Stewart Title closing five Indianapolis offices

June 25, 2008
Houston-based Stewart Title Services Corp. is closing five Indianapolis-area offices and consolidating the work at 20 E. 91st St.

Stewart will lay off 15 employees, leaving the office with a total of 19 after the downsizing takes effect July 1, said State Manager Tom Fickle.

"It's just not profitable to keep that many offices open anymore," Fickle said. "The numbers just don't work."

The subprime mortgage collapse and resulting broader finance crisis has caused deals to dry up, he said. This month is generating less business than January, traditionally a slow month.

A recurring - and expensive - problem is homeowners' pressing toward purchases and then not being able to close the deals because their financing falls through. Title companies are forced to absorb costs leading up to closings.

Fickle said he doesn't foresee the housing market rebounding at least until the end of the year.

Stewart offices closing under the consolidation are located at 151 N. Delaware St., 9974 E. Washington St. and 2647 Waterfront Parkway, East Drive in Indianapolis; 5570 Pebble Village Lane, Noblesville; and 843 N. State Road 135, Greenwood.

In addition to the sole remaining Indianapolis location, Stewart is leaving open an office in Columbus.

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