ALTA® Files Lawsuit Against Radian
November 16, 2001
November 16, 2001
ALTA Files Lawsuit Against Radian
Washington, DC ? The American Land Title Association (ALTA) announced today that it has filed a lawsuit in Orange County, California, on behalf of its California members against Radian Group, Inc. and two of its subsidiaries, Radian Guaranty, Inc. and ExpressClose.com. In the suit, ALTA is seeking an injunction prohibiting Radian from offering and selling in California a mortgage impairment product known as "Radian Lien Protection" (RLP). In addition, ALTA is seeking monetary damages on behalf of a class of all licensed title insurers and title insurance agents in California. Further, the suit seeks a court order prohibiting Radian from selling any other forms of mortgage impairment products that constitute title insurance without approval from the California Insurance Commissioner. The suit alleges that Radian's unlawful sales of its RLP product interfered with the title industry business relationships with mortgage lender customers, resulting in substantial lost revenues and irreparable harm to those relationships and the title industry and its product. Finally, the complaint alleges Radian has falsely advertised its product and seeks to require Radian to replace its product and the earlier ExpressClose.com product with title insurance policies.
"Our title insurance company members have no problem competing for business with each other and with any other company that is in compliance with the applicable state insurance regulations that govern the title insurance industry," said James R. Maher, Executive Vice President of ALTA. He continued that, "Our understanding however, is that Radian is not licensed to sell title insurance in California, or in any other state where such licenses are required.?
"To the best of our knowledge," said Maher, "the Radian product and similar mortgage impairment products that are currently being sold (unlawfully in our opinion), are title insurance in that they insure against undisclosed liens. But none of these products measure up to traditional title insurance. They don't clear up title defects. They don't guarantee a right of access. And, they don?t pay attorney?s fees to represent insureds in establishing the priority of the mortgage or validity of title to the subject property. Those benefits can only be obtained through traditional title insurance sold by insurers who, unlike Radian, are licensed and regulated as title insurers by state insurance authorities. Thus, there is a great danger to lenders and borrowers who may be misled into believing that what they are getting from Radian and other sellers of similar mortgage impairment products is comparable to standard title insurance.?
The American Land Title Association is a Washington, D.C. based trade association whose membership includes over 1,800 title insurance companies, title insurance agents and title abstractors located throughout the United States. Members of the Association search and insure land titles to protect real estate investors including homebuyers and mortgage lenders.