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Woodbury title insurance agency closes

Titleserve offices in Woodbury

Titleserve offices in Woodbury Photo Credit: John Paraskevas

Woodbury-based Titleserv, a title insurance agent that operated in 47 states, has shut down, it announced Monday.

A brief statement from president James Conway III said it closed Friday but did not give any reason: “Titleserv and its professionals are working with Titleserv’s lenders, title companies and creditors to provide for the flow of information in an effort to minimize disruption.”

Titleserv offered appraisal and settlement services, and it had some big clients, including Chase bank. Its exit from an embattled lending industry prompted attorneys, an underwriter and others to gauge the impact on their business, from whether they had any Titleserv transactions scheduled to close soon to whether lenders’ funding for sales were still in escrow accounts.

“That was really a bolt out of the blue,” said Carl Samson, president of New Jersey Title Insurance Co., an underwriter for Titleserv.

Samson said his sales agent contacted Titleserv on Friday and was told it was closing. He said his auditor was scheduled to go into the Woodbury headquarters Monday to get files but was turned away by Conway, who said an appointment must be made through Titleserv’s attorney first.

“It wasn’t something that necessarily gives you a lot of good feeling about what was going on there,” Samson said. “We needed some of the files, and we wanted to see if there were files that had been closed where documents hadn’t been recorded.”

Samson said he’s working with lenders to get the mortgage funds directly so seller or their refinance lenders can be paid.

Titleserv had about 160 employees, most of them in Woodbury, according to Dun & Bradstreet, which gathers data on businesses.

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