TitleServ, a large Woodbury, New York based title company advertising services in 47 states, has shut its doors permanently according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal received confirmation that the company shut its doors for good last Friday via employees at the company's main telephone number. The company had been in operation since 1986.
The company's website, which has not been taken down, displays its headquarters, in a sleek low-rise white concrete and blue glass building. The company signed a long term lease for 65,000 square feet of office space on the third and fourth floors of the building during better times in the early 2000s.
Photos on the site depict ultra-modern decor in conference rooms outfitted with post-modern cool blue furniture and lighting fixtures emitting a cool blue glow, glass walls, and large flat screen monitors. Other photos show battalions of refrigerator-sized servers protected by a series of glass doors.
The real estate bust was apparently catching up to the company as soon as 2007, according to reports in local business media at the time. The headquarters lease had been acquired during the tech boom when "everyone was bullish on expansion," according to Brian Lee, a marketing exec tasked with sub-leasing some of the space. "It didn't materialize as quickly as [TitleServ] anticipated."
TitleServ was raided in 2002 by a squad of 20 federal agents seeking evidence to support allegations that the company was paying kickbacks for title insurance business in violation of RESPA section 8. The investigation was dropped in 2003 with no sanctions levied against the company.
The company was also subject to an important intellectual property lawsuit which nearly reached the Supreme Court, brought by a former computer programmer. When TitleServ and the programmer parted company in the late 1990s, the programmer allowed TitleServ continued use of the software he had created but prohibited the company from altering the software and put locks on the code to prevent alteration. The company subsequently needed to make bug fixes and to add features to the software and sued the programmer, and was able to circumvent the software locks. A federal appeals court eventually ruled in favor of TitleServ in 2005. The programmer appealed to the Supreme Court but they declined to hear the case.