- May 17, 2007
- All Florida Issuing Offices
- Final Order Approving Stewart Title Guaranty Company Florida Class Action Settlement
In July 2004, attorneys for Sharon and
Jason Evans ("Plaintiffs") filed a lawsuit against Stewart Title Guaranty
Company ("Stewart") in
In their lawsuit, Plaintiffs claimed that Stewart and/or its agents failed to charge the Reissue Rate in all circumstances when it was appropriate. As you know, under Rule 69O-186.003, Fla. Admin. Code, in certain circumstances, purchasers of title insurance who produce a prior owner's policy are entitled to be charged the Reissue Rate on their new owner's, lender's or leasehold policy.
Stewart believes that it and its
In addition, Stewart has agreed, as part of the settlement, to take certain steps to make sure those purchasers of Stewart owner's, lender's and leasehold policies who are eligible to be charged the Reissue Rate are provided with pertinent information with respect thereto.
In particular, please be advised that it is Stewart's policy in Florida that, in transactions in which the Reissue Rate is potentially applicable, agents should always (i) request prior owner's policies from borrowers on refinance transactions, and (ii) inform the borrower that providing a prior owner's policy will permit a discounted title insurance rate, if applicable, as soon as practicable after being retained as the title agent, and in any event no later than the agents' first contact with the consumer paying the title insurance premium or the consumer's representative (i.e., the lender, mortgage broker, realtor, and/or attorney).
Please also be advised that it
is Stewart's policy in
Any Stewart agent that has an inquiry or needs assistance (a) in determining whether Stewart issued an owner's policy to the person or entity, or (b) in obtaining information and/or documents within Stewart's possession, custody, or control required by a person or entity for Reissue Rates may contact:
Stewart Title Guaranty Company
9700 Bissonnet Street
It is Stewart's
position that the charging of Reissue Rates is (a) mandatory where
the transaction qualifies under the
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