California Orders Orange Coast Title to Pay $800,000 to Settle Charges that the Firm Used Illegal Methods

August 3, 2006

Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi today announced an agreement with Orange Coast Title Company that requires the firm to pay $800,000 and immediately cease giving illegal inducements to generate more business.

The settlement follows an investigation into Orange Coast’s business practices by the California Department of Insurance. It was sparked by numerous complaints made to the Department about Orange Coast, and eventually unearthed numerous violations amounting to more than $167,230 in illegal activities. They included false entries in financial books; illegal payments to induce more title business; payments for furnishings and other supplies to induce title business; illegal rebates; and other infractions.

“These illegal actions are typical in this industry in which real competition simply does not exist,” said Commissioner Garamendi. “This is a prime example of why I recently introduced title insurance reforms that will protect consumers from the artificially high premiums that are generated in part by this illegal activity.”

The settlement requires Orange Coast to cease its illegal and inappropriate activities, pay a $626,335.75 fine, and reimburse the Department $173,664.25 in costs incurred during the investigation.

Source: California Department of Insurance

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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.