Flagler Title Company Goes Broke- The Nightmare Begins!

By
Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

Imagine having a closing all set for next week...payday and then this hits the morning news. Here is an except from the news in Palm Beach Gardens Florida>This story is from MSNBC.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The president of one of the country?s largest title companies has closed his business and disappeared from West Palm Beach. Employees and friends of Flagler Title Company owner Roger Gamblin said on Thursday that he hasn?t been seen in 15 days. However, they wouldn?t comment when asked if Gamblin fled the company and possibly the country.

An official document stated that Gamblin took out a $500,000 line of credit two months ago on his West Palm Beach home. His cell phone was shut off, and friends said he sold all of his cars for cash.

To see the whole story go to MSNBC

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Anonymous
GladILeftFlaglerWhenIDid

This comment is to Pamela Green @ Consolidated Title Co.  Are you kidding me?? Employees are not going to get paid for the time they put in for the last 2 weeks.  People's live's have been messed with and all you can think about is marekting your title company on a free blogging website?  Seems to me you are just as greedy and selfish as Mr. Gamblin.  If your company isn't going anywhere and it is doing so well, maybe you can offer ex-Flagler employees jobs instead of being cheap and advertising here.  I'll be sure to pass the word on and tell my contacts not to use your company. Unbelievable!

Jun 17, 2008 01:11 AM #5
Anonymous
ANONYMOUS TITLE COMPANY OWNER

IN RESPONSE TO THE "GLAD I LEFT FLAGLER TITLE COMPANY"...I really do truely like your comments...

I have always had and still do have concerns about title "people" that blatantly refuse to operate 100% legit; the title industry is rife with greed;crooks,thieves liars.. Title company owners paying monies to realtors for "advertising", vacations paid for, and other miscellaneous ILLEGAL perks,all for a file; the list goes on and on and on. Everybody turns a blind eye to it because it was the norm before the state stepped in. These people paying and accepting  the bribes created a terrible non competitive environment for other legitimate title companies. Now we see the demise of one of the giants. Why so much controversy with this guy??  Why do we see this happening with Flagler Title?? If a person is doing the right thing,we dont hear these types of things.DUHHHHHHHH!!

 Rhetoric about missing escrow monies,looting of the corporation coffers and other illegal stuff, murder,missing person,drug suspicion,etc.. Why?   The GREEDY lifestyle these guys live is the reason. And sadly, the guy selling or buying a property is the one getting screwed, he gets GROSSLY over charged at his real estate closing by these greedy selfish careless creeps that have insatiable needs for money..Someone has to pay for the perks/bribes and lavish lifestyles....This guy negatively affected hundreds of peoples lives in the last 3 decades; now dozens of hard working middle class people thrown abruptly out of jobs in an industry that just happens to be at its worst ever. These hard working people dont deserve this. Thrown to the wolves because of someones greed for MORE money....I am proud to be one of few honorable title comapny owners in South Florida that cares about giving the little guy a good deal.I dont give 2 hoots about how happy the realtor or mortgage broker is, i care about the customer's well being in his real estate transaction; he's making the biggest investment of his life...Realtors,title company owners,mortgage brokers should ALL care more about other people instead of themselves...HELLO???  Without the little guys we have no business!!! Anybody listening??...Good luck to the title sales person Pamela hawking her services.your presentation isnt the best.. I am sitting here watching all the gypsies/tramps/thieves while i live in a nice modest honest life being part of the solution....Being fair with fellow human beings....

Jun 17, 2008 02:19 AM #6
Anonymous
Steven Schafer

Well I see it's going to be a heated debate. I guess the main point I was trying to make is about our responibilities as Realtors. In days gone by Realtors would ask clients deeply personal questions like "how much do you make" and work backward to find a house the client could afford. Somewhere along the way, it became invasive and easier to let the mortgage guy say "don't worry I'll get them a loan", somewhere along the way it became easier to dump them off at the title company and have little contact until it was time to pick up the commission check. I guess what I'm saying is the current market has made a statement....take your eye off the transaction and you're going to get burned sooner or later. These are the times that all realtors need to look at the representation portion of their business and ask is it 1st class can't be beat or something less than that.

Jun 17, 2008 02:24 AM #7
Anonymous
Steven Schafer

Dear Anonymous,

Just curious, do you charge promulgated rate or do you discount off promulgated?

Steven

Jun 17, 2008 08:39 AM #8
Anonymous
ANONYMOUS TITLE COMP OWNER, AGAIN!!

WITH EVERY CUSTOMER; FIRST thing our attorney,assistant or myself asks the customer for is THEIR PRIOR POLICY so we can give them a reissue credit. ALL THE TIME, EVERY FILE....YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT,,

Tons of "other" title companies do not do this, that takes monies out of their pockets and what the customer doesnt know/understand, "oh well" is the attitude the "other guys" have...I have seen it countless times; and the title commitments I have seen written over the last 10 years are horrendous!!  and these guys OVERCHARGE customers for this "shoddy at best" title work??   And prima donna title company employees, nobody picks up a phone to give "real time" update on a file to customer, realtors or mortgage people!!   Wont return phone calls!! Thinking they are God??!!!   UNBELIEVABLE!!    Days of wine/roses are over...Showing up and collecting a check every week isnt happenin anymore..

Dont heap the "HUD hidden"  "junk fee's" on them either, i have seen $75 FAX FEE'S, $500 doc prep fee's, $200 storage fee's, $100 "traveler fee's" and the list goes on and on,,....  Proud we are agents of Attorney Title Insurance Fund, have to be attorney in good standing to write thru them,escrow account is monitored monthly,have bonds and proper expensive insurance requirements that are monitored every quarter. They do not allow "junk fee's", they now dictate what can/cant be charged on HUD....Seminars to bring us compliant with Federal,State laws.. Without bonds,insurances and yearly CLE's,you dont write title,,,,,,,These other title insurance underwriters let anybody write as long as they can pay their bill every month and speak English!! and have no madatory "continuing education"!! 

Someone i know in "white collar" law enforcement says they are over loaded investigating real estate fraud..

More WILL BE REVEALED in upcoming months about the severity of the greed in the South Florida real estate arena... I am here to wish the "good guys" all the very best that this world has to offer, to commend the honorable for weathering the "tide of greed"  that swept over Florida in the last boom,and thank them for a job well done....       

 

Jun 17, 2008 12:44 PM #9
Anonymous
michael ronis

sorry brokers, sorry title folk.........all of the above are so concerned. How about us. The trusting public, who are now hanging. No money, no closing, little information. And you all wanted was that Bank Check.....................How we trusted you!

Jun 17, 2008 02:19 PM #10
Rainer
96,721
Fred Pickard
Fred Pickard Innovations Realty Inc - Hershey, PA
Hershey, PA

When I worked in PB County, Flagler was one of my preferred title companies.

They had great people and Nanette Eckerd, one of their marketing reps, was a wondeful teacher when I first started in the biz.

It's a shame that one man's greed put all of thse people out of work.

Jun 18, 2008 04:38 AM #11
Anonymous
Pamela Green

My blog may have come across wrong.  My intention was to let the people know that are stuck without a closing and may become homeless to provide them with a quick closing and get them in a home as fast as possible.  We have contacted several employees via cell phones to offer them a position with our company.  We have either contacted or left messages for Ann, Debbie, Diane, Frank, Gale, J.C. Frank, Nanette, Sally, Sandy and Savanna.  The few that did return the call stated that they were going to stay out of the business for now or will get back to us.  I did not know I needed to mention this on the blog.  I will be more careful next time and give more details.  We are a very reputable title company that is attorney owned and operated.  This may have made a difference at Flagler Title (not attorney owned).  Attorney's usually don't go through college for eight years and make flight with escrow funds.  My intentions were not to be taken as rude or free advertisement.  If anyone has contact with an employee please have them e-mail me.  Pamela@consolidatedtitle.com.  We are all in the same boat and all title companies are making cuts to survive in this new day.  The lender's, PMI companies and media are not making it any easier for a fast recovery.   Again, I do not intend to offend anyone.      

Jun 18, 2008 06:23 AM #12
Anonymous
Meee

Don`t use an attorney owned and operated company!!!  If you ever have a problem they will fight you tooth and nail in the courts. Odds are it`s not worth the great expense to fight an attorney so you`ll be out of luck...  They also over-charge by adding on "attorney fees" on top of closing fees...

 

Jun 19, 2008 01:20 AM #13
Anonymous
Savanna Yates

Okay so did a little research on what people might be saying about the whole situation that went on with Flagler. I being a former Marketing Rep for the company, And you can goto my blogs and read what I have posted about the whole thing, but let me tell you what and this is more directed at Pamela at consolidated Title. Thursday June 12th at 8:30 in the morning we found out  that not only are we not getting paychecks and that includes the 30-40 employees that have family they have to take care of, but also that our OWNER, FRIEND, FATHER FIGURE a man we thought we new and trusted just got up and ABANDONED us. In the whole process come to find out our customers that we have worked our asses off to please and keep in great realationship with where frauded and there monies where stolen.

Let's recap.....No money, no owner, no leadership to tell us what to do next.

LET'S Play a game...HOW many PHONE CALLS do you think 1 employee got in that day and the following days?

So when title companies like yours calls and is offering a retarded amount to get my book of business FOR NOW and take advantage of the situation...CAN YOU BLAME US FOR NOT WANTING TO GET SCREWED AGAIN!!!!!!!!?????

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me...SO no one was going to entertain any calls from ANY title company until we handled our customers first. UNLIKE ROGER, we did not want to leave our customers to the unknown and have been working everyday since June 12th for FREE trying to fix the mess he left behind.

Thank you to the people who actually stepped back and looked at the whole picture and saw families involved in this and the people who where left.

To the others, I hope you never have to go through what the employees and realtors, and customers have been going through. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

 

SAVANNA YATES

Jun 24, 2008 07:28 AM #14
Anonymous
Pamela Green

This is a response to Savanna and everyone else that has placed a  blog regarding this whole situtation.  Again, I didnt mean to come across in a negative manner by any means.  I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy either.  I do understand that their were many employees that had no idea what was happening and to go to work and find that their isn't a company anymore is very devastating. 

I myself am a Marketing Rep and we all work very very hard to obtain clients and to keep them, we go above and beyond to get the job done. So I do understand the amount of pressure you guys were faced with on June 12 and probably still facing with your clients and not being compensated to fix someone elses mess to date and other parties involved with Flagler---the employees and families are having to deal with.  The single parents and families that were devestated by this, I truly am very sorry.  i am a single parent  myself and if I was in this situation, I don't know what I would do.   You guys looked up to Roger and to be abandoned the way you all were is WRONG..  JUST REMEMBER WHAT COMES AROUND GOES AROUND..i PRAY that he gets caught and does hard time for him doing this to all of you...

 

Jun 25, 2008 09:18 AM #15
Anonymous
AJ

Pamela,

 

I think you would be better served to stop writing messages at this point.  You only seem to be digging the hole bigger and bigger.

 

Additionally, in your first post you mentioned how professional, etc. your company is, however I would not feel safe putting my money with your company when they employ someone who can't even spell. 

Jun 26, 2008 03:11 AM #16
Anonymous
Steven Schafer

Aj,

When I posted I never thought it would be such an active post but let's cut a little slack on spelling. We've all made spelling errors on a post.

Addtionally, there might be far more self serving people on here than admit to it. I noticed I never got a response when I asked it the other title company ever gave discounts off promulgated rates.

Steven

Jun 26, 2008 03:22 AM #17
Anonymous
Pamela Green

AJ,

You've got to be kidding me...How do you think I am digging myself deeper and deeper in a hole????  And, I'm sorry you feel the way you do.  Your opinion doesn' matter to me.  That is why you can bloggggg to express and say how you feel.  If you don't like what I post, then don't read it.  And I'm sorry you wouldn't consider using our Company, because of what?? a spelling error.  OK..

Steven,

Thank you for the comment regarding spelling errors.  We all make them however, we must not be as perfect as AJ to not make an error.  Regarding your question about discounts on Promulgated Rate yes, we do as long we have a prior title policy they will recieve a discount.  We are also competitve with our pricing to meet the needs of our clients. 

Jun 26, 2008 07:02 AM #18
Rainmaker
81,479
Steven Schafer
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Egg Harbor Township, NJ
CDPE, SFR, ABR, SRES

I keep asking but nobody's answering....

Everytime I ask about a discount off of promulgated rates the title people keep answering with yes we give re-issue discounts. Frankly, I'm starting to think same scam, new day. So for those who would like a little summary of title insurance.

* First, it is the lowest claim rate insurance in the entire insurance industry. Have you every actually heard of anyone divorced grandma from 50 years ago making a claim?

* Two, it protects the lender

* It's such a low claim, high profit insurance that the state of Utah (I think it's Utah?) made their title insurance state funded and their home buyers pay into the state fund. It would seem that in a budget crunch time like this the state of Florida would look at this option.

* The actual cost of the policy to the title closer is somewhere between 30-50% of of the actual  cost of the policy.

* In 1999 (once again I think it was 1999) the Florida Supreme court ruled that promulgated rates (you know the one the title company wants you to believe are set by the state) are Illegal and amount to price fixing by the state, and title companies may charge whatever (discounted) fee they feel appropriate for their business model.

* Everytime I ask about a discount off promulgated the title people answer with "yes we give re-issue discounts". People...there not the same. A re-issue discount is generally given when the policy is under 2 years old. None the less, still not a discount off Promulgated.

So next all the title people want to talk about their fine companies, I just want to know...do you give discounts off promulgated...

Jun 26, 2008 07:55 AM #19
Anonymous
ANONYMOUS TITLE COMAPNY OWNER

WHY WOULD A TITLE COMPANY OWNER DISCOUNT THE TITLE INSURANCE RATE THAT IS REGULATED BY THE STATE?  WHY??  WE WORK FOR PEANUTS AS IT IS.. 

WHY DONT YOU DISCOUNT YOUR REAL ESTATE COMMISONS FROM 6% DOWN TO 1%?? 

HOW ABOUT THIS REALTOR JUNK FEE I FIND TOTALLY HILARIOUS!!  SINCE YOU ARE TRYING TO MAKE A CASE ON TITLE COMPANY "FEE'S"..LETS TALK  ABOUT THE REAL ESTATE COMPANY  "TRANSACTION FEE"!! LOL.....MORE JUNK FEES THAT GO STRAIGHT TO THE BROKER..  ON TOP OF 6%, YOU HAVE THE NERVE TO JAM ANOTHER FEW HUNDRED BUCKS ON SOME POOR SCHMUCK THATS PAYING 6% REAL ESTATE COMISSION....  SUCH A COLD HARD SLAP IN THE FACE TO THE CUSTOMER...!!  IF YOU ARE NOT,OR HAVE NEVER GUILTY OF THIS UNETHICAL/IMMORAL OVERCHARGE,THEN PLEASE DISREGARD MY COMMENTS.

WHAT YOUR ASKING TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY OWNERS TO DISCLOSE IS RIDICULOUS MR.REALTOR!!   YES, SOME  TITLE COMPANIES  RECKLESSLY CHARGE WHATEVER THEY PLEASE;BUT SOME DO NOT. AND FEW OF US,YES "US",INCLUDING MYSELF GIVE THE PEOPLE FAIRNESS....WALK IN THE SHOES OF A TITLE COMPANY OWNER FOR A MONTH OR TWO,I GUARANTEE YOU WONT HAVE THE SAME ATTITUDE YOU CURRENTLY HAVE. TITLE COMPANIES TAKE ON ALL THE RISK,DO ALL THE WORK AND MAKE THE LEAST AMOUNT OF MONEY IN A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION. WE ARE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE "PROFIT" LIST ON REAL TRANSACTIONS,AND AGAIN,WE DO ALL THE WORK AND HAVE ALL THE LIABILITY....... I AM REALLY SURPRISED THAT YOU WOULD MAKE A STATEMENT LIKE THE ONES YOU'VE MADE KNOWING ALL OF THE ABOVE, UNLESS YOU ARE CLUELESS ABOUT THE TITLE COMPANY BUSINESS. I WOULD BE GLAD TO SHOW YOU MY BOOKS ON ONE OR MANY CLOSINGS,THEN YOU'D SEE IN BLACK/WHITE THAT THIS BUSINESS IS COMPLICATED,EXPENSIVE TO RUN  AND NO WHERE'S NEAR AS LUCTARIVE AS YOU ARE DELUSIONALLY THINKING..YOU PICKED THE WRONG GUY TO DEBATE WITH REGARDING TITLE COMPANY CHARGES/PROFITS.. HOW MANY REAL ESTATE BROKERS I HAVE RUN ACROOS OVER THE YEARS ASK ME TO ESCROW THE DEPOSITS, BECAUSE THEY ARE  ARE TOO CHEAP TO HAVE AN ESCROW ACCOUNT BECAUSE OF THE INSURANCES THAT ARE REQUIRED BY THE STATE AND THE WORK INVOLVED TAKING THE DEPOSITS AND SENDING THEM TO THE CLOSINGS; ITS TOO MUCH WORK FOR YOU GUYS..SO YOU GO TO YOUR "FLAVOR OF THE MONTH" TITLE COMPANY  TO HAVE THE MONIES ESCROWED.AGAIN,THE MONIES DEPOSITED AT THE TITLE COMPANY...WE HAVE TO TAKE THE LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS..NOPE,SORRY,THIS IS AN ISSUE YOU STEPPED WAY OUTTA BOUNDS ON MR.REALTOR...THERES WAY MORE TO OUR BUSINESS THAN YOU HAVE A CLUE..

AND FYI,TITLE INSURANCE PROTECTS ALL HOMEOWNERS/TRANSACTORS,NOT JUST THE LENDER.

DO SOME RESEARCH/HOMEWORK BEFORE YOU START "CHATTERING" AGAIN...

Jul 09, 2008 03:17 AM #20
Anonymous
jan in georgia

I think all you people failed to miss the severity of this man's disappearance. Didn't his best friend go missing last year mysteriously? Can the two be related? Is everyone in Florida more concerned with who can make the most $$$? 

Sep 09, 2008 11:15 AM #21
Anonymous
LookOut

Jan in georgia:

Some folks close to this story have theorized that the best friend (Jim Trindade) disappeared to plant seeds out of the country - possibly in the Caribbean or South America - for the eventual disappearance of Gamblin and his wife. Flagler Title had anticipated some hefty fines, several legal fiascos and litigation involving former employees, underwriters, and partners. Some sources believe the company had somehow put off a crucial audit (what underwriter would put up with this?) and had been 'borrowing' from escrow funds to keep the company afloat for several years. The theory (albeit a longshot because it's unimaginable that Trindade would leave his teenage daughter the way he did) is that Gamblin established a company in the Caribbean some time ago to syphon funds to & Trindade could have been establishing connections, etc. until Gamblin was ready to disappear.

Because no one has heard from Gamblin or his wife, others have theorized that the youngest son (the one named as a person of interest in the disappearance of Trindade) may have also had something to do with his father's disappearance. However, it would be hard to believe this kid could have skillfully pulled off Trindade's disappearance - let alone his father and stepmother's disappearances.

Maybe the guy was just tired of it all. Both he and his wife reportedly had health problems. Perhaps they decided all this mess just wasn't worth it and disappeared to simply be together for the rest of their lives. It's just a shame that the cowardice of these acts left the employees holding sacks of smelly stuff for the sake of this man's ego.

Sep 10, 2008 10:53 AM #22
Anonymous
chronis

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Oct 17, 2008 02:31 AM #23
Anonymous
An unpaid mortgage broker

Hey LookOut,

It is my understanding that the Escrow Funds in Flagler's Title Companies accounts didn't turn up missing until a week or two after Gamblin's disappeared. My question is why the bank holding these funds didn't become suspicious and alarmed when the entire balance of the account (by some estimates as much as 6 to 8 million dollars) was withdrawn all at one time. It just doesn't sound right to me.

I worked hard to close a very difficult file through Flagler Title and now the attorneys appointed to handle the receivership for the title insurers underwriters have made the decision that the Realtors/Mortgage Brokers/Appraisers and anyone else who worked to close this file don't deserve to get paid. In the letter we received they even went so far as to threaten to counter sue anyone who brought suit against them. Is there anyone else out there in this situation.  If so, I would like to talk to you about banding together as a group and pursuing this legally.  I have sought the advice of many professional people within the industry and they tell me the title insurers are bound to fund the loan per the Hud 1 closing statement.

I will monitor this blog  I would like to hear from you. We have much more strength if we stand together.

Let me also say that I really feel for the former employees of Flagler Title. The people I dealt with working on this file were knowledgeable, efficient and gracious people. I hope as of this writing that you have all landed on your feet and are doing well. 

 As for Mr ANONYMOUS TITLE COMPANY OWNER..... PLEASE DON'T TELL ME THAT YOU DO ALL THE HEAVY LIFTING IN CLOSING A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION. MORTGAGE BROKERS DON'T HAVE IT EASY AND IT IS GETTING TOUGHER EVERYDAY. I ALSO SOLD REAL ESTATE FOR 10 YEARS AND I KNOW THAT JOB IS NO PICNIC EITHER. DON'T GET ME WRONG. I DON'T BELITTLE YOUR PROFESSION. I HAVE NOTHING BUT RESPECT FOR ANYONE INVOLVED IN ALL THE RELATED FIELDS OF OUR INDUSTRY. LETS TRY WORKING TOGETHER, DO ARE JOBS TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITIES AND STOP THE GRIPPING.

 

 

 

 

Nov 26, 2008 02:32 PM #24
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Steven Schafer

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