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BUSINESS
April 4, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Federal regulators are conducting an extensive investigation into an alleged mortgage insurance kickback scheme that pushed up costs for home buyers dating from the mid-1990s. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in disclosing its first action Thursday, said the investigation revolves around a scheme in which banks and other lenders required private mortgage insurers to seek backup insurance from lender-owned reinsurance companies. The backup insurance essentially was worthless and amounted to an improper payment to the lender by the mortgage insurer to acquire new customers, consumer bureau officials said.
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BUSINESS
April 4, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Federal regulators are conducting an extensive investigation into an alleged mortgage insurance kickback scheme that pushed up costs for home buyers dating from the mid-1990s. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in disclosing its first action Thursday, said the investigation revolves around a scheme in which banks and other lenders required private mortgage insurers to seek backup insurance from lender-owned reinsurance companies. The backup insurance essentially was worthless and amounted to an improper payment to the lender by the mortgage insurer to acquire new customers, consumer bureau officials said.
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BUSINESS
April 4, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators hit four national private mortgage insurance companies Thursday with a combined $15.4 million in fines to settle allegations of making improper kickbacks to lenders to steer consumer business to them. The fines, which the companies have agreed to as part of proposed consent orders, could be followed by penalties against lenders as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continued an investigation into so-called reinsurance kickbacks. "The mortgage insurance business can be lucrative, and our investigation indicates that lenders sought to leverage their control over the business to capture some of those revenues for themselves," said Richard Cordray, the bureau's director.
BUSINESS
April 4, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators hit four national private mortgage insurance companies Thursday with a combined $15.4 million in fines to settle allegations of making improper kickbacks to lenders to steer consumer business to them. The fines, which the companies have agreed to as part of proposed consent orders, could be followed by penalties against lenders as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continued an investigation into so-called reinsurance kickbacks. "The mortgage insurance business can be lucrative, and our investigation indicates that lenders sought to leverage their control over the business to capture some of those revenues for themselves," said Richard Cordray, the bureau's director.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 23, 2003 | Kenneth Reich, Times Staff Writer
A Philadelphia-based mortgage insurer that tried to sell an alternative to title insurance that was less than half as expensive as regular policies has been told it cannot legally engage in the business. State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi ruled that the lien protection policies offered in California by Radian Guaranty fly in the face of a 70-year-old state law that prohibits mortgage insurers from selling title insurance.
REAL ESTATE
January 12, 2003 | From Times wire reports
A California administrative law judge Monday upheld a Department of Insurance cease-and-desist order against Radian Guaranty Inc. that prohibits the Philadelphia-based mortgage insurer from selling its Radian Lien Protection policies. The department issued the order in June because Radian is licensed to sell only mortgage guaranty insurance in California.
REAL ESTATE
October 15, 2000 | Inman News Features
The private mortgage insurance industry has launched two Web sites to provide information about private mortgage insurance (PMI) and how it compares with other home-financing options. One site, http://www.privatemi.com, is geared to consumers, while http://www.micanews.com is aimed at policymakers and the media. "We launched these Web sites to help the public understand how using PMI can help them buy a home today, not someday," said Frank P. Filipps, chairman and CEO of Radian Guaranty Inc.
REAL ESTATE
September 2, 2001 | KENNETH R. HARNEY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
An ambitious--and controversial--effort is about to get underway nationwide to slash homeowners' title insurance premiums, appraisal fees and other closing costs when they refinance their mortgages or take out a home equity loan. In title-related expenses alone, the new service promises to cut fees by 50% or more, lowering charges from an average $650 to $700 to below $300 at settlement.
REAL ESTATE
December 2, 2001 | KENNETH R. HARNEY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A landmark legal battle is taking shape for homeowners and mortgage refinancers--one that could stand in the way of huge savings for consumers nationwide. The national lobby representing title insurance companies and agents filed suit just before Thanksgiving to block a lower-cost mortgage market competitor. The American Land Title Assn.
BUSINESS
July 26, 2013 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - Do 75 million homeowners need their own advocate before Congress and federal agencies on issues such as the mortgage interest tax deduction, retention of low-down-payment loans and the start of tougher financing rules next January? A group of mortgage and real estate industry veterans, joined by leaders of national community development, fair housing and consumer groups, thinks so. They're set to launch an unusual effort - a national nonprofit organization modeled after AARP, the seniors lobby, solely to speak for the home-owning public.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 23, 2003 | Kenneth Reich, Times Staff Writer
A Philadelphia-based mortgage insurer that tried to sell an alternative to title insurance that was less than half as expensive as regular policies has been told it cannot legally engage in the business. State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi ruled that the lien protection policies offered in California by Radian Guaranty fly in the face of a 70-year-old state law that prohibits mortgage insurers from selling title insurance.
BUSINESS
April 24, 2011 | By Kenneth R. Harney
Is the Federal Housing Administration losing some of its post-boom, post-bust oomph? Is the Obama administration's plan to gradually throttle back the FHA's home mortgage insurance volume already having effects — and if so, what might this mean to you as a buyer? There are definitely signs that something is brewing: •Total applications for FHA-insured single-family mortgages are down 30% year over year through March, according to the agency's data. Applications from prospective home purchasers are down 35%. The FHA's popularity with buyers previously had sustained its high origination volumes.
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