Indiana title agents indicted for embezzlement
Josh Minkler, the acting U.S. attorney, announced that Adam Mears, 41 of Carmel, Ind., and Patrick Hayden, 37 of Greensburg, Ind., were indicted in separate investigations for embezzling money from their clients. Both face five counts of wire fraud.
Governor sends foreclosure bill back, requests amendment
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick sent back a bill that was passed by the state legislature to clarify the rights of third-party purchasers of previously foreclosed homes in the state. He said that certainty of title should not “come at the expense of wrongly displaced homeowners,” at least not at this time.
Lien priority dispute arises after foreclosure proceedings
The mortgagee for a property in Shrewbury, Mass., received first lien position when it provided a mortgage for the homebuyers. The note and mortgage were assigned to a few different mortgage servicers through MERS. In the meantime, the homeowners used the property as collateral for a business improvement loan. When the latest assignee went to foreclose on the property, it discovered the business loan creditor and filed suit for equitable subrogation. The creditor moved for summary judgment, arguing that the assignee’s title insurance should cover any losses.
FDIC sues title insurer, agency for inducing fraudulent mortgage purchases
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., in its role as receiver for Washington Mutual Bank, sued a title insurer, title agency and title agency owner, for inducing Washington Mutual to purchase three fraudulent mortgages, resulting in more than $1.24 million in losses to Washington Mutual. The case went before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on the insurer’s motion to dismiss.
New York DFS releases instructions, applications for title agent licensure
Instructions and applications for title agent licensure have been published by the New York State Department of Financial Services. The New York State Land Title Association (NYSLTA) provided some insight into how agents can start preparing for the new requirements.
Adopted earlier this year, Insurance Law Section 2102 prohibits any person or business entity from acting as an insurance producer in New York, including a title insurance agent, without a licensee.
California appellate court resolves LandAmerica wage and hour dispute
After being terminated by LandAmerica Financial Group Inc., former employees brought wage and hour class action disputes against the title insurer, arguing that, among other things, the company failed to pay overtime wages. A trial court denied class certification and granted LandAmerica’s motion for summary judgment. The former employees timely appealed.