Over the course of my former career as a real estate agent/broker I referred hundreds of clients to Fidelity National Title as the title company that I supported and felt did the best job due to the excellent service I and my clients had received from the escrow officers in the Sonoma California office.
As I have said - thank goodness that I am the only one who ever had to actually file (or had filed on my behalf) a claim with Fidelity National Title. Having experienced working with (LOL) the claims department of Fidelity National Title, I feel guilty having referred so many of my clients to Fidelity knowing that if they have a problem in the future with their real estate investment title, they will need to most likely go through an experience similar to what happened to me.
If I accepted the pittance of a settlement that I felt I was forced to agree to - which I did solely for the purpose of paying the legal expenses (amounting to almost $8000 just to barely get the lawsuit started) and to pay my attorney for his time. I was convinced by the intimidating speech of Fidelity National Title's Senior Trial Attorney (Richard M. McNeely, Jr.) that not only was it going to cost tens of thousands of dollars but even if I "won" I could still legally end up owing Fidelity money.
Additionally, the second Fidelity National Title Attorney (Edward Kunnes) in what I felt was not a pleasant way pointed out the following:
- My attempts at adding a little levity to the conference was not appropriate for a settlement conference.
- When he stated that Fidelity National Title Insurance Company did not have an office in Napa (and therefore this statement in our complaint was false) - which I wrote about as I researched the company I realized that he was correct as there are so many different divisions but even as a real estate broker - I thought that they were all the same and interconnected and not part of what I now understand to be a form of organization and legal protection.
- And he stated that indeed per the law I was no longer covered by the insurance because I no longer owned the property. Of course, I now realize that this must have been part of the intention of moving me all over the country from office to office and claims counsel to claims counsel and the lack of response until I contacted the California Department of Insurance, etc.