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SUBPRIME SERVICES COMPANY ABANDONS DISPUTED FEES

JEFF HORWITZ, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A company with ties to the largest U.S. overseer of subprime mortgages is promising under pressure to stop collecting controversial insurance fees from homeowners whose properties were under foreclosure. The announcement comes three months after The Associated Press highlighted its business practices.

Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. of Luxembourg said legal concerns drove its decision to stop collecting commissions on the insurance fees. Consumer advocates and insurance regulators have accused banks and mortgage companies of gouging struggling homeowners on the insurance. The policies are intended to protect the homes of uninsured borrowers.

Shares in Altisource fell by more than 15 percent on the news, causing a drop of more than $200 million in the company’s market value.