Stewart Title gets whammo’d by the Insurance Commissioner

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Press Release from Mike Kreidler, Washington State Insurance Commissioner regarding Stewart Title in Snohomish County.   

"OLYMPIA, Wash. — Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has ordered a state-wide title insurer to stop lavishing illegal gifts and incentives on real estate agents, brokers and others to influence business referrals.

Kreidler’s order demands that Stewart Title Guaranty Company “immediately cease and desist” giving or paying anything in excess of $25, calculated in aggregate over a 12-month period, per person, for placing or causing title insurance business to be given to the title insurer.

“I’m appalled that this company clearly has paid no attention to our message that this spending violates the law and won’t be tolerated,” he said. “This is unacceptable behavior and there will be consequences.”

Kreidler can levy fines up to $10,000 per violation, and has the authority to suspend or revoke the company’s license to transact business in Washington. The order lists more than 100 violations found during a review of Stewart Title of Snohomish County, Inc.’s records.

The order stems from one of the Insurance Commissioner’s ongoing investigations into use of illegal incentives and inducements by title insurers. An initial investigation, concluded last fall, revealed widespread and pervasive use of illegal gifts, gratuities, junkets and other incentives on real estate agents, brokers and others to obtain title insurance business…"

To read the complete press release, click here.

Stewart Title’s Snohomish operation has the potential of being fined up to $1,060,000 (106 violations at fines of up to $10,000 for each).    Stewart Title’s other local counties have yet to be reported on from the Insurance Commissioner.   Stay tuned…

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