One of Iowa’s largest home mortgage companies is accused of illegally selling a type of property insurance called “title” insurance. Norwest Incorporated, now known as Wells Fargo Incorporated, is being ordered to pay a 50-thousand dollar fine and must no longer sell the product.Scott Galenbeck, general counsel for the Iowa Insurance Division, says at least two thousand Iowans purchased this type of property insurance in question. Title insurance is designed to ensure that a clear title is available for property.That type of insurance is -not- allowed in Iowa, though Galenbeck says there is an alternative available that involves title examinations. A class-action lawsuit was filed earlier on Norwest’s “Title Option Plus” insurance. Galenbeck says it’s unclear if that suit brought refunds to Iowans who bought policies.Norwest had offered the Title Option Plus policy since 1994. It was designed to guarantee against loss from disputes over the ownership of a property. Title insurance is available to homebuyers in every state in the nation -except- Iowa.
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