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Bank of America, Fidelity National reach deal over title insurance for foreclosed homes

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In the latest fallout from foreclosure processing problems, Bank of America announced late Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with Fidelity National Financial Inc. to provide title insurance on the sale of foreclosed properties.

BofA spokesman Dan Frahm said that the bank and Fidelity National, the nation’s largest title insurer, hoped to reassure home buyers that they are protected when buying foreclosed properties.

The bank said it is trying to work out similar agreements with the American Land Title Assn., the title insurance industry’s major trade group, and other title insurers.

Kurt Pfotenhauer, chief executive of the land title group, said that his association had expressed concern to the big banks that its members could be left on the hook if they insured certain properties that had been bought out of foreclosure. He said he expected more agreements between big title insurers and banks to be reached this week.

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Frahm, the Bank of America spokesman, wouldn’t say what assurances the bank had provided Fidelity National to reach the accord. Fidelity spokesman Daniel K. Murphy could not be reached for comment.

A news report from Jacksonville, Fla., where Fidelity National is based, said Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America, the largest servicer of residential mortgages, had offered to cover the title insurer’s costs from any errors made by bank employees processing foreclosures.

-- E. Scott Reckard and Alejandro Lazo


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