Top Industry Articles of 2016

December 27, 2016

Articles about TRID dominated the headlines over the past year, while other eye-catching topics included an agent thwarting an escrow-fund phishing scheme, the federal appeals court ruling in PHH v. CFPB, FinCEN expanding and extending an order to try and identify money-laundering schemes, tools to help members recruit new talent, key lawsuits everyone in the industry should know about and technology perceived as the Holy Grail of digital land records. In no particular order, here's the list:

  1. How to Comply with the Closing Disclosure's Three-day Rule
    According 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.

  2. Loans Not Covered by TRID
    A blog post from 2014 about the types of loans that are not covered under the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule continued to be a popular read during 2016 as the industry adapted to the new regulation.

  3. TRID Q&A: Can Realtor Receive Borrower’s Closing Disclosure?The sharing of non-public personal information and the Closing Disclosure with third parties including real estate agents has been an ongoing issue during 2016. Although TRID did not change any of the privacy provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), concern remains that sharing the new closing documents might constitute an impermissible sharing of consumers' personal information. While CFPB attempted to clear things up with a bulletin in August, ALTA still reminded members to continue reviewing closing instructions carefully as many lenders prohibit their settlement agents from sharing the Closing Disclosure with third parties, including real estate agents.

  4. Title Agent Snuffs Out Fraudulent Email to Attempting to Obtain Funds
    As the industry became bombarded by phishing schemes attempting to steal escrow funds, one title agent’s diligence in Washington successfully prevented a fraudulent email request for the company to send a wire transfer.

  5. Download ALTA's Model Settlement Statements to Use for TRID
    ALTA developed four model Settlement Statements for title insurance and settlement companies to use in order to itemize all the fees and charges involved in transactions regulated by TRID. Many lenders encourage settlement agents to use ALTA's model Settlement Statements or similar state-specific forms when needed to supplement the Closing Disclosure. The Settlement Statement is not meant to replace the Closing Disclosure.

  6. ALTA Develops Sample Job Description and Advertisement Library to Aid Hiring Process
    To help members attract talented recruits, ALTA created a sample library of job descriptions and advertisements. Job descriptions range from sales managers and searchers to agency managers and policy typists.

  7. Three Takeaways from PHH v. CFPB Ruling
    In October, a federal appeals court issued its long-awaited decision in an appeal by PHH Corp. of its $109 million fine by the CFPB for alleged RESPA section 8 violations. The court affirmed the application of RESPA, as it had been followed previously by HUD. While also holding that the structure of the CFPB is unconstitutional, the three-judge panel rejected the idea of shutting the bureau down.

  8. FinCEN Expands, Extends Order to Identify Money-laundering Schemes
    In July, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced a new Geographic Targeting Order (GTO) temporarily requiring all 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 GTO remain in effect through February 2017.

  9. Lawsuits You Can’t Ignore
    To keep members informed of important decisions in courts across the country, members of ALTA’s Title Counsel and others provided a synopsis of 10 lawsuits they believe have significant implications on the land title industry. From state supreme courts around the country and various other courts, the lawsuits dealt with a wide range of issues.

  10. Blockchain and Title: The Distant Frontier
    Industries as diverse as banking, agriculture, fashion and gemology have all looked to blockchain technology as a disruptor with the capability to create new efficiencies. While perceived as the Holy Grail of digital land records, is there any substance behind the blockchain hype?


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