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New SOC 1 Standard Now in Effect
May 2, 2017
Last year, the AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board (ASB) issued the SSAE 18 standard, “Concepts common to all Attestation Engagements, which replaces SSAE 16 for SOC 1 engagements.
#wetheprotectors
April 27, 2017
The ALTA Advocacy Summit (May 1-3) is our moment to exercise our political rights and use a collective voice to strengthen the industry and focus on its purpose—protecting property rights. More than 225 title professionals will join me next week in Washington, D.C., to exercise our political rights and use a collective voice to strengthen the industry and focus on its purpose—protecting property rights.
NTP Designation Helps Validate Industry Expertise, Achievement
April 27, 2017
Anne L. Anastasi CLTP, NTP, first vice president for Old Republic Title, earned her National Title Professional Designation in March 2013. Read on as the 40-year industry veteran shares how the NTP designation has helped her career and why she believes others should earn their designation.
 First American Reports Q1 Financials
April 27, 2017
First American Financial reported that its title insurance and services division posted pre-tax income of $98.2 million during the first quarter of 2017. This is up from $87.7 million during the same period a year ago.
 The Docket: Colorado Court Reverses Decision in Land Battle
April 27, 2017
Jennifer Briner, a member of the Briner Law Group, provided today’s review of a Colorado court of appeals ruling in a long-standing adverse possession case. Read on to learn why this case justifies the industry’s use of the “parties in possession” exception in its insurance contracts.
LenderLive Bolsters Settlement Services Division
April 27, 2017
LenderLive recently announced that David Tiberio and George Schultz have joined the company as vice presidents of national sales for the company’s settlement services business.
Action Title Research Appoints VP of Business Development
April 27, 2017
David Penque will lead the sales and on-boarding processes for customers utilizing Action Title’s Smart Search product, which provides a traditional county search a typed report, as well as analysis and XML data delivery.
 Illinois-based Title Company Makes Acquisition
April 27, 2017
Champaign, Ill.-based Allied Capital Title recently acquired Bray Title Services.
Texas Capital Bank Funds Its First eNote
April 27, 2017
According to a release, the eNote was delivered to Texas Capital Bank, registered with MERS and securely stored in DocMagic’s eVault. The transaction was completed and the eNote transferred to Fannie Mae in minutes, rather than days.
Don’t Miss Exclusive Chance to Hear from HUD Secretary
April 26, 2017
May 1-3, 2017 | The Watergate Hotel | Washington, D.C.
Agents National Title Enters Texas, Kentucky Markets
April 25, 2017
Missouri-based Agents National Title Insurance Company (ANTIC) is now licensed to issue title insurance in Texas and Kentucky.
Indiana Joins States With Predictable Recording Fees
April 25, 2017
Indiana became the latest state to enact legislation that enacts predictable recording fees, which helps facilitate fee accuracy and compliance with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule.
ALTA, Trade Groups Support PACE Bills
April 25, 2017
ALTA and more than two dozen other industry trade groups support identical legislation that would modify consumer protection requirements for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans.
Elder Financial Abuse: Know the Red Flags and Avoid Liability
April 25, 2017
If an insured real estate transaction is found to be void due to elder financial abuse, title companies may expose themselves to escrow or policy losses. Register for ALTA's next compliance webinar "Elder Financial Abuse: Know the Red Flags and Avoid Liability," which will be held 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET, May 23, to learn how to recognize the red flags and avoid potential escrow or policy losses.
NATIC Names Illinois State Agency Manager
April 25, 2017
Shawn Neely will oversee agency operations in Illinois, while securing and servicing title agents to promote new and increased business activity.
AmTrust Bolsters New York Presence
April 25, 2017
AmTrust Title Insurance Company announced that two new sales representatives, William Adamski and Mark Giarrusso, have joined the company as vice presidents to expand the company’s brand through new business development in the Greater New York Metro area.
Investors Title Appoints SVP of National Markets
April 25, 2017
Dan Hornfeck will work closely with Investors Title's national markets business development and operations team to manage and expand existing and create new agent relationships.
Maryland-Based Title Company Implements Qualia
April 25, 2017
Real Estate Settlements & Escrow LLC has implemented Qualia's cloud-based title and closing software in an effort to reduce turn-times and increase efficiency.
 The Docket: Court Rules Owner's Policy Covers Collapsed Lid to Storm Water Tank
April 20, 2017
David Cox, director of the law firm Jackson & Campbell PC, provided today’s review of a recent decision by a Georgia court that ruled Covered Risk 12 of the ALTA Homeowner's Policy provided coverage to an insured for the post-policy cave-in of an underground storm water retention vault.
Get Your ALTA Best Practices Questions Answered Here
April 20, 2017
To help ensure industry receives consistent guidance about the Best Practices, ALTA is publishing answers to frequently asked questions on its FAQ Portal. Check out the questions answered so far.
 ICYMI: March Digital Edition of TitleNews
April 20, 2017
The cover article of this edition, “Marketing Mojo: Going Digital Evens the Playing Field,” discusses how the electronic age helps companies connect with customers and influencers, and stay on par with competitors while maximizing their budgets. Other features include "ALTA Names New Director of Grassroots and State Government Affairs," "Market Your Title Company Like Beer," "NTP Designation Helps Validate Industry Expertise, Achievement," "Quiz Time: Unfair Deceptive, or Abusive Acts and Practices and "CFPB Says It Will Fine Both Sides of Improper Arrangements," as well as columns from ALTA President Dan Mennenoh and ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo.
 Stewart Reports Q1 Earnings
April 20, 2017
Stewart Information Services reported that its title segment posted pre-tax income of $12.3 million during the first quarter of 2017. This was a $13 million improvement compared to the same period a year ago.
E-Closing Integrates With Westcor
April 20, 2017
Westcor agents can now generate closing protection letters and policy jackets directly from the E-Closing production system.
Cybersecurity Expert Launches SAFE
April 20, 2017
In effort to help title and settlement companies with their security programs, Matt Froning has launched Florida-based Security Assurance Facilitation Experts (SAFE), which offers cyber, network and physical security-related services.
Closing Times Sink to Pre-TRID Days
April 20, 2017
A survey from Ellie Mae found that the average time to close a loan now sits at the lowest level in two years, coming in at 43 days in March, down from 46 days in February.
NextDeal Helps Agents Securely Send Documents, Wire Instructions
April 20, 2017
NextDeal announced that its preDOCS technology is now available to title and settlement service agencies to securely send and receive opening packages to buyers and sellers.
Get Out of Your Marketing Rut
April 19, 2017
Does your company need to refresh your marketing plan? Maybe you need to start from scratch completely? Join us for our one of our remaining ALTA Innovation Boot Camps in Nashville (June 20-21) or Baltimore (August 23-24).
Accenture Acquires BeesPath’s ClosingBridge Platform
April 18, 2017
The ClosingBridge platform, which facilitates communications and file exchange for real estate finance transactions, will be provided under Mortgage Cadence's product suite and will be branded as Collaboration Center.
Orlans PC Expands, Becomes Second Largest Female-Owned Law Firm in U.S.
April 18, 2017
Following the merger of three law firms, the mother-daughter team of Linda and Alison Orlans launched Orlans PC, the second largest Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certified women-owned law firm in the United States.
RamQuest, CertSimple Connect Services
April 18, 2017
RamQuest Inc.’s Closing Market digital network is now integrated with CertSimple, which delivers property tax certification in all 254 Texas counties as well as HOA information for the Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston metro areas.
SoftPro Integrates With American Property Guard
April 18, 2017
Users of SoftPro 360 can now order property tax certificates, county assessor data, tax maps and HOA contract information from APG directly from their SoftPro software.
AmTrust Bolsters Team to Expand Caribbean, Latin American Business   
April 18, 2017
AmTrust Title Insurance Company recently hired a key team in Maitland, Fla., to oversee its expansion into the Caribbean and Latin American and to develop its base of operations in the Southeast United States.
Stewart Adds Experienced Senior Leadership in Phoenix
April 18, 2017
As division president of Phoenix, Dylan King will be responsible for ensuring Stewart’s local customers have an exceptional closing experience.
Will You Be Our Crockett and Tubbs at ALTA ONE?
April 17, 2017
Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas starred in the TV drama series as James "Sonny" Crockett and Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs, two Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami to fight crime. Miami is also where the title industry will unite in October at ALTA ONE to learn how regulation and technology are changing the landscape as homebuyers demand more transparency during the closing process. We need you to be our Crockett and Tubbs and help us provide the highest quality and most impactful education so we can ward off hostile threats to the industry. Read on to learn how to become one of our faculty at ALTA ONE. Application deadline is May 5.
ALTA Launches Best Practices FAQ Portal
April 13, 2017
The Best Practices FAQ Portal allows questions to be submitted about ALTA's Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices in an effort to gain clarity about the standards.
Qualia Integrates With Westcor
April 13, 2017
Through this integration, title companies and law firms can issue Westcor policies, generate closing protection letters (CPLs) and calculate rates within Qualia's title and closing software.
Washington State Passes Bill Forming Rating and Advisory Organizations
April 13, 2017
A bill that would establish title insurance rating and advisory organizations in Washington is awaiting delivery to Gov. Jay Inslee. Once delivered, the governor has five days to act on HB 1450 or it becomes law without signature.
Arkansas Bill Clarifying Agent Duty to Insured Awaits Governor Signature
April 13, 2017
A bill in Arkansas that would clarify that no cause of action exists for negligence by an insured against a title insurance agency or agency for lack of reasonable care in a title search awaits the governor’s signature.
NAIC Creates Pre-Dispute Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Working Group
April 13, 2017
The group is charged to consider and, if appropriate, amend the Unfair Trade Practices Model Act or develop a new model act prohibiting the use of pre-dispute mandatory arbitration clauses in any individual and commercial insurance policies, and choice-of-law and choice-of-venue clauses.
AmTrust Expands Operations in Texas
April 13, 2017
AmTrust Title Insurance Company announced that Randy Elkins and E. D. Lester have joined the company to spearhead corporate growth in Texas.
Can You Evolve and Thrive Like Amazon?
April 12, 2017
During ALTA’s Advocacy Summit, leaders from other industries will share how their industries have evolved to meet ever-increasing regulatory and consumer demands. You’ll walk away with lessons learned and best practices about how to respond to new competitive factors in your own business.
How the Title Industry Can Manage Cybersecurity Risk
April 11, 2017
Not so long ago, cybersecurity was something title agents and underwriters considered the domain of the big banks and other high-profile financial institutions. Today, the mortgage and settlement services industry—like virtually every other industry—is clearly under attack. Companies are encouraged to integrate financial industry assessment tools with proven risk-management approaches.
Time to Reinvent Yourself?
April 11, 2017
If your company needs to reinvent itself, try focusing on things you control instead of items that require coordination with your partners. The goal is to identify little changes to your process that can simplify your work while improving your customers’ experience.
Mother Lode Launches New Texas Operation
April 11, 2017
For the first time in its 16-year history in Texas, Mother Lode Holding Company is opening retail branches branded as Texas National Title in several markets beginning in April.
ePN Adds Nine Counties to Network
April 11, 2017
eRecording Partners Network (ePN) recently added nine jurisdictions to its electronic recording network in March. These counties are in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Need Help With Best Practices Compliance?
April 11, 2017
If you’re looking for help to implement ALTA’s Best Practices, check out the Elite Provider directory and get connected with premier service providers that offer comprehensive products and services at discounted prices.
Idaho Governor Signs Flat Fee Recording Legislation
April 11, 2017
Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter on April 4 signed legislation supported by the Idaho Land Title Association (ILTA) that allows for flat recording fees of real estate documents in the state.
State Regulators Discuss Innovation at Spring Meeting
April 11, 2017
State insurance regulators met April 8-11 in Denver for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Spring National Meeting to discuss recent and future prospective innovations in the title insurance industry and opportunities for modernization.
ALTA Urges CFPB to Warn Consumers About Wire Fraud Schemes
April 6, 2017
ALTA says the alert should provide tips on how consumers can protect themselves and questions to ask to help determine if real estate professionals have procedures in place to protect their money. ALTA has educated its members over the past few years about these wire fraud schemes, but the best defense is to inform consumers about the danger.
Short Survey: Let ALTA Know About Our Vendor Resources
April 6, 2017
We are always looking for ways to improve the ALTA member experience. Help us make improvements by taking this short seven-question survey.
Social Media Pro-Tip: Conduct a Yearly Social Audit
April 6, 2017
Review all of your social media channels yearly to determine which are communicating your message most effectively and which social channels are generating the most engagement from your audience.
Majesty Title Services Acquires Competitor
April 6, 2017
Majesty Title Services LLC continued its expansion into St. Petersburg, Fla., by acquiring Protected Title, LLC, the title operation of Boss Law.
AmTrust Bolsters Midwest Exec Team
April 6, 2017
AmTrust Title Insurance Company named Frank Laisch as vice president of national agency sales.
WFG National Title Expands Massachusetts Agency Team
April 6, 2017
WFG National Title Insurance Company recently added Bernadette Walsh as agency representative serving title agents in Massachusetts.
Think You Could Be a Member of Congress?
April 5, 2017
Ever wonder if you have what it takes to be a member of the U.S. Congress? Register for ALTA's Advocacy Summit and hear from a former title agency owner and employee of a national underwriter about his path from the title industry to Capitol Hill.
Tips for Building Strong Passwords
April 4, 2017
Passwords are critical gateways to your company’s databases and networks. But they’re also potential open doors for hackers. Read on for some tips on building strong passwords.
ALTA Updates Supplemental Best Practices Materials
April 3, 2017
ALTA announced it is releasing updates to supplemental materials for the Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices to help ensure the industry has consistent information about how to implement and comply with the policies and procedures.
 Five Keys to Becoming a Savvy Shopper for Your Business Insurance
April 3, 2017
In the title industry, any effort to follow “best practices” must include having adequate insurance for your business. That could take the form of errors-and-omissions coverage, a fidelity bond, crime protection, or cyber insurance. But how do you actually achieve that best practice? Read on for five things you can do to obtain the most insurance benefits for the lowest premiums.
Webinar: Tech Trends You Must Know About
April 3, 2017
Register for ALTA’s next free Title Topics webinar, “iTITLE AGENT: Technology Transforming the Transaction,” to learn what it takes to successfully implement and adopt technology that can simplify tasks, improve quality and reduce cost. The webinar will discuss various problems and inefficiencies throughout the transaction and offer insight into trending technology solutions. Learn how companies pursuing automation and adopting technology are attracting customers, growing market share and improving margin.
RamQuest Expands Integration with Westcor
April 3, 2017
This new feature allows agents to order and receive Westcor policy jackets without leaving their RamQuest title production solution.
ReQuire Adds Document and Search Services
April 3, 2017
reQuire Real Estate Solutions announced the launch of its document and search services to provide settlement agents and closing attorneys one-stop integrated access to document preparation, property search, title curative and lien release tracking solutions.
Information Security Bulletin: Social Engineering and Phishing
March 30, 2017
Last year, ALTA created an Information Security Committee to develop cyber awareness, prevention, detection and response/recovery methods for the industry. To help with this, the committee will produce quarterly security alerts to inform membership on various topics that will range from encryption and security for electronic devices to virus and spyware defense. This first edition focuses on how social engineering and phishing can affect ALTA member companies.
HOP Training Helps Title Agent Connect With Seller
March 30, 2017
ALTA's Homebuyer Outreach Program training proved invaluable to By Philip S. Janny CLTP, NTP, who recently handling a transaction involving an estate. Questioned by the executrix of an estate about why the proceeds would need to be escrowed until a Notice of Appraisement could be produced, Janny used his HOP training to “create” a conversation, “curate” a message about what title agents do, “connect” with her as the seller and explain to her why we collect the escrow to clear title, and start the “culture” of educating the uneducated about the benefit of title insurance. While working with the executrix of an estate, Philip S. Janny CLTP, NTP
Eight Free Ways to Use HOP
March 30, 2017
ALTA's Homebuyer Outreach Program makes it easy for members to communicate the benefits of owner’s title insurance with homebuyers, real estate agents and others. Read on for several examples of free ways you can use the member-exclusive content to educate others and market your business.
ICYMI: Webinar Recording on Staffing the Future Title Company
March 30, 2017
Cynthia McGovern, CEO of Orange Leaf Consulting, and Dan Mennenoh, president of H.B. Wilkinson Title Co., discuss strategies on how to find and hire staff that can drive customer loyalty and ultimately grow market share.
ATG Appoints New COO, Announces Leadership Changes
March 30, 2017
Christine Sparks was named senior vice president and chief operating officer for Illinois-based Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, while Arden Miner was named vice president of underwriting, support and development in Chicago, and Tania Stori was named vice president of claims and litigation in Champaign, Ill.
ATGF Names Associate General Counsel
March 30, 2017
Colorado-based Attorneys Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATGF) recently named Brian Phillips as associate general counsel.
CoreLogic: U.S. Residential Foreclosure Crisis Decade in Review
March 30, 2017
Foreclosure volume in the United States has finally normalized following the peak of the mortgage meltdown, according to a 10-year retrospect report released by CoreLogic.
Social Media Tip: Use HOP to Train Real Estate Agents, Lenders
March 30, 2017
Increase your business with the power of the Homebuyer Outreach Program by using new tools to educate your real estate agents and mortgage lenders. Social media content, digital media advertisements and blog posts are among the items available to members.
Help Make Tax Reform Work for You
March 29, 2017
With the Affordable Care Act still standing, attention now turns to regulatory relief. Tax reform also will be debated by legislators while title professionals are in Washington, D.C., for ALTA's Advocacy Summit.
Alert: FCC Warns of 'Can You Hear Me' Phone Scams
March 28, 2017
The Federal Communications Commission issued an alert about a scam seeking to get victims to say the word “yes” during a call and later use a recording of the response to authorize unwanted charges to accounts. The fraudulent callers impersonate representatives from organizations that provide a service and may be familiar to the person receiving the call—such as a mortgage lender—to establish a legitimate reason for trying to reach the consumer.
 The Docket: Court Rules Bona Fide Purchaser Not Protected by Void Judgment
March 28, 2017
David Boss, founder of the law firm Boss Law Firm APLC, provided today’s review of a recent decision by an appeals court in California that reversed a trial court’s opinion that the new buyer was a bona fide purchaser. Read on to learn why this decision is a great reminder of the pitfalls associated with judicial determinations of title.
 Pillar IV and the Compliance Mosaic: Compliance Concerns of Settlement Providers
March 28, 2017
The regulation of the title insurance agent can come from many different directions. While there are national and local regulators, regulation can come directly from the insurance overseers and indirectly by those who regulate customers. This means title companies must understand the regulatory terrain of each geographic market they operate.
ALTAprints Adds Training Materials and Door Hangers
March 28, 2017
To bring more value to members, ALTA has added training materials and door hangers that can be customized and printed from ALTAprints.
Pavaso, MRG Integrate Doc Prep, Closing Platforms
March 28, 2017
The integration allows for the electronic transfer of prepared closing documents from Mortgage Resources Group into Pavaso’s Digital Close platform.
OS National Receives Third-party ALTA Best Practice Certification
March 28, 2017
OS National LLC recently received a third-party certification to ALTA’s Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices from Frazier & Deeter CPAs & Advisors.
Amtrust Title’s Napolitano to be honored by the Museum of American Armor
March 28, 2017
Steve Napolitano, senior executive vice president of AmTrust Title and president of the company’s direct title division, will be presented with the Commander’s Award from the Museum of American Armor during ceremonies on Memorial Day in recognition of his support of programs that honor our American veterans.
Westcor Appoints Human Resources Director
March 28, 2017
In this role, Brian Zollweg will oversee all facets of human resources for the company.
You Can Help Develop 2017 ALTA ONE
March 23, 2017
Following the successful launch of ALTA ONE last year in Arizona, we’re starting to plan the program and education for the 2017 ALTA ONE, which is scheduled for October 10-13 in Miami, Fla. We want to know what you’re interested in learning about and discussing with your peers so that we can create a curriculum that matters to you. Take this survey and tell us what you want to learn in October.
 The Perfect Fit: Couple Succeeds at Home and Work
March 23, 2017
After working together in the title industry for more than 20 years, Bea and Junny Sykes both joined WFG National Title Insurance Co. in 2015 to help grow the underwriter’s presence in the southeast and support agents in Virginia. Read on to learn what they believe have been the keys to 60 years of marriage and two decades on the job together.
RynohLive Expands Sales and Marketing Team
March 23, 2017
RynohLive recently appointed Jared Uthe as vice president of sales and marketing for the Midwest.
Reli Settlement Solutions Expands in Alabama
March 23, 2017
Alabama-based Reli Settlement Solutions LLC announced the recent opening of two branch locations in Trussville and Pell City, Ala.
 Minnesota Regulator Fines Title Company, Real Estate Agent for Kickback Scheme
March 23, 2017
According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, a title company allegedly provided free meals and hotel accommodations in exchange for referrals from a real estate agent.
Qualia Integrates With FNTG’s AgentTRAX
March 23, 2017
Through this integration, Chicago Title, Commonwealth Land Title and Fidelity National Title agents can issue Closing Protection Letters (CPLs) and generate policy jackets directly through the Qualia system.
SoftPro Integrates With First National Title
March 23, 2017
The integration allows agents of First National Title Insurance Company (FNTI) to generate policy jackets and closing protection letters through their SoftPro 360 software, eliminating the need to rekey information while increasing productivity and efficiency.
 Title Agent Pleads Guilty in $10 Million Florida Mortgage Fraud Scheme
March 23, 2017
Michelle Cabrera, former owner of Florida Elite Title & Escrow, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution. She faces up to 30 years in prison.
Your Influence Is Needed Now
March 22, 2017
ALTA’s Advocacy Summit is the cornerstone of the title industry’s advocacy efforts. Whether you’re a state leader, first-time attendee or you’ve participated 20 times in the past, it is your opportunity to exercise your political rights.
 2016 Title Premium Volume Up 8.7 Percent
March 21, 2017
The title insurance industry generated $14.3 billion in title insurance premiums during 2016 compared to $13.2 billion during 2015, according to ALTA’s Market Share Analysis.
ALTA Welcomes More Than 225 New Members
March 21, 2017
ALTA is pleased to announce that more than 225 new and associate members, as well as real estate attorneys, recently joined ALTA. Check out the entire list of new members. Not a member? Click here to join today. You can also check out this video to learn how ALTA membership can take your business to new summits.
Majesty Title Services Continues Florida Expansion
March 21, 2017
Majesty continues to execute on its strategic expansion opening its fifth office in the Greater Tampa Bay area.
Qualia Connects to First American’s AgentNet
March 21, 2017
The integration enables title agents who use AgentNet to generate Closing Protection Letters (CPLs) and policy jackets directly from the Qualia system, eliminating the need to rekey data and work across multiple systems.
Title Data Launches Enhanced Coverage Program
March 21, 2017
Title Data Inc. (TDI) announced its Enhanced Coverage Program, a project to extend further back in time its existing “thick” land title evidence plants for many of the metropolitan Texas counties it serves.
ATA National Title Group Continues National Expansion
March 21, 2017
ATA National Title Group LLC continued its expansion by becoming licensed in Florida and Maryland, while opening new offices in Michigan and Indiana.
Washington Supreme Court Names Industry Veteran to Board
March 21, 2017
Bill Ronhaar, senior vice president and chief underwriting officer for Washington-based Whatcom Land Title Company Inc., was recently appointed by the Supreme Court of the State of Washington to serve a four-year term on the Limited Practice Board.
NATIC Names Massachusetts State Agency Manager
March 21, 2017
As Massachusetts state agency manager, Tarek Sharif will oversee agency operations while securing and servicing title agents to promote new and increased business activity.
The Scorpion and the Frog
March 16, 2017
There’s plenty of buzz in the financial and tech world about all the potential blockchain technology. This technology, which underpins the bitcoin “currency,” is being developed for use in an array of financial transactions, including potentially the recording of property records. Will this new technology change the way we record real estate transactions or will it make the process more cost efficient?
‘Take Chances, Make Mistakes, Get Messy’
March 16, 2017
Kicking off the first-ever ALTA Springboard—a new, live-event approach dedicated to spending more time collaborating and sharing—ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo quoted Ms. Frizzle from the 1990s educational children’s cartoon “The Magic School Bus” who often encouraged viewers to ‘take chances, make mistakes, get messy. Korsmo issued a challenge to embrace failure and use it as a springboard to future success. Read on to learn what attendees learned about staffing and developing, industry core values and connecting with customers. Also, find out why Brain Dating was all the rage.
Landtech, Investors Title Integrate Systems
March 16, 2017
Investors Title has integrated with the Landtech XML Settlement System in an effort to bring additional value and efficiency to its agents.
Title Alliance Appoints Regional Director for Arizona Branches
March 16, 2017
Title Alliance Ltd appointed Kelly Johnson as regional director of Title Alliance of Arizona. Her appointment comes weeks after the company named Bob Grove as state manager for Arizona.
NAIC Increases Spotlight on Innovation and Emerging Technologies
March 16, 2017
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) created an Innovation and Technology Task Force to help insurance regulators stay informed on key developments, including new products and services from start-up companies, as well as established insurance industry players.
First National Title Insurance Earns SOC I, Type II Certification
March 16, 2017
First National Title Insurance Company (FNTI) has received the Service Organization Control (SOC) 1, Type II certification from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Simplifile Integrates With Ellie Mae
March 16, 2017
The integration allows Encompass users to collaborate with settlement agents via Simplifile and work together seamlessly on documents and disclosure data from pre-closing to post closing.
Mortgage Connect Names Originations Division President
March 16, 2017
Bob Franco will also oversee core refinance services, private wealth, Mortgage Connect Escrow Inc. California and New York divisions, as well as the company's new appraisal division.
In Unpredictable Times, We Must Unite and Protect
March 15, 2017
We the Protectors of American property rights, in order to defend land privileges and provide peace of mind to homeowners, do plan to meet May 1-3, 2017, in Washington, D.C., to shape the future of the title industry.
Photos From the First ALTA SPRINGBOARD
March 14, 2017
Nearly 350 title professionals were in Fort Worth, Texas last week to experience the first-ever ALTA SPRINGBOARD, which featured a new collaborative approach to conferences that allowed attendees to share strategies and tips to improve their operations and find ways to enhance their professional growth. Check out some photos from the two-day event on ALTA’s Flickr page and watch for Thursday’s TitleNews Online for more coverage.
ALTA Members Get Creative Using HOP Material
March 14, 2017
More and more ALTA members are using material in the Homebuyer Outreach Program to educate consumers and others involved in the real estate transaction about the benefits of title insurance. Read on for some creative ways on how your company can break down barriers and reach home buyers and sellers in new ways.
ALTA Joins Effort to Limit Use of G-fees for Government Spending
March 14, 2017
ALTA and several other housing trade organizations declared support for an ongoing effort in Congress to permanently bar the use of funds raised from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's guarantee fees (g-fees) to cover federal spending in areas not related to mortgages.
 Study: Majority of Small Businesses Lack Written Disaster Recovery Plan
March 14, 2017
Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina and Tropical Cyclone Matthew continue to serve as a reminder of how important it is for every business, regardless of size, to make supply chain management a priority. Despite the risk, Nationwide reports that 68 percent of small business owners don't have a written disaster recovery plan.
Weichert Companies Acquires Two Settlement Services Businesses
March 14, 2017
Virtual Endeavors and Synergy Title Agency owner Aubri Holler will become president of settlement services for Weichert’s settlement services businesses, now Virtual Endeavors in New Jersey and Settlement Express in Pennsylvania.
First American Named to the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For
March 14, 2017
This marks the second consecutive year that First American has earned a place among the Fortune' 100 Best Companies to Work For.
North American Title Launches Spanish Language Website
March 14, 2017
The website focuses on content explaining how title insurance protects a homebuyer and includes three new Spanish language videos as well as several informational brochures to download.
NextAce Names Chief Product Officer
March 14, 2017
David Floyd will oversee the company's product strategy and the expansion of its automation processes, technical capabilities and data integrations.
CFPB to Update Company Consumer Complaint Portal
March 14, 2017
According to the bureau, these enhancements are designed to make it easier for companies to respond to consumer complaints.
North American Title Appoints Mid-Atlantic Region State Agency Manager
March 14, 2017
North American Title Insurance Co. has named Selena Smart as the state agency manager for the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Aprio Combines With Yeager & Boyd
March 14, 2017
Aprio, a full-service CPA-led business advisory firm based in Atlanta, has combined with Yeager & Boyd, a certified public accounting firm located in Birmingham, Ala.
RedVision and Qualia Integrate Services
March 14, 2017
This integration enables Qualia’s customers access to national property title research solutions through RedVision’s production platform, TitleVision.
Free TitleTopics Webinar: Recruiting Talent: Staffing the Future Title Company
March 7, 2017
To continue delivering quality service and meet the expectations of real estate agents, lenders and consumers, register for the free webinar "Recruiting Talent: Blueprint for Staffing the Future Title Company" and learn how to find and hire staff that can drive customer loyalty and ultimately grow market share.
First-ever ALTA SPRINGBOARD Ready to Take Learning, Networking to New Heights
March 7, 2017
Nearly 350 title and settlement professionals from across the country will participate in the first ALTA SPRINGBOARD, which will be held March 8-9 in Fort Worth, Texas. This new, live-event experience offers more time sharing and learning and less time sitting and listening, while discussing key issues that can help drive company success and propel careers to a higher level.
Tips for Businesses Impersonated as Part of Email Phishing Scams
March 7, 2017
Title and settlement companies impersonated as part of an email phishing scam should notify customers as soon as possible, contact law enforcement, provide resources for affected consumers and review the company’s security practices. Read on for guidance.
ALTA President-Elect Receives National Title Professional Designation
March 7, 2017
Steven G. Day, ALTA’s president-elect, has been awarded a National Title Professional (NTP) designation from ALTA. Day, executive vice president and division manager for Fidelity National Title Group, is the second NTP designee from New Jersey and joins 70 other industry leaders from around the United States who have earned the professional designation.
Qualia Integrates with Old Republic Title
March 7, 2017
Qualia, a provider of title settlement software, completed an integration with Old Republic Title’s ezJacket and Closing Protection Letter (CPL) software applications.
ePN Adds 25 Jurisdictions to E-Recording Network
March 7, 2017
ePN recently added 25 jurisdictions to its electronic recording network. These counties, parishes and towns are located in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Wyoming, Tennessee, Wisconsin and South Carolina.
McDonnell and Associates, Boomerang Title Implement Ops Insights
March 7, 2017
Real estate law firm McDonnell and Associates, PA. and Boomerang Title Inc. recently implemented Ops Insights, which provides custom metrics to help manage operations.
ReQuire Acquires Deeds on Demand
March 7, 2017
The merger of Deeds on Demand's services allows reQuire Real Estate Solutions to provide settlement agents and closing attorneys with one-stop integrated access to document preparation, property search, title curative and lien release tracking solutions.
Stewart Title Rates, Fees Available Through ClosingCorp
March 7, 2017
ClosingCorp's SmartFees platform supports, captures and verifies title rates and fees from the entire network of Stewart Title offices nationwide, enabling lenders to accurately and confidently obtain quotes for Loan Estimates and closings, according to a press release.
Alert: Watch for Fake Emails from Title Action Network
March 6, 2017
ALTA has learned that there is a spam/spoof email that appears to be coming from the Title Action Network. Do not click any links in the email.
ALTA Membership Is Your Path Forward
March 2, 2017
Which company do you think will deliver a fully driverless car to market? The top choice isn’t just a car company. It’s a technological and energy powerhouse wrapped in metal. Innovation can also help our industry provide better service to home buyers and sellers, and improve workplaces for our members.
Technology Driving Change in Lender, Real Estate Business
March 2, 2017
Consumers’ mobile experiences with leaders such as Amazon are reshaping their expectations in all aspects of their lives. This includes financial and mortgage decisions as well. Title and settlement companies must adjust their processes to handle business generated by demand for a digital homebuying process.
Snapdocs Surpasses $2 Million in Payouts to Notary Signing Agents
March 2, 2017
Snapdocs Inc., a technology platform that helps simplifiy mortgage loan closings, announced that its Vendor Pay technology has issued more than $2 million in payouts to nearly 7,000 different notary vendors across the United States.
ALTA Announces ZOCCAM as an ALTA Elite Provider
March 2, 2017
ZOCCAM, which provides a secure method to deliver earnest money and contracts, has been named an ALTA Elite Provider.
Action Title Research Expands New Jersey Search Operations
March 2, 2017
Adding to its growth and leadership position, Action Title Research has hired Fritz Lesher as vice president of sales operations.
Entrust Property Research Integrates with LandTech
March 2, 2017
Entrust Property Research, a municipal lien and HOA estoppel search company, recently integrated with LandTech Data Services.
Do You Know About ALTA’s TIPAC Education Fund?
March 2, 2017
Companies or state associations may make soft dollar donations to the Education Fund. These contributions are used for TIPAC’s operational and administrative expenses, but cannot be used for campaign contributions to candidates. Check out the list of companies that have made an investment in the title industry.
ALTA Names New Director of Grassroots and State Government Affairs
February 28, 2017
Elizabeth Blosser will focus on enhancing industry advocacy at the state level by strengthening ALTA’s partnership with state land title associations and representing the interests of ALTA’s membership before state legislators and regulators. In addition, she will help drive participation in ALTA’s grassroots activities through the Title Action Network.
 The Docket: Court Rules on Vicarious Liability Case Involving Misconduct of Dual Agent
February 28, 2017
Jeffrey Lang, vice president and national underwriting counsel for Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, provided today’s review of a recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division that ruled an underwriter could not be held vicariously liable to a lender when a title agent served as dual agent. Read on to learn how this affects closing protection letters.
Reach New Summits With ALTA Membership
February 28, 2017
ALTA membership is the key way for title and settlement companies to get access to products that help save money and to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to excel. Check out this video to see all the exclusive member-only business tools, insight and information that’s available.
 ALTA 2017 TIPAC Donors
February 28, 2017
The Title Industry Political Action Committee (TIPAC) is ALTA’s voluntary, non-partisan Political Action Committee (PAC). TIPAC raises money to help elect and re-elect candidates to Congress who understand and support the issues affecting the title industry. TIPAC has received $203,214 from 173 donors in so far in 2017. Check out who has supported the industry.
Westcor Names Industry Veteran as Texas Regional Sales Manager
February 28, 2017
In an effort to increase its Texas footprint, Westcor Land Title Insurance Company recently named Mark Holley as Texas regional sales manager.
North American Title Implements System to Enhance Compliance Efforts
February 28, 2017
The OurRecords Inc. compliance management system allows North American Title to request its credential requirements, forms, manuals, procedures and policies with third-party vendors and contractors.
Date Change: ALTA Advocacy Summit to be Held May 1-3
February 28, 2017
A change to the U.S. House of Representatives’ 2017 schedule has required ALTA to reschedule its 2017 Advocacy Summit one week earlier in May. The ALTA Advocacy Summit will now be held May 1-3.
Entrust Adds New Underwriter To Nexus Program
February 28, 2017
The Nexus Program provides agents and attorney a platform to conduct real estate closings with less risk and gives them a chance to stay in business as underwriter remittance requirements increase, according to Entrust Solutions founder and managing member Jonathan Yasko.
Qualia Achieves SOC 2 Information Security Certification
February 23, 2017
Qualia has earned the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA’s) Service Organization Control 2 (SOC 2) certification after completing an independent audit process with a third-party certified public accounting (CPA) firm.
CFPB Pressed on ‘Opaque’ Media Tactics
February 23, 2017
In a letter to Director Richard Cordray, the members of Congress said the CFPB's “aggressive and opaque media tactics” do not help its mandate to protect consumers.
FinCEN Extends Money Laundering Prevention Effort in Six Metros
February 23, 2017
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) renewed existing Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO) that require U.S. title insurance companies—including subsidiaries and agents—to identify the individuals behind companies used to conduct high-end, all-cash real estate transactions in six major jurisdictions. The only change is that the order is now in effect until Aug. 22, 2017. Read on for more details and tools to help companies comply with the order.
Missouri Recommends Title Agencies ‘Verify and Call Back’ Before Wiring Funds
February 23, 2017
The Missouri Department of Insurance is the latest regulator to offer warnings about fraudulent email and money wiring scams.
Title Alliance Appoints Arizona Manager
February 23, 2017
In this role, Robert Grove will help company continues their expansion into the Arizona market. Grove will focus on recruiting talent, aligning the company with quality prospects, educating on compliance and focusing on streamlining systems and processes in the Arizona operations.
AmTrust Title Names New York State Agency Manager
February 23, 2017
A seasoned business developer, Frank Russo will be responsible for growing AmTrust’s presence in New York, maximizing profitability, optimizing opportunities in technology and servicing existing clients as well as attracting new ones.
 Questions to Ask Your Third-party Vendors
February 21, 2017
Supply chains typically involve a complex maze of third-party suppliers, vendors and partners. For title professionals, third-party vendors could include a wide range of companies such as title plant providers, searchers, closers, notaries, couriers, email providers, and server and website hosts. Read on for six questions you can ask your suppliers to find out where they stand in regard to Best Practices.
First American Reports Market Potential Continues Slide
February 21, 2017
The lack of homes for sale is causing a “matching-trap” in which current homeowners are reluctant to sell because of concern over the ability to find a home to buy, says Mark Fleming, First American's chief economist.
Best Practices Maturity Model Provides Another Tool to Measure Compliance
February 21, 2017
Maturity models are used by lenders and regulators to analyze how companies operate and to measure a company’s policies against benchmark compliance levels. ALTA’s Maturity Model includes five benchmark levels ranging from ad hoc to optimized. The Maturity Model does not alter ALTA’s Best Practices or change the required testing for an assessment.
5 Things to Know About ALTA’s Best Practices Maturity Model
February 21, 2017
ALTA’s Best Practices Maturity Model offers an alternative method of reporting the results of a company’s Best Practices assessment. But what are the most important things to know about this tool? Check out the graphic to learn more.
 Washington State Moves Closer to Forming Rating and Advisory Organizations
February 21, 2017
A bill that would establish title insurance rating and advisory organizations in Washington was passed by the state’s House Business and Financial Services Committee on Feb. 15.
Black Knight Launches Tool to Help Title Companies Reduce Claims
February 21, 2017
Called iOnTitle, the automated, web-based, title search and order management application enables title companies to perform title searches, streamline order-management workflow and produce examination-ready search packages.
Survey Finds More Than Half of Homebuyers Surprised by Closing Costs
February 16, 2017
The survey explored whether the year-old TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule has helped consumers better understand the closing costs associated with purchasing a home. ALTA has maintained that the CFPB's inaccurate disclosure of title insurance fees on the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure remains the single biggest cause of confusion that homebuyers express at the closing table.
 The Docket: Utah High Court Says Issues Ruling on Constructive Notice for Tax Sales
February 16, 2017
Justin Lischak Earley, vice president of underwriting for First American Title Insurance Co., provided today’s review of a recent decision by the Utah Supreme Court addressing constructive notice for tax sales of mineral estates. Read on to learn why this decision case illustrates the challenges presented by tax sales, particularly to title insurers asked to insure title.
Fidelity National Title Partners With GainClients
February 16, 2017
According to a release, the GCard service will help Fidelity National Title expand its network of real estate agents, loan originators and their clients. The GCard service bundles many aspects of a real estate transaction within the same GCard platform to make the process more efficient.
GRS Title Serves Names President
February 16, 2017
GRS Title Services LLC announced the appointment of Andy Brownstein as president. He will continue to serve as general counsel for GRS Title Services and Global Realty Services Group LLC.
Simplifile E-recording Network Gains 43 New Jurisdictions in South, Midwest
February 16, 2017
All of the counties and parishes, which span 18 states, joined Simplifile’s network in the last quarter of 2016 or first quarter of 2017.
Curate Your Networking and Learning Experience at ALTA SPRINGBOARD
February 15, 2017
This year, we're turning ALTA SPRINGBOARD into a peer-learning hub. ALTA is introducing a new concept in networking—Brain Dating.
ALTA Supports Effort to Improve Real Estate Closing Process
February 14, 2017
In the letter to the National Association of Secretaries of State, ALTA offered eight suggestions to help guide the development of clear statutes, regulations and standard practices that authorize and recognize remote electronic notarization.
 Stewart Reports 2016 Fourth Quarter and Full-year Results
February 14, 2017
Stewart Information Services reported that its title segment generated pre-tax income of $139.1 million during 2016.
 First American Closes Strong 2016
February 14, 2017
First American Financial reported that its title segment posted a pre-tax margin of 11.7 percent in 2016, the highest in the company’s history.
 Investors Title Posts Record Q4, Full-year 2016 Results
February 14, 2017
J. Allen Fine, chairman of Investors Title, said the company is optimistic that factors enabling strong revenue growth for the past couple of years will continue into 2017.
AmTrust Title Names New Jersey Agency Rep
February 14, 2017
Marci Lerner has more than 25 years of experience serving the New Jersey market.
A.M. Best Says Rising Mortgage Rates Could Stall Title Insurance Market Growth
February 14, 2017
The U.S. title insurance market is facing an uncertain future as higher mortgage rates and the recent short-term rate hike by the Federal Reserve Bank, with further increases expected in 2017, may drive a decline in existing home sales and dampen the market for new home sales, according to an A.M. Best special report.
Learn from Industry Power Houses at ALTA SPRINGBOARD
February 13, 2017
There are many methods for improving the customer experience--some complex and costly, others relatively simple and inexpensive. One tried and true way to help drive positive results is to spend the time and money to ensure your staff is properly trained to complete tasks and fulfill responsibilities. Don't accept losing business because your staff isn't skilled properly.
RamQuest Integrates with Agents National Title
February 9, 2017
Through this integration, Agents National Title Insurance Company’s agent network can access closing protection letters and policy jackets through RamQuest’s Closing Market.
Save Money by Registering Today for ALTA SPRINGBOARD
February 9, 2017
This is it! Today is the day to get the early-bird discount and be among successful title professionals from around the country who will attend the very first ALTA SPRINGBOARD!
 Bank of America Reminds Settlement Agents About Fee-sharing Process for CD
February 9, 2017
In its latest settlement agent newsletter, Bank of America said adoption of Closing Insight continues to improve and expects the solution to be used on all loans subject to TRID.
 New Mexico Senator Wants Study on ‘High Risk’ Title Zones
February 9, 2017
A state senator in New Mexico has requested that the superintendent of insurance study and report on methods to resolve land access and ownership disputes caused by intergovernmental conflicts.
Qualia Partners with Stewart to Enhance Title Agent Experience
February 9, 2017
Through the integration with Stewart Access, title agents will be able to obtain Stewart rate information, create title policy jackets and issue closing protection letters directly within Qualia.
SLK Launches New Residential and Commercial Tax Services Product
February 9, 2017
SLK Global Solutions recently launched a new real estate tax services (RETS) solution for commercial and residential portfolios.
HomeServices Acquires Thoroughbred Title
February 7, 2017
HomeServices of America Inc. announced it has entered the New York title insurance market with the acquisition of Thoroughbred Title Services LLC.
 5 Things to Consider When Shopping for a Third-party Assessment Provider
February 7, 2017
Selecting a company to provide Best Practices assessment solutions can be daunting. Read on for five things to consider when shopping for a third-party assessment provider.
AmTrust Title Gets Green Light to Operate in Three Additional Jurisdictions
February 7, 2017
AmTrust Title Insurance Company received provisional approval to begin operating in Washington D.C., Arkansas and South Carolina.
RynohLive Names SVP of Business Development
February 7, 2017
As senior vice president of business development, John Contreras will assist the sales team and lead the company’s business development initiatives.
Commonwealth USA Settlements Earns SOC 2, Type II Certification
February 7, 2017
Commonwealth USA Settlements has been granted The American Institute of Public Accountants’ Service Organization Control 2, Type II certification after completing an independent audit process with a third-party Certified Public Accounting firm.
How to Market Your Title Company Like Beer
February 2, 2017
What in the world does beer have to do with title insurance? In the early 1940s, Schlitz beer company was one of the least popular beers in the country. So they brought in a legendary marketer, Claude Hopkins, to tour the factory and create a new advertising campaign for them. Read on to learn how Schlitz became one of the top breweries until the 1970s and how you use similar messaging to promote your title company.
 Make Sure You Are Using the Updated 1099-S
February 2, 2017
Title agents and attorneys closing certain reportable transactions could face fines of $250 per incident if they are not using the updated IRS Form 1099-S.
Chronos Solutions Launches National Title Operations Center
February 2, 2017
Kandi Jablonski will serve as executive vice president and head up the Pittsburgh-based national title originations division.
3 Reasons You Need to Attend ALTA SPRINGBOARD
February 2, 2017
ALTA SPRINGBOARD is a brand-new, live-event experience where attendees will collaborate and be part of the conversation to learn new ways to grow market share, enhance customer relationships and improve staff performance.
MBA Proposes Path for GSE Reform
February 2, 2017
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released a paper outlining its recommended approach for secondary mortgage market reform, with the objective of ending the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and establishing a new, durable foundation for the secondary mortgage market. Read on for more on the MBA's proposal and to review the principles ALTA supports for housing finance reform and the restructuring process.
Stewart Title Executive Receives Prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award
February 2, 2017
Dr. Mary Ann Reynolds-Wilkins, vice president and senior business development officer at Stewart Title Guaranty Co., recently received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
Agents National Title Names Chief Strategy Officer
February 2, 2017
In his new position, Pat Carney will be charged with identifying, prioritizing opportunities and driving innovative solutions that influence Agents National Title’s growth and expansion opportunities via organic or through strategic acquisitions.
 Fidelity Reports Q4 and Full-year 2016 Results
February 2, 2017
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title division posted pre-tax earnings of more than $1 billion during 2016, up from $836 million during 2015.
 Old Republic Title Group Posts Record Year
January 31, 2017
Old Republic’s title group reported a record full-year pre-tax income of $210.2 million during 2016. Rande Yeager, chief executive officer of Old Republic Title Insurance Company, attributed the record earnings to four things. Read on.
Alert: Watch for Fake Dropbox Emails Sharing ‘Closing Disclosure’
January 31, 2017
Fake Dropbox emails are circulating once again urging recipients to sign in to access and view Closing Disclosures.
NATIC Names Manager of Education and Research
January 31, 2017
Amy Tankersley will manage the company’s publications, educational materials and customer outreach.
 ALTA Sets 2017 Strategic Priorities
January 31, 2017
The power shift in Washington, D.C., and the Trump Administration could bring big changes to financial and housing policy. In addition, the market is experiencing a time of great change. To help ensure the title and settlement services industry is prepared, ALTA will focus on six strategic priorities in 2017 to help its members excel in a dynamic business and regulatory environment.
 RynohLive Integrates With Closers’ Choice
January 31, 2017
The partnership allows Closers’ Choice users to access RynohLive under one platform, provding for a more a more efficient workflow while remaining compliant with financial transparency standards and the ALTA’s Best Practices.
Pavaso, Member First Mortgage to Offer Digital Mortgage Hybrids
January 31, 2017
Pavaso, a provider of digital process and collaboration solutions, will conduct hybrid electronic closings for customer of Member First Mortgage.
Has the Game Changed? 2017 Housing Market Forecast and Homebuyer Trends
January 31, 2017
Check out this recorded webinar as Mark Fleming, First American's chief economist, and Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research and communications for the National Association of Realtors, provide an overview of the housing market and profiles recent homebuyer and seller trends.
FNTG Builder Services Continues as HomeAid America Partner
January 31, 2017
FNTG Builder Services will continue as a national sponsor for HomeAid America, a building industry charity. FNTG Builder Services is a division of Fidelity National Title Group’s underwriters.
 The Docket: Federal Court Rules Title Company’s Duty to Mitigate Damages Limited to Retaining Attorney
January 26, 2017
Michael R. O’Donnell and Michael P. Crowley, both of the law firm Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti LLP, provided today’s review of a recent decision by the United State District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan that addresses the importance of understanding the relationship between a title insurance company and its retained counsel.
 Create Facebook Lists to Curate Your Audience, News
January 26, 2017
Want to siphon off some of the political chatter or photos of your friends’ children in your Facebook news feed? Looking to target potential customers on the social media platform to grow business? Consider creating Facebook lists of your friends, family and brands.
 ServiceLink Fined $65M for LPS Foreclosure Activities
January 26, 2017
Three federal banking agencies fined ServiceLink Holdings LLC $65 million for improper actions by its predecessor company, Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS), which resulted in significant deficiencies in the foreclosure-related services that LPS provided to mortgage servicers.
ALTA Member Company Land Title Guarantee Marks 50-year Anniversary
January 26, 2017
When Land Title Guarantee Co. opened in January 1967, it had one employee, one customer and one order. Marking its 50-year anniversary, the Denver-based company has grown to over 700 employees handling more than 50,000 real estate transactions per year.
Marketing Firm Unveils Templates for Industry Compliant Websites
January 26, 2017
TitleTap unveiled 10 new customizable website templates specifically tuned for the land title industry.
Simplifile Clocks 11.9 Million E-recording Transactions in 2016
January 26, 2017
Following steady adoption of its e-recording platform by county recording offices in 2016, Simplifile will focus in 2017 on expanding its network of settlement agent users and introducing enhancements to its online collaboration platform for settlement service providers.
Qualia Adds Custom Reporting to Title Settlement System
January 26, 2017
Qualia, a provider of title settlement software, released an advanced reporting module that equips title and closing professionals with a customizable tool to analyze revenue sources, business relationships and operational efficiency.
ALTA SPRINGBOARD: Why You Need to Attend
January 25, 2017
We've ditched the general session, typical education programs and exhibit hall, and are introducing a fresh curriculum that will focus on key issues such as staffing, connecting with customers and compliance. Check out all that ALTA SPRINGBOARD has to offer and take your career and business to the next level.
 Nebraska Bill Would Allow Remote Electronic Notarization
January 24, 2017
A bill introduced in Nebraska would legalize remote electronic notarization and provide standards for the use of video and audio conference technology to complete notarial acts. The Nebraska Land Title Association’s (NLTA) Legislative Committee reviewed the bill and recommended to the NLTA Board of Directors that they oppose it as written.
 White Paper: A Framework for FinTech
January 24, 2017
A week prior to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, the Obama Administration on Jan. 13 published a white paper that provides 10 overarching principles intended to guide future policy framework for the U.S. fintech ecosystem.
Report: Rising Mortgage Rates Dampen Market Potential
January 24, 2017
The market potential for existing-home sales declined 3.1 percent in December due to the rise in mortgage rates, offsetting increased demand generated by broader economic strength, according to First American’s latest Potential Home Sales model.
Get Your HOP Box Today
January 24, 2017
ALTA HOP Boxes contain many items available through ALTA’s Homebuyer Outreach Program and can be used at staff trainings, underwriter seminars, real estate agent trainings/presentations, first-time homebuyer seminars, state land title conventions and much more. HOP Boxes cost $120 each and provide a savings of 65 percent compared to purchasing items individually.
 Title Agent’s Guide to Video Marketing
January 19, 2017
The best thing about video marketing is that it is particularly actionable, very affordable, easy to target to specific audiences, and extremely measurable.
Bill Would Require IRS to Accept Electronic Tax Transcripts
January 19, 2017
The IRS Data Verification Modernization Act (HR 5725), which was introduced by U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), would require the IRS to accept electronic transmission of tax transcripts.
Recorded Webinar: Evolution of ALTA’s Best Practices and Tools to Aid Implementation
January 19, 2017
With some lenders not requiring any vendor oversight requirements to others mandating third-party certifications, it is essential title agents have useful tools to evaluate where they stand in regard to compliance. Listen to this recorded webinar to learn about recent changes made to the Best Practices, tools to aid implementation including the new Maturity Model, the CFPB’s Third-party Service Provider bulletin and how scalability will affect lender adoption of vendor management programs.
WACO Title Expands Arkansas Footprint
January 19, 2017
WACO Title completed its acquisition of Saline County Abstract on Jan. 16. WACO Title has 21 offices in Arkansas and Missouri.
Latest Email Scam Targets State Land Title Association
January 19, 2017
While many phishing scams target Realtors and title agents in the hopes of accessing escrow funds, the latest scheme has targeted a state land title association. ALTA warns all title professionals to be vigilant when receiving and responding to email.
DocuSign Names New CEO
January 19, 2017
Daniel Springer previously served as chairman and CEO for 10 years at Responsys where he transformed the business from private start up to a leading cross-channel marketing automation platform globally and a publicly traded company.
Get Some Marketing Mojo at ALTA's Innovation Boot Camps
January 19, 2017
Make sure your company doesn't get left behind during this technology renaissance. Register for one of ALTA's Innovation Boot Camps and immerse yourself in a day and a half of innovative marketing and education. Read on to learn about the key takeaways you'll get from attending.
Deadline Today: Renew Your Membership for Access to Essential Tools and Information
January 18, 2017
ALTA membership is the key way for title and settlement companies to get access to products that help save money and to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to excel.
What Is ALTA SPRINGBOARD? Details Shared During Facebook Live Event
January 17, 2017
Looking around at the businesses of today and the changes they're making to succeed tomorrow, we know this is our opportunity to invest in lasting improvements. Telephones, taxis and hotels have turned into Skype, Uber and AirBnB. It's time to approach the industry in bold and new ways. To offer title professionals a forum for fresh thinking and new insights, ALTA developed a new live-event experience called ALTA SPRINGBOARD. During a Facebook Live event, ALTA President Dan Mennenoh ITP, NTP and CEO Michelle Korsmo highlighted what to expect at ALTA SPRINGBOARD.
HA&W Changes Name to Aprio
January 17, 2017
Habif, Arogeti & Wynne LLP (HA&W) has rebranded to "Aprio" in a move that more strongly communicates the firm's services, culture and approach toward serving clients, the company said in a release.
CATIC Completes ResWare Integration
January 17, 2017
This integration enables CATIC’s agents to quickly generate policy jackets and produce closing protection letters without ever having to leave their ResWare title software and process flow management system.
Integrity Title Expands Texas Footprint
January 17, 2017
Hidalgo, San Patricio and several other Texas counties are now available for access from Integrity Title Records.
 Preparing for Transition
January 17, 2017
Shortly after Donald Trump was elected, ALTA formed a Transition Workgroup to help advance the industry during this shift in federal government leadership. Read on to learn why it's important to participate in ALTA's Title Action Network and support the Congressional Liaison Program to make lasting changes and improve the industry.
 Title Agent Licensing Bill Introduced in Kentucky
January 17, 2017
The bill, which is supported by the Kentucky Land Title Association, would require title insurance agents to be licensed by the Department of Insurance and meet minimum qualification standards, to disclose fees charged to consumers and obtain continuing education.
ALTA Announces National Notary Association as Elite Provider
January 17, 2017
ALTA’s Elite Provider Program is comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry.
 Report: Trump Team Signals It Will Can Cordray
January 13, 2017
According to Huffington Post, senior Trump spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters on a conference call that President-elect Donald Trump interviewed former Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) for the position last week.
ALTA Looks Forward to Working With HUD Nominee Carson
January 12, 2017
ALTA Chief Executive Officer Michelle Korsmo said that the nomination of Dr. Ben Carson as the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development provides an opportunity to discuss ways to rejuvenate urban cores and strengthen communities, while ensuring that all consumers looking to purchase a home have access to affordable credit.
Compliance Webinar: How PHH v. CFPB Impacts RESPA Enforcement
January 12, 2017
While a final decision in PHH Corp. v. CFPB remains in limbo, one thing is certain: Enforcement of RESPA isn’t going away. To learn about the far-reaching policy and compliance implications, register for ALTA’s next compliance webinar “Much Ado About Nothing? How PHH v. CFPB Impacts RESPA Enforcement," which will be held from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 22. RESPA expert Richard Horn, founder of the law firm Richard Horn Legal PLLC and a former senior counsel at the CFPB, will provide an overview of the case, discuss what’s next and explain how the current ruling affects RESPA enforcement going forward. Attendees also will learn how state enforcement interplays with federal regulation of RESPA.
Respecting the Past, Innovating for the Future
January 12, 2017
Whether it’s his passion for auto racing, telephones, the title industry or his family, Daniel D. Mennenoh is rooted in history. He’s only missed two races at the famed Indianapolis 500 over the past 28 years. His home is filled with antique telephones harkening back to a time of switchboard operators and pay phones. He lives in the historic district of Galena, Ill., notable for the home of Ulysses S. Grant. And he’s the president of a title company originally established in 1883 that now employs the third generation of Mennenoh’s family. As ALTA's 2017-17 president, Mennenoh encourages members to embrace innovation and improve the customer experience.
Be Part of the Faculty at ALTA SPRINGBOARD
January 12, 2017
The format of ALTA SPRINGBOARD is different from the typical ALTA meeting, so the responsibilities of the faculty are different as well. ALTA is looking for discussion facilitators to lead thoughtful and interactive round-table discussions and brainstorms on specific issues, and speakers for a limited series on career advancement. Find out what’s required, the perks and how to submit an application. Deadline to submit an application is Friday, Jan. 20.
North American Title Realigns Geographic Regions
January 12, 2017
North American Title Co. recently promoted Michael A. Montalvo to the new position of central region president for Colorado, Illinois and Minnesota, while Chad Barth was promoted to area president for Arizona, Nevada and Utah.
Kroll Bond Rating Agency Releases 2017 U.S. Title Insurance Sector Outlook
January 12, 2017
Despite projections that mortgage origination volume will decrease in 2017, Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) reported the title insurance industry is well positioned to manage this considerable decline.
Data Trace Adds New Title Plants in Texas
January 12, 2017
Data Trace Information Services LLC introduced four new geographically indexed, P-12 compliant thick title plants in Texas. The new plants cover Dallas, Denton, Kaufman and Tarrant counties, with additional depth in Collin county.
Adeptive ResWare Platform Integrates With Ops Insights
January 12, 2017
Adeptive’s ResWare platform is now integrated with Ops Insights, which is a SaaS operational reporting solution provided by ProcessFast that helps identify business trends. The solution allows ResWare users to confidently decipher they are on the right path to a better bottom line.
Don’t Miss ALTA’s Live Facebook Event
January 10, 2017
Join ALTA President Dan Mennenoh ITP, NTP and CEO Michelle Korsmo today for a unique Facebook Live event. This special industry event will share information and invite all land title industry professionals to ALTA's newest live experience, ALTA SPRINGBOARD. You won't want to miss it.
 Title Company Owner Involved in $10M Fraud Scheme, Lawsuit Alleges
January 10, 2017
The owner of a Florida-based title company along with a former newspaper publisher who was a real estate agent and mortgage broker face federal charges for allegedly participating in a $10 million mortgage fraud conspiracy in the Sunshine State.
 Quicken Loans Pushes Remote Notarization for Closings
January 10, 2017
The online lender believes remote notarizations could revolutionize the mortgage industry and improve the closing experience for consumers. Read on to learn how Quicken Loans envisions how closings will be handled.
Majesty Title Services Expands Footprint in Florida
January 10, 2017
Vince Cassidy, Majesty Title's chief executive officer, said the company continues to execute on its strategic expansion opening its fourth Tampa Bay office in the Brandon market.
ALTA Updates Job Description and Advertisement Library
January 10, 2017
ALTA’s Education Committee's Workforce Development Subcommittee has developed five additional job descriptions and sample advertisements for ALTA’s Human Resources Library. Job descriptions and sample advertisements are now available for escrow assistant, escrow officer, title assistant, title officer and order entry clerk. Check out what’s available in the library.
Best Practices Plus Updates Software for Creation of Best Practice Manuals
January 10, 2017
Best Practices Plus recently updated its manual creation software to incorporate the modifications included in ALTA’s Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices version 2.5.
Wyoming Authorizes E-recording as Four New Counties Adopt Simplifile
January 10, 2017
Wyoming joins 30 other U.S. states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia in adopting the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act.
Scam Alert: ALTA Mailing Database
January 5, 2017
ALTA would like to inform its members about fraudulent emails coming from marketing firms indicating that they are selling contact information of companies listed in ALTA’s database.
 CFPB Expects to Finalize TRID Amendments by Mid-2017
January 5, 2017
In its latest semi-annual report, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported that it expects to finalize its proposed amendments to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule in mid-2017.
Segin Systems Receives ISO-27001 Certification
January 5, 2017
Segin’s information security management system (ISMS) was certified compliant with all 114 ISO-27001 requirements by HA&W, an external independent certification authority.
 The Docket: Federal Court Rules Title Company Not Liable for Undiscovered Public Beach Access
January 5, 2017
Laura S. Bauman, special counsel in the Sarasota, Fla., office of Adams and Reese LLP, provided today’s review of a recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida that held a title company’s searching obligations do not extend to matters outside the chain of title. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.
 Virginia-based Bank Acquires Title Company
January 5, 2017
F&M Bank Corp., parent company of Farmers & Merchants Bank, completed its acquisition of Valley Southern Title on Jan. 1.
Register for Free Webinar on 2017 Housing Forecast and Buyer Trends
January 5, 2017
Register for the free webinar "Has the Game Changed? 2017 Housing Market Forecast and Homebuyer Trends" and get a better understanding of the types of title orders you will receive in 2017. This webinar will help you dominate a purchase-driven market and provide better service to your customers.
WFG Adds Agency Resource in Chesapeake Region
January 5, 2017
As assistant vice president and underwriter/account manager, Ned Livornese will serve as a resource for WFG title agents in Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia and Virginia.
Stewart Adds Two to Board of Directors
January 5, 2017
Stewart appointed Clifford Allen Bradley and Frederick H. Eppinger to the company’s board of directors.
Earn Industry Distinction as a HOP Leader
January 5, 2017
Want to do the one thing that will separate you from the competitor down the street? Register for one daylong in-person training and become an ALTA Homebuyer Outreach Program (HOP) Leader.
 Minnesota Title Firm Ordered to Pay Fine for Alleged Kickbacks
January 5, 2017
The Minnesota Commissioner of Insurance ordered a title company to pay a civil penalty of $45,000 for allegedly providing things of value in exchange for business from a real estate agent.
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