ALTA Awards Honorary Memberships to Abbinante, Pellegrini

October 13, 2016

Long-time friends and founding fathers of ALTA’s Best Practices, Chris Abbinante and Frank Pellegrini received ALTA Honorary Memberships during ALTA ONE, held Oct. 7-10 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The two past ALTA presidents join 60 other title professionals to receive the honor, which is bestowed by ALTA’s Board of Governors for performance of distinguished and meritorious service to the association or to the land title industry.

In 2011, the two were driving forces behind the development of ALTA’s Best Practices Framework, which help members highlight policies and procedures that protect lenders and consumers.

A veteran of more than 40 years in the title industry, Abbinante served ALTA’s 2011-12 president. Under his leadership, ALTA conceived the Best Practices.

“Chris’ talents as a leader in title insurance industry are well regarded and he inspired confidence as we work to better serve consumers,” said Steve Day, executive vice president for Fidelity National Title Group and a member of ALTA’s Board of Governors. “Throughout his year as president, he encouraged more transparency and professionalism, while urging the industry to explain its value in a way that ‘grandma can understand.’ He said that too often industry jargon prevented consumers and regulators from understanding the value of our industry. Since then, the Best Practices have become a standard of professional excellence for the title industry.”

Abbinante began participating on ALTA’s Underwriter Section Executive Committee in 1999 and joined the Board in 2003. He’s also served on many committees, including the Finance, Government Affairs, Nominating and Planning committees. He also encouraged those in the industry to become supportive members through committee work and through TIPAC, and to support the state land title associations.

In 2012, Abbinante testified before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity during a hearing titled “Mortgage Disclosures: How Do We Cut Red Tape for Consumers and Small Businesses?” He outlined six principles to help guide the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as it developed its integrated mortgage disclosures.

While ALTA developed the concept of Best Practices under Abbinante’s watch, it was during Pellegrini’s year as president that the policies and procedures were rolled out and took root with title professionals and lenders.

Pellegrini has practiced law and been involved in the title insurance industry since 1976. He joined Chicago Title Insurance Co. in 1978 as an examiner before launching his own law firm, Pellegrini & Cristiano, in 1980. Three years later, he opened Prairie Title with his wife, Mary, in Oak Park, Ill., in response to a recognized need in a niche market area. In 2009, he testified before during a House Financial Services Subcommittee on “Strengthening Oversight and Preventing Fraud in FHA and other HUD Programs.” He told members of Congress that as the independent third-party to the transaction, title agents enjoy a unique vantage point to identify and thwart fraud.

In addition to being a past president, Pellegrini serves on several ALTA committees including Best Practices Executive, Bylaws, Government Affairs, Information Security, Nominating and Public Relations, as well as the Abstracter/Agent Research Subcommittee.

“Frank is passionate about the title industry and understands what it takes to achieve success,” said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA’s chief executive officer. “He helped guide the industry during implementation of Best Practices and continues to offer his leadership and expertise to ensure ALTA remains the one voice for title and settlement professionals. There’s no questioning Frank’s integrity and professionalism. He the type of person you want carrying your banner.”

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or