of California.
"Stewart strives to follow all applicable federal and state laws regarding business practices on marketing activities; unfortunately, the California Department of Insurance has not clearly defined what constitutes a violation," added Skalka. "Stewart has a strong reputation for integrity. We continue to seek guidance from governing bodies concerning lawful marketing activities."
Stewart Title of California and Stewart Title Guaranty Co. are wholly owned subsidiaries of Stewart Information Services Corp. (NYSE-STC), a technology driven, strategically competitive, real estate information and transaction management company providing title insurance and related information services through more than 7,800 policy-issuing offices and agencies in the United States and a number of international markets. Stewart delivers via e-commerce the services required for settlement by the real estate and mortgage industries. Stewart also provides post-closing lender services, automated county clerk land records, property ownership mapping, geographic information systems, property information reports, flood certificates, document preparation, background checks and expertise in tax-deferred exchanges. More information can be found at www.stewart.com.