OTS Issues Cease And Desist Order And Civil Money Penalty Against Chicago Title Insurance Company

March 1, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) has announced that Chicago Title Insurance Company (Chicago Title) has consented to a cease and desist order and a $5 million civil money penalty in connection with the settlement of charges regarding its mortgage settlement practices. The orders were issued as part of a joint investigation with the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

OTS, OCC and HUD found that Chicago Title had engaged in a pattern of violating Section 4 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by providing inaccurate HUD-1 settlement statements to lenders and their borrowers. The agencies determined that the HUD-1 settlement statements failed to accurately reflect the actual settlement costs in connection with the underlying home mortgage loans.

OTS and the OCC issued cease and desist orders, and HUD entered into a similar agreement, requiring Chicago Title to adopt and implement new internal policies governing the manner in which it conducts real estate settlements nationwide, training of its employees and officers, performance of internal audits, and oversight by its board of directors. The requirements are designed to address deficiencies in Chicago Title's procedures, to ensure the accuracy of its HUD-1 settlement statements, and to achieve compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Chicago Title was assessed a concurrent $5 million civil money penalty by OTS, the OCC and HUD. In addition, the Texas Department of Insurance announced today that it assessed a $1.2 million civil money penalty against Chicago Title based on similar charges.

Chicago Title indicated that it is taking the steps necessary to address the deficiencies in its mortgage settlement process, and it is cooperating with OTS, OCC and HUD in this matter.

Source: OTS

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC) is a seasoned title insurance underwriter, helping title agents to achieve their individual business goals for more than 50 years. Today, the company conducts real estate settlement services in 39 states and the District of Columbia through a network of experienced, independent agents.