New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced a deal with two real estate title insurance firms to reduce their fees charged to New York homebuyers.
The agreement with
Fidelity National Title Group
( FNT) and
First American Title Insurance
stems from an investigation into the title insurance business by Spitzer's office. Spitzer claims his office found "illegal rebates and referral fees'' in the industry, but did not file any charges against the two companies.
"This settlement should greatly benefit New York homebuyers who for too long have paid too much for their title insurance," said Spitzer, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor.
As part of the agreement, the two firms will reduce the rates they charge on most home purchase transactions by 15%. Fidelity National, a publicly traded subsidiary of
, agreed to pay a $2 million penalty.
"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, First National's general counsel.