Fidelity National Title Group, Inc. Announces Settlement with New York Attorney General
Jacksonville, Fla. -- (May 23, 2006) -- Fidelity National Title Group, Inc. (NYSE: FNT), one of the nation's largest title insurance companies and a majority-owned, publicly traded subsidiary of Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (NYSE:FNF), today announced that it has reached a settlement with the office of the Attorney General of the state of New York, ending nearly two years of industry-wide scrutiny.
FNT has agreed to a rate reduction of 15 percent on all purchase transactions in New York involving liability levels up to $1 million. Additionally, the New York State Insurance Department will hold an industry-wide rate hearing before the end of 2006 to determine future title insurance premium rates, which could result in a future increase, reduction or no change in title insurance premiums in the state of New York. Finally, FNT agreed to a $2 million penalty that ends the investigation of the New York Attorney General.
"We are pleased that the New York Attorney General found no pattern or practice of any wrongdoing on the part of our company," said Peter T. Sadowski, FNT Executive Vice President and FNF General Counsel. "This lengthy investigation is now behind us. Measured against hundreds of thousands of transactions, the Attorney General's investigators identified only isolated errors or questionable industry practices. We cooperated fully with the Attorney General's office and are pleased with the satisfactory resolution of the investigation."
Fidelity National Title Group, Inc. is one of the nation's largest title insurance companies. The Company's title insurance underwriters Fidelity National Title, Chicago Title, Ticor Title, Security Union Title and Alamo Title issue approximately 31 percent of all title insurance policies in the United States. Through its direct operations and agencies, the Company provides title insurance in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada. In 2005, FNT also acquired Service Link, a leading provider of title and closing services to major financial institutions and lenders, including six of the top 10 lending institutions in the United States ranked by loan origination volume. More information about Fidelity National Title Group can be found at www.fntg.com.
FNT is a majority-owned subsidiary of Fidelity National Financial Inc., number 248 on the Fortune 500 and a provider of products and outsourced services and solutions to a variety of industries. More information about FNF can be found at www.fnf.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about our beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on management's beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management. Because such statements are based on expectations as to future economic performance and are not statements of fact, actual results may differ materially from those projected. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The risks and uncertainties which forward-looking statements are subject to include, but are not limited to: changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial markets; adverse changes in the level of real estate activity, which may be caused by, among other things, high or increasing interest rates, a limited supply of mortgage funding or a weak U. S. economy; compliance with extensive regulations; regulatory investigations of the title insurance industry; our business concentration in the State of California, the source of over 20% of our title insurance premiums; our dependence on distributions from our title insurance underwriters as our main source of cash flow; competition from other title insurance companies; FNF's need to maintain more than 80% ownership of our common stock for various tax purposes; and other risks detailed in the "Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information," "Risk Factors" and other sections of the Company's Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE: Fidelity National Title Group, Inc.
CONTACT: Daniel Kennedy Murphy, Senior Vice President, Finance and Investor Relations, Fidelity National Financial, Inc., 904-854-8120, firstname.lastname@example.org