Title Insurance Company Launches Foreclosure Services Unit

June 26, 2008 No Comments »

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Title insurance company Stewart Information Services announced today the launch of a new unit, Stewart Default Services (SDS), which aims to take advantage of the recent surge in foreclosure filings.

Beginning July 1, SDS will provide residential, commercial, and homeowner’s association foreclosure services to mortgage lenders, servicers, government agencies, and private investors in Arizona, California, and Nevada.

Their offerings will include loss mitigation, foreclosure processing, bankruptcy / eviction referral and monitoring, vacant property insurance, post-sale conveyance, and of course, title and escrow services.

In early May, the company reported a first-quarter net loss of $25.2 million, or $1.40 a share, more than five times greater than its $4.8 million loss in the same period a year earlier.

The company cited weak title orders related to the housing downturn, and less financing activity because of restricted mortgage underwriting guidelines.

Since late 2005, the company has shed nearly 25 percent of its workforce, resulting in 2,500 layoffs, including 460 during the first quarter of 2008.

Shares of Stewart were off 83 cents, or 3.98%, to $20.00 in afternoon trading, falling to a new 52-week low during the session.

(photo: jef)

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