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Wells Fargo Completes More Than 10,000 TRID Closings, Highlights Critical Areas
December 29, 2015In its latest newsletter, Wells Fargo thanked its settlement agents for helping complete more than 10,000 TRID transactions, but highlighted several areas that it believes are critical to completing the disclosures accurately and complying with the rule.
Webinar Recording: Reform Strategies for Small Employers
December 29, 2015Solving the puzzle of community rating, exchanges, subsidies, taxes and penalties to provide the best healthcare solution for employers and employees can be tricky. Listen to this webinar recording to learn how to use preferred risk pools, self-funding, association programs and other tools to reduce cost. The presentation also discusses how ALTA members can take advantage of a new health insurance program that brings innovative employee benefit solutions to firms in the land title industry.
Take Advantage of ALTA's Homebuyer Guide to Market Your Business
December 29, 2015ALTA's Homebuyer Guide gives you everything you need to educate homebuyers, Realtors, builders and lenders on the benefits of owner's title insurance. Take advantage of this ALTA member-exclusive resource and be a market leader in educating consumers about the benefits of title insurance.
Wyndham Settlement Appears to Give FTC Broader Data Security Power
December 22, 2015Wyndham Hotels & Resorts LLC on Dec. 9 agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that the company’s security practices unfairly exposed the payment card information of hundreds of thousands of consumers to hackers in three separate data breaches. According to Steve Gottheim, ALTA’s senior counsel, this decision suggests the FTC has authority to go after companies that were hacked for unfair trade practices instead of the traditional Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act privacy law.
Advancing and Guarding a Great Industry
December 22, 2015ALTA President John Hollenbeck NTP had two requirements when he started his job search 35 years ago. He wanted to dedicate himself to one company and work in an office environment. He achieved both. Read on to learn more about Hollenbeck and his priorities for ALTA over the next year, which are aimed to help members seize opportunities in a changing market.
3 Predictions That Will Affect the Title Industry in 2016
December 22, 2015Making accurate predictions is already difficult enough. Add in a presidential election that seemingly defies conventional wisdom and the degree of difficulty goes through the roof. Read on as ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo busts out her crystal ball and offers thoughts on key items that will affect business over the next year.
Stewart Title Bolsters Underwriting Counsel
December 22, 2015Stewart Title recently announced a promotion the promotion of Stefanie Lally-Ardrey to vice president, senior underwriting counsel Stewart’s New York Commercial Services Center and named John Spencer associate senior underwriting counsel for commercial services.
WFG National Title Names Manager of Florida Agency Operations
December 22, 2015Morton “Mo” Manassaram was appointed to the role of senior vice president, regional manager for its Florida agency operations. He will also oversee national initiatives involving agency support and risk management.
Carr, Riggs & Ingram Named ALTA Elite Provider
December 22, 2015Carr, Riggs & Ingram offers services to help title companies prepare for ALTA Best Practices compliance certification process.
Tips on Improving Your Facebook Advertising
December 22, 2015Not getting the results you're hoping for on Facebook? Check out these tips to generate more clicks, get results and attract the right people.
Title Alliance Appoints CEO
December 22, 2015Jim Campbell, whose career in the industry started in 1989, was named chief executive officer of Title Alliance Ltd.
Penalties for Failing to Comply with TRID
December 17, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has broad authority to enforce compliance with nearly all federal consumer finance statutes. While there’s no clear guidance on whether TILA or RESPA is the dominant statute, penalties can range from $5,000 per day for a violation to $1 million per day for known violations.
Average Days to Close Loans Taking Longer Under TRID, Reports Show
December 17, 2015The average time to close a loan increased by three days to 49 total days in November, the longest time to close since February of 2013, according to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insight Report.
Simplifile Expands E-recording in the Midwest
December 17, 2015Eight more Midwest counties in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin now offer electronic recording of land records with Simplifile.
TRID Q&A: Who Handles Preparation and Delivery of Seller’s Closing Disclosure?
December 17, 2015To comply with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule, both the buyer and seller must receive Closing Disclosures that provide details of the transaction. While the rule requires settlement agents to produce and deliver the Closing Disclosure to the seller, what happens when the lender wants to handle this process?
Lender Requirements for ALTA Best Practices
December 17, 2015To prove compliance with third-party oversight required by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, several lenders have announced their requirements to prove implementation of ALTA’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices." ALTA has compiled information it has received to help title and settlement agents understand the various lender expectations. Check out the updated list.
Kansas-based Title Midwest Completes SOC1 Audit
December 17, 2015Title Midwest Inc. announced that its 52 offices in Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Nebraska have successfully completed the SSAE16 SOC1 Best Practices audit.
TRID Violations Found in 90% of Audited Loans, Moody’s Reports
December 15, 2015All is not well with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Services. While Moody's analysts wrote that many violations were “technical” in nature, several third-party firms found TRID violations in more than 90 percent of the loans that were audited.
ALTA Member Named Chair of Nebraska Abstracters Board of Examiners
December 15, 2015Deborah Scott NTP was recently elected chair of the Nebraska Abstracters Board of Examiners, the state’s licensing and regulatory agency for abstracters and abstracting companies.
Title Company Wins Significant RESPA Case in Illinois
December 15, 2015An Illinois state appeals court ruled that two title insurance companies did not make illegal kickback payments by splitting a fee with attorneys. On Dec. 9, a three-justice panel of the Illinois First District Appellate Court ruled 2-1 to uphold a lower court decision dismissing class actions brought against Chicago Title and Trust Co. and Ticor Title Insurance Co.
LodeStar Demystifies Title Premium Calculations
December 15, 2015LodeStar Software Solutions, a provider of compliance solutions for the Mortgage and Title Insurance industries, has released a new feature on its Loan Estimate Calculator to help title and mortgage professionals correctly disclose title insurance fees on purchase transactions.
Title Lock Launches National Property Fraud Alert Service.
December 15, 2015According to a press release, Title Lock partners with one of the largest title companies in the country to send alerts in real time when documents of any type are filed at the county recorder against a property’s address.
ALTA Asks CFPB for Further Guidance on Vendor Management
December 15, 2015In the letter, ALTA urged the CFPB to provide further guidance and clarification about the bureau’s role and expectations for third-party vendor management programs. There are four actions ALTA recommends that the bureau can take to help companies understand the requirements.
ALTA Signs Joint Trades Letter in Support of Data Security Act
December 15, 2015The Data Security Act establishes uniform national data security and breach notification standards for electronic data and also preempts state law to provide the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with authority to enforce the standards established under the bill.
20 Items to Help Prevent Fraud and Forgery
December 15, 2015While the volume of claims the title industry has paid has declined every year since 2010, fraud and forgery continue to be among the top sources for claims. North American Title Insurance Co. provided the following checklist of items to watch for in guarding against fraud and forgery.
Can Realtor Receive Borrower’s Closing Disclosure?
December 10, 2015The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule does not specifically address who may or may not receive the disclosures. Title and settlement companies should review their privacy policies to ensure it matches with their data sharing practices. Most lenders, however, will not provide the disclosures to the Realtor even if the Realtor obtains permission from the buyer. If the Realtor would like a copy of the disclosures, he or she can obtain a copy of them directly from the buyer.
Requirements for Delivery of the Closing Disclosure
December 10, 2015The CFPB provides many details on requirements for production and delivery of the Closing Disclosure. Read on for information about fee disclosure, timing, accuracy, role of the settlement agent, who is responsible to provide the seller with the Closing Disclosure, how to handle multiple consumers and rescindable transactions.
NATIC Names Underwriting Counsel for Midwest
December 10, 2015As vice president and Midwest regional underwriting counsel, Gilbert Leigh Curry will serve agents for North American Title Insurance Co. in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Ohio-based Evans Title Agency Completes First E-recording of Deeds in Miami and Warren Counties
December 10, 2015Tim Evans NTP, president of Evans Title Agency, said that the ability electronically record deeds will save the amount of time employees spend at the recorder’s office.
Straight-Through Processing Helps Title Companies Increase Efficiencies, Decrease Costs
December 10, 2015Today’s challenges—proliferating vendor burdens, tougher compliance regulations, volatile market shifts—are pressuring the margins of title and settlement companies. Despite the fast pace of digital and technological innovation, title production processes continue to be a net drain on efficiency across the value chain. By initiating straight-through processing, title and settlement companies can eliminate burdens such as manual steps and other risks inherent in a fragmented workflow. This includes embedding Best Practices into these platforms based on regulatory, statutory and local customs.
Title Midwest Expands Footprint with Acquisition
December 10, 2015Title Midwest Inc., a Kansas-based company, has acquired the assets of the First American Title Company offices in Independence, Erie and Lawrence, Kan., as well as Richmond, Mo.
Title Insurance Premium Volume Increases 18.1 percent
December 3, 2015The title insurance industry generated $3.6 billion in title insurance premiums during the third quarter of 2015, according to ALTA’s Third-Quarter Market Share Analysis. This compares to $3.1 billion in title premiums written during the third quarter of 2014.
ALTA Asks House Leadership to Include TRID Enforcement Relief in Year-end Spending Bill
December 3, 2015ALTA joined 20 other trade associations in a letter urging leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives to include the Homebuyers Assistance Act (H.R. 3192) in the year-end spending bill. The Homebuyers Assistance Act would provide limited liability for those who in good faith attempt to comply with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule through until Feb. 1, 2016.
Timios Expands to All California Counties
December 3, 2015Timios Title, a subsidiary of Timios Inc., can now operate in every California county following the approved expansion of its license by the state’s department of insurance.
ALTA Informs CFPB of Confusion Caused by Know Before You Owe
December 3, 2015In a Nov. 23 letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, ALTA indicated that confusion with the regulation’s liability provision has spurred some lenders to modify their closing instructions in an attempt to shift liability to settlement agents for all compliance issues, including lender compliance with federal consumer laws. Read on for other issues highlighted by ALTA.
Second Parish in Louisiana Starts Offering E-recording
December 3, 2015Louisiana’s Webster Parish is now accepting electronic documents, including mortgage and conveyance records, for recording through Simplifile.
Get Analysis of Significant Court Rulings and Other Legal Developments
December 2, 2015Looking for analysis of case law affecting the title insurance industry? ALTA publishes several legal publications that have been the preferred research materials for title professionals and counsel from around the country for more than 20 years. ALTA is proud to partner with attorney Bushnell Nielsen, who continues to author this informative content.
Illinois Regulator Improves Application, Renewal Process for Title Agents
December 1, 2015The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) recently implemented a revised agent application and renewal process for title insurance companies licensed in Illinois. Streamlining the two processes will result in less personnel time spent on agent applications and renewals by both underwriters and IDFPR, according to the department.
Williston Financial Group Launches End-to-End Transaction Platform
December 1, 2015According to Steve Ozonian, chairman of the board for west, the company is comprised of technology solutions and service providers across the mortgage and real estate transaction working to re-imagine the real estate process from origination to closing.
Fitch Releases U.S. Title Industry 2016 Outlook
December 1, 2015Fitch Ratings maintains a stable rating outlook on the U.S. title insurance industry, according to a new report. The outlook reflects a belief that rating actions for the industry will on balance approximate current levels over the next 12 to 24 months, as financial performance has improved and capital levels remain strong based on several measures.
Security Compliance Associates Hires Marketing & Sales Exec
December 1, 2015Security Compliance Associates announced the addition to their executive staff with the hiring of Glen Stout as its vice president of marketing & sales.
PGP Title Receives Best Practices Certification from HA&W
December 1, 2015HA&W’s ComplianceSuccess Program, announced that PGP Title has been certified as compliant with all seven pillars of ALTA’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices.
Is Borrower Required to Sign Updated Version of Closing Disclosure?
November 24, 2015The short answer is that it depends on the lender. So, settlement agents should read their closing instructions carefully.
How to Disclose Simultaneous Issue Rate for Know Before You Owe
November 24, 2015Several ALTA members have reported that lenders are unsure how to calculate the owner’s title insurance premium when issued simultaneously with a lender’s policy under the CFPB’s Know Before You Owe (TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures) rule. Additionally, situations in which the seller pays for the owner’s title insurance policy on behalf of the buyer, the Cash-to-Close figure on the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure will be inaccurate. Read on for guidance on how to disclose simultaneously issued policies and how the CFPB says credits can be used to get the correct cash-to-close figure.
Lenders Modifying Closing Instructions in Wake of TRID
November 24, 2015With lenders responsible for production and delivery of the Closing Disclosure under the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule, many lenders are modifying their closing instructions and shifting liability onto settlement and closing agents. Because of this, ALTA reminds members to read all lender closing instructions carefully.
Encourage Your Senator to Pass TRID Hold-harmless Bill
November 24, 2015Introduced by Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN), S. 1711 would direct the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to observe a temporary safe harbor for companies working in good faith to comply with TRID until Jan. 1, 2016. On Oct. 7, the House of Representatives passes a similar bill by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 303-121.
Questions About TRID?
November 24, 2015Have questions or issues about TRID that you need answered? Send an email to email@example.com. ALTA will address common questions/issues here on its blog.
Download ALTA's Model Settlement Statements to Use for TRID
November 24, 2015ALTA has developed four model Settlement Statements for title insurance and settlement companies to use in order to itemize all the fees and charges involved in the transaction once the CFPB's TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures go into effect Oct. 3. Settlement statements are currently used in the marketplace in conjunction with the federal HUD-1. The model Settlement Statements are not meant to replace the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Closing Disclosure. Bank of America said it encourages settlement agents to use ALTA's model Settlement Statements or similar state-specific forms when needed to supplement the Closing Disclosure.
How to Comply with the Closing Disclosure's Three-day Rule
November 24, 2015According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s final rule, the creditor must deliver the Closing Disclosure to the consumer at least three business days prior to the date of consummation of the transaction. While a few national lenders have announced they will handle production and delivery of the Closing Disclosure, not all financial institutions will have the same capability. Read on for guidance to help you determine when the Closing Disclosure should be sent to ensure the buyer receives it three days prior to consummation of the transaction.
TRID Q&A: How to Handle Earnest Money at Closing
November 19, 2015Prior to implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, earnest money cold be deducted from the real estate agent's commission at closing. Is this prohibited under TRID and must real estate agents bring a check to closing for the earnest money?
Claims Corner: The Value of Title Insurance for the Cash Purchaser
November 19, 2015An owner’s policy of title insurance was issued in the amount of $1.2 million, concurrent with the insured’s purchase of vacant land in an extremely high-value area. The transaction was an REO sale of property, recently foreclosed upon by a local bank, and the insured received a quitclaim deed in exchange for the large purchase price in cash. Soon after closing, the insured began the process of building her dream home on the lot. All was well—right up until she got sued by the former owners of the property who had been foreclosed.
HA&W Completes Best Practice Testing for Title Agents Across the U.S.
November 19, 2015HA&W LLP announced that an additional 12 firms have achieved ALTA Best Practice compliance through its ComplianceSuccess Program.
ALTA Awards National Title Professional
November 19, 2015Tim L. Pearson, president of First Dakota Title in Bismarck, N.D., recently earned ALTA’s National Title Professional designation. He joins joins 50 other industry leaders from around the United States who have earned the professional designation, which recognizes land title professionals who demonstrate the knowledge, experience and dedication essential to the safe and efficient transfer of real property.
SoftPro Integrates with Investors Title and National Investors
November 19, 2015SoftPro customers who are agents of either company now have a direct link to generate closing protection letters and policy jackets between ClientCONNECT and their SoftPro title production software.
How to Use ALTA’s Homebuyer Guide
November 17, 2015ALTA created the Homebuyer Guide to help members easily communicate the benefit of owner’s title insurance. The Homebuyer Guide includes more than 60 marketing resources available for direct-to-consumer communication. Check out this blog post for information on how to use the Power Point presentations.
Closing Efficiency Drives Consumer Satisfaction, Study Finds
November 17, 2015Mortgage customer satisfaction has increased this year as lenders have focused on developing functional digital channels and improving operational efficiency, according to J.D. Power’s 2015 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. Consumer satisfaction improves significantly when transactions close earlier than promised or when it was scheduled, the study found.
Stewart Title Partners with zipLogix
November 17, 2015Stewart Title and zipLogix have developed an integration for Realtors to place title/escrow orders and send documents directly from zipForm to Stewart.
SETCO Services Earns ALTA Best Practices Certification
November 17, 2015Florida-based SETCO Services LLC recently received its certification to ALTA’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices” from the independent certified public accounting firm Warren Averett.
Alliant National Title Hires Regulatory Compliance Officer
November 17, 2015As regulatory compliance officer and vice president, Elyce Schweitzer’s main focus with her new role will be to provide guidance on regulatory requirements for compliance with applicable title insurance laws, while spearheading all relevant research and analysis.
Webinar Recording: Learn Data Security Essentials to Protect Non-public Personal Information
November 17, 2015The large-scale, national breaches get the headlines, but smaller companies need to understand the legal risks associated with failing to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of personal data. A data breach could come from a hacker or be the result of an employee misplacing a laptop. To avoid violating consumer privacy regulation or causing a breach of non-public personal information, it’s crucial that title professionals have the proper training so that a Closing Disclosure doesn’t end up on the wrong person’s desk—or in their inbox. The webinar discusses top cyber threats, compliance, what's considered NPI and where it can be found, and how to select a solution to protect customer data.
GSE Conforming Loan Limit Expected to Increase 3 Percent in 2016
November 17, 2015Since the financial crisis began, any conversation about housing policy has inevitably included a discussion of GSE reform. The Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners Act, Johnson/Crapo reform bill and Administrative reform have all been discussed. Yet, one of the least discussed and most important features of the GSE relationship to the housing market is the conforming loan limit that restricts GSE lending based on the loan amount. The Federal Housing Finance Agency sets the loan limit for the upcoming year in late November. This year, the announcement is likely to be more important than in most recent years because it will likely be the first time in almost a decade that the conforming loan limit will be increased.
The Docket: First Mortgage Precludes Junior Lender from Incurring Any Actual Loss
November 17, 2015Cheryl Cowherd NTP, senior underwriting counsel for Agents National Title Insurance Co., provided today’s review of a decision by a Minnesota appellate court that addressed differences between an owner’s policy and a lenders policy and the definition of actual loss.
ALTA Board Approves Revised CPLs, Decertifies ALTA Endorsement 2-06
November 12, 2015During its Oct. 8 meeting, the ALTA Board of Governors approved two revised closing protection letters (CPLs), decertified ALTA Endorsement 2-06 (Truth in Lending). The board also approved a joint survey standard developed with the National Society of Professional Surveyors, which is the successor to the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. The comment period for the revised CPLs is open until Nov. 27.
North American Title Launches STAR Agent Network
November 12, 2015As part of the program, NATIC independent agencies and attorney agents will be provided with the new STAR Agent Network seal stating that they are part of NATIC’s trusted network of policy-issuing agents.
ALTA, American College of Real Estate Lawyers Develop International Transactions Library
November 12, 2015ALTA’s International Development Committee with the help of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) have developed an online reference tool for American real estate attorneys and title professionals handling international real estate transactions.
Chicago Title Bolsters Exec Team in Chicago
November 12, 2015Chicago Title Insurance Co. announced the promotions of two executives and the addition of a new account manager in the company’s residential real estate services division.
3 Tips for Hiring Managers on How to Recruit Veterans
November 10, 2015In honor of Veteran's Day, Justin Constantine, who served with the Marines in Iraq and now works as a liaison between the military and corporate communities, offers some valuable tips for hiring managers who are looking to recruit veterans.
OCC Provides Guidance for Initial TRID Examinations
November 10, 2015The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) provided guidance regarding initial examinations of OCC-supervised institutions for compliance with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule.
LodeStar Integrates with BeesPath Collaboration Portal
November 10, 2015LodeStar Software Solutions has integrated its Loan Estimate Calculator with BeesPath ClosingBridge for initiating closing collaboration directly with title order delivery. According to LodeStar, the new service allows lenders and title agents to accurately quote and receive fees and then securely deliver those fees as a title order, starting collaboration at the beginning of a transaction.
Legend in Title Technology Passes Away
November 10, 2015Edward Wyatt Bell, founder and president of Landtech Data Corp., recently passed away. Bell started working in the title industry at a young age completing settlement statements for his father, who was an attorney in Michigan.
California Credit Union Launches Title Company
November 10, 2015California Members Title Insurance Company, an independent company owned by California Credit Union, has received its certification from the California Department of Insurance.
LandStar Title Agency Forms Strategic Partnership with Accord Abstract
November 10, 2015LandStar Title Agency, a New York-based title insurance provider founded in 202 by John Burke and Kenneth Warner, recently formed a strategic alliance with Accord Abstract.
Now Might Be a Good Time to Review FLSA Overtime Exemptions
November 5, 2015The “white-collar” exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) have caused many headaches for employers, including those in the title insurance industry. Title companies of all sizes struggle to apply the regulations to the myriad of job descriptions within the field, and mistakes may prove costly should FLSA or state law litigation ensue. Compounding the problem, the U.S. Department of Labor’s guidance on the issue has been difficult to pin down, as the agency, on a number of occasions, has reversed its position of how the exemptions apply to certain jobs. Adding to the uncertain regulatory climate, the DOL in July issued a proposed rule that would increase the required weekly salary by more than 100 percent to $970 per week, or $50,440 annually, for employees to be exempt from the FLSA’s overtime provisions under most of the “white collar” exemptions.
GR8 WZ 2 rEch gnr8n Y
November 5, 2015With the majority of people considered Generation Y using social media to connect with brands, firms would be smart to allocate more resources to digital channels. As more and more consumers in this age group use the Internet to begin their home search, many believe it’s only inevitable that Millennials become more engaged in selecting their title or closing company.
N.C.-based Investors Title Releases Q3 Results
November 5, 2015Looking ahead, Investors Title Chairman J. Allen Fine said implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule may slow the pace of closings during the fourth quarter but positive trends in the unemployment rate and overall economic conditions will sustain the levels of purchase activity in the near future.
NextDeal Completes SOC 2 Examination
November 5, 2015NextDeal, a provider of automated solutions for title insurance, real estate, mortgage companies and other industries, has completed a Service Organization Controls (SOC) 2 Type II examination for its DigitalDocs Hosting and Automated Marketing System and SafeSend email encryption platform. Business advisory firm Skoda Minotti completed the SOC audit.
ALTA 2015 Elite Provider Guide
November 5, 2015Check out this special section as ALTA highlights its 2015 Elite Providers. These are companies that provide solutions to help title professionals implement Best Practices and achieve certification. To qualify for the Elite Provider Program, applicants must be ALTA members in good standing for at least one year prior to application submission. Click here for more information on becoming an Elite Provider.
TRID Q&A: How to Handle Recording Fees
November 3, 2015The rule requires that all recording fees and other government fees and taxes, outside of transfer taxes, must be added together and labeled “Recording Fees and Other Taxes” under the subheading “Taxes and Other Government Fees. But what if there are other recording fees, or government fees or taxes that need disclosed?
TRID Is Here: Relax, You’ve Got This
November 3, 2015There was no escaping it. October 3 came and went whether we were ready or not. The first Loan Estimates are out the door and now you’re waiting for that first deal to be scheduled with the Closing Disclosure. Don’t fret! You’ve prepared, and you’re ready. Now, let’s turn this new regulation into some new business.
Property Records Industry Association Releases Paper on TRID
November 3, 2015The paper outlines why recorders should care about the ILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule, how the changes impact settlement agents and the need to obtain accurate recording fees in advance. The paper encourages PRIA members to work to change state legislation “to provide a uniform, or predictable, recording fee for each document type.”
WFG Appoints Klein to Oversee National Agency Division
November 3, 2015Thomas Klein replaces Roger Blauvelt, who will retire after a 35-year career in the settlement services industry. Clinton Yarborough will succeed Klein in overseeing the company's southeast agency division.
FNF Appointments Mike Nolan to President
November 3, 2015In addition to his new role that becomes effective Jan. 1, Mike Nolan will continue to have responsibility for the Eastern Operations of Fidelity National Title Group and become involved in Fidelity National Financial's investor relations efforts.
ALTA Welcomes 135 New Members
November 3, 2015ALTA is pleased to announce that 135 new members, real estate attorneys and associate members recently joined ALTA. Check out the entire list of new members. ALTA now has more than 6,000 member companies. Not a member? Click here to join today.
Share Feedback on TRID from the Frontlines
October 29, 2015Many ALTA members are already closing transactions with the new Closing Disclosure, while others will be scheduling closings with the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosures in the next few weeks. ALTA wants to know how implementation is going. Are there collaboration issues in providing fees for the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure, problems calculating the fee for owner’s title insurance or anything else we should know? Email your examples to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, follow ALTA’s blog for answers to common TRID questions.
Cybersecurity Month: Defense in Depth for the Everyday User
October 29, 2015To protect systems and data in the corporate world, the FBI said computer network defenders use the “Defense in Depth” principle, which focuses on implementing several layers of security to guard against cyber threats or, in the unfortunate case of a cyber compromise, to quickly detect and mitigate its effects. Read on for 11 tips to defend your computer systems.
Res/Title Integrates with Calyx
October 29, 2015The integration, which will be completed Nov. 2, will allow Calyx Point users to access and utilize Res/Title’s resources without leaving their loan origination system.
Fidelity Reports Q3 Earnings Results
October 29, 2015Fidelity National Financial reported that its title segment generated $244 million in pre-tax earnings during the third quarter of 2015. This compares to pre-tax earnings of $224 million during the same period in 2014.
Simplifile Announces E-recording in Five More Wisconsin Counties
October 27, 2015Simplifile now offers electronic recording services in Ashland, Florence, Juneau, Sawyer and Vilas counties in the Badger State. Wisconsin now has 52 of 72 counties e-recording with Simplifile.
NATIC Adds Central Property Search as Preferred Search Provider
October 27, 2015Central Property Search is a family and women-owned business, providing title searches, commitment production, tax searches, recording and document retrieval across Pennsylvania.
HA&W Announces 25 Firms Achieve ALTA Best Practice Compliance Through ComplianceSuccess Program
October 27, 2015Each firm’s compliance testing and attestation reporting was conducted by the independent accounting firm of HA&W through its ComplianceSuccess Program.
Claims Corner: Title Insurance Protects Massachusetts Town in Dispute Over Landlocked Parcel
October 27, 2015The right of legal access to a parcel of land has long been a basic coverage provided by title insurance, and is often taken for granted by insureds. This was the case for the town of Lincoln, Mass., until the Air Force erected barriers and posted an armed guard in front of a one-acre parcel that was to become a group home for mentally disabled adults.
Check Out Photos from ALTA's 2015 Annual Convention
October 27, 2015More than 1,000 title professionals attended ALTA's 2015 Annual Convention in Boston. Check out photos from the sessions, exhibit hall, receptions and networking events. Photos can be downloaded and shared on social media. Remember to use #alta15.
Need to Explain Why Owner's Title Isn't Optional?
October 27, 2015ALTA's Homebuyer Guide gives you everything you need to educate homebuyers, Realtors, builders and lenders on the benefits of owner's title insurance. Take advantage of this ALTA member-exclusive resource and be a market leader in connecting directly with consumers. Members can brand the material with their own company logo and information.
Old Republic Reports Q3 Results
October 22, 2015Old Republic International Corp. announced that its title insurance group generated $55 million in pre-tax income during the third quarter of 2015. The company reported that this was a record quarter for its title group.
CFPB ‘Disturbed’ by Software Vendors Preparation for TRID
October 22, 2015Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Richard Cordray voiced his displeasure with loan origination system vendors and how prepared they were for implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule.
First American Reports Q3 Results
October 22, 2015First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance and services segment generated pre-tax income of $137 million. This compares to pre-tax income of $121 million during the same period a year ago.
Stewart Announces Third-quarter 2015 Results
October 22, 2015Stewart Information Services reported that its title segment generated pre-tax income of $78.7 million during the third quarter of 2015. This compares to pre-tax income of $74.9 million during the same period a year ago.
Pavaso Launches End-to-End Digital Real Estate Solution
October 22, 2015Lenders, settlement agents, real estate agents, consumers, attorneys, service providers and even investors now have functionality to participate in a digital real estate lifecycle, according to Pavaso.
First American Unveils New Fraud Tools
October 22, 2015First American Financial Corp. integrated its DataTree property research solution with the FraudGuard loan-level fraud detection and data integrity tool to help lenders investigate potential fraud and loan quality issues.
New Best Practices Assessment Guide and FAQ Resource Available
October 22, 2015The new resources were developed to help industry members understand how to meet lender demands by providing detailed guidance about how to prepare for and undergo a Best Practices assessment.
PRIA Accepting Comments on Paper E-Notary White Paper
October 20, 2015The Property Records Industry Association is accepting comments on a white paper titled "Traditional Assurances for Electronically Recorded Documents."
FHA Offers TRID Grace Period Through April 16, 2016
October 20, 2015In a letter to the industry, the Federal Housing Authority announced it established a grace period until April 16, 2016 for the enforcement of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Know Before You Owe TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule.
Fannie Mae Releases TRID FAQs
October 20, 2015Fannie Mae on Oct. 15 provided a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) addressing compliance expectations with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA?RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule. The FAQs address a range of issues including whether lenders use the ALTA Settlement Statement or the HUD-1 to assist in documenting the settlement charges, if Fannie Mae will require require borrowers’ and closing agents’ signatures in connection with the Closing Disclosure, and if discounts for a simultaneous title policy are considered an interested party contribution.
The Docket: Virginia Court Rules Homeowner Entitled to Easement by Necessity
October 20, 2015Stephen Gregory, of counsel for the law firm Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, provided today’s review of a decision by a Virginia circuit court addressing the right to an easement by necessity. This case demonstrates that a title search and a survey may not disclose all of the burdens that a tract of land might bear.
NAIC Adopts Cybersecurity Bill of Rights
October 20, 2015The Cybersecurity Bill of Rights is a project aimed at bolstering consumer protection and providing policyholders information on what to expect if their personal information is compromised.
Safe Escrow Receives SOC 2, Type II Certification
October 20, 2015Pittsburgh-based PCN Network has been granted the American Institute of Public Accountants’ Service Organization Control 2 (SOC 2) Type II certification for its Safe Escrow System and related service.
Ernst TRID Technology Provides Pre-Portal Solution
October 20, 2015Ernst Publishing Co. told mortgage lenders attending the Mortgage Bankers Association's Annual Convention that waiting to get accurate costs and fees negotiated with their settlement services partners until the deal reached a closing portal would expose them to significant compliance risk and put them at a competitive disadvantage. Lenders need to begin that collaborative process much earlier, according to Ernst.
ClosingCorp Unveils Tool to Provide ‘Real-time’ Closing Cost Estimates
October 20, 2015ClosingCorp's Lumen Snapshot allows lenders to provide prospective borrowers with realistic closing cost data in real-time during the “shopping” and/or pre-qualification stages of getting a loan.
Crescent Title Receives ALTA Best Practices Certification Through HA&W’s ComplianceSuccess Program
October 20, 2015Crescent Title, a title insurance company in the New Orleans metropolitan area, has been certified as compliant with ALTA Best Practices through an examination performed by the independent accounting firm of HA&W through its ComplianceSuccess Program.
Data Security Essentials: Strategies to Protect Non-public Personal Information
October 15, 2015The large-scale, national breaches get the headlines, but smaller companies need to understand the legal risks associated with failing to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of personal data. A data breach could come from a hacker or be the result of an employee misplacing a laptop. To avoid violating consumer privacy regulation or causing a breach of non-public personal information, it’s crucial that title professionals have the proper training so that a Closing Disclosure doesn’t end up on the wrong person’s desk—or in their inbox. Register for ALTA's next Title Topics webinar from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT, Oct. 28, to learn the latest strategies to protect NPI.
What Consumers Need to Know About Know Before You Owe (TRID)
October 15, 2015Implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) provides a great opportunity for ALTA members to position themselves as the expert on the CFPB's Know Before You Go regulation in their market. Read on for talking points to help consumers understand how the closing process will change.
Simplifile Offers E-Recording in More Than 1,300 Jurisdictions
October 15, 2015Simplifile’s e-recording network is now available in more than 1,300 counties and jurisdictions with the addition of Rockdale County, Ga., Bertie County, N.C., and Calhoun County, Mich.
D.C. Area Settlement Services Companies Join Forces
October 15, 2015Client First Settlement Services and Monarch Title will collaborate to offer title insurance and settlement services throughout the Northern Virginia, Greater D.C., and Maryland region. Along with Capitol Title and Closeline Settlements, the firms are members of the TitleConnect alliance.
WFG Names HA&W Partner for ALTA Best Practices Compliance
October 15, 2015Through a new partnership, Georgia-based accounting firm HA&W LLP will offer ALTA Best Practices benchmarking, testing and reporting options to title agents of WFG National Title Insurance Co., through its ComplianceSuccess program.
ALTA Membership Surges to Set Record for Sixth Consecutive Year
October 15, 2015ALTA celebrated today its sixth consecutive year of all-time record membership. With more than 6,000 member companies, ALTA has surpassed its 2014 membership record by more than 600 companies.
Mind the Gaps: Five Common Areas Preventing ALTA Best Practices Certification
October 15, 2015Thinking of getting certified to ALTA's "Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices?" Read on for five of the most common gaps to prevent companies from achieving certification.
Palmetto Land Title Association Collecting Donations for Historic Flooding
October 15, 2015The Palmetto Land Title Association is collecting donations to help those affected by the historic flooding that hit South Carolina and surrounding areas.
ALTA 2015-16 Board and Executive Committees
October 13, 2015ALTA is pleased to present its 2015-16 ALTA Board of Governors, as well as the Abstracters and Title Insurance Agents Executive Committee and the Title Insurance Underwriters Executive Committee.
ALTA President Outlines Industry Priorities
October 13, 2015During the closing general session of ALTA’s 2015 Annual Convention in Boston, new ALTA President John Hollenbeck NTP outlined the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of the industry over the next 12 months. Key areas that will garner attention from ALTA and the industry include continued implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures; advancing the adoption of ALTA’s Best Practices; communicating directly to homebuyers about the benefits of title insurance; promoting regulatory compliance with an emphasis on market conduct; and expanding a focus on cyber-security risks.
Q&A With CFPB Assistant Director for Mortgage Markets
October 13, 2015Tricia McClung, assistant director for mortgage markets, provided insight into the issues the bureau is focused on that will impact the title insurance and settlement industry during an interview with ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo. Read on as McClung provides thoughts on "Know Before You Owe," TRID compliance, lender third-party vendor management and market services agreements.
MISMO Seeks Participation in Mortgage Fee Naming Effort
October 13, 2015Currently, there are thousands of different fee names included in various industry systems. The new rules for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures require common fee names between the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure. MISMO seeks interested parties to collaborate to create a set of consumer friendly, disclosure ready, standardized fee terms and definitions.
Georgia Law Firm Receives ALTA Best Practices Certification from HA&W
October 13, 2015O’Kelley & Sorohan, Attorneys at Law LLC, recently became certified to ALTA’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices" through HA&W's ComplianceSuccess Program.
Westcor Names Commercial Underwriter in New York City
October 13, 2015As senior commercial underwriter in the New York City office, Michael Alfieri will have approval authority over New York commercial and national commercial transactions, coordinate national multi-site transactions and approve high liability transactions for the company’s 1,000 agents across the United States.
Title Industry Battleground Moves from Closing Table to Kitchen Table
October 13, 2015“The closing table was the moment of truth for your business. This was the battleground to win,” Don Neal, founder of 360 Live Media, told the 1,000 attendees at ALTA's Annual Convention. “The battleground is no longer the closing table. It’s the kitchen table. Now the discussion happens way before the closing.”
ALTA Announces 2016 Major Meetings
October 13, 2015Meeting locations include Indianapolis, Washington, D.C., and Scottsdale, Ariz.
CFPB Issues Guidance on Marketing Services Agreements
October 13, 2015The bulletin explains that while marketing services agreements are usually framed as payments for advertising or promotional services, in some cases the payments are actually disguised compensation for referrals. Any agreement that entails exchanging a thing of value for referrals of settlement service business likely violates federal law, regardless of whether a marketing services agreement is part of the transaction. ALTA would like input from members on what they think of the CFPB’s bulletin. Send comments to Justin Ailes, ALTA’s vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, at email@example.com.
WFG Integrates E-jacket with SoftPro
October 13, 2015The e-jacket integration enables WFG agents using SoftPro closing and title software’s to generate electronic policy jackets without leave their SoftPro system.
ALTA CEO Challenges Industry to Shift Focus on Consumer
October 8, 2015ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo challenged the more than 1,000 attendees at ALTA’s 2015 Annual Convention to shift their focus to the consumer in a way the industry never has before. “The entity with the most information and insight about the consumer holds all the power. Each of you is able to make a difference in getting your organization closer to homebuyers by making modest changes. I want you to shift your thinking and realize that you are the one to do this," Korsmo said.
ALTA President: Make Monday Different
October 8, 2015During the opening General Session at ALTA’s 2015 Annual Convention in Boston, President Diane Evans offered suggestions to the 1,000 in attendance on how to make Monday different and take home a blueprint for success.
ALTA Unveils New Consumer Education Website
October 8, 2015Driven by consumer web trends and homebuyers wanting more information about the real estate process, as well as the implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures, ALTA initiated efforts to redesign Home Closing 101 more than a year ago. The revamped Home Closing 101 website explains the benefit of title insurance and the closing process.
Paint Yourself Pistachio in a Vanilla Landscape
October 8, 2015Joe Grabas CTP NTP, a New Jersey title professional, expands his opportunities and horizons after receiving his ALTA National Title Professional designation.
Stewart Launches Refined Brand
October 8, 2015Stewart launched a refined brand to support the company’s strategic growth plans and efforts to communicate its focus on operating in the true spirit of partnership. The refresh aligns its services under two key brands, Stewart and Stewart Title.
ALTA Announces Two National Title Professional Designations
October 8, 2015The professional designation was received by Elizabeth Daniel of Continental Title Company in Overland Park, Kan., and Tim Pearson of First Dakota Title in Bismarck, N.D
SoftPro Adds Integrated Production Services to First American’s AgentNet Integration
October 8, 2015This integration enables SoftPro customers who are agents of First American Title to share data between SoftPro’s 360 platform and First American’s AgentNet platform.
A.M. Best Says U.S. Title Insurance Sector Remains Profitable Amid Regulatory Uncertainty
October 8, 2015A.M. Best is maintaining a stable outlook on the U.S. title insurance industry, which reflects the industry’s continued positive financial condition, as reflected in the balance sheet strength of the major title insurers, according to a new special report.
RedVision Launches Straight-Through Processing to Improve Title Production
October 8, 2015According to RedVision, its straight-through processing system defines the industry standard for a more efficient and seamless transaction through standardization, inherently providing cost savings to RedVision's customers.
U.S. House Passes ALTA-driven TRID Hold-harmless Bill
October 8, 2015By an overwhelming bipartisan veto-proof majority vote of 303-121, the U.S House of Representatives on Oct. 7 passed H.R. 3192. The bill would create an official hold-harmless period through Feb. 1, 2016 for companies making good-faith efforts to comply with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule. Sponsored by Reps. French Hill (R-Ark.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), the Homebuyers Assistance Act also would provide companies relief from civil liability during the hold-harmless period. Read on to learn what's next in the Senate.
ALTA Urges Support for Bipartisan TRID Hold-harmless Bill
October 7, 2015ALTA led 29 other industry organizations in a letter urging the U.S. House of Representatives to pass H.R. 3192, the Homebuyers Assistance Act. The bipartisan legislation would provide an official hold-harmless period until February 1, 2016, for those making a good-faith effort to comply with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule. The bill also would provide relief from civil liability. The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on H.R. 3192.
ALTA Awarded New Funding to Advance Innovation Project
October 6, 2015ALTA’s Land Title Institute will use this investment to perform an industry job description analysis and develop an online library of job descriptions and advertisements to match more students and workers to employers in the land title industry. The effort will help close the skills gap by improving learning, training and hiring.
Nebraska Names Wagner Title Person of the Year
October 6, 2015Marcy Wagner was presented with the Nebraska Land Title Association’s (NLTA) 2015 Outstanding Title Person of the Year Award during its annual convention in North Platte, Neb.
ALTA Board Member to be Honored With Justice John Paul Stevens Award
October 6, 2015Peter Birnbaum, president and CEO of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, will receive the Justice John Paul Stevens Award from the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) at its 16th annual awards luncheon Oct. 13. Birnbaum is a member of ALTA’s 11-person Board of Governors.
National Investors Title Names VP of National Markets
October 6, 2015Patrick Opela will be responsible for business development and the implementation of technology and operations strategies.
Westcor Adds Two Execs in Texas
October 6, 2015Steve Black was named vice president, Texas agency manager, while Richard Worsham joined the company as vice president, Texas underwriting counsel.
A-LIGN Joins ALTA’s Elite Provider Program
October 6, 2015ALTA’s Elite Provider Program is comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. A-LIGN, which is a security and compliance solutions firm, offers a 15 percent discount on all services to ALTA members.
ATPR Launches Workflow Solution for Title Agents
October 6, 2015According to Shannon Cobb, executive vice president for ATPR, SmartFlow provides title companies flexibility in their cost structures.
CFPB Clarifies TRID Good-Faith Enforcement
October 1, 2015
With Focus on TRID, Don’t Forget About Best Practices
October 1, 2015For most title professionals, attention has turned to preparing for implementation of Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure. Preparing for Oct. 3, however, should not be the only focus. Implementation of ALTA’s Best Practices also should remain a priority.
House to Vote on ALTA Supported TRID Hold-Harmless Bill
October 1, 2015U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced that the House will vote next week on an ALTA supported bill that would provide limited liability for those who in good faith attempt to comply with the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) requirements that go into effect Oct. 3.
TRID Preparedness Checklist
October 1, 2015If you're behind the eight ball in preparing for TRID implementation, use this checklist to help you determine key areas that should be addressed ahead of Oct. 3.
Ernst Launches TRID-Ready Calculator
October 1, 2015The company said that lenders can use the closing cost calculator for the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure in parallel with Ernst's existing GFE/HUD fee tools.
Groups Warn Lenders Unprepared for TRID
October 1, 2015With the Oct. 3 deadline for implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule just days away, both the Mortgage Bankers Association and American Bankers Association warned that many of their members are not prepared to comply with the regulation.
CFPB Details TRID Compliance Focus in Exam Manuals
October 1, 2015Among other things, the CFPB noted that during compliance examinations it will review accuracy of fees charged, the proper description, labeling and ordering requirements of fees, any affiliated business arrangements with settlement service providers, and examine how escrow funds are handled and accounts are maintained.
ALTA Encouraged by CFPB Statement on TRID Hold-Harmless Period
October 1, 2015During testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, CFPB Director Richard Cordray reiterated comments he made during previous testimony that the bureau’s TRID enforcement actions would be diagnostic and corrective and not punitive. Until the CFPB issues formal guidance, ALTA members will continue to support legislative action, such as H.R. 3192 sponsored by Reps. French Hill (R-Ark.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), which would extend a hold-harmless period until Feb. 1, 2016
Need a TRID Crash Course? ALTA has You Covered
October 1, 2015There are just nine days until implementation of TRID. Is your office and staff prepared? If not, ALTA has plenty of informative resources to help get you ready for Oct. 3. Check out ALTA’s blog for discussions on many technical aspects of the rule and recorded webinars for tips on operational and process changes. There’s also a TRID preparedness checklist and a Title & Lender Process Questionnaire.
Treasury Releases Third Annual Report on Insurance Industry
September 29, 2015The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Federal Insurance Office released its third Annual Report on the Insurance Industry. The report includes a short section on title insurance.
U.S. Rep. Hill Pushes for Hold-harmless Bill for TRID
September 29, 2015During a hearing Sept. 14 before the House Financial Services Committee, U.S. Rep. French Hill encouraged Congress to pass legislation that would provide for limited liability for those who in good faith attempt to comply with the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) requirements that go into effect Oct. 3.
ALTA Endorsement 46-06 Published In Final; Technical Corrections Announced
September 29, 2015ALTA Endorsement 46-06 (Option), which was approved by ALTA’s Board in June, has passed through the comment period and is now published in final. Additionally, technical corrections have been made to the ALTA Short Form Commitment and ALTA Endorsement 15.2-06.
PRIA Elects Officers and Directors
September 29, 2015The Property Records Industry Association during its Annual Convention in August elected seven directors in three categories for two-year terms on the Board of Directors. In addition, Kelly Romeo, vice president at ALTA, will serve her second year representing the business category.
RamQuest Expands Integration with First American Title’s AgentNet
September 29, 2015RamQuest announced the expansion of its Closing Market digital network integration with First American Title Insurance Company’s AgentNet system to deliver Integrated Production Services and Specially Designated Nationals searches.
D. Bello Associates Relocates Corporate Office
September 29, 2015D. Bello Associates, a provider of title data and operational services, announced the recent relocation of its corporate office to Newport Beach, Calif. The move was completed Aug. 1.
MISMO Announces Inaugural Recipients of Certified MISMO Standards Professional Designation
September 29, 2015MISMO announced the first group of individuals to receive the Certified MISMO Standards Professionals (CMSP) designation. These individuals have completed a process to achieve distinction as experts in the field of standards within the mortgage industry. Among those are several ALTA members.
ALTA Members: Ship with UPS and Get a $25 Gift Card
September 29, 2015Lower shipping costs and a $25 gift card—just another way that ALTA and UPS can help you improve your bottom line. Read on for details.
First American Launches Online Homeownership Resource for Consumers
September 24, 2015The website offers helpful videos, simple-to-understand infographics and other engaging educational tools under topical sections, that include “Buying a Home,” “What is Escrow” and “What is Title Insurance.”
Wells Fargo Outlines Timelines for TRID Closings
September 24, 2015In its September newsletter, Wells Fargo outlined target timelines to help ensure closings continue smoothly following implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures on Oct. 3. Settlement agents can expect to begin collaborating with Wells Fargo 10 days prior to closing to exchange fees and other content needed to prepare the Closing Disclosure.
RESPA Compliance When Using the CFPB Homebuyer Toolkit
September 24, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently provided scenarios to help explain how companies can use the bureau’s “Your Home Loan Toolkit,” which guides consumers through the process of shopping for a mortgage and buying a house. There has been industry concern that providing the toolkit to business partners would violate Section 8 of RESPA
CFPB Releases TRID Readiness Guide to Aid Compliance
September 24, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a Readiness Guide to help companies evaluate their readiness and help them comply with mortgage rule changes, including the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures.
How to Disclose Survey Fees on TRID
September 24, 2015The proper placement and naming convention for a survey related charge is one of the most complex in the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule. Lenders and settlement agents should work closely together to understand the reason a survey is being ordered to ensure its proper placement on the new disclosures. Check out ALTA's blog for examples of different circumstances and how they could impact the placement of the survey charge.
How to use ALTA’s Settlement Statements
September 24, 2015The ALTA Settlement Statements allow settlement agents to itemize all the fees and charges that both the homebuyer and seller face during the settlement process of a housing transaction. These statements were designed to be modified and expanded to allow settlement agents to show any fees that may be applicable in their regions. Read on.
Helpful Chart to Comply with TRID Three-day Delivery Rule
September 24, 2015Due to liability issues, many lenders will handle production and delivery of the Closing Disclosure. Other lenders may opt to rely on their network of settlement agents to produce the disclosure and provide it to the homebuyer. It's important to communicate with your lenders to learn how they will handle this process. If your company expects to handle these duties, do you know how to comply with the regulation’s delivery requirements? Use this graphic to help determine when the Closing Disclosure should be sent to ensure the buyer receives it three days prior to consummation of the transaction.
CFPB Expands Small Lender Exemptions, Rural Definition for QM
September 22, 2015The CFPB said that the new rule, which was proposed in January, will increase the number of financial institutions able to offer certain types of mortgages in rural and underserved areas, and gives small creditors time to adjust their business practices to comply with the rules.
The Docket: Latent Service Defects Can Negate Bona Fide Purchaser Status
September 22, 2015Lance Pomerantz, New York sole practitioner who provides litigation consultation, strategy and expert testimony in land title disputes, reviews a recent Illinois case imposing a substantial burden on the underwriting process. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.
ALTA Member Company Employees Recognized as ‘Leading Ladies’
September 22, 2015Several employees of ALTA member companies were recently selected by MReport as a 2015 “Leading Lady” in its August 2015 special issue, “Women in Housing.” The issue recognizes women working within the housing and mortgage industries who have made significant accomplishments and achievements during their career. Read on to see who's on the list.
Ninth Circuit Rules Against Underwriter in RESPA Litigation
September 22, 2015The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Aug. 24 held that a title underwriter’s equity investments in title agencies in exchange for agreements that the agencies would refer customers to the insurer violated the anti-kickback provisions of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. In its opinion, the court refused to give deference to the RESPA interpretation advanced by the CFPB in its amicus brief.
RamQuest Integrates with National Investors and Investors Title
September 22, 2015RamQuest, Inc., a provider of title and settlement solutions for the land title industry, announced that its Closing Market digital network is now integrated with National Investors and Investors Titles’ ClientCONNECT.
SoftPro Wins Second Gold Stevie in 2015
September 22, 2015The company received the award for New Product of the Year during the 13th Annual American Business Awards. Earlier this year, SoftPro received a Gold Steve Award for Company of the Year.
Real Estate Data Shield to Launch REDS 2.0 During ALTA Annual Convention
September 22, 2015The company plans to release enhanced Best Practice training and compliance solutions, which includes a module explaining why we have now moved into the Compliance Age of our industry, and a deep-dive video animated training module addressing administrative, physical and network security critical controls specifically for title, settlement and attorney "Service Providers.”
Title Insurance Premium Volume Increases 21 Percent During Q2
September 22, 2015The title insurance industry generated $3.4 billion in title insurance premiums during the second quarter of 2015 compared to $2.8 billion during the second quarter of 2014, according to ALTA’s 2015 Second-quarter Market Share Data Analysis.
TRID Whitepaper Addresses Key Operation Considerations for Title and Settlement Service Providers
September 17, 2015A whitepaper titled “TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Operation Considerations” outlines many operational considerations title and settlement service providers may experience when using the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure.
Country Bank Chooses Simplifile’s TRID Collaboration Solution
September 17, 2015In order to ensure compliance and meet the demands of the regulatory changes ahead, Country Bank has selected Simplifile’s Collaboration and Post Closing services as its TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures solution.
Webinar Recording: TRID Ready? This Is What It Looks Like
September 17, 2015If you’re looking for last minute tips to help get your operation ready for the Oct. 3 implementation of TRID, check out a recording of ALTA’s Title Topics webinar for advice from lenders, title/settlement agents and technology experts. The webinar also addresses what your real estate partners and consumers should know about the new closing process.
ALTA Urges Regulators to Provide Guidance on TRID Enforcement
September 17, 2015ALTA and 17 other industry groups are urging federal regulators to provide formal guidance on how regulators plan to enforce the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule for the initial months following implementation on Oct. 3.
Mississippi-based Mortgage Connection Details Requirements for Best Practices
September 15, 2015In order to meet regulatory compliance and investor requirements, Mississippi-based The Mortgage Connection recently announced it would require its closing agents/attorneys to become certified to ALTA’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices.” The company will apply a two-tiered approach to certification requirements based on total volume of loan closings, staff size and the number of offices.
Orange Coast Title Earns SOC2 Certification with ‘No Exceptions’
September 15, 2015Orange Coast Title Company and its Family of Title Companies, a provider of title and escrow services nationally based in Santa Ana, Calif., announced that in July 2015 it completed its SOC 2 Type II Independent Service Auditor’s Report (SSAE 16) examination and was certified with “NO EXCEPTIONS” to the American Land Title Association’s Best Practices protocols.
Fidelity Appoints Co-Chief Operating Officers
September 15, 2015Fidelity National Financial Inc. (FNF) appointed Mike Nolan and Roger Jewkes as co-chief operating officers. Both will continue to report to Randy Quirk, FNF's chief executive officer.
ATG Trust Company Names President
September 15, 2015Kathryn Van Eeuwen, a trust and estate professional with more than 20 years in the wealth management industry, has been appointed president of ATG Trust Company, a subsidiary of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund Inc.
North Dakota Guaranty & Title Named Among Best Places to Work in Northern Plains
September 15, 2015North Dakota Guaranty & Title Co. was named among the top places to work in the northern Plains, according to Prairie Business magazine.
In Case You Missed It: Download the July Digital Edition of TitleNews
September 15, 2015This edition's cover article “The New Home Closing 101,” highlights ALTA’s revamped consumer education website that aims to help explain the benefit of title insurance and the closing process. Check it out to learn more about HomeClosing101.org and how member companies can use it as a resource to provide information to consumers. Other features in this edition include “Now Might Be a Good Time to Review FLSA Overtime Exemptions,” “FHFA Issues Statement on HOA Super-Priority Lien Foreclosures” and “National Foreclosure Law Firm Ceases Operations,” as well as photos from the 2015 Federal Conference and Lobby Day.
Register for ALTA's Upcoming Title Topics Webinar: Take Your Consumer Marketing to the Next Level
September 10, 2015Beginning Oct. 3, owner's title insurance will be labeled as "optional" on the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure. While describing owner's title insurance as "optional" may be a challenge, it's also an opportunity for title professionals to contact homebuyers directly and explain how title insurance protects their investment. Join us for this free webinar to learn about the new resources ALTA has developed to help you better communicate with consumers and ensure your real estate partners are prepared to answer questions about the benefit of an owner’s policy.
Survey Shows Consumer Demand to View Closing Documents in Advance, Sign Electronically
September 10, 2015While consumer satisfaction with the real estate process is strong overall, homebuyers are interested in receiving updates about progress in their transaction and want the option to sign documents electronically, according to a survey from the Houston Association of Realtors.
U.S. Reps Seek Revision of FHA Condo Rules
September 10, 2015In June, 69 members of the U.S. Representatives sent a letter asking the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to revise existing FHA condominium regulations and streamline the certification process.
Sierra Pacific Mortgage Partners with Simplifile for TRID Solution
September 10, 2015Sierra Pacific Mortgage recently selected Simplifile as its strategic partner and TRID solution provider, taking the next steps in meeting compliance requirements for the CFPB’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule, which go into effect Oct. 3.
WFG Appoints Ozonian as President, COO
September 10, 2015Steve Ozonian, who moves into his new role with WFG after serving on its Board of Directors for three years, will focus on accelerating growing the company’s national footprint, with a special focus on creating and delivering a new generation of real estate-related services and technology.
ClosingCorp Names Carney as Executive Program Manager for Its Title Channel
September 10, 2015In this position, Pat Carney will focus on the title and settlement ecosystem and drive key integration efforts while contributing to the strategic product road map, specifically around ordering, service provider risk management and overall market adoption.
Excel Title Group Expands Texas Presence
September 10, 2015Excel Title Group LLC of Plano, Texas, has acquired the assets of the First American Title offices in Amarillo and Canyon.
Best Practices Documentation Software Company Offers Limited Time Introductory Pricing
September 10, 2015Best Practices Plus LLC is offering for a limited time reduced pricing on software that allows title agencies to complete their Best Practices documentation.
Nebraska Title Company Purchases City Abstract Co.
September 10, 2015Nebraska Title Company, which has provided title and closing services since 1947, announced it has purchased City Abstract Co. of Scottsbluff, Neb.
Realtors Confident in Title Companies’ TRID Preparedness
September 3, 2015Realtors have a high degree of confidence that the title companies they work with are prepared for implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors.
Remind Realtors to Build Extra Time in Contracts for TRID
September 3, 2015The key message title professionals should remind real estate agents is that there’s a much different timeline to comply with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule. Longer contracts and two walkthroughs are items real estate agents should consider for deals impacted by TRID.
OneTrust Home Loans Chooses Simplifile for TRID Solution
September 3, 2015OneTrust Home Loans has chosen Simplifile as its partner and online service provider to collaborate with settlement agents and meet compliance requirements for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule.
ComplianceEase: 17 Percent of Loans Fail for TILA and 6 Percent for RESPA Tolerances
September 3, 2015The analysis was based on a cross-section of 700,000 audits that were performed during the first quarter of 2015.
2015-16 Nominations for ALTA Board and Executive Committees
September 1, 2015ALTA’s Nominating Committee is pleased to present the list of nominations for the 2015-16 ALTA Board of Governors, as well as the Abstracters and Title Insurance Agents Executive Committee and the Title Insurance Underwriters Executive Committee. Nominations will be voted on during the 2015 Annual Convention, which will be held Oct. 7-10 in Boston.
Five Steps to Help You Get Best Practice Certified
September 1, 2015More and more title companies all across the country have implemented Best Practices. Some have even obtained third-party certifications. Read on for five key things companies can do to successfully complete implementation.
Ramping Up Cybersecurity: The Next Big Thing
September 1, 2015If helping lenders meet regulatory requirements to prove service- provider oversight and preparing to implement the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures weren’t enough, safeguarding against cyber attacks will be a new pressure on businesses. A litany of high-profile breaches has sparked the need for more proactive protection of the treasure trove of data and money handled by title professionals.
North Dakota Guaranty & Title Expands with Acquisition
September 1, 2015North Dakota Guaranty & Title Co. announced the acquisition of Emmons County Abstract Co., which serves Emmons County, N.D.
TitleOne Acquires Competitor in Idaho
September 1, 2015TitleOne announced the acquisition of Sun Valley Title Company, a Blaine-county, Idaho-based company with locations in Ketchum and Hailey, and a history of providing title and escrow services since 1907.
New York State Land Title Association Elects Officers
September 1, 2015Marianne Mathieu NTP of Fidelity National Title Group was named president of NYSTLA for the 2015-16 membership year. She succeeds Rafael Castellanos of Expert Title Insurance Agency.
Agents National Title Hires Risk Management Analyst
September 1, 2015Agents National Title Insurance Co. named David Litten as risk management analyst. He will work with the company’s agents to oversee state and federal compliance and internal risk management.
RedVision Completes SOC 2 Security Control Standards Exam
September 1, 2015RedVision said that the independent affirmation confirms that the company's critical controls are effectively managing the security, availability and confidentiality of client information.
Flat Rate Recording Fees Beginning To Gain Traction
August 25, 2015Earlier this year, Arizona passed Senate Bill 1218 to become the 10th state or jurisdiction in the country to enact flat rate fees for recording of real estate documents. Adoption of flat recording fees will help simplify compliance with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) integrated disclosures rule that goes into effect on Oct. 3, 2015.
FHA Announces Anticipated Guidelines for FHA Financing on Homes with PACE Liens
August 25, 2015The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) on Aug. 24 issued anticipated guidelines that will require Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) liens to be subordinate to FHA single-family first-mortgage financing.
Fortune Names First American as 10 Best Workplaces in Insurance
August 25, 2015The ranking is the result of an anonymous survey of more than 86,000 insurance employees administered by Great Place to Work, a global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures.
Stewart Title Names New Leadership for Midwest Division
August 25, 2015Sandra Parry has been named senior division president for Wisconsin and Minnesota, while Steve Graff was named the division president overseeing the Illinois division.
Fannie Mae Develops New Affordable Lending Product
August 25, 2015HomeReady, which will replace Fannie Mae’s MyCommunityMortgage, features new functionality for lenders through Desktop Underwriter to automatically flag potentially eligible loans.
Inc. Magazine Names RynohLive One of the Fastest-growing Companies in America
August 25, 2015RynohLive was ranked No. 1022 on Inc. Magazine’s annual list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States.
Simplifile Expands Into Peoria County, Ill.
August 25, 2015There are now 21 counties in Illinois and more than 1,270 counties nationwide that have adopted e-recording with Simplifile.
ALTA Webinar: TRID Ready? This Is What It Looks Like
August 24, 2015Register for ALTA’s free Title Topics webinar, which will be held from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT on Aug. 27, to learn how others have prepared as we provide perspectives from lenders, title/settlement agents and technology experts. To help you get ready for Oct. 3, the webinar also will address what your real estate partners and consumers should know about the new closing process.
Key TRID Items to Discuss With Real Estate Agents
August 20, 2015Listen to a portion of ALTA's TRID Townhall as Board members provide advice on key messages title professionals should discuss with real estate agents regarding the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures. Because TRID requires different timelines, it's important for real estate agents to understand the need to build more time into contracts.
Midwest TRID and Compliance Summit
August 20, 2015The Missouri Land Title Association, Kansas Land Title Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association of Greater Kansas City have partnered for the Midwest TRID and Compliance Summit. The lineup of national speakers, including ALTA board member Dan Mennenoh, will outline what you need to know to prepare for TRID and the compliance requirements currently placed on lenders.
Standardization of Fee Names Essential for TRID
August 20, 2015In addition to preparing for new timing requirements and tighter fee tolerances, settlement agents and lenders must develop standardized fee names or descriptions for the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure. Because the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants consumers to be able to compare fee estimates with what’s actually charged at consummation, the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule requires fee terminology to be consistent between the two forms. Make sure you are communicating with your lender to ensure fee names are consistent on both forms.
First American Updates PredProtect for TRID
August 20, 2015First American Financial Corp.’s Mortgage Solutions Group launched new PredProtect enhancements and schema, along with the availability of its testing site, developed to meet the needs of banks and mortgage lenders in complying with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) Rule.
CFPB Provides TRID Guide for Real Estate Agents
August 20, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released TRID resources to help real estate professionals prepare consumers for the new closing process.
DocMagic Rolls Out SmartCLOSE Online Portal for TRID
August 20, 2015DocMagic Inc. announced that SmartCLOSE, it’s cloud-based collaborative closing portal, is now available after testing the platform with lenders, settlement providers and other relevant parties.
Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Latest Lender to Require Certification to ALTA's Best Practices
August 18, 2015In a letter to its approved closing attorneys and title companies, Gulf Coast Bank & Trust said companies must provide a third-party certification to ALTA's Best Practices by Sept. 15. Read on for more information and a chart of of other lender requirements for Best Practices.
Nevada Expands Definition of Personal Information
August 18, 2015A bill that amends Nevada’s laws on security of personal information was signed by the state's governor and went into effect July 1.
Real Estate Data Shield Names New Director of Marketing & Sales
August 18, 2015Maria Meyers has over three years of title and settlement specific experience as a process manager/paralegal for a leading New York City settlement provider.
Zodiac Title Appoints SVP of Regional and National Business Development
August 18, 2015New York-based Zodiac Title (Ztitle) has named Marilyn Price as senior vice president of regional and national business development.
Start with Security: A Guide for Business
August 18, 2015Many companies keep sensitive personal information about customers or employees in their files or on their network. Having a sound security plan in place to collect only what you need, keep it safe, and dispose of it securely can help you meet your legal obligations to protect that sensitive data. Read on for 10 practical lessons businesses can learn from the Federal Trade Commission’s data security settlements.
CFPB Provides Question Index for TRID Webinars
August 13, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has provided a question index for the five webinars it has held on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID). The index allows listeners to link directly to specific topics within each of the webinars.
Encourage Your Representative to Pass Hold-harmless Bill
August 13, 2015Title professionals are encouraged to take action and urge their representative to co-sponsor and vote yes on H.R. 3192, which would extend the hold-harmless period for TRID until Feb. 1, 2016.
Six Questions to Ask Your Lenders About TRID
August 13, 2015Communication and collaboration between settlement agents and lenders will be vital to comply with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures. Read on for six questions title professionals should be asking their lender clients in order to understand expectations for producing and delivering the Closing Disclosure to the consumer.
ALTA Best Practice Manuals: Every Closing Agent Needs One, Every Lender Should Require One
August 11, 2015Best Practices play an integral role to managing risk and proving regulatory compliance. Read on for advice from one lender on how title and settlement agents should go about documenting and developing a Best Practices manual.
First Electronic Deed Recorded in Cook County, Ill.
August 11, 2015Chicago Title Insurance Co. recently recorded the first electronic deed in Cook County, Ill, using Simplifile's web-based service.
Benchmark Title Receives Certification to ALTA Best Practices
August 11, 2015Benchmark Title Company received certification in accordance with ALTA's “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices” by National Certified Public Accounting and consulting firm Pershing, Yoakley & Associates.
Ohio-based Title Agency Files Federal Suit Against Indiana DOI
August 11, 2015American Homeland Title Agency alleges that the Indiana title insurance laws and regulations have been selectively enforced in violation of the U.S. Constitution by Indiana's insurance commissioner.
HA&W to Refund Fee if Lender Rejects Best Practices Compliance Report
August 11, 2015HA&W announced that it will provide title agencies that partner with its ComplianceSuccess Program will receive a safety net for their compliance reports.
String Real Estate Information Services Receives SOC 2 Certification
August 11, 2015String Real Estate Information Services has obtained an SSAE16 SOC 2 Type 2 certification, which focuses on a business’s non-financial reporting controls as they relate to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy of a system.
The Docket: U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Lien Stripping of Underwater Mortgages in Chapter 7
August 11, 2015Today’s review of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that held a Chapter 7 debtor may not void a junior mortgage lien when the senior lien exceeds the value of the collateral. was provided by Avi Marcus, commercial counsel for Old Republic Title and a member of ALTA's Title Counsel.
Agents Can Use ALTA Management Report to Show Best Practice Compliance
August 11, 2015With the support of ALTA's Best Practices Task Force, ALTA has published a member-exclusive, 32-page Best Practices Compliance Management Report, which can be completed and provided to lenders and others evidencing compliance with Best Practices.
Completing TRID Old School: Can Disclosures Be Completed By Hand?
August 6, 2015Under the rule there is no requirement that the settlement agent or creditor use a computer, typewriter or other word processor to complete the forms. So, what are the rules for settlement agents and lenders completing the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure by hand?
Fitch: Title Insurers, Lenders See Operational Risk in New Rules
August 6, 2015In a release, Fitch said that glitches along the vendor chain as TRID becomes effective on Oct. 3, 2015, could lead mortgage lenders to choose (or recommend) only the best prepared vendors.
CFPB Study Finds E-closings Can Improve Consumer Experience
August 6, 2015Results from a fourth-month pilot program shows that borrowers navigating the mortgage process can benefit from electronic closings, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Read on to find out what the CFPB concluded, lessons learned and next steps.
ALTA TRID Townhall Provides Answers to Industry Questions
August 6, 2015More than 500 title professionals, lenders and real estate agents attended ALTA’s first-ever Facebook TRID Townhall to hear what companies should be doing now to be prepared for implementation of the integrated disclosures. Read on for to learn important questions to ask your lenders, what you should be talking about with real estate agents and a host of other issues about the integrated disclosures.
CFPB Updates TRID Implementation Materials
August 6, 2015Updates have been made to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule small entity compliance guide, the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Guide to the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms and the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures timeline example.
FHA to Allow Changes to Settlement Certification Due to TRID
August 6, 2015The Federal Housing Administration addressed changes settlement agents can make to the new settlement certification, which replaces the current addendum to the HUD-1, in a new FAQ document to its Single Family Housing Policy Handbook. The FHA's new handbook goes into effect Sept. 14, 2015.
CFPB to Host E-closing Forum Wednesday
August 4, 2015The forum will take place at 1 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, Aug. 5, and will feature remarks from Director Richard Cordray, as well as a panel discussion with consumer groups, industry representatives and members of the public. ALTA staff will attend. A livestream of the event will be available.
Firm Develops Best Practices Documentation Software for Title Agencies
August 4, 2015Best Practices Plus LLC recently unveiled software that helps title agencies document policies and procedures for ALTA’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices.”
N.C.-based Law Firm Brady & Kosofsky Certified for Two Compliance Audits
August 4, 2015Brady & Kosofsky, a North Carolina-based real estate title, REO, loss mitigation and closing law firm, has obtained a service auditor's review for the Service Organization Controls 2 Type II and ALTA's Best Practices under section 9540 under the American Institute of CPA's Statutory Codification.
The Docket: D.C. Federal Appeals Court Holds Lender Knowledge No Bar to Equitable Subrogation
August 4, 2015Today’s review of case addressing equitable subrogation by the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C., was provided by Michael Russo Jr. of the law firm Council Baradel. Read on to learn how the decision helps lenders in their effort to enforce liens.
Underwriters Post Strong Q2 Results
August 4, 2015The title insurance segments for Fidelity, First American, Old Republic and Stewart all posted impressive financial results during the second quarter of 2015. Read on for summaries of all four companies.
ResWare Platform Integrates With Abstrax
August 4, 2015Adeptive Software announced that Abstrax LLC’s property research solutions and title search products are now integrated with its ResWare platform.
HA&W Tabs Industry Expert as Director of ComplianceSuccess Program
August 4, 2015Paul Roberts, who has worked in the title industry for 20 years, has joined the firm as Director of HA&W’s ComplianceSuccess Program.
CPA Firm Adds Title Veteran to Lead ALTA Best Practices Attestation Needs
August 4, 2015Atlanta-based CPA firm Frazier & Deeter announced the addition of Tracey Webb as a principal and the leader of the firm’s ALTA Best Practices Compliance services.
Get Analysis of Significant Court Rulings and Other Legal Developments
August 4, 2015ALTA publishes several legal publications that have been the preferred research materials for title professionals and counsel from around the country for more than 20 years. ALTA is proud to partner with attorney Bushnell Nielsen, who continues to author this informative content.
Wells Fargo to Withdraw from Mortgage Marketing Services Agreements
July 30, 2015Effective Aug. 1, Wells Fargo will begin withdrawing from mortgage marketing services and desk rental agreements with real estate firms, builders and certain other referral sources due to increasing uncertainty surrounding regulatory oversight.
RynohLive Offers Insight on Electronic Verification of Reconciliation
July 30, 2015The whitepaper, “The Value of Electronic Verification of Reconciliation,” offers insight on the importance and usefulness of electronic verification for those within the title industry.
NATIC Names State Agency Manager for Great Lakes Region
July 30, 2015Manoj Purohit has joined North American Title Insurance Co. as state agency manager for its Great Lakes region, handling Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.
CFPB Releases Spanish Version of TILA-RESPA Form Guide
July 30, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released the Spanish version of “Your Home Loan Toolkit,” intended to help consumers understand the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms that go into effect Oct. 3. The CFPB said the toolkit is designed to replace the Settlement Cost Booklet when the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures go into effect.
ResWare Integrates with Municipal Lien Search Company
July 30, 2015The integration allows users of ResWare to place orders and receive completed reports for municipal lien searches and HOA estoppel research from within the ResWare environment.
Join ALTA for Today's TRID Townhall on Facebook
July 28, 2015If you have some unanswered questions about the CFPB’s TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID), don’t miss ALTA’s TRID Townhall on Facebook, which will be held today at 11 a.m. ET. To attend, simply “like” ALTA on Facebook. Also, make sure you "join the event" on ALTA's Facebook page so you receive a reminder to attend the townhall.
Is Owner’s Title Insurance Subject 10 Percent Tolerance?
July 23, 2015Owner’s title insurance is not a charge that is assigned to a particular tolerance category. Therefore, the applicable tolerance category depends on other factors, including whether the creditor requires the insurance and, if so, whether the consumer may shop for the provider of the insurance.
Cordray: Early TRID Enforcement will be ‘Diagnostic and Corrective’
July 23, 2015Speaking before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Wednesday, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray briefly addressed the bureau’s plans to enforce the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule.
ClosingCorp to Provide Closing Cost Data to Consumers Through Bills.com
July 23, 2015Bills.com users will now be able to input a minimal amount of information and see a very “tight” estimate of the amount of fees and costs—such as title and transfer taxes—that might be required to close their loan.
Ellie Mae Completes Launch of New Version of Encompass
July 23, 2015Encompass 15.1 includes new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure input forms and workflow, new fee itemization and management, disclosure tracking handling, fee variance and change of circumstance handling to help lenders manage TILA-RESPA compliance.
ComplianceEase Releases Flexible TRID Disclosure Monitoring and Auditing Solution
July 23, 2015The latest release of ComplianceAnalyzer includes a new module that provides auditing of TRID disclosure timing, changed circumstances and fee tolerances across all disclosures.
CFPB Finalizes Oct. 3 Start Date for TRID
July 23, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a final rule delaying the effective date for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule until Oct. 3, 2015.
In Case You Missed It: Download the May Digital Edition of TitleNews
July 21, 2015This edition's cover article “Ramping Up Cybersecurity: The Next Big Thing,” discusses how the growing threat of data breaches has drawn the attention of businesses, regulators and legislators. Check it out to learn why it’s important for title professionals to pay attention to what’s transpiring in the cyber world. ALTA Develops Best Practices Compliance Management Report; Survey Shows Consumer Demand to View Closing Documents in Advance, Sign Electronically; Tips for Using Social Media; Mississippi-based Bank Requires Third-party Certification to ALTA’s Best Practices; and ALTA at Work for You. Additionally, the digital edition includes material not included in the print edition. Page 23 of the digital edition includes recordings of the general sessions from the 2015 Business Strategies Conference.
Five More Georgia Counties Adopt E-recording with Simplifile
July 21, 2015Chatham, Haralson, Morgan, Pike and Taliaferro counties in Georgia have implemented e-recording of land documents with Simplifile.
SoftPro Receives Gold Stevie Award for Company of the Year in Real Estate
July 21, 2015SoftPro was presented with a Gold Stevie Award for Company of the Year in Real Estate during the 13th Annual American Business Awards held in Chicago.
Time to Buy or Merge? Key Considerations When Looking to Expand
July 21, 2015The buying and selling activity of title companies has picked up significantly over the past year. Comforted by stabilizing housing and mortgage markets, buyers are more willing to pull the trigger on making a deal with the hopes of driving market share. If you’re entertaining offers to buy or merge, there are many things to consider that will help ensure the deal is successful and profitable. Join us for this informative webinar as merger and acquisitions experts discuss how to prepare for expansion, assess target markets, evaluate candidate financials and understand deal structures. The webinar also will address hurdles on integrating operations, handling disparate software systems and blending office cultures.
Kelo v. New London: A Decade Later
July 21, 2015Ten years ago, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Kelo v. New London. This article looks back at what the case meant—or didn’t mean—for eminent domain, drawing from the perspectives of lawyers, economists, sociologists and planners who spoke at a conference held at the University of Connecticut School of Law this spring.
Social Media Tip: To Link or Not?
July 21, 2015Social media can be a powerful tool to reach current and new customers. It also takes additional time to manage. Read on for advice on whether it's helpful to link various accounts to ease content posting.
Using Technology to Expedite the Homebuying and Refinance Process
July 16, 2015As lenders focus more on compliance and prepare their operations for the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures, it more important than ever for title and settlement agents to adjust their processes and procedures maintain systems that are compliant with the new regulation and offers the lender the peace of mind that their business is in good hands. The first companies to do this will be the ones that dominate the market for years to come. Read on for advice on how agents of all size can use technology to position their company for success.
eLynx Releases TRID-Ready Compliance and Collaboration Platform
July 16, 2015The company said its enhanced Expedite platform is available now for lenders and settlement services providers to refine workflows ahead of the new deadline for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule.
ALTA Praises Sens. Scott and Donnelly for Introducing Bipartisan TRID Hold-Harmless Bill
July 16, 2015ALTA thanked U.S. Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) for introducing S. 1711, a companion bill to H.R. 2213, which provides for limited liability for those who in good faith attempt to comply with the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) requirements through 2015.
TRID Ready? 5 Things to Do Now
July 16, 2015While an “administrative error” by the CFPB has delayed implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule until Oct. 3, it’s important for companies to remain focused on getting prepared. Read on for the Top 5 compliance tips for settlement agents, Realtors and lenders.
How to Disclose Title Insurance Premiums in Seller-Pay Scenarios
July 16, 2015During a recent TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures webinar, the CFPB addressed implementation challenges and questions, including a question that many ALTA members have been struggling to understand: how to disclose the owner’s and lender’s title insurance premiums on the Closing Disclosure form in a simultaneous issue situation.
Webinar Recording: Learn About Solutions to Effectively Share Data for TRID
July 16, 2015Because the CFPB’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) pull information from two separate systems, electronic collaboration between title professionals and lenders will be paramount to complete the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure. Learn how loan-centric information stored in lenders' loan origination systems and property-centric data found in title/settlement agents' systems can be shared efficiently by listening to a recording of ALTA’s webinar "The Need for Electronic Collaboration: Solutions to Effectively Share Data for TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures. Operations and IT experts discuss solutions to technology challenges so you can effectively exchange data during different points of the transaction, get deals closed and ensure regulatory compliance. The webinar discusses providing accurate fees to the lender for the Loan Estimate, needed collaboration to produce the Closing Disclosure, security and data privacy issues, the necessary integration support and what to expect after Oct. 3.
Survey Shows Majority of Title Professionals Working Toward Best Practice Compliance
July 14, 2015The majority of title professionals have started the process of becoming compliant with ALTA’s Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices, according to Habif, Arogeti & Wynne’s second annual ComplianceSuccess Survey.
ALTA Board Approves New Policy Endorsement
July 14, 2015ALTA Endorsement 46-06 (Option) Form is currently in an industry comment period until Friday, July 24, and is subject to change. There is a market need for an endorsement that provides basic coverage to the insured for loss resulting from certain risks associated with an option. The endorsement can be used in situations where the insured named in a policy is also the holder of a specific option identified in the endorsement.
Missouri Department of Insurance Revokes Licenses of Title Agency, Owner
July 14, 2015An investigation found that Adair County Title & Escrow continued issuing title insurance commitments and policies for more than two years after an underwriter terminated the company's agency agreement.
Entrust Expands Into Buckeye State
July 14, 2015Entrust Solutions, a Tennessee-based title insurance servicing company, now offers its Nexus Program and centralized disbursing service to title agents and attorneys in Ohio.
Ironclad Title Completes ALTA Best Practices Compliance Review
July 14, 2015Ironclad Title, a real estate law and settlement service company based in Lake Charles, La., announced its satisfactory completion of a Best Practices Compliance review by Pershing Yoakley & Associates.
WFG Names Agency Support Manager in New England
July 14, 2015Margherita Ciampa-Coyne will focus on collaborating with WFG agents, determining their needs in order to strengthen and build the agency relationship, and serve as an educational resource for agents, especially with regard to compliance with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s regulations.
Axis AI Implementation Enables Meridian Title to Automate Plant Operations
July 14, 2015By implementing Axis AI to automate their data acquisition from documents regarding the chain of title, Meridian Title’s staff now can spend more timing focusing their expertise on examining the data, not manually keying the content.
North American Title Unveils Videos Targeting Consumers
July 14, 2015To help consumers, real estate professionals and lenders, North American Title Co. has launched a new online video channel, NAT TV.NAT TV offers informational videos lasting from three to six minutes, covering topics such as choosing a real estate agent, selecting a home, what is escrow and understanding title insurance. NAT TV offers informational videos lasting from three to six minutes, covering topics such as choosing a real estate agent, selecting a home, what is escrow and understanding title insurance.
RedVision Develops New Business Structure to Enrich Customer Experience
July 14, 2015The company's Customer Relationship Management team will focus on enriching the customer experience while nurturing and enhancing the value of its market-validated solutions.
Bank of America Addresses TRID Questions
July 9, 2015In its July newsletter to settlement agents, Bank of America answered additional questions it has received regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule. Topics covered include the disclosure of title premium charges, turnaround time for final settlement fees needed for the Closing Disclosure and how to handle real estate agent controlled fees.
ALTA-supported Hold-harmless Bill for TRID Introduced in Senate
July 9, 2015On July 7, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) introduced S. 1711, a companion bill to H.R. 2213, which provides for limited liability for those who in good faith attempt to comply with the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) requirements through 2015.
ALTA Continues Push for Hold-Harmless Period, TRID Fixes
July 9, 2015ALTA joined the Mortgage Bankers Association and National Association in sending letters asking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to announce a hold-harmless period for enforcement actions against companies working in good-faith to comply with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule. Read on to learn what other concerns the industry has about TRID.
Webinar Recording: 5 Key Areas to Prime Your Operation for the New Closing Process
July 9, 2015The new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure will fundamentally change how closings are handled. In order to comply with the new accuracy and delivery requirements that go into effect Aug. 1, title and settlement companies must reengineer their processes and improve collaboration with lenders. Listen to this recording from ALTA's February Title Topics webinar as panelists address key aspects and the dynamic nature of the Closing Disclosure, why collaboration between settlement agents and lenders will be paramount, the importance of timing and accuracy, formatting and disclosure of fees and issues with how simultaneous title insurance fees must be disclosed. Plus, the webinar walks through issues you can expect at the closing table.
Lenders to Assist Massachusetts Homeowners Resolve Title Defects Caused by Void Foreclosures
July 7, 2015Several lenders recently agreed to help Massachusetts homeowners address title defects caused by void foreclosures, according to a consent judgment entered by the Massachusetts Superior Court.
Michigan Law Caps Fees for Electronic Copies of County Treasurer Tax Records
July 7, 2015House Bill 4075, which was introduced by Rep. Bruce Rendon and signed into law by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, caps the amount that can be charged by county treasurers for electronic copies at 25 cents per page, with a maximum of $1,500 per request.
Title Industry Assurance Company Introduces New E&O Policy
July 7, 2015As the title industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it is vital for title professionals to select a professional liability/E&O policy that addresses today’s expansive exposures. As the title industry’s own E&O insurer, TIAC’s new expanded coverage incorporates enhancements suggested by title underwriters, agents and abstracters.
FFIEC Releases Cybersecurity Assessment Tool
July 7, 2015The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released a Cybersecurity Assessment Tool to help institutions identify their risks and assess their cybersecurity preparedness.
FHA Proposes New Deadline for Lenders to File Claims
July 7, 2015According to the FHA, the proposal would require lenders to submit claims three months after they gain marketable title to the property or sell the property.
Capital Title Acquires Three Offices in Southeast Texas
July 7, 2015Capital Title acquired three new office locations and the sovereign title plant from Jefferson County Title.
Stewart Title Announces Leadership Transitions in Texas and New Mexico Offices
July 7, 2015Among the changes, Stewart Title promoted Jennifer Greenwood to Albuquerque division president. Read on for more executive changes and retirements.
GSEs Announce UCD Delivery Timeline and Collection Solution
July 2, 2015Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reported that lenders may begin delivering and testing the Uniform Closing Dataset XML file with the GSEs in fourth quarter of 2016. Delivery of the UCD for all loans acquired by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will be required in the second quarter of 2017. This is important for settlement agents that expect to continue doing business with lenders that sell their loans to the GSEs.
USAA to use Closing Insight for TRID
July 2, 2015USAA, a Texas-based Fortune 500 provider of diversified financial services, has signed an agreement to implement Black Knight Financial Service’s Closing Insight, a suite of Web-based solutions designed to help lenders address the CFPB’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule.
Mortgage Information Services Integrates Title and Settlement Fees into Ellie Mae
July 2, 2015Mortgage Information Services has integrated its title insurance and settlement fees with Encompass360, Ellie Mae’s mortgage origination and management system.
Ellie Mae Publishes TILA-RESPA Guide
July 2, 2015The 16-chapter guide is designed to help industry participants understand and comply with the CFPB’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule.
DocuTech Launches Collaboration Portal to Simplify TRID Compliance
July 2, 2015The Collaboration Portal is an online platform that enables lenders to automate the validation of fees with settlement and closing agents.
Black Knight Releases TRID-Compliant LOS Upgrade
July 2, 2015Black Knight Financial Services Inc. latest version of Empower, the company's loan origination system (LOS) for retail and wholesale lending, includes the core functionality required for lenders to support the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule.
MortgageFlex Unveils System Upgrade for TRID
July 2, 2015MortgageFlex Systems released a new version of the LoanQuest loan origination system to support implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures.
SCOTUS Marriage Ruling and the Impact on Title and Property Rights
June 30, 2015The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges has a significant impact on title and real property property issues. For example, the 5-4 opinion gives same-sex couples the ability to take title to real property as tenants by the entirety, which is the strongest way to hold title and is reserved for married couples.
New ‘.bank’ Internet Domain Launches; ‘.insurance’ Coming Soon
June 30, 2015A new “.bank” internet domain that touts greater security measures became available June 24. The domain was created by fTLD with the help of the American Bankers Association and the Financial Services Roundtable. In a release, fTLD said it has received more than 700 applications for “.bank” domains. A “.insurance” domain is still in development.
Report Shows ‘New Normal’ for Mortgage Fraud Risk
June 30, 2015Mortgage fraud risk appears to have slowed after gradually rising the past four years, according to the Interthinx 2014 Annual Mortgage Fraud Risk Report.
ResWare Integration with Westcor Adds Policy Jackets
June 30, 2015The new integrated services feature allows agents to order and receive Westcor policy jackets from within Adeptive's ResWare platform, increasing efficiency and eliminating the need to rekey data.
NextAce Appoints Chief Operating Officer
June 30, 2015Bill Dochterman will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the company, including product delivery, support and infrastructure functions for the company, which is a provider of automated title search and examination solutions and data extraction services.
Republic Title of Texas Named Among Best Places to Work
June 30, 2015During the Dallas Business Journal’s 13th annual Best Places to Work celebration on June 25, the Dallas-based title agency was named the top firm in the Large Company Category.
Simplifile Announces Simplifile Cares Program with Habitat for Humanity
June 30, 2015Since its first Simplifile Cares event in April, Simplifile has donated more than $5,700 to local Habitat for Humanity chapters in nine different states, including Washington, Utah, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida and Texas.
Stewart Names Sales Director of Western States Agency District
June 30, 2015Stewart announced that Tony Hale will join the team as western states agency district sales director, a new role in the company’s Agency Services Group.
CFPB Proposes Oct.3 Effective Date for TRID
June 25, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on June 24 issued a proposed amendment to delay implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule until Saturday, Oct. 3. In its proposal outlining the new deadline, the bureau indicated that in recent weeks it learned delays in the delivery of system updates have left creditors and others with limited time to fully test all of their systems. Additionally, the CFPB said that scheduling the effective date on a Saturday “may allow for smoother implementation by affording industry time over the weekend to launch new systems configurations and to test systems."
DocMagic Begins Testing SmartCLOSE Program for TRID Preparation
June 25, 2015DocMagic Inc. announced that a group of clients have begun to test the features and functionality available within its new collaborative closing portal, SmartCLOSE, which offers a secure, centralized online environment for lenders, settlement providers and other associates to share, validate, audit, track and collaborate on documents, data and fees.
Bank of America Supports Use of ALTA Model Settlement Statements
June 25, 2015Bank of America said it encourages settlement agents to use ALTA's model Settlement Statements or similar state-specific forms when needed to supplement the Closing Disclosure.
TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Training Tools Available from ALTA
June 25, 2015ALTA has produced a TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure training DVD to help the industry prepare for the implementation of the new forms. The two and a half hour training DVD addresses key components of the 1,888 pages of the CFPB Rule, related regulatory action impacting work flow changes, how to collaborate with customers to prepare for implementation, and provides a detailed review of the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure. Additionally, ALTA has developed customizable Lunch and Learn presentations to guide implementation discussions with real estate customers.
Wells Fargo to Allow Use of Settlement Statement in Conjunction with Closing Disclosure
June 25, 2015In its June 2015 newsletter to its settlement agents, Wells Fargo indicated that a settlement statement in any form can be provided to the borrower along with the five-page Closing Disclosure.
How Encryption Can Help with CFPB Compliance
June 25, 2015To maintain CFPB compliance without violating consumer privacy or causing a breach of NPI, it’s crucial that title agents provide proper training with everyone on staff so that, say, a Closing Disclosure doesn’t end up on the wrong person’s desk — or in their inbox.
Use ALTA's e-Kit to Educate Others About Value of Title Insurance
June 25, 2015ALTA has created an Education e-Kit to help members educate consumers, real estate agents, lenders, the media and others about the value of title insurance. The e-Kit includes information in a variety of formats that can be easily downloaded and used by members. Items include a homebuyer presentation, videos, educational articles that can be used as blog content or submitted to local newspapers and brochures. There’s also content members can use on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as a social media dictionary to help you get up to speed with unfamiliar terms. Check out what's available exclusive to ALTA members.
The ALTA Universal ID: Developing an Industry ‘Phone Book’
June 23, 2015Systems changes are happening across the industry. A solution to this challenge represents an opportunity for compliance and process improvements. ALTA leadership and staff have hosted conversations with title agents, underwriters, lenders and vendors to determine if the ALTA Universal ID could be the solution.
California Title Announces Leadership Changes
June 23, 2015The board of directors and executive committee of California Title Company recently appointed Dave Erb as president. Jim Waterman, current president of California Title, will retire from his role in July.
TitleSmart President Receives EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 Award
June 23, 2015Minnesota-based TitleSmart Inc. announced that President Cindy Koebele, received the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015 Award in the “Insurance Services” category in the Upper Midwest. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
San Diego County Adopts E-recording with Simplifile
June 23, 2015San Diego County, Calif., the fifth most populated U.S. county, is now accepting electronic land documents submitted through Simplifile. With the addition of San Diego, Simplifile now provides e-recording in 20 of the nation’s largest counties by population.
Alliant National Title Names Florida Underwriting Counsel
June 23, 2015Alliant National Title Insurance Company recently announced it hired Brenda Cannon to the position of Florida Underwriting Counsel and VP.
ALTA Announces Signature Information Solutions as an Elite Provider
June 23, 2015The company joins 13 other ALTA Elite Providers, which are companies committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry.
WACO Title Announces Certification to ALTA Best Practices
June 23, 2015Fayetteville, Ark.-based WACO Title announced that on May 29 it received an unqualified audit opinion certifying that the company adheres to ALTA’s Best Practices.
ALTA Urges CFPB to Use Extra Time to Fix Disclosures
June 18, 2015ALTA Chief Executive Officer Michelle Korsmo credited the CFPB for pushing the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule until Oct. She also encouraged the bureau to use the additional time to correct issues with the disclosures, such as removing the "optional" label of owner's title insurance and the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance fees.
ALTA, ABA to Host Webinar on TRID, Best Practices
June 18, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures will fundamentally change how closings are handled. In order to comply with the new accuracy and delivery requirements, settlement agents and attorneys must re-engineer their processes and improve collaboration with lenders. ALTA and the American Bar Association will present a 90-minute CLE webinar on June 25, 2015, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET to help title professionals prepare for the new regulations. The webinar also will touch on ALTA’s Best Practices and how they can assist in meeting regulatory demands. You do not need to be a member of ALTA or the ABA to register for the webinar.
The Docket: Supreme Court Rejects Lien Stripping in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cases
June 18, 2015Jeffrey Lang, vice president and underwriting counsel for Old Republic National Title Insurance Co. and a member of ALTA's Title Counsel, provided today’s review of a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that held a Chapter 7 debtor may not void a junior mortgage lien when the senior lien exceeds the value of the collateral.
Lighthouse Group Partners with Safe Title
June 18, 2015Holland, Mich.-based Lighthouse Group announced a new partnership with Safe Title, a title insurance and settlement specialist with six locations in Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, Manistee, Grandville, and Grand Rapids.
Agents National Title Receives Certification of its Agency Management Systems
June 18, 2015Agents National Title Insurance Company announced it has successfully completed a Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements Number 16 Service Organization Control 1 Type 1 audit of its agency management systems and procedures.
TitleSave Demonstrates Compliance with ALTA’s Best Practices Through HA&W Program
June 18, 2015New York-based TitleSave Agency Inc. has demonstrated compliance with ALLTA’s Best Practices through HA&W’s ComplianceSuccess Program.
Attorneys Prepare for Big Changes in Real Estate Transactions
June 18, 2015More than 1,300 attorneys attended Attorneys’ Title Fund Services LLC annual Fund Assembly, which was held recently in Orlando, Fla.
19 Trade Associations Urge Passage of TRID Hold-harmless Bill
June 11, 2015ALTA and 18 other trade associations sent a letter on June 9 urging Congress to pass H.R. 2213, which would provide a reasonable hold-harmless period for enforcement of the of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures regulation for those that make good-faith efforts to comply.
Stewart Partners with Deloitte to Offer Compliance Services to Agents
June 11, 2015Stewart has agreed to offer a voluntary Deloitte & Touche compliance service to its independent title and settlement agents who wish to receive third-party attestation.
Monthly Fraud News Update Service for Insurers Announced by First Consulting
June 11, 2015First Consulting & Administration Inc. is committed to helping insurance companies stay on top of the latest news regarding insurance fraud in the marketplace. To meet this need, First Consulting now offers a new free monthly email “Fraud News Update.”
Exit Strategies: Critical Considerations When Selling Your Title Agency
June 9, 2015The "perfect storm" of heightened regulations and the technology revolution in the settlement services industry is causing many agency owners and attorneys to consider or accelerate their exit strategies. Register for ALTA’s next Title Topics webinar from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET, Wednesday, June 24 and learn the items agency owners should consider when winding down a title agency through an acquisition, merger or business cessation. The webinar will provide a checklist of items you should compile when preparing your exit strategy.
Join ALTA’s Closing Committee for Discussion on TRID
June 9, 2015ALTA’s Closing Committee will hold conference calls to exchange information on the CFPB’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures. Topics include production of the Closing Disclosure, how data will be exchanged, platforms that will be used and the types of fees involved.
Self-assessment vs. Third-party Certification?
June 9, 2015Despite the lack of regulatory clarity on what's needed to prove compliance with federal consumer financial laws, title professionals should proactively determine lender client requirements and get a firm understanding if a self-assessment of Best Practices is sufficient or if a third-party certification will be mandatory.
ALTA President Receives Leadership Award from October Research
June 9, 2015ALTA President Diane Evans NTP received the 2015 Leadership Award from October Research during the 11th annual National Settlement Services Summit in Atlanta. Also receiving awards were Dick Reass, owner of RynohLive and Reliant Title, who received the Innovation Award; and Kevin Tacher, CEO of Independence Title, who received Philanthropy Award.
Mountain America tallies 500 E-closings on Pavaso Platform
June 9, 2015Since their first transaction with Pavaso’s platform on Dec. 31, 2014, the pace of Mountain America Credit Union’s e-closing capability continues to speed up. On June 8, the credit union officially reached 500 transactions with Digital Close, part of Pavaso’s platform and suite of solutions from the real estate innovator.
NDGT Acquires Minnesota-based Title Operations
June 9, 2015North Dakota Guaranty & Title Co. acquired Grand Forks Abstract & Title Company which also includes Pennington County Abstract & Title in Thief River Falls, Minn., and Strander Abstract & Title in Crookston, Minn.
SoftPro Named as Finalist in 2015 American Business Awards
June 9, 2015SoftPro was recently named a finalist in both product development and customer support categories in The 2015 American Business Awards.
RamQuest Announces Integration with NotaryLoop
June 9, 2015Using NotaryLoop, any signing service can integrate with RamQuest’s production solutions and create a secure, stable connection to clients without costly development fees.
Best Homes Continues Expansion in Michigan With Acquisition
June 9, 2015Michigan-based Best Homes Title acquisition of Homeowners Title Agency is the company’s largest metro Detroit expansion, giving it 13 full-service offices across the state.
Chicago Title’s Caplinger Receives Scholar Award
June 9, 2015In her role as agency counsel and manager in Newport News, Va., Paula Caplinger regularly organizes and participates in Fidelity National Title Group continuing education programs for local title agents and attorneys.
CFPB Claims TRID Won’t Delay Closings for ‘Just About Everybody’
June 4, 2015In an announcement clarifying the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure three-day rule, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said the new regulations will not delay closings in most situations.
NAR Survey: Impact of QM Points and Fees Cap, TRID
June 4, 2015The National Association of Realtors’ Sixth Survey of Mortgage Originators surveyed mortgage originating entities on production issues regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Qualified Mortgage rule, the 3 percent cap on points and fees and the impact of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures.
CFPB Misses the Mark on TRID Guidance
June 4, 2015While ALTA appreciated Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray’s saying the bureau would be sensitive to companies making a good-faith effort to comply with the 1,888 pages of TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) regulation, ALTA had hoped the bureau would announce a specific hold-harmless period. Read on for comments from ALTA Chief Executive Officer Michelle Korsmo, as well as several members of Congress who were disappointed in the CFPB's response.
ISGN Enhances Gators Platform to Comply with New TRID Closing Disclosure Requirements
June 4, 2015ISGN said the platform will default to the correct disclosure based upon the loan purpose and that Gators users will still have the option to produce the HUD-1 and Good Faith Estimate for the loan products that do not require the new closing disclosure form.
ALTA Accepting Presentation Proposals for 2015 Annual Convention in Boston
June 4, 2015ALTA is now accepting presentation proposals for its 2015 Annual Convention, Oct. 7-10 at the Westin Copley Place in Boston. Deadline to submit a proposal is Friday, June 12.
Westcor Introduces Agency Compliance Program to Meet ALTA Best Practices and CFPB Guidance
June 3, 2015McGladrey LLP will assist Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. with the evaluation and enhancement of its Agency Audit Program to test for compliance with ALTA’s Best Practices Framework.
Phishers Target Title Agents with Fake Dropbox Emails
June 2, 2015Title and settlement agents should be on the lookout for two phishing campaigns directed at Dropbox and Yahoo users. Fake Dropbox emails urge the recipient view “urgent and highly confidential" documents such as "final HUD-1," while the Yahoo emails ask the victim to click a link in order to restore recently expired email access.
Tips to Identify and Protect Your Company Against Wire Fraud
June 2, 2015Title professionals and their clients have increasingly become the target of a cyber-fraud scheme involving compromised emails, specifically email communications containing altered wiring instructions. Read on for a list of common indicators that may assist in identifying this type of fraud and steps title professionals should take to help reduce the chances of being a victim.
Title Insurance Premium Volume Increases 11 Percent in Q1 2015
June 2, 2015The title insurance industry generated $2.6 billion in title insurance premiums during the first quarter of 2015 compared to $2.3 billion during the first quarter of 2014, according to ALTA’s 2015 First-quarter Market Share Data Analysis.
LodeStar Releases Loan Estimate Calculator
June 2, 2015The Loan Estimate Calculator quotes settlement costs, title insurance premiums and municipal taxes for all 50 states to lenders, real estate agents and consumers.
WFG National Title Promotes Blauvelt to Lead National Agency Division
June 2, 2015Roger Blauvelt, who was previously WFG National Title’s vice president, National Agency Underwriting counsel, will be responsible for maintaining the company's relationship with its largest national title agents as well as spearheading new growth.
First American Launches New Property Data Research Website
June 2, 2015First American Financial Corp. has launched an all-new DataTree, which provides property-centric information that professionals in the mortgage, real estate and land services industries require to make informed business decisions.
Adeptive Integrates ResWare With NotaryLoop
June 2, 2015Adeptive announced the integration between its title production software ResWare and NotaryLoop, a cloud-based interface that provides a solution for title agencies to collaborate and submit loan information to their preferred notary signing services.
RealEC Offering Webinar on Closing Insight
May 28, 2015The CFPB's TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule is intended to simplify closing forms and make it easier for borrowers to understand the terms of their loans. To meet these new requirements, collaboration between lenders and settlement agents will be critical. RealEC Technologies has developed Closing Insight – an online, workflow-driven solution that enables settlement agents and lenders to collaborate and reconcile Closing Disclosure fees on a single platform. Join RealEC for an informative webinar to learn how Closing Insight is helping settlement agents and lenders communicate more effectively.
Simplifile Announces New Collaboration and Post Closing Services
May 28, 2015Simplifile has opened registration for its two new services, Collaboration and Post Closing, which enable lenders and settlement agents to share, validate, and collaborate on loan documents, fee data, transaction details, and more, facilitating compliance with the regulatory changes ahead.
First American Launches TRID Tool Kit for Title Agents
May 28, 2015The TRID Tool Kit, which includes a suite of training and reference materials, will be available on First American’s agent portal, AgentNet.
Checklist to be Ready for TRID Implementation
May 28, 2015With implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s integrated mortgage disclosures less than 100 days away, title professionals should be preparing their operations now for the change. Read on for a checklist of 10 items title professionals should consider in order to be ready for the Oct. 3, 2015, implementation deadline.
Pressure Mounts for CFPB to Institute Grace Period for TRID
May 26, 2015Following ALTA’s Federal Conference and Lobby Day last week in Washington, D.C., more members of Congress are asking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to enact a hold-harmless period through the end of the year following the Aug. 1 effective date of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) regulation.
National Foreclosure Law Firm Ceases Operations
May 26, 2015In an internal memo, Butler & Hosch's chief executive officer blamed its quick expansion and acquisitions for the collapse. The law firm was actively prosecuting up to 60,000 foreclosure files, employed nearly 700 attorneys, paralegals and back office staff, and had access to 90 percent of the foreclosure industry in the United States.
Stewart Lender Services Integrates Suite of Due Diligence Tools
May 26, 2015This integration includes several significant enhancements to the company’s Due Diligence System (DDS), a proprietary workflow platform designed to support real estate secured transactions for new originations and seasoned loan reviews.
NMLTA Honors WFG National Title’s McKnight
May 26, 2015Susan McKnight, state counsel and agency consultant for WFG National Title Insurance Co., was recently honored with the New Mexico Land Title Association’s Omer F. Tucker Citizen of the Year Award.
PRIA to Hold Webinar on Indexing Standards White Paper
May 26, 2015The May 28 webinar will focus on the white paper titled Best Practices: Indexing Names & Parties, which was adopted by the PRIA board on Feb. 17, 2015
Want to Join an ALTA Committee?
May 26, 2015If you have a special area of expertise (real property records, claims, international development or industry technology, for example), or if you have an area of interest (such as membership, government affairs, public relations, research or employee and professional education, to name a few), there is a committee on which you can volunteer to serve. Deadline to submit your name is Friday, July 17.
ALTA Board Member Appointed Chief Justice, Illinois Court of Claims
May 21, 2015Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner appointed Peter Birnbaum, president and CEO, Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, as chief justice of the Illinois Court of Claims.
WFG Appoints Managers for Agency Group
May 21, 2015WFG National Title Insurance Co. has named executive vice presidents Charles Cain and Gene Rebadow to co-manage its agency group. Both will be charged with overseeing and leading the company’s work with independent title agencies in their respective geographic regions.
Senators Urge CFPB to Institute Grace Period for TRID
May 21, 2015Two U.S. Senators have joined the growing chorus encouraging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to enact a hold-harmless period through the end of the year following the August 1 effective date of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures regulation.
ALTA Thanks Shelby for Regulation Relief Bill
May 21, 2015The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015 would overhaul the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and make structural changes to the Federal Reserve and to the nation's 10-agency financial stability council, known as FSOC. Relative to the title industry, the bill would create a hold-harmless period under the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule. An amendment to the bill An amendment added to the bill would require the GAO to study the title insurance and ancillary fees charged by companies affiliated with lenders versus unaffiliated companies.
CFPB to Hold Webinar on TRID Rule
May 21, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will hold its fifth and final webinar on its TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, May 26, to answer some frequently asked questions.
Douglas County in Colorado Implements Landmark Official Records System
May 21, 2015The Landmark Official Records system,which is from Pioneer Technology Group, enables counties and registers of deeds offices to streamline processes and improve public service when recording land records.
CFPB Consumer Complaint Portal Not a 'Gotcha Game' Panel Says
May 20, 2015From the CFPB’s perspective, a company has done its due diligence if it has provided a response to a consumer complaint with 15 days. Read on to learn how the bureau defines a complaint and why it believes complaints are useful in detecting market trends.
State of Play on Capitol Hill for the Real Estate Industry
May 20, 2015While Dodd-Frank will not be repealed, John Delaney (D-MD) and French Hill (R-AK) discussed how incremental and positive changes to the current regulatory structure have a chance of passing the House and Senate with bipartisan support. A majority of the discussion focused on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID).
ALTA Federal Conference: CFPB Dominates Issues ALTA Will Take to the Hill
May 19, 2015Title professionals attending ALTA's 2015 Federal Conference and Lobby Day will encourage members of Congress to support legislation that would enact a hold-harmless period following implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule through the end of the year. In addition, attendees will tell members of Congress that the CFPB should amend its rule to allow the title and settlement industry to disclose the price of title insurance accurately to consumers. The TRID rule prohibits the accurate disclosure of fees for title insurance in 43 states.
TitleOne Honored Among ‘Best Places to Work in Idaho’
May 19, 2015For the fourth year in a row, TitleOne has been named one of the top 10 “Best Places to Work in Idaho” in the large employer category (100 and more employees).
2014 ALTA TIPAC Awards
May 19, 2015During its Federal Conference and Lobby Day, ALTA honored four individuals for their efforts in helping to raise a record amount of donations in 2014 for the Title Industry Political Action Committee.
SoftPro Adds eRecording Partners Network to Business Exchange
May 19, 2015SoftPro announced the integration of eRecording Partners Network (ePN) with its SoftPro 360 exchange platform. The integration allows SoftPro users to place orders for electronic recording services offered through ePN.
ALTA Announces Two National Title Professional Designations
May 19, 2015The professional designation was received by Cheryl Cowherd of Agents National Title Insurance Company in Columbia, Mo.; and John Hollenbeck of First American Title Insurance Company in Santa Ana, Calif.
ALTA Announces Two New Elite Providers
May 19, 2015ALTA announced that Rizolv and SMS TrustLink have been named Elite Providers. The companies join 10 other companies as ALTA Elite Providers.
Stewart Title Partners with ZixCorp to Protect Customer Confidentiality
May 19, 2015In order to protect customer non-public personal information, Stewart Title has partnered with ZixCorp to offer a secure email solution.
Real Estate Industry Unites Asking for Hold-harmless Period for TRID
May 14, 2015During a Congressional hearing today, ALTA President Diane Evans NTP and representatives from the National Association of Realtors, American Bankers Association and the Urban Institute all encouraged Congress to pass legislation that would implement a hold-harmless period following the Aug. 1 implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule through 2015.
Closing Time: Improve the Process by Reducing Errors
May 14, 2015Reducing errors during the closing process will become even more important come Aug. 1, 2015, when the CFPB’s Integrated Disclosures go into effect.
ALTA Survey Finds 92% of Title Professionals will be Ready for TRID Implementation
May 14, 2015While most title professionals indicated they will be prepared for implementation come Aug. 1, 87 percent believe the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures will delay closings or result in closings taking longer to complete.
ALTA Responds to New York Times Editorial
May 12, 2015ALTA submitted a letter to the The New York Times Editorial Board on May 12 in response to an editorial column that failed to properly inform its readers about the benefits and cost of title insurance.
ALTA President to Make Second Appearance Before Congress
May 12, 2015ALTA President Diane Evans NTP will testify before Congress for the second time within the past month. On Thursday, Evans will appear before the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee during a hearing titled "TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure: Examining the Costs and Benefits of Changes to the Real Estate Settlement Process."
The Docket: Foreclosures Void Due to Unlicensed Server Who Provided Notice
May 12, 2015Cheryl Cowherd, senior underwriting counsel for Agents National Title Insurance Co., provided today’s review of a decision in Illinois addressing foreclosure judgments that were void because the server’s license expired. Read on to learn why it's important to strictly follow state statues.
Colorado Passes Bill to Create Title Insurance Commission
May 12, 2015Senate Bill 15-210, which passed both chambers of the Colorado General Assembly last week and awaits the governor's signature, would create a nine-member commission that participates in the regulation of the title insurance industry.
New York Approves New Title Rates for Refinances
May 12, 2015The New York State Department of Financial Services approved new title insurance rates for mortgage refinancing transactions, which will provide up to 65 percent savings for consumers.
HA&W’s ComplianceSuccess Program Partners with Old Republic as Preferred Vendor
May 12, 2015HA&W’s ComplianceSuccess Program offers Old Republic Title agents comprehensive testing and reporting across all seven of ALTA’s Best Practices pillars.
Iowa Now E-recording with Simplifile in All 99 Counties
May 12, 2015The Hawkeye State is now the seventh state to offer e-recording in all of its counties statewide with Simplifile.
ATPR Expands Abstractor Network
May 12, 2015American Tax & Property Reporting, Inc. (ATPR), a provider of technology focused solutions for the real estate and settlement services industry, announced the expansion of its nationwide abstractor network for SmartProp, a next generation property search reporting product.
Investors Title Promotes Wainio to SVP
May 12, 2015Ryan Wainio has been promoted to senior vice president at Investors Title Insurance Company and will manage the North Carolina legal and underwriting team.
Bank of America Provides Feedback to Settlement Agents’ TRID Questions
May 7, 2015In its fourth communication to its settlement agent network, Bank of America addressed several questions it has received regarding the Aug. 1 implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures and how it will work with settlement agents on deals requiring the new integrated disclosures.
Pavaso Launches Program to Aid TRID Compliance, Enhance Consumer Experience
May 7, 2015Pavaso is offering an accelerated path for businesses to implement digital closings in order to prepare for sweeping industry changes on Aug. 1, when the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) go into effect.
Survey: Integrated Disclosures Most Significant Compliance Issue for Lenders
May 7, 2015According to QuestSoft’s ninth annual compliance survey, 76 percent of lenders that participated ranked the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures as a high concern, and an additional 15 percent citing it as a medium concern.
U.S. Reps Introduce ALTA-supported Restrained Enforcement Bill for TRID
May 5, 2015Two House Financial Services Committee members introduced a bipartisan bill last week that would provide a temporary safe harbor from the enforcement of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule as long as companies show a good-faith effort to comply.
Underwriters Report Q1 Earnings Results
May 5, 2015Buoyed by a dip in mortgage rates, an increase in refinances and a steady flow of commercial and purchase orders, Fidelity National Financial, First American Financial, Old Republic International and Stewart Information Services all reported strong first-quarter 2015 results for their title insurance divisions.
PRIA Finalizes Indexing Best Practices Paper
May 5, 2015According to PRIA, the recorder's property records index exists in a form very similar to a phone book listing, and is the way to find the necessary citation so that a document itself can be retrieved.
Michigan-based Transnation Title Agency Expands into Hoosier State
May 5, 2015The acquisition of National Escrow Title in Indianapolis gives Transnation its first brick-and-mortar presence in Indiana.
Stewart Title Expands Footprint in Ohio
May 5, 2015Stewart Title acquired a majority interest in First Ohio Title Insurance Agency, which has provided title and settlement services throughout Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky since 1999.
Senate Bill Would Halt EPA's Proposed Water Rule and Protect Landowners
May 5, 2015Bipartisan legislation introduced April 30 in the Senate would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from implementing a proposed rule that could result in millions of acres of private property to be regulated as wetlands under the Clean Water Act.
PYA Provides Services to Title and Settlement Agents as Recommended by AICPA
May 5, 2015Pershing Yoakley & Associates, a national consulting and certified public accounting firm, offers ALTA Best Practices services for title and settlement agents in accordance with The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ newly released Technical Questions and Answers guidance.
NAIC Cybersecurity Task Force Adopts Regulatory Principles
May 5, 2015The 12 principles adopted direct insurers, producers, and other regulated entities to join forces in identifying risks and adopting practical solutions to protect information entrusted to them.
Agencies Issue Final Rule on Minimum Requirements for AMCs
May 5, 2015Under the rule, states may elect to register and supervise appraisal management companies (AMC). The AMC minimum requirements in the final rule apply to states that elect to register and supervise AMCs.
ALTA, NYSLTA Comment on Regulatory Proposal for Title Industry in New York
April 30, 2015ALTA and the New York State Land Title Association both issued comments to title insurance industry regulations that were proposed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on April 29.
Regulators Target Execs at Defunct Title Company, Loan Officers in Kickback Scheme
April 30, 2015In a complaint filed in federal court, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Maryland Attorney Generalalleged that executives of Maryland-based Genuine Title and several loan officers traded cash and marketing services in exchange for mortgage referrals.
eLynx Launches TRID Compliance Solution
April 30, 2015eLynx has announced Expedite ID (Integrated Disclosures), a compliance solution that fulfills lenders’ requirements for complying with the CFPB's TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule that goes into effect Aug. 1.
ALTA Needs Real-life Examples of How Consumers are Affected by Failed, Delayed Closings
April 30, 2015Sharing real-life examples of how regulations work on Main Street also go a long way in helping members of Congress relate to a situation. In May, Evans will testify before Congress about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure (TRID). ALTA is asking members to provide real-life examples of why transactions did not close. Was something discovered during the walk-through? Were concessions made at the last minute? Was there an issue with the lender? We know you all have stories, so please share the details—the more specific the better.
SoftPro Announces Closing Disclosure Training Registration
April 30, 2015SoftPro customers can register for a variety of Closing Disclosure “On-the-Road” classes or webinar training sessions.
HA&W ComplianceSuccess Program Partners with AICPA to Develop ALTA Best Practices Reporting Standards
April 30, 2015The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants issued guidelines for CPAs who perform attestation and compliance reporting services to verify if a title and settlement professional complies with ALTA's Best Practices Framework.
U.S. Supreme Court to Decide if Congress Can Grant Right to Sue in Federal Court
April 28, 2015The U.S. Supreme Court will take up the case Spokeo Inc. v. Robins this fall to decide whether Congress can give someone a right to sue in federal court, even if that individual cannot show that they suffered any specific harm. The case brings up the same questions that were at issue in First American v Edwards. That case was heard by the Supreme Court in 2012 before being dismissed with no explanation on the last day of the term.
The Docket: Federal Court of Appeals Clarifies Coverage for Mechanics’ Liens Arising from Failed Construction Projects
April 28, 2015Today’s review of a decision addressing the interpretation of Exclusion 3(a) was provided by James L. Windsor of the law firm Kaufman & Canoles PC. Read on to learn why this opinion provides legal support for denying any duty to indemnify insured lenders for mechanic’s liens filed against construction projects that fail due to financing problems.
FHFA Issues Statement on HOA Super-Priority Lien Foreclosures
April 28, 2015The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a statement last week that it will not consent, to the foreclosure of a mortgage loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac when initiated by a home owner association with a super-priority lien to the loan.
Accurate Group to Expand Presence in Ohio
April 28, 2015The company has hired Kelly R. Westbury, former president of FirstMerit Title, and Laurice Petit, former commercial relationship manager at FirstMerit Title, to open a new office in Northeast Ohio.
Surry County, N.C., Offers E-recording
April 28, 2015Surry County joins 45 other e-recording counties in North Carolina in addition to more than 1,200 recording jurisdictions nationwide that e-record with Simplifile.
SunTrust Shares TRID Plans; Requires ALTA Best Practice Self Assessment by July 1
April 23, 2015While SunTrust will handle production and delivery of the Closing Disclosure to the homebuyer, title and settlement agents will need to provide complete and accurate fees up to two weeks prior to the scheduled closing date. In addition, settlement service providers must complete an ALTA Best Practice Self Assessment by July 1 to remain eligible to close loans for SunTrust.
Loans Not Covered by TRID
April 23, 2015The CFPB's TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures (TRID) rule applies to most closed-end consumer mortgages. Read on to learn the types of transactions that are not covered by TRID and how to handle all-cash transactions.
Title Professionals Can Turn Compliance Challenges into Opportunities
April 23, 2015Successful title professionals will need to navigate a shifting market while preparing for the new integrated mortgage disclosures, implementing Best Practices to help lenders meet third-party vendor oversight requirements and increased regulatory pressure, including renewed focus on RESPA compliance. While there are a number of changes and challenges, there's ultimately opportunities for businesses to embrace compliance and use it as a competitive advantage.
RamQuest Releases Closing Disclosure Solution
April 23, 2015RamQuest Inc. announced the early release of Complete Closing version 8.0, which includes a Closing Disclosure solution that meets the requirements of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule that goes into effect on Aug. 1.
State of Play on Capitol Hill: Members of Congress to Debate Regulatory Reform during Fed Conference
April 21, 2015Register for ALTA’s 2015 Federal Conference and Lobby Day to hear members of Congress from both sides of the aisle offer insight into the regulatory reform efforts in the House Financial Services Committee.
White House Would Veto CFPB Small Biz Advisory Board Bill Due to Spending Amendment
April 21, 2015The White House in a statement said it would veto a bill that would establish a permanent small business advisory board at the bureau due to an amendment that reduces the amount of money the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can draw from the Federal Reserve.
The Docket: Bankruptcy Court Says Insurer’s Judgment Exempt from Discharge in Debtor Fraud Case
April 21, 2015Today’s review of a bankruptcy case and whether a debtor’s obligation to the title company was dischargeable was provided by David Cox of the law firm Jackson & Campbell PC. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title insurance industry.
ALTA Urges Senate to Make Tax Code ‘Simpler, Fairer’
April 21, 2015ALTA joined 23 other organizations in a comment letter encouraging members of the Senate Committee on Finance to improve the United State’s tax code.
Fidelity Appoints Manager of Commercial Group in Pennsylvania
April 21, 2015Fidelity National Title Group recently named James Sindoni as the new manager for the Fidelity National Title and Chicago Title commercial operations for Pennsylvania.
OCC Revises RESPA Comptroller Handbook
April 21, 2015This revised booklet replaces a similarly titled booklet issued in October 2011 and provides updated information resulting from recent changes made to Regulation X regarding mortgage servicing, loss mitigation and the transfer of rulemaking authority for Regulation X from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
RamQuest Expands Integration with FNTG
April 21, 2015RamQuest reported that the expansion of its existing integration with Fidelity National Title Group includes closing protection letters (CPL) through the RamQuest Closing Market digital network.
Survey: 40 Percent of Lenders Not Ready for TRID
April 16, 2015According to the same survey conducted by Capsilon Corporation, only 12 percent of participating lenders reported that that they are “very prepared” to meet the requirements of the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rule.
ALTA President Highlights Issues with TRID during Congressional Hearing
April 16, 2015During a hearing on April 15 before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, ALTA President Diane Evans NTP outlined ways to improve the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rule so industry can better serve consumers.
Registration Opens for Closing Insight
April 16, 2015To help meet mandated delivery requirements under the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rule, RealEC Technologies launched a new online solution for lenders and settlement providers to collaborate and reconcile Closing Disclosure fees on a single platform. Registration for Closing Insight opened April 15.
House Passes Points and Fees Legislation
April 14, 2015The U.S House of Representatives on Tuesday by a vote of 286-140 passed the Mortgage Choice Act (HR 685), a bill introduced by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) that would exclude fees a lender pays to an affiliated title company from the 3 percent cap on points and fees under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Qualified Mortgage rule. While the bill passed the House by a vote of 286-140, ALTA believes Senate Democrats are likely to oppose the legislation. Additionally, the White House issued an administrative policy statement saying it will veto any points and fees legislation because it "would weaken key consumer protections and provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act."
Learning from CFPB Enforcement
April 14, 2015Every day, ALTA works to help its members understand and comply with regulatory requirements. Often, those requirements are up for interpretation and the path forward is unclear. A good way to learn a regulator's current line of thinking is to look at their recent activity.
Red Flags to Preventing Fraud
April 14, 2015In most transactions, closing/settlement agents are the industry’s last line of defense to detect unusual and/or suspicious activity as well as preventing a fraudulent transaction from being closed and insured. Read on for red flags involving the parties, the transaction, the property and the documents.
Fannie Mae Clarifies Use of ALTA Short Forms in Selling Guide
April 14, 2015The update clarifies that Fannie Mae currently accepts title policies that are written on ALTA’s short form. The Selling Guide states that the ALTA short form must provide coverage equivalent to the 2006 ALTA standard form.
ALTA President to Testify Before Congress on Wednesday
April 14, 2015Diane Evans NTP will testify before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, April 15 during a hearing titled “Examining Regulatory Burdens on Non-Depository Financial Institutions.” Evans will share with the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee modifications and clarifications that should be made to improve the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rule. She also will encourage members of the subcommittee to support legislation to improve the way that the bureau protects consumers and works with businesses. The hearing starts at 1 p.m. ET, Wednesday. Click here to view the witness list and watch the testimony live.
North Carolina-based Law Firm Achieves SOC 2 Certification
April 14, 2015Brady & Kosofsky PA., a North Carolina-based law firm offering real estate closing, title search, REO and loss mitigation services, announced it has completed a Service Organization Control 2 Type 1 certification.
Underwriters Announce Dates for First-Quarter Earnings Calls
April 14, 2015Fidelity National Financial, First American Financial Corp. and Old Republic International announced dates for conference calls to discuss first-quarter earnings results.
Adeptive Integrates with eRecording Partners Network
April 14, 2015The integration allows users of ResWare and eRecording Partners Network to electronically record documents such as deeds, mortgages and reconveyances.
Winning the Next War: Title Insurers Can Expect a New Set of Challenges in the Coming Years
April 9, 2015From 2004 to 2014, title insurers proved strong through unprecedented crisis. From 2014 to 2024, title insurers may well be called upon to fight again on new fronts. Read on to learn about five fronts the industry must be vigilant and proactive on in the coming decade.
Couldn’t Join Us in Philly? Watch Recordings of General Sessions From the Business Strategies Conference
April 9, 2015The general sessions featured ALTA President Diane Evans, who talked about the importance of educating business partners about the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures; a panel of lenders who shared how financial institutions are preparing for the new rules; and a panel of industry experts who addressed key operational challenges that title professionals can expect once they start using the new disclosures.
Trivia Time: Test Your Knowledge of the CFPB's Integrated Mortgage Disclosures
April 9, 2015To gauge industry knowledge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's rule for integrated mortgage disclosures, ALTA will be asking questions about the rule over the next several months. Today's question is: How many days before consummation of the transaction must a creditor provide the Closing Disclosure to the consumer?
Stewart Hires Chief Information Officer
April 7, 2015Brad Rable will help guide the company’s information technology transformation by leading Stewart’s information technology vision, strategy and execution.
ALTA Forms Approved by Board of Governors Published as Final
April 7, 2015Several new and revised forms ALTA’s Board of Governors approved during a meeting on Feb. 19 have passed through the comment period without change.
North American Title Names Director of Operations
April 7, 2015With 22 years at one of the nation's largest title insurance underwriters, Sara DePhillips has experience in creating centralized support services and agent-facing technology to offer title agents up-to-date, streamlined methods to work with their underwriters.
Florida Agency Network Appoints COO
April 7, 2015Mike LaRosa began his title insurance career in 1999 as associate counsel at First American Title’s divisional headquarters in Tallahassee.
ALTA Welcomes 137 New Members
April 7, 2015ALTA is pleased to announce that 137 new members, real estate attorneys and associate members joined ALTA recently. Read on to check out an entire list of new members.
Online Tool Can Help Improve Title Shop Efficiency
April 7, 2015According to Bill Risser of Chicago Title Agency, cloud-based Evernote Business, is a viable solution for smaller agency operations instead of using a customer relationship management tool.
NexTitle Names President
April 7, 2015Previously, Erin Sheckler was senior vice president, general counsel and Western States regional director for Bellevue, Wash.-based NexTitle.
GreenFolders Becomes ALTA Elite Provider
April 7, 2015ALTA’s Elite Provider Program is comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry.
ResWare Integrates with YourDox
April 6, 2015Adeptive announced that its integration of ResWare with Pioneer Technology Group’s YourDox allows title agents to create and control unlimited custom follow-up marketing campaigns and provides go forward lead notices for future closings.
Members of Congress Urge CFPB to Follow Restrained Enforcement for TRID
April 2, 2015Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer and Randy Neugebauer asked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to follow a “hold harmless” period of restrained enforcement and liability through the end of 2015 following the Aug. 1 implementation of the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures.
ALTA Urges CFPB to Make Changes to Mortgage Shopping Toolkit
April 2, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on April 1 released its “Your Home Loan Toolkit” that guides consumers through the process of shopping for a mortgage and buying a house. While the new toolkit is a good resource and provides valuable information for consumers in an understandable manner, ALTA requests the bureau make three changes to better inform consumers about title insurance and the costs of owning a home.
Update on Legislation Affecting the CFPB
April 2, 2015The House Financial Services Committee approved a bill that would create a small business advisory board at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), while legislation was introduced in the Senate that would require a 10-year regulatory review of the bureau and the Dodd-Frank Act.
CFPB Updates Exam Procedures for New Disclosure Rules
April 2, 2015The updates offer guidance on how the CFPB will conduct examinations for compliance with the Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
Software Providers Offer Solutions to Support Creation of TRID
April 2, 2015RealEC Technologies, a division of Black Knight Financial Services, and Ellie Mae have made announcements that will help industry participants produce the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures. RealEC will begin accepting registration for Closing Insight on April 15, while Ellie Mae reports that its Encompass loan origination system is ready to handle the new forms.
Title Industry Drives Toward TRID Implementation Date Despite Rumor of Delay
March 26, 2015ALTA President Diane Evans NTP said ALTA members continue to prepare for the Aug. 1 implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures and remain focused on collaborating with mortgage and real estate partners to comply with the new regulations. Her comments followed some rumors that the CFPB may consider delaying the implementation of TRID. CFPB officials, however, said the bureau has no plans to delay implementation.
Setting Expectations: Lenders Discuss How TRID Will Change Closing Process
March 26, 2015With lenders ultimately liable for the delivery and accuracy of the Closing Disclosure, many lenders are already making the decision that they will produce and provide the Closing Disclosure to buyer. Read on to learn how several lenders plan to handle the Closing Disclosure, what expectations they have from their title and settlement partners, how they expect to share data in order to comply with the regulations and the importance of reading lenders' closing instructions.
ALTA is Your One-stop Shop for Information on Implementation of the New Closing Disclosure
March 26, 2015The Aug. 1, 2015 deadline to implement the CFPB's integrated mortgage disclosures will be here before we know it. There is no staggered roll out this time around, so you need to be ready come August. It is essential title professionals assess their operations now in order to understand what process changes will need to be made. ALTA has developed and compiled a wealth of resources and information to help members prepare. From educational forums, webinars, blogs and news articles, check out what's available.
TILA or RESPA: Which Trumps the Other for the CFPB’s Integrated Disclosures?
March 26, 2015While the Dodd-Frank Act directed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to integrate mortgage disclosures required by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Truth-in-Lending Act, Congress did not provide direction on which statute trumps the other in terms of liability. Read on for analysis on which statute overrides the other in terms of liability and learn what penalties you could face for compliance violations.
ALTA Reports $11 Billion in Title Insurance Premiums Written in 2014
March 24, 2015According to ALTA's 2014 Year-end and Fourth-Quarter Market Share Analysis, the title insurance industry generated $11.3 billion in title insurance premiums in 2014, down 10.9 percent when compared to 2013.
ALTA Announces HA&W as an Elite Provider
March 24, 2015ALTA’s Elite Provider Program is comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members’ critical needs.
ALTA Awards Seven National Title Professional Designations
March 24, 2015The professional designation was received by Shonna Stock Cardello of White Rose Settlement Services in York, Pa.; Wendy S. Gibbons of Stewart Title Guaranty Company in Indianapolis; Rich Griffin of North American Title Insurance Company in Phoenix; Sonia L. Kuppert of STA Title & Escrow in Fredericksburg, Va.; Heather L. Meahl of Reliant Title Insurance Agency in Virginia Beach, Va.; Judi Souza of Escrow Expertise in San Jose, Calif.; and Francine D’Elia Wirsching CLTP of Community First Abstract in Blue Bell, Pa.
Federal Title Releases New Video for Homebuyers
March 24, 2015Federal Title & Escrow Co. released a video reminding homebuyers of their right to choose their own title company and explaining why selecting the title company is in the their best interest.
First Virginia Community Bank Adds New Relationship Manager
March 24, 2015Katie Tzitzouris will focus on meeting the business needs of title and settlement companies that do business with the bank.
Increased Client Demand for Compliance Help Drives Equity National Title to Grow Team
March 24, 2015Equity National Title has added Travis Cline and Jonathan Hill, both in the role of vice president, national sales executive.
American Tax & Property Reporting Names Head of Sales for Property Search Product
March 24, 2015American Tax & Property Reporting has appointed Corey Hulbert to lead the sales effort for SmartProp, which is a search product that provides a range of property reports.
Register for Today's Webinar: Turn Compliance into an Advantage
March 24, 2015Complying with the avalanche of regulations may seem overly burdensome and expensive. It may leave you feeling like you're company is "too small to comply. However, compliance provides an opportunity and should not be viewed as an obligation. If done correctly, compliance can lead to substantial business growth. Register for ALTA's next Title Topics webinar, which will be held from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET, today, to learn what smart title companies are doing in the new world of compliance to grow market share.
ALTA President: ‘Collaboration Starts Now’
March 19, 2015Opening the March 19 general session of the 2015 Business Strategies Conference in Philadelphia, ALTA President Diane Evans NTP encouraged attendees to take the responsibility of educating others about how the CFPB’s TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures will change the homebuying process.
SoftPro Delivers Closing Disclosure Upgrade to First Customer
March 19, 2015Guardian Title Company, Inc. in Blanco, Texas, is the first SoftPro customer to receive the CFPB-ready Select Version 4.0 update.
Adeptive Announces Additional Functionality With Integration of SnapDocs
March 19, 2015Adeptive announced that its integration with SnapDocs now offers additional functionality specifically for title companies managing their mobile closings.
ALTA Joins 15 Other Organizations Urging CFPB to Follow ‘Grace Period' for TRID Compliance
March 19, 2015ALTA and 15 other organizations urge the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to announce “restrained enforcement and liability” or “grace period” for those seeking to comply in good faith to the bureau’s TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rule that goes into effect Aug. 1.
Wells Fargo Outlines Settlement Agent Expectations, Plans to Improve Data Exchange and Accuracy of Fees
March 19, 2015In addition to outlining expectations from its settlement agents in order to comply with the CFPB’s TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures that go into effect Aug. 1., Wells Fargo announced some new technology partnerships aimed at improving the exchange and accuracy of fees.
Bank of America Details Settlement Agent TRID Compliance Responsibility
March 19, 2015In a letter to its settlement agents, Bank of America outlined several process changes that have been made in order to comply with the CFPB’s TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures. Read on to learn what expectations the lender will have from its settlement agents.
Florida-based Equitable National Title Group Receives ALTA Best Practices Certification
March 19, 2015Security Compliance Associates (SCA) guided Equitable National Title Group through remediating shortfalls and re-evaluating its overall security posture to ensure the company was meeting industry and regulatory standards
Get Familiar with the Other Three Day Rule Related to Appraisals
March 19, 2015A lot has been written (including by us) about the RESPA-TILA rules new three-day requirement and its potential to cause pauses and delays in the closing process. However, there is another new federally required three-day rule that settlement and real estate agents should be aware of that could make it even more difficult for you to meet your customers closing expectations.
The Docket: Maryland Court of Special Appeals Rules Bankruptcy Void When Stay in Effect
March 17, 2015Today’s review of a case involving a creditors who filed suit not knowing that the defendants had filed bankruptcy petitions thereby triggering the automatic stay in bankruptcy was provided by Michael Russo Jr. of the law firm Council Baradel. Read on to learn why Russo says this case is important to the title insurance industry when reviewing litigation affecting title that was pending concurrently with a bankruptcy action.
ALTA Helps Keep Your Saw Sharp
March 17, 2015You can wake up each day full of apathy, worrying about how all the new regulations and integrated mortgage disclosures will impact your business. You can procrastinate and miss the benefits of proactively preparing your staff for the Aug. 1, 2015, deadline and implementation of ALTA’s Best Practices. Or, you can take time to renew yourself and your company.
First American Title Acquires New York-Based TitleVest
March 17, 2015Brian Tormey, TitleVest’s current chief operating officer, will continue to lead the TitleVest operations, while Bill Baron, TitleVest's chief executive officer, will retire following the acquisition.
ALTA Board Approves New and Revised Policy Forms
March 17, 2015The ALTA Board of Governors approved recommendations to adopt several new and revised forms during a meeting on Feb. 19. Comments on the new forms and revisions will be accepted until March 27.
LodeStar Software Solutions Releases Title Sales Manager Platform
March 17, 2015The Title Sales Manager platform, which is a customer relationship management system built for the title industry, allows agents to view sales data and web activity from their customers in real time.
ALTA Announces op2, Simplifile as Elite Providers
March 17, 2015ALTA’s Elite Provider Program is comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members’ critical needs.
Vanguard Data Solutions Integrates with ResWare Platform
March 17, 2015The integration allows users of ResWare to submit orders electronically to Vanguard’s work portal, a search optimization platform. Vanguard is an on-shore vendor solution for property reports and title searches.
New York Community Bank Details TRID Solutions
March 12, 2015NYCB said it will generate and deliver the Closing Disclosure to the applicable individuals after the settlement agent and table-funding clients import or enter information from their data systems into the bank's Gemstone platform.
Union Bank Outlines New Closing Process to Accommodate CFPB Disclosures
March 12, 2015Beginning Aug. 1, Union Bank said all documents, data and information related to loan closings will be exchanged only through Closing Insight. The bank said it will not accept any data and information through any other delivery method, including email and fax.
BeesPath Launches System to Facilitate TRID Collaboration, Compliance
March 12, 2015BeesPath's ClosingBridge system helps lenders perform real-time compliance audits for the CFPB's TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures and other federal and state consumer credit regulations based on lenders’ license type, while maintaining settlement agents as the primary preparers of the Closing Disclosure.
Chase Details Plans for Closing Disclosure Production, Delivery
March 12, 2015In order to comply with the three-day delivery of the Closing Disclosure prior to consummation, Chase “will require title premium, endorsements, settlement fees and credits 10 calendar days prior to scheduled closing date to allow time for finalization, mailing time and customer receipt.”
SoftPro Unveils Closing Disclosure Solution
March 12, 2015SoftPro announced that its SoftPro Select Edition Solution of the Closing Disclosure will be ready to ship in late March.
Agents National Unveils Quick Quote Generator for Simultaneously Issued Residential Policies
March 12, 2015In preparation for the implementation of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Closing Disclosure on Aug. 1, Agents National Title Insurance Co. (ANTIC) announced the addition of a new feature to its online Quick Quote generator for simultaneously issued residential policies.
MISMO Releases New Reference Model
March 12, 2015Version 3.3.1 of MISMO's s Residential Reference Model includes new data points and structures to support regulatory requirements and additions in the areas of mortgage insurance coverage and conditions, title, payoff and property valuation. MISMO also released its CFPB Integrated Disclosures Loan Estimate Form Mapping and the Decision Model.
Philadelphia Fact: The Birthplace of Title Insurance
March 10, 2015The practice of insuring title began after a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling in 1868 in the case Watson v. Muirhead. The decision settled the matter of ownership over a property purchased after an “abstract of title,” or title records search, was conducted.
Mississippi-based BancorpSouth Requires Third-Party Certification to ALTA Best Practices
March 10, 2015In a letter, BancorpSouth said it won’t accept self-certification and that closing agents must obtain certification to ALTA’s Best Practices from a third party that the lender has approved.
Illinois Title Professional Receives ALTA’s National Title Professional Designation
March 10, 2015Michelle Null, senior vice president at Benchmark Title Co., joins 39 other industry leaders from around the United States who have earned the professional designation.
Title365 Names VP of for Mid-Markets Originations Division
March 10, 2015Aaron Fain is responsible for selling title and settlement services to mid-market originators nationally, as well as handling business expansion and educational training for clients and account executives.
ALTA Requests 5-month Restrained Enforcement for CFPB Disclosures
March 5, 2015While Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray testified today before the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, ALTA requested that the bureau follow a restrained enforcement period after the new TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures go into effect Aug. 1. In response to questions about restrained enforcement, Cordray said the bureau “won’t come in day one and bring the hammer down, but people should take the Aug. 1 date seriously.”
Two Opportunities Remain to Attend a TRID Forum
March 5, 2015The new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure, which go into effect Aug. 1, 2015, will require changes to operations and procedures, technology platforms, business strategies and processes, and partnerships with lenders and real estate agents. To help you prepare, ALTA and the Mortgage Bankers Association will host two more TILA-RESPA Integration Forums, one on March 26 in Chicago and one April 16 in Washington, D.C. If you didn't attend one of the three previous forums, read on to see what you missed.
10 Daily Ideas, More Referrals and Acting with Courage
March 3, 2015Title professionals looking to grow their business are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone. According to consulting expert Mark Isaac, title companies must not be afraid of taking action on their ideas because as Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
In Case You Missed It: Download the January Digital Edition of TitleNews
March 3, 2015This edition's cover article “2015 Market Outlook: Challenges Bring Opportunities” offers insight into what successful title professionals must do to successfully compete in a shifting market while preparing for the new integrated mortgage disclosures, implementation of Best Practices to help lenders meet third-party vendor oversight requirements and increased regulatory pressure, including renewed focus on RESPA compliance. Other features in this edition include “Winning the Next War: Title Insurers Can Expect a New Set of Challenges in the Coming Years,” “More Title Companies Receive Best Practice Certification, Complete Security Audits,” “Title Industry Veteran Remembered as Mentor, Friend,” “ALTA Moves Into New Headquarters” and “ALTA Helps Keep Your Saw Sharp.” Additionally, the digital edition includes material not included in the print edition. Page 21 includes a webinar recording of experts in attestation and certification discussing what companies should do to prepare for a third-party assessment, the different options, what to expect and how to promote your company once certified.
Save the Date for ATIM 2015
March 3, 2015The 2015 Association for Title Information Management Conference will be held Sept. 27-29 at the Village at Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, Calif. Watch for agenda and registration details this spring.
Fidelity’s Mathieu Among ‘Top Women to Watch’ in Real Estate for 2015
March 3, 2015Marianne Mathieu NTP, vice president and agency business advisor for Fidelity National Title Group, was named among the “Top Women to Watch in Real Estate” for 2015 by Sokol Media for her expertise in commercial and residential transactions.
Stewart Title’s Commercial Business Officer Wins Texas Senate Seat
March 3, 2015Jose Menendez, a commercial services business development officer for Stewart Title, was recently elected to the Texas Senate by defeating Trey Martinez Fischer in a runoff election.
Adeptive Integrates FNTG Policy Jacket Issuance Through ResWare
March 3, 2015The new feature allows FNTG agents to generate policy jackets from within the ResWare platform, eliminating the need to rekey data and increasing efficiency.
Landtech Unveils Email Encryption Plug-in
March 3, 2015Landtech has introduced a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook that allows users to check the "recipient email server" for Transport Layer Security, which is a protocol that ensures privacy between communicating applications and their users on the Internet.
GSEs Publish Uniform Closing Dataset Delivery Specification
February 26, 2015Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Feb. 24 issued additional guidance to support implementation of the Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD), which is an effort to standardize the underlying data required by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new Closing Disclosure.
ALTA President to Participate on HousingWire TILA-RESPA Webinar
February 26, 2015ALTA President Diane Evans will participate on a webinar hosted by HousingWire at 2:30 p.m. ET on March 16, which will discuss the regulations for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures.
The Docket: Court of Appeals Affirms Title Companies’ Duties in Closing Suit
February 24, 2015Today’s review of a case addressing condominium regulation exceptions and the role of an escrow agent at closing by the Houston First District Court of Appeals was provided by Shawn Briner and Caitlin Stayduhar of the law firm Martin, Leigh, Laws & Fritzlen PC. This case illustrates that insurers should watch for potential litigation between the insured and insurer or between the insured and a third party and must adjust their document retention policies accordingly. Additionally, the case provides guidance on whether an escrow agent is responsible for investigating or disclosing title defects discovered while closing the transaction.
Walton County, Fla., Clerk of Court Implements Landmark Recording System
February 24, 2015The clerk of court in Walton County, Fla., recently selected Landmark from Pioneer Technology Group as its new system for modernizing and streamlining the County’s process of recording Official Records.
Expert on Title Insurance Law Passes Away
February 24, 2015William Hart, an expert on title insurance law and author of multiple books, articles and papers addressing land title issues, and former long-time member of ALTA's Forms Committee, passed away Jan. 29 at the age of 68.
Missouri-based Underwriter Agents National Title Expands into Ohio
February 24, 2015Agents National Title Insurance Co. has joined the Ohio Rating Bureau and the Ohio Land Title Association, and is actively pursuing agency relationships in the Buckeye State.
Fidelity Reports Fourth-quarter, Full-year 2014 Earnings
February 24, 2015Fidelity National Financial reported that its title insurance group generated $207 million in pre-tax earnings during the fourth quarter of 2014 and $704 million in pre-tax earnings for all of 2014.
All Massachusetts Counties Now E-record with Simplifile
February 24, 2015With the addition of Bristol South, all 21 Massachusetts counties have made e-recording available. The Bay State joins Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii and Delaware in offering e-recording statewide with Simplifile.
Westcor Names Agency Business Marketing Director
February 24, 2015Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. named Geoffrey Ginn to the position of senior vice president, agency business marketing director, and will be responsible for all facets of the company's sales and marketing and overall support of operations.
RedVision Announces Expansion of Geographic Footprint
February 24, 2015The provider of real property title data search examination and curative-ready solutions, announced its in-house abstracting coverage has expanded by 154 percent since 2013.
RynohLive Surpasses Company Milestones
February 24, 2015RynohLive has protected more than two million closings with its patented escrow and financial management system.
Prairie Title to Sponsor Real Estate Radio Program
February 24, 2015Prairie Title CEO Frank Pellegrini will appear on the Home Sweet Home Chicago radio program at least six times during 2015 for 15-minute question and answer segments about residential real estate.
Collaboration with Business Partners Key to Meeting Requirements of Integrated Mortgage Disclosures
February 19, 2015Improved collaboration and communication between all parties involved in the real estate and mortgage transaction will be vital when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s integrated mortgage disclosures go into effect on Aug. 1, 2015. While title agents must learn how their lender partners plan to produce and distribute the Closing Disclosure, there are several pieces of the new rules that real estate agents should be aware of as well. Learn how you can help educate your Realtor partners.
Variance, the New Tolerance on Integrated Mortgage Disclosures
February 19, 2015Similar to existing law, the CFPB’s final rule for integrated mortgage disclosures restricts the circumstances in which consumers can be required to pay more for settlement services than the amount stated on the Loan Estimate. The CFPB has moved away from the term “tolerance” and now uses “variance.” Find out out if owner’s title insurance not required by the creditor is subject to the 10 percent cumulative variance.
Integrated Disclosure Rule Excludes Home Equity Loans
February 19, 2015While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s final rule for integrated mortgage disclosures applies to most closed-end consumer mortgages secured by real property, it is not applicable to HELOCs. Read on to learn which other transactions the rule does not apply.
Questions to Ask Your Lenders, Tech Vendors about the Uniform Closing Dataset
February 19, 2015The Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD) created by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will support implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Closing Disclosure. It will be important for title professionals to implement the UCD if they want to continue doing business with lenders that sell loans to the GSEs. Read on for questions to ask your lender clients and technology vendors about the UCD.
CertainSafe Partners with Express Notary Services to Ensure Data Protection for Mobile Notaries
February 19, 2015Express Notary client and internal documents will be shared and stored with the protection of CertainSafe’s MicroEncrypted file sharing, collaboration and secure messaging technology.
The Docket: U.S. Court of Appeals Rules Insurer Only Liable for Unmarketability of Title
February 17, 2015Today’s review of a ruling on marketability by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was provided by Michael O’Donnell, partner of the law firm Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland and Perretti. The decision reaffirms that a title insurer is not liable for every instance where an insured is having difficulty selling a property due to a failure to record an instrument or identify an assessment.
First American Optimistic for Stronger Housing Market in 2015
February 17, 2015First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance and services division generated pre-tax income of $124.5 million during the fourth quarter of 2014.
Stewart Reports Q4 Results; Projects Market Slowdown This Summer with New CFPB Disclosures
February 17, 2015Stewart Information Services Corp. reported pre-tax income of $16 million during the fourth quarter of 2014 and pre-tax income of $51.8 million for the full year. Stewart CEO Matthew Morris says implementation of the CFPB's integrated mortgage disclosures in August could result in a drop in transactions during the third quarter of 2015.
LenderLive Names SVP of Operations for Settlement Services Division
February 17, 2015Joe Chappell will be responsible for vendor management, title and escrow operations in three of LenderLive’s locations: Denver, Kansas City and Madison Heights, Mich.
SSAE 16 Professionals Expands to Help the Title and Escrow Industry Meet Regulatory Guidance
February 17, 2015SSAE 16 Professionals has responded to the rise in demand by expanding resources in every major market to serve the title and escrow industry.
Old Republic’s Title Group Posts Strongest Q4 in Company History
February 17, 2015Old Republic International Corp.’s title insurance group posted pre-tax income of $40.5 million during the fourth quarter of 2014 and $99.5 million in pre-tax income for full-year 2014.
CSC Launches Mobile E-recording App
February 17, 2015Now available for iPhone and Android, ePrepare Mobile provides a secure way for Corporation Service Company clients to track, inspect and review their real estate documents on the go.
Investors Title Releases Q4, Full-year 2014 Earnings Results
February 17, 2015North Carolina-based Investors Title Co. reported pre-tax income increased 34 percent during 2014 compared to 2013.
Registration Brochure for Business Strategies Conference Now Available
February 17, 2015Want to learn how the new integrated mortgage disclosures will affect your operations? Interested in finding out how lenders are modifying processes and platforms to prepare for the changes to the closing process? Then make sure to join us in the City of Brotherly Love for the 2015 Business Strategies Conference, March 18-20 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown to learn what you should be doing now to prepare for Aug. 1. Attendees also will get the latest on Best Practices and the importance of implementation ahead of the effective date for the mortgage disclosures.
WFG Names VP to Grow National Transportation Division
February 17, 2015In her new role, Elizabeth Bobo will spearhead the nationwide expansion of WFG’s National Transportation Division.
NTC Taps Todd Gomes as National Account Executive
February 17, 2015As national account executive, Todd Gomes will assist in maintaining the industry demand for various life of loan services provided by Nationwide Title Clearing.
DocMagic Implements MISMO Version 3.3 in Support of the CFPB’s Integrated Disclosures
February 12, 2015Version 3.3 of MISMO establishes a common dataset that is essentially a prerequisite to share information between industry partners in order to complete the CFPB's new Closing Disclosure, which goes into effect Aug. 1 for most residential mortgage loans.
New Mortgage Disclosures Provide Marketing Opportunity for Title Professionals
February 12, 2015Improved collaboration and communication between all parties involved in the closing and settlement process will be vital when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s integrated mortgage disclosures go into effect on Aug. 1, 2015. While title agents must learn how their lender partners plan to produce and distribute the Closing Disclosure, there are several pieces of the new rules that real estate agents should be aware of as well. Find out how you can help educate your business partners and potentially grow market share.
ALTA Member Profile: 10 Questions with Alison Gareffa
February 10, 2015The diversity of ALTA’s membership reflects the varied nature of the industry. To highlight the unique differences, ALTA profiles members in its monthly magazine, TitleNews. Read on to learn about Alison Gareffa, senior agency services analyst for Old Republic National Title Insurance Co.
ALTA Blog: Note-taking App Aids in Collaboration, Data Sharing
February 10, 2015While Evernote is not a tool for secure escrow/title file information storage, it is outstanding for storing and sharing non-secure information with team members/customers. Read on to learn how this note-taking application could benefit your company.
Former ATG Leader, Board Chairman Retires
February 10, 2015Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund Inc. announced the retirement of former leader, board member and board chairman Ward F. McDonald, who helped shape the company from a concept to a viable business.
Study Shows More Than Half of Young Millennials Move Back in With Parents
February 10, 2015A recent study of "Boomerang Millennials" who move out of their parents' home only to move back in may have important implications for this key demographic and what it means for the housing market.
Orange Coast Title Completes SOC Examination
February 10, 2015Orange Coast Title Company and its family of title companies recently completed its SSAE 16 Service Organization Control examination and was certified for both with “NO EXCEPTIONS” to ALTA's Best Practices.
Points and Fees Legislation Reintroduced in House
February 10, 2015Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) and a group of nine bipartisan House members reintroduced the Mortgage Choice Act (HR 685), which would exclude fees a lender pays to an affiliated title company from a 3 percent cap on points and fees under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Qualified Mortgage rule.
Commonwealth USA Settlements Receives Best Practices Certification
February 10, 2015National Certified Public Accounting and consulting firm Pershing, Yoakley & Associates provided the assessment and certification of Pittsburgh-based Commonwealth USA Settlements.
Ohio County Installs Landmark Recording System
February 10, 2015The Mercer County recorder’s office recently selected Landmark from Pioneer Technology Group as its new system for modernizing and streamlining the County’s process of recording official records.
Stewart to Release Q4, Full-year 2014 Earnings
February 10, 2015Stewart Information Services Corp. will hold a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET, Thursday, Feb. 12, to review earnings results for fourth-quarter and full-year 2014.
What Document Should Be Used for Sellers After August 2015?
February 5, 2015Curious about what document should be used as the settlement statement or Closing Disclosure for sellers after the Aug. 1, 2015, implementation deadline for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's integrated mortgage disclosures? Check out ALTA's blog to learn about your options.
Lenders Won’t Tolerate Last-minute Changes at Closing
February 5, 2015Because the CFPB said that creditors are liable for the accuracy and delivery of the Closing Disclosure, industry professionals should no longer expect to be able to make last-minute changes at the closing.
ALTA Says New CFPB Integrated Mortgage Forms Disclose Inaccurate Title Policy Fees
February 5, 2015ALTA believes that the Closing Disclosure misleads consumers about the actual price they will pay for title insurance. ALTA urges the CFPB to take swift action to ensure consumers receive the most accurate information about their mortgage costs, including title insurance premiums and settlement services.
A Lender’s Duty to Investigate Its Borrower
February 3, 2015Until recently, a mortgage lender preparing to give a loan needed only to conduct a basic search of the title and records of the subject property. A lender was not required to search into the background and financial status of a borrower to ensure that the borrower was legitimate and would be able to repay the loan. The recent foreclosure crisis has led the federal government and many states to take steps that expand the responsibilities of a lender to investigate its borrower before giving a loan. Adam Leitman Bailey, founding partner of the law firm Adam Leitman Bailey, and John M. Desiderio, a partner in the firm, reviewed legislation of the 22 states that have ability-to-repay requirements and also the recent court decisions of nine states that have addressed a lender’s duty to investigate suspicious transactions.
ALTA Urges CFPB to Improve Consumer Complaint Portal
February 3, 2015ALTA submitted a letter on Feb. 2 to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau encouraging the bureau to modify the type of information that will be collected from companies for its consumer complaint database.
Demonstrating ALTA Best Practices Compliance for Title Agents
February 3, 2015Lenders have not provided clear guidance on what compliance reports will be required from their title agents, as well as the specific compliance benchmark to be used in determining compliance with federal consumer financial laws. Some lenders have already started asking their title agents for policies and procedures in accordance with ALTA Best Practices, and a few lenders are even asking for a certification report that the title agent is in compliance with the ALTA Best Practices Framework.
CFPB Proposes Expanded Definition of ‘Small Creditor’ and ‘Rural’ Areas
February 3, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed expanding the definition of rural areas and increasing the number of loans an institution can make before falling out of the designated small-lender category under the ability-to-repay rules.
ALTA Announces RamQuest as an Elite Provider
February 3, 2015ALTA’s Elite Provider Program is comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members’ critical needs.
Echoworx Unveils New Email Encryption Solution for Title Professionals
February 3, 2015Echoworx, a provider of email encryption technology, has launched GoEnbox to offer a low-cost email encryption solution for the land title insurance industry.
MISMO Announces Standards Governance and Workgroup Leaders for 2015
February 3, 2015During MISMO’s Winter Summit, several ALTA members were among those named to organization’s various committees for 2015.
Indiana DOI Orders Two Title Agencies to Reimburse Consumers
February 3, 2015Two out-of-state title companies were ordered to reimburse consumers and pay administrative penalties by the Indiana Department of Insurance for overcharging for title insurance.
DeKalb County, Ga., Implements New Case Management System
February 3, 2015In an effort to simplify court processing and improve public service for resident, the DeKalb County, Ga., recorder’s office has installed the case management system Benchmark.
ResWare Integrates with Old Republic Policy Jackets
February 3, 2015The integration enables agents of Old Republic Title Insurance to generate electronic policy jackets without leaving Adeptive's ResWare title software and process flow management system.
How to Comply with the Closing Disclosure's Three-day Rule
January 29, 2015According to the CFPB, the creditor must deliver the Closing Disclosure to the consumer at least three business days prior to the date of consummation of the transaction. However, the CFPB said creditors may use settlement agents to provide the Closing Disclosure, provided that the settlement agents comply with the final rule’s requirements for the Closing Disclosure. Read on to access a chart to help you determine when the Closing Disclosure should be sent to ensure the buyer receives it three days prior to consummation of the transaction.
Register for a RESPA-TILA Integration Forum, Prepare for Implementation and Network with Lenders
January 29, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s final rule for new integrated mortgage disclosures doesn’t simply combine two disclosures. It merges to federal regulations as well. The new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure, which go into effect Aug. 1, 2015, will require changes to internal operations and procedures, technology platforms, business strategies and processes, and partnerships with lenders and real estate agents. To help you prepare, ALTA and the Mortgage Bankers Association are hosting RESPA-TILA Integration Forums to provide solutions so title and settlement agents, attorneys, lenders and their technology providers can work together to meet the new requirements. Register for an upcoming forum and network with lenders from across the country.
Technology Solution Helps Speed Up Closings
January 29, 2015With six months to go until the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule takes effect Aug. 1, it’s no secret that many businesses are trying to figure out how they will adapt to the changes it will bring. Pavaso, Mountain American Credit Union and Bonneville Superior Title Company have collaborated to implemented digital solutions that have resulted in half of the closings taking 30 minutes or less.
CFPB Finalizes Minor Changes to Rules for Integrated Mortgage Disclosures
January 29, 2015The changes address when consumers will receive updated disclosures after locking in an interest rate and how consumers receive information regarding certain construction loans.
Survey: 10 Percent of Community Banks Consider Exiting Residential Business
January 27, 2015Increased regulatory requirements are making it harder for community banks to issue residential mortgage loans and driving more of these lenders to consider exiting this line of business, according to a survey released by the Community Bankers of America.
In Case You Missed It: Download the December Digital Edition of TitleNews
January 27, 2015This edition's cover article “Get Ready for a New Dawn in Closings” discusses the Aug. 1, 2015, implementation date of the CFPB’s integrated mortgage disclosures. The article addresses key aspects of the rule, and encourages title professionals to prepare for the change in the closing process by training staff, educating business partners and working with software providers. Other features in this edition include “ALTA Presents Three Honorary Memberships,” “Nearly 950 Title Professionals Attend ALTA Annual Convention,” “10 Daily Ideas, More Referrals and Acting With Courage,” “Member Profile: 10 Questions with Alison Gareffa,” “ALTA Amends Best Practices Procedures for Pillar Three,” “Report: Identity Fraud Rises 9 Percent” and “Georgia Supreme Court Rules on Witness-only Closings.” Additionally, the digital edition includes material not included in the print edition. On pages 24 and 25, you will find a slideshow of photos from ALTA’s 2014 Annual Convention in Seattle, recordings from all of the general sessions and video of the three ALTA honorary members.
The Docket: Does a Pending Tax Appeal Constitute a Covered Title Defect?
January 27, 2015Today’s review of a ruling by a New Jersey Appellate Court on whether a pending tax appeals is a covered title defect was provided by Michael Aiken, senior vice president at Investors Title Insurance Co. Read on to learn why the outcome of this case is not surprising.
American Land Title Association Announces PYA as an Elite Provider
January 27, 2015Pershing Yoakley & Associates is a certified public accounting and consulting firm that assists title and settlement companies with the implementation of ALTA's Best Practices Framework and certification.
Two Georgia Counties Begin E-recording with Simplifile
January 27, 2015With the addition of Fannin and Upson counties, 19 counties in Georgia have adopted Simplifile’s e-recording service.
CFPB Accepting Applications for Advisory Board and Councils in 2015
January 27, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is accepting applications to serve on its Consumer Advisory Board and two other advisory groups. These groups help the bureau hear directly from small institutions and obtain information about emerging trends and practices in the consumer financial products and services industries.
Texas Department of Insurance Issues Warning About Timeshare Fraud
January 27, 2015The Texas Department of Insurance issued a warning to owners of timeshare vacation properties of a fraud scheme involving unlicensed title insurance companies.
The Docket: Sometimes, Ransom is Cheaper Than Claim Damages
January 20, 2015Today’s review of a ruling in a Missouri case awarding disproportionate damages was provided by Lance Pomerantz, a New York sole practitioner who focuses exclusively on land title law. Read on to learn why this case is important to the land title insurance industry.
Old Republic, First American and Fidelity Announce Dates for Q4, Full-year 2014 Earnings Releases
January 20, 2015Old Republic will hold a conference call at 3 p.m. EST, Jan. 22, to discuss fourth-quarter and year-end 2014 earnings, while First American will hold its conference call at 11 a.m. EST, Feb. 12 and Fidelity will review earnings at 11 a.m. EST, Feb. 19.
CSC Acquires PropertyInfo’s E-recording Submitter Business
January 20, 2015By becoming part of the CSC network, current PropertyInfo customers will now have access to more than 600 additional counties for e-recording.
MiT National Land Services Selects Industry Veteran to Lead National Division
January 20, 2015Daniel Eckert has spent his entire 25-year career in the title industry developing and working with clients doing business in all 50 states.
RamQuest Integrates with CSC
January 20, 2015This integration enables RamQuest’s customers to access document filing services through CSC without having to leave their title production platform.
LandStar Title Agency Appoints Vice President
January 20, 2015LandStar Title Agency announced that Joe Diliberti has joined the agency as vice president to develop the company’s portfolio of regional and national accounts.
U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Homeowners' Ability to Rescind Mortgages
January 15, 2015In a decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court made it easier for borrowers to rescind a mortgage if the bank fails to give proper disclosures about the loan at closing. Marjorie Bardwell, director of underwriting services for Fidelity National Title Group and chair of ALTA's Title Counsel, explains what impact this ruling has on the title insurance industry and why all parties involved in closing transactions. The ruling becomes even more important with the Aug. 1, 2015 implementation of the CFPB's final rule for integrated mortgage disclosures, which combines disclosures required by the Truth-In-Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
Trivia Time: Test Your Knowledge of the CFPB's Integrated Mortgage Disclosures
January 15, 2015To gauge industry knowledge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's rule for integrated mortgage disclosures, ALTA will be asking questions about the rule over the next several months. Today's question is: Which two federal regulations does the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau combine in its new integrated mortgage disclosures?
Follow ALTA’s Blog for Updates on the CFPB’s Integrated Mortgage Disclosures
January 15, 2015Have a question or concern about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s final rule for integrated mortgage disclosures? You can submit questions and follow ALTA’s blog for the answers.
GSE Uniform Closing Dataset Supports Implementation of New Closing Disclosure
January 15, 2015A new industry standard dataset created by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will support implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Closing Disclosure. It is important for title and settlement companies to implement the UCD if they want to continue doing business with lenders that sell loans to the GSEs.
PRIA Opens Registration for Winter Symposium
January 13, 2015The overall conference program includes a variety of general sessions, and work group meetings during which current PRIA work products will be addressed. One session sure to garner discussion is “Flat Rate Recording Fees." A small number of states recently adopted flat fees for recording and other states are considering adoption of uniform rates as a preemptive step to simplify compliance with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s integrated mortgage disclosures that take effect Aug. 1, 2015.
CFPB Launches Owning a Home Tool
January 13, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched tools aimed at helping consumers make smarter decisions when obtaining a mortgage. The tools include a guide to loan options, a rate comparison calculator, a closing checklist and information to help consumers understand the documents that will be signed at closing.
2015 Housing Forecast and Homebuyer Trends
January 13, 2015To help prepare for what’s expected to be another purchase-dominated market, register for ALTA’s next Title Topics webinar “Housing Forecast and Homebuyer Trends,” which will be held from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST, on Thursday, Jan. 29.
Law Protecting Tenants from Eviction Due to Foreclosure Expires
January 13, 2015The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009, which protected tenants from immediate eviction by persons or entities that became owners of residential property through the foreclosure process, expired as of Dec. 31, 2014.
ALTA Membership: Did You Know?
January 13, 2015ALTA members must use their login and password to access exclusive sections of the website. Read on to learn how to request your login or password, or how to change your password.
Bank of America, Wells to Handle Production and Delivery of CFPB’s Closing Disclosure
January 8, 2015Bank of America and Wells Fargo have both announced they will handle production and delivery of the Closing Disclosure when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s integrated mortgage disclosure rules goes into effect Aug. 1. Read on to learn how the lenders plan to continue working with title and settlement agents to close transactions.
CFPB eRegulations Shows Changes for RESPA-TILA Integrated Disclosure Rules
January 8, 2015ALTA members can use the CFPB’s eRegulations tool to help prepare for the new RESPA-TILA Integrated Disclosure rules that go into effect Aug. 1, 2015. The eRegulations “compare” feature provides an easy way to view changes to the rule by providing two versions of the regulation.
CFPB Lawsuit Against Sprint Highlights Need for Process to Manage Consumer Complaints
January 6, 2015The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last month filed a lawsuit against Sprint Corp. for illegally billing wireless consumers tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized third-party charges. Among the alleged violations, the CFPB said Sprint ignored consumer complaints about the unauthorized charges. Read on to learn why it's important to implement a process to manage consumer complaints.
Report: Points and Fees Bill May Gain Traction in Congress
January 6, 2015Mortgage lenders hope that the new Republican-controlled Congress will be receptive to making changes to the Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule, including passage of a bill that would exclude fees a lender pays to an affiliated title company from a 3 percent cap on points and fees. However, Senate Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren and Jeff Merkley, are likely to strongly oppose the legislation, and the White House would veto and points and fees legislation.
Five Resolutions for a Triumphant 2015
January 6, 2015The New Year is a time for resolutions, reflection on past performance and goal setting for the upcoming year. Here are five resolutions for a successful 2015 from Shari Foster CTIA, NTP, chair of ALTA’s National Title Professional Program Council, and director of education and training for Fidelity National Title Group's Southwest Agency Division.
ALTA 2014 Year in Review: Growing Together, Fortified for the Future
January 6, 2015As we complete another year, now seems to be the time when we inevitably find ourselves thinking of the past and the future. ALTA members tend to be people of action, always thinking of the next transaction or how to grow revenue. There is great value, however, in reflecting on the past. ALTA achieved some great results the past year, including record members for the fifth consecutive year, the Political Action Committee once again setting a new milestone in funds and the Title Action Network passing 10,000 members. Please check out ALTA’s 2014 Year and Review to learn how the association works to help your business succeed. We look forward to building upon our strong foundation and continuing to improve our deliverables to members in the industry.
SoftPro Opens Registration for 2015 Annual User Group Conference
January 6, 2015The conference will focus on SoftPro’s implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s final rule for integrated mortgage disclosures that goes into effect for most real estate transactions nationwide beginning in August 2015.
Title Alliance Names Implementation Specialist
January 6, 2015Title Alliance announced that Jadah Hill will take on the role of implementation specialist, a compliance-based role that works with all of the Title Alliance offices companywide.
Need More Case Law?
January 4, 2015ALTA offers several legal publications that for more than 20 years have been the preferred research material for title professionals and counsel from around the country. These publications contain practical analysis that is valuable to claims administrators, coverage counsel, underwriters, agency managers, examiners and escrow officers. Title industry veteran and attorney Bushnell Nielsen continues to author the informative content.