Bulletin: FL000070

Date:
January 12, 1998
To:
All Stewart Title Offices and Agents in Florida
RE:
Butler Litigation

Dear Associates:

On December 10, 1997, the trial court hearing the Butler litigation heard a motion for summary judgment filed by Butler. You will recall that the Butler litigation is an attempt by a commercial developer to create a right on the part of a title insurance customer to negotiate the agent's share of the premium.

The judge has now rendered his decision. The most important part of the judge's decision was to rule that the statute permitting rebating (under certain limited circumstances) does not apply to title insurance, as we have been arguing. He also cites several additional statutes which he agrees prohibit rebating by title agents as to the risk premium.

This is just one intermediate step in this litigation and you can be sure that whichever side wins at the trial level will appeal, but it does represent a major victory for our side.

Stewart is one of the small group of underwriters which, along with the FLTA, are parties to this litigation attempting to protect the agent's right to its share of the premium.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None