Richmond-based LandAmerica files for bankruptcy protection

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (NBC12) - LandAmerica is based in Glen Allen and is the third largest real estate title insurer in the United States. But, it's now also the latest victim of the housing and credit crisis.

The winds of change were certainly evident at LandAmerica's headquarters in Glen Allen on Wednesday.

The company announced a $298 million sale of 90-percent of its business to Fidelity National and then it filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

LandAmerica's spokeswoman did not want to go on camera but said the news may save jobs. Though, whether those job stay in the richmond area is doubtful.

"It's a very difficult time in every city in every market," says Michael Jones, who is the chief investment officer for Riverfront Properties, a group that recently formed to reverse the tied of financial companies leaving Richmond.  

He says what happened at LandAmerica was the perfect storm.

"Their investment portfolio is giving them some real problems. They're core business," says Jones. "They're not doing as many policies and their old policies are causing bigger losses."

LandAmerica laid off 120 workers two weeks ago and currently employs 619 people.
Company officials are hopeful LandAmerica will keep a presence in Richmond and at least emerge from bankruptcy a much smaller company.

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