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ALTA Welcomes 2017-18 Board of Governors and Exec Committees
October 17, 2017
The 11-member ALTA Board of Governors is responsible for promoting the industry, creating association policy, managing the financial health of the association and ensuring the overall welfare of the association. Read on to view the members of ALTA’s 2017-2018 Board of Governors include, as well as its executive committees.
New ALTA President Urges Industry to Answer ‘Mandate for More Transparency’
October 17, 2017
In an era when the consumer is more inquisitive, and knowledgeable, than ever before, 2017-18 ALTA President Steven G. Day NTP urged ALTA ONE attendees to continue educating lenders, real estate agents and consumer about the work the industry provides to benefit them and the real estate transaction. Read on as Day outlines ALTA's 2018 strategic priorities.
ALTA Registry: Be Part of the Solution
October 17, 2017
The national ALTA Registry serves as an efficient, accurate and needed industry phone book allowing lenders to know they are working with the correct company. Read on to learn how title and settlement companies can get confirmed in the Registry.
‘The Future is Already Here. It's Just Not Evenly Distributed’
October 17, 2017
With the theme of “Read for What’s Next” as the backdrop for this year’s ALTA ONE, ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo opened the conference with a quote from author William Gibson. “The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed,” Korsmo shared with the more than 1,100 attendees attending ALTA ONE in Miami.
 CFPB Continues to Target Affiliated Business Arrangements
October 17, 2017
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) fined Indiana-based Meridian Title Corp. $1.25 million for violating Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by failing to provide affiliated business arrangement (AfBA) disclosures to consumers. What surprised many is that the CFPB applied the RESPA affiliated business provisions to the title agent/underwriter relationship. Read on for the key takeway for anyone with ownership interests in title agent/underwriter relationship.
Sun Title Expands Executive Team
October 17, 2017
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Sun Title Agency recently added three professionals to its executive leadership team this quarter.
ALTA Names Steven G. Day NTP as President
October 17, 2017
“It is an honor to represent an industry that protects property rights and reduces risk so our customers have peace of mind when buying a home or refinancing a mortgage,” said Steven G. Day NTP, who also is an executive vice president at Fidelity National Title Group. “Serving our more than 6,200 members and the broader land title insurance industry this year as president is a privilege. I am eager to continue our work as an association and look forward to engaging ALTA members on our strategic priorities moving forward.”
ALTA Sets Membership Record for Eighth Consecutive Year
October 13, 2017
With 6,344 member companies, ALTA has surpassed its 2016 membership record by nearly 100 companies.
Become a Service Company That Sells Title
October 13, 2017
A company’s culture manifests itself from core values. This is a simple, yet profound concept. Core values are the essence of the company’s identity—its principles and beliefs.
ALTA Submits Letter to CFPB on TRID ‘Black Hole’
October 13, 2017
Additionally, ALTA believes the rule should require creditors to provide the settlement agent with a copy of any Closing Disclosure at the same time it is provided to the consumer.
ALTA Redesigns 99-year-old Magazine, TitleNews
October 12, 2017
For nearly a century, TitleNews has been the go-to source of information about the land title insurance industry. Iterations have evolved from an extremely text-heavy publication since the first edition in 1918 to a magazine that attempts to meet the needs of today’s readers.
The Checkered Flag
October 12, 2017
Daniel D. Mennenoh's year as president of ALTA concludes today at ALTA ONE. Read on as Mennenoh reflects on the many successes the industry and the association enjoyed over the past year.
WFG Realigns Agency Division
October 12, 2017
Barron Buss joined WFG as senior vice president and will oversee thenational agency group, including the building of a new agency services division to support agents in geographic markets where they do not have a footprint.
ALTA Announces 10 National Title Professional Designations
October 12, 2017
During an Omni Session at ALTA ONE, ALTA announced it has awarded 10 new National Title Professional (NTP) designations. The designees join 84 other industry leaders from around the country who have earned the prestigious professional designation.
CFPB Revises Small Entity Compliance Guide for TRID
October 12, 2017
The revised version incorporates the recent amendments to the rule that became effective Oct. 10, 2017. Compliance with the amendments will be required for applications received on or after Oct. 1, 2018.
We Lead. We Deliver. We Protect.
October 11, 2017
ALTA is proud to announce the land title insurance industry’s Our Values initiative, which serves as the industry’s cultural compass and highlight the universal core ideals ALTA members embrace.
RamQuest Integrates With DocMagic Collaboration Portal
October 10, 2017
RamQuest Inc. announced that its Closing Market digital network is integrated with DocMagic’s SmartCLOSE, a closing collaboration portal where participants can view and exchange data prior to closing.
All Right, All Right, All Right
October 10, 2017
During disasters such as the recent hurricanes, what amazes me the most is not the size and strength of the storms, but rather the magnitude of the support that our society provides those impacted.
ALTA Launches National ALTA Registry as Needed Industry Utility
October 10, 2017
ALTA is pleased to formally launch the national ALTA Registry allowing title insurance agents and settlement companies to communicate with underwriters to confirm their company name and contact information—providing mortgage lenders with a trusted industry utility to identify transaction partners.
Real Estate Data Shield Launches New Version of Information Security Solution
October 10, 2017
REDS 3.0 enhances the previous version by incorporating a new 15-minute module addressing cyber fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, phishing emails, spoof emails, ransomware and social engineering attacks.
PropLogix Offers Title Curative Services
October 10, 2017
PropLogix, a provider of real estate due diligence, announced Oct. 10 that the company now offers title curative services.
Educate Customers About Wire Fraud During National Cyber Security Awareness Month
October 5, 2017
As hacks, data breaches and other cyber-enabled crime including wire fraud become increasingly commonplace, this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month is an important reminder of the need to take steps to protect your customers and your business. Throughout October, ALTA is offering a 10 percent discount on print orders of the wire fraud infographic that you can brand with your company logo and info. The infographic provides tips on how consumers can protect their money and offers advice on what to do if they have been targeted by a scam. Use the discount code: cyber
Agents National Title Purchased by Blackstone Subsidiary
October 5, 2017
In 2005, David Townsend started Missouri-based Farmer’s Title Insurance Co. dedicated to supporting title insurance agents instead of competing against them. Over the years, the company steadily grew behind the agent-only model and expanded into additional states, which led to its name change to Agents National Title Insurance Co. (ANTIC) in 2009. Now licensed to issue title insurance in 18 states, Townsend decided the time was right to sell the company.
ALTA-supported Bipartisan Bill to Fix TRID Introduced in House
October 5, 2017
U.S. Reps. French Hill and Ruben Kihuen introduced today an ALTA-supported bipartisan bill to correct the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance premiums on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) and help consumers understand the true cost of their real estate transaction.
AmTrust Names National Agency Manager
October 5, 2017
AmTrust Title Insurance Company named Thomas Klein as senior vice president and national agency manager and manager for Mid-Atlantic agency units.
Title Source Partners with Pavaso to Offer E-closing Services
October 5, 2017
Quicken Loans, Title Source’s sister company, introduced Rocket Mortgage in early 2016, allowing the company to digitally originate mortgages online. Title Source’s partnership with Pavaso allows Quicken Loans’ clients to finish the mortgage process the same way they started it—online.
FNF Continues Strategic Expansion of Technology Offerings
October 5, 2017
FNF Group has acquired a majority interest in SkySlope, which provides a digital transaction management and closing solution used by over 1,500 brokerages covering 5,000 offices and 140,000 agents.
Aprio Launches Escrow Reconciliation Solution to Protect Against Fraud
October 5, 2017
The accounting and advisory firm has partnered with RynohLive to provide real-time monitoring of escrow accounts to protect title agents from their greatest point of fraud vulnerability.
North American Title Appoints State Agency Manager for Virginia, Western Pennsylvania
October 5, 2017
Jared Uthe will oversee agency operations in those states, while securing and servicing title insurance agents to promote new and increased business activity.
Plan Your Journey and Be Ready for What's Next
October 4, 2017
With so many education opportunities available at ALTA ONE, it can be difficult to decide which sessions to attend. To help you develop a strategy out of many options, we've crafted nine personalized education Journeys to enhance your experience. Follow one of our suggested education Journeys or personalize your own.
Former ALTA President Passes Away
October 3, 2017
Past ALTA President Charles O. Hon III, a man noted for his keen intellect, compassion for others and once bringing 10 ties to an ALTA Board of Governors meeting, passed away Sept. 28 at the age of 73. Hon served as ALTA’s 1988-1989 president.
First American Mortgage Solutions Named Approved Vendor for Fannie Mae’s Day 1 Certainty Program
October 3, 2017
First American Mortgage Solutions has been named as one of a few vendors able to offer data verification for all three components of Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter (DU) validation service and Day 1 Certainty.
Qualia’s Privacy Program Recognized as Best Practices Pillar 3 Compliant
October 3, 2017
The independent validation confirms the effectiveness of Qualia’s processes, procedures and controls for maintaining a privacy and information security program that protects non-public personal information (NPI) as recommended by ALTA Best Practices Pillar 3 and as required by local, state and federal law.
AmTrust Title Offers Business Protection Coverage to the Title Agent
October 3, 2017
AmTrust Title Insurance Company launched a new comprehensive proprietary plan designed to offer title agents comprehensive business protection, provided at a discount to those who qualify.
Equity National Title Unveils Search Tool for E-closing Options by Zip Code
October 3, 2017
Equity National Title has unveiled an “e-closing” hub that provides information about the types of digital closings available at a zip code level.
TitleVest Voted Best Title Agency for Fifth Consecutive Year by Law Journal
October 3, 2017
TitleVest, a member of the First American family of companies, has earned New York Law Journal’s Best Title Agency award for the fifth year in a row.
 Title Company Responds to CFPB Fine for Failing to Disclose Underwriter Affiliation
September 28, 2017
An Indiana-based title company responded today to a $1.25 million fine from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for steering borrowers to an affiliated title insurer without disclosing that three executives are owners of the insurer.
ServiceLink, Roostify Aim to Extend Digital Mortgage Experience
September 28, 2017
ServiceLink has integrated with Roostify to create a digital platform allowing all mortgage participants to collaborate online during the entire transaction.
Simplifile, Docutech Partner to Enhance E-closing Capabilities
September 28, 2017
Simplifle and Docutech announced the integration of technologies that offers a new electronic closing solution for title agents, lenders and borrowers, and allows each transaction to be as digital as possible.
Westcor Appoints Underwriting Counsel for Western Agency Region
September 28, 2017
Westcor Land Title Insurance Company announced the appointment of Phillip M. Schreiber as underwriting counsel for its western agency region.
Alliance Title & Escrow Hosts ‘Closing the Hunger Gap’ Food Drive
September 28, 2017
In October, Alliance Title & Escrow Corp. will host its sixth annual “Closing the Hunger Gap” to collect food and funds for food banks and non-profits in Idaho, Montana and Washington.
Ocwen Begins Settling With States to Remove Mortgage Servicing Restrictions
HousingWire  |  September 28, 2017  |  Ben Lane
Back in April, more than 20 states clamped business restrictions on Ocwen Financial for alleged rampant errors with homeowners’ escrow accounts and other mortgage servicing issues.
Get a One-day Pass and Forget Boring
September 27, 2017
ALTA ONE | October 10 - 13, 2017 | Miami, FL Ready for what's next. That's a statement, not a question. Register for ALTA ONE and you'll leave confident in what you learned and able to declare you're ready for market changes.
The Importance of Educating Clients About the Threat of Wire Fraud
September 26, 2017
Wire fraud is a serious concern, and it can happen during a real estate transaction. One of the best things real estate professionals can do for their clients is educate them on how this happens, how common it really is and how clients can protect themselves from the dangers.
Credit Union Opens Title Company
September 26, 2017
Security Service Federal Credit Union, which has locations in Texas, Colorado and Utah, has expanded its services to offer Security Service Title Company.
ALTA Joins Letter Urging Senate Vote on HUD General Counsel Nomination
September 26, 2017
ALTA joined 27 other trade groups urging the U.S. Senate to vote on Paul Compton’s nomination as general counsel for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
 The Docket: Maryland High Court Addresses Lien Caused by Declaration for Water and Sewer Assessment
September 26, 2017
Michael Russo Jr., director of council at the law firm Council Baradel, reviews a recent decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals, which reversed an appellate court’s ruling and found a Declaration of Deferred Water and Sewer Charges could not be considered a lien that took priority as of the date it was recorded.
ATG’s Birnbaum Takes the Ring to Support Mercy Home Boys & Girls
September 26, 2017
Peter J. Birnbaum, president and CEO of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund Inc. will jump in the boxing ring to help support Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, an organization that provides homes, education and support systems to Chicago’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged youth.
TitleTap Names Director Of Business Development
September 26, 2017
Adding to its management team, TitleTap recently named Robin Cardella director of business development.
Stewart Partners With Others to Host Free Disaster Relief Events
September 26, 2017
Through the HOPE NOW Alliance, Stewart Title, the City of Houston, the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department and the City of Humble, will host free disaster relief events for homeowners impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
 Video: Get the 411 on the ALTA Registry
September 21, 2017
The ALTA Registry is set to launch with title agent listings in October 2017. If you're attending ALTA ONE, make sure to stop by the Registry Information Center (near the Omni Session Room) to learn more about your ALTA ID and how to get your listing confirmed and published in the ALTA Registry. In the meantime, get a quick overview of the Registry with this video.
CFPB Compiles List of Top TRID Gaffes
September 21, 2017
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a list of common mistakes following the first round of mortgage origination examinations for compliance with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule.
 The Docket: Pennsylvania Court Denies Title Coverage After Settlement Agent’s Misappropriation of Funds
September 21, 2017
Michael O’Donnell, partner at the law firm Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland Perretti, reviews a recent decision by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania that affirmed a decision denying a lender’s claim for coverage from a title insurance company after a settlement agent misappropriated the closing funds and failed to pay off the prior mortgages on the insured property.
CoreLogic Reports Jump in Mortgage Fraud Risk
September 21, 2017
The risk of fraud in mortgage applications increased 16.9 percent in the second quarter compared to the second quarter of 2016, according to CoreLogic’s latest Mortgage Fraud Report. The report says that the continued shift to a purchase market is a key factor in the rise in application fraud risk due to stronger motivations and increased opportunities to commit mortgage origination fraud. A second factor was a 48 percent increase in the share of loans originated through wholesale channels, which have shown a higher risk level than retail channels.
Stop. Drop. And Think Differently.
September 21, 2017
Title companies shouldn’t be afraid to break the rules when it comes to the dollars they spend on marketing. Think differently about your marketing and constantly ask “why?” Read on for a blog from Wayne Stanley, owner and chief inspiration officer for Bowe Digital, who will discuss this topic during a session at ALTA ONE in Miami.
Black Knight Combines Automated Title Search and Order Management Functionality
September 21, 2017
The combination merges TitlePoint and TitlePoint Xpress into one application. This provides title companies automated capabilities to conduct title searches and manage orders.
ALTA Joins Letter Urging for Continued Focus on GSE Reform
September 21, 2017
ALTA joined 14 other groups in a letter urging the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to continue working with Congress to end conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through comprehensive, legislative reforms.
See Who's Attending ALTA ONE
September 20, 2017
ALTA Elite Providers. Title production software companies. Vendors that offer sales and marketing advice and solutions to improve efficiency. You'll find all these types of companies and more at ALTA ONE!
Join Us in Miami: Flights Are Cheap or Jump in the Car
September 19, 2017
We know how important it is to fulfill CE/CLE requirements. That's why we've developed a program at ALTA ONE in Miami that provides several opportunities to meet your education needs.
What You Can Learn From FTC Data Security Actions Against Uber, TaxSlayer
September 19, 2017
This month’s Equifax data breach that exposed an estimated 143 million credit records showed how vulnerable non-public personal information with the threat of constant cyber attacks and phishing schemes. Enforcement actions levied over the summer by the Federal Trade Commission against Uber and TaxSlayer serve as significant reminders to financial institutions—including title insurance companies and agents—about their duty to disclose data-sharing practices to customers and to safeguard private and sensitive customer information.
Find Your ‘What If?’ at ALTA ONE
September 19, 2017
As a Hall of Fame international keynote speaker, author, comedian and world-class guitarist, Mike Rayburn is an inspirational thought leader and one of the most in-demand and un-conventional keynote artists in the world. Drawing from his success as an entrepreneur as well as a Carnegie Hall headliner, Rayburn is a master at increasing profitability and impact by inspiring your team to become possibility thinkers and virtuoso performers … all by daring you to ask the question, “What if?” Register for ALTA ONE and join us in Miami and you’ll leave you with a powerful tool that will produce immediate results and permanent improvement.
ProsperitasForward Releases Title Sales Training Program
September 19, 2017
The training program, described as “no fluff, no filler,” shows how to create effective plans, how to reach more people who want to buy title, how to reliably beat the competition, and how to close larger deals that make more money.
 Webinar Recording: Cybersecurity Awareness Training
September 19, 2017
Two days before Equifax divulged its cyber breach affecting an estimated 143 million consumers, the Identity Theft Resource Center reported there have been 975 data breaches this year, exposing nearly 19.4 million records. Companies are unsuccessful at preventing cyber attacks because they fail to address the weakest link in the information security chain: the people. According to leading industry and government reports, over 90 percent of successful cyber attacks happen due to human error. Could your company afford a data breach and potential loss of escrow funds due to an employee mistake? This webinar recording addresses IT security risks you face every day, how to identify phishing emails, what to do if you receive a fraudulent email and how to layer security and avoid falling victim.
Paper is the Past
September 19, 2017
Today, digital technology is driving more of the loan transaction away from paper to online. The industry is realizing that it’s time to get the paper out of our systems and manual processes. Read on for a blog from Tim Anderson of DocMagic on the benefits of digitizing the mortgage process. Anderson will join Vicki DiPasquale of Simplifile and Jack Rattikin of Rattikin Title Co. during a session titled "Going Digital from Start to Finish” at ALTA ONE.
AmTrust Title Appoints Agency Manager for Midwest
September 19, 2017
AmTrust Title Insurance Company named James M. Casson as vice president and agency manager covering the Midwest.
TRID Allows for Partial Exemption for Housing Assistance Loans
September 19, 2017
On July 7, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) amended the qualification requirements for the partial exemption or housing financing loans and down payment assistance loans.
Designation Beneficial for All Title Professionals
September 14, 2017
Nancy L. Gusman, president of Maryland-based Brick House Title Benefit Corp., earned her National Title Professional designation in June 2016. Read on to learn how the 31-year industry veteran uses the designation to grow her business.
ALTA Applauds Nomination of Brian Montgomery to Lead FHA
September 14, 2017
“ALTA commends the nomination of Brian Montgomery to lead the Federal Housing Administration, and encourages the Senate to act quickly on the confirmation as our country faces significant challenges rebuilding many communities devastated by the recent hurricanes,” said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA’s chief executive officer. Read on for the full statement.
WFG National Title Appoints Michigan State Counsel
September 14, 2017
As vice president and Michigan state counsel and underwriter, Kimberly O’Connor will help support the company’s growing base of title agents in the market.
Embracing Technology to Market Your Business Differently
September 14, 2017
The nature of our industry makes differentiating yourself from your competitors difficult. In reality, we all offer the same product: title insurance and customer service. But just like how Apple can release a new iPhone with new features and capabilities to better serve their customers, your business can also embrace technology to market your services to consumers in a whole new way.
North American Title Adds Regional Underwriting Counsel for Texas, Louisiana
September 14, 2017
As vice president and regional underwriting counsel for Texas and Louisiana, Leslie Johnson will assist Texas underwriting counsel Ginny Abiassi in providing legal and underwriting support to NATIC agents throughout those states.
MISMO Seeks Input on Online Notary Standards
September 14, 2017
The new Online Notary Workgroup will be responsible for creating a set of industry standards for the use of electronic and online notaries, which may include credential analysis, borrower identification, and capturing and maintaining a recording of the notary process electronically. In addition to creating standards, the workgroup will develop best practices, implementation guides and other educational materials.
What the Equifax Breach Means for Real Estate Transactions
September 14, 2017
The personal data of approximately 143 million US consumers from the credit reporting agency Equifax was obtained by hackers through a system breach. Hackers obtained full legal names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, legal addresses and some driver’s license numbers. Read on for an alert from CERTIFID that outlines how this breach affects the real estate industry.
All Systems Go for ALTA ONE
September 13, 2017
The hotel reports that except for fallen limbs and branches, the property remains in great condition. With the threat of additional storms, you can check for weather updates on the ALTA ONE website. ALTA is developing plans to help the affected community, including setting up a fund for a Miami food bank.
2017-18 Nominations for ALTA Board and Executive Committees
September 12, 2017
ALTA’s Nominating Committee is pleased to present the list of nominations for the 2017-18 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 ALTA ONE, which will be held Oct. 10-13 in Miami.
Get Hyped About ALTA ONE
September 12, 2017
ALTA ONE is the place to get CONNECTED with industry peers and experts, and INSPIRED to lead the way into 2018 using innovative solutions to provide your customers what they will continue to want today, tomorrow and 10 years from now. Check out this hype video and join us Oct. 10-13 in Miami. Despite Hurricane Irma causing significant damage across Florida, the Trump National Doral reported there was no property damage.
Finalized TRID Rule Applies to All Residential Deals Involving Cooperatives
September 12, 2017
In July, the CFPB finalized a uniform rule regarding the application of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) requirements for cooperative units. The official effective date of the amendment is Oct. 10, 2017, but the CFPB said there is an optional compliance period in effect until Oct. 1, 2018.
Make Your Realtor and Lender Look Good
September 12, 2017
We talk about customer support all the time. But what does that really mean, what does this service look like, and what exactly are you doing to support your customers?
ALTA Vice President Continues Service on PRIA Board
September 12, 2017
Kelly Romeo, vice president at ALTA, continues her second year representing the business sector on the Board of Directors for the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA).
North American Title Expands Indiana Presence
September 12, 2017
The company's operations manager says real estate activity is strong for residential properties in the area, fueled by robust industrial activity by various orthopedic manufacturers and suppliers.
Texas Title Expands Operations in Dallas-Fort Worth
September 12, 2017
Plano, Texas-based Texas Title continued its expansion effort with the opening of several new offices in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
MISMO Seeks Input on New Closing Instruction Standards for the Mortgage Industry
September 12, 2017
ALTA has joined the effort to collaborate on new closing instruction standards, which will be designed to improve communication and avoid delays during the closing process. Read on to learn how you can participate in this industry-wide effort.
 The Docket: Lender, Affiliated Title Agency Did Not Violate UPL in South Carolina
September 7, 2017
Richard Bramhall, chief underwriting counsel for Westcor Land Title Insurance Company and a member of ALTA's Title Counsel, reviews a recent decision by the South Carolina Supreme Court that addresses the unauthorized practice of law, which requires attorneys to perform certain tasks. Read on for the details.
U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-AR) Discusses Need to Fix TRID During Congressional Hearing
September 7, 2017
U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-AR) discusses the need to fix the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule and allow for the accurate disclosure of title insurance premiums on the integrated disclosures during a Congressional hearing titled "Legislative Proposals for a More Efficient Federal Financial Regulatory Regime."
Stewart Appoints CFO
September 7, 2017
David Hisey will lead Stewart’s financial organization and strategy as he takes over for Allen Berryman, who announced his retirement plans earlier this year.
Texas Title Joins Relief Efforts, Donates Fees to Hurricane Harvey Recovery
September 7, 2017
Texas Title, a Dallas-Fort Worth based title insurance provider, announced it will donate a portion of its settlement fees in September to agencies assisting in the recovery efforts from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The company's underwriter, First National Title Insurance Company, will match any donation made by Texas Title.
Draft Bill to Fix TRID Discussed During Congressional Hearing
September 7, 2017
A draft bill expected to be introduced by U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) that would correct the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance premiums on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) was discussed Sept. 7 during a Congressional hearing titled “Legislative Proposals for a More Efficient Federal Financial Regulatory Regime."
The Clock is Ticking
September 6, 2017
Register Today for ALTA ONE to Lock in Early Bird Rate
New Company Aims to Help Prevent Mortgage Fraud
September 5, 2017
Millions of dollars in claims are made every year as the result of fraudulent mortgage releases, deeds and powers of attorney acknowledged outside the presence of title company staff and lenders, according to Stephen D. Ruben, CEO of Notary Guard.
Title Industry Generates $3.7 Billion in Premiums During Q2
September 5, 2017
The title insurance industry generated $3.7 billion in title insurance premiums during the second quarter of 2017, according to ALTA’s 2017 Second-Quarter Market Share Analysis. This compared to $3.5 billion during the second quarter of 2016.
ALTA to Release Best Practices Representation Letter
September 5, 2017
To better serve the needs of title agents and lenders in sharing information about compliance with the Best Practices, ALTA’s Board of Governors has approved a representation letter that will replace the certification package. The letter becomes effective Oct. 13, 2017.
Title Data, NextAce Complete Integration
September 5, 2017
Title Data Inc. (TDI) and NextAce Corporation announced an exclusive relationship for the 38 metropolitan Texas counties served by TDI’s “thick” title plants, which cover more than 80 percent of the Lone Star State’s population.
Qualia Adds Direct Title Solutions to Vendor Marketplace
September 5, 2017
Qualia Title & Closing Software reported it has expanded its vendor marketplace to include Direct Title Solutions (DTS), enabling thousands of real estate professionals to order title abstract and recording services in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.
Break the Rules: Market Better Than Your Competition
September 5, 2017
Bill Svoboda, co-founder of CloseSimple, provides a list of basic things you can do today (or tomorrow) to get your website to a place where Google actually cares about you, and your message can be clearly communicated. Svoboda will talk about how to effectively market in the title industry during a session at ALTA ONE in Miami.
CFPB Issues Support Material for 2017 Final TRID Rule
August 31, 2017
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a summary of changes and clarifications to support implementation of its recently issued final rule for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID).
 The Docket: Decision Affecting Tax Sale Notices Appealed to Indiana Supreme Court
August 31, 2017
Cheryl Cowherd NTP, senior underwriting counsel for Agents National Title Insurance Company, reviews a recent decision by an Indiana Appellate Court that held tax sale purchasers are under an additional burden and obligated to search every document in the public records, not just the chain of title.
North American Title Co. Expands Identity Theft Program for Customers
August 31, 2017
Residential customers who close with North American Title will now receive identity theft and credit monitoring in addition to identity repair, at no charge for 12 months.
Commercial Real Estate Trends
August 31, 2017
Stepping into the maelstrom of commercial real estate can be appear chaotic and occasionally indecipherable, but in the end, things come together and the deal moves forward. Nancy Landmark, vice president and senior title counsel at Commercial Partners Title. and James Thanasules, senior vice president and chief New York State counsel at AmTrust Title Insurance Company, will discuss what it takes to close commercial deals during an education session at ALTA ONE.
Westcor Names Senior Commercial Examiner and Underwriter
August 31, 2017
Kristen Konecy joins Westcor with over 22 years of experience with a specific focus on commercial transactions, including securitization of debt, creditors’ rights issues, co-insurance, reinsurance, defeasance, bankruptcy and ownership acquisitions.
Fidelity National Title Group Offers Scholarship Opportunity for ALTA ONE
August 30, 2017
Fidelity National Title Group is awarding scholarships to attend ALTA ONE, which is being held Oct. 10-13 in Miami. The scholarship program provides complimentary registrations to ALTA ONE to those who qualify. It is open to title agents and real estate attorneys employed by a company that has gross revenue of less than $500,000. Multiple people from the same company may apply, which means you can recommend co-workers. Read on to see if you qualify and apply. Deadline is Sept. 8.
 Double Jeopardy for Cordray, CFPB?
August 29, 2017
While the future of the bureau and its director remain unclear, an ALTA-commissioned poll found that the majority of voters wants a five-person panel to run the agency.
Drowning Consumers: How HOP Can Help you to Educate the Consumer
August 29, 2017
“So, Phil, what do you do for a living?” It’s the dreaded question that comes up during every summer barbeque, cocktail party and family gathering. A friend, family member or new acquaintance asks what you do at your workplace. And, as always, you’re drowning. How in the world do you explain the complicated world of title and escrow that you live every day?
 ALTA ONE: True Innovators
August 29, 2017
ALTA President Dan Mennenoh has a passion for auto racing. Sure, he's captivated by the speed and noise, but what intrigues Mennenoh is the human element and how it makes the difference between winning and losing on the track. Check out a video from the ALTA president and learn how you can get inspired by an innovator in the racing world and apply his philosophy to your company.
Westcor Appoints Underwriting Counsel and Michigan Agency Rep
August 29, 2017
In this role, John Baumbick will continue to increase Westcor’s brand presence in the state and assist as underwriting counsel for the underwriter’s national agency division.
Help Available to ALTA Members Hit by Hurricanes
August 29, 2017
Hurricanes Harvey Irma left a devastating swath of damage in many areas. If your business was damaged, there are several resources offering assistance.
ePN adds 15 Jurisdictions to E-recording Network
August 29, 2017
These counties, parishes and towns are located in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas.
Free Webinar: Don't Be the Next Equifax
August 29, 2017
Two days before Equifax divulged its cyber breach affecting an estimated 143 million consumers, the Identity Theft Resource Center reported there have been 975 data breaches this year, exposing nearly 19.4 million records. Companies are unsuccessfully preventing cyber attacks because they fail to address the weakest link in the information security chain: the people. According to leading industry and government reports, over 90 percent of all cyber attacks are successfully executed due to human error. Could your company afford a data breach and potential loss of escrow funds due to an employee mistake? This webinar will provide information about IT security risks your company faces every day, discuss techniques attackers use to crack your passwords, what to do if you receive a phishing email and how to layer security to avoid falling victim.
From eClosing to zClosing
August 24, 2017
Tech moves quickly, and consumers’ tastes change even quicker. How does one keep up? In particular, how do independent title agents keep up with ever-growing technology changes and consumer demands? Four industry experts will discuss concerns and opportunities surrounding disruptive technology in the title space during a session at ALTA ONE.
 Terminating Easements in States East of the Mississippi River
August 24, 2017
One of this century’s most common sources of real estate litigation in the states east of the Mississippi River is easements. In urban areas, entire development projects have been halted as a result of easement agreements, many of them ancient. In our nation’s system of transferring title, in which each parcel of land is transferred with all of the rights of their predecessor owners (no matter how old), these disputes will continue. This article discusses how to terminate easements and notes that some states combat these ancient agreements by barring the enforcement of, or by expressly eliminating, old defects in land records.
Use These Tools to Comply With FinCEN's Money Laundering Order
August 24, 2017
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) renewed and expanded existing Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO) that require U.S. title insurance companies—along with their subsidiaries and agents—to identify the individuals behind companies used to conduct high-end, all-cash real estate transactions in certain major jurisdictions. The latest GTO goes into effect Sept. 22 and runs through March 20, 2018. For closing scheduled between Aug. 23 and Sept. 21, the GTO will not apply—although FinCEN will accept voluntary filings. ALTA provides several resources to help members comply.
3 Things To Do If Phished
August 24, 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, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Read on for details.
Members Can Brand Wire Fraud Rack Card With Company Logo, Info
August 24, 2017
In addition to developing a short wire fraud video with tips on how consumers can protect their money and offers advice on what to do if they have been targeted by a scam, ALTA has developed an infographic that members can use to raise awareness. Members can brand the infographic with their own information at ALTAPrints. You can also order prints and have them delivered directly to your office. ALTA encourages members to link to these resources from their website, include in email or share on social media.
SYNRGO Helps Facilitate First E-recording in Placer County With CeRTNA Platform
August 24, 2017
SYNRGO, a company that manages, records and delivers documents for the mortgage industry, recently completed the first electronic recording in Placer County, Calif., with the CeRTNA electronic recording delivery system.
Equity National Title Bolsters Exec Team
August 24, 2017
As executive vice president and national sales manager, David Boyum will be charged with expanding the firm’s national sales effort as well as servicing the firm’s existing client base.
FNTG Adds SVP to Focus on Agency Relationships in Northeast
August 24, 2017
Fidelity National Title Group (FNTG) has added Rick Wilson as senior vice president in the northeast region, with a focus on key agency relationships.
WEST CTO Named Inman Innovator of the Year
August 24, 2017
Gorkem Kuterdem is currently the technical lead and architect for Williston Financial Group's (WFG) transformation to a single operating platform. WEST is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WFG.
Come On, Do the Conga at ALTA ONE
August 23, 2017
Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine encourage people to feel the rhythm, don't fight it and do that conga beat. Rapper Pitbull invites you to enjoy palm trees and blue skies in Miami. And who can forget Will Smith touting "Miami bringin' heat for real!"
FinCEN Extends and Expands Money Laundering Prevention Effort, Adds Wire Transfers
August 22, 2017
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) renewed and expanded existing Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO) that require U.S. title insurance companies—along with their subsidiaries and agents—to identify the individuals behind companies used to conduct high-end, all-cash real estate transactions in certain major jurisdictions. The new order, which runs from Sept. 22 through March 20, 2018, now includes transactions involving wire transfers and adds deals above $3 million conducted in the city and county of Honolulu, Hawaii.
 While Real Estate Remains ‘Local,’ Compliance and Client Demands Forcing One-time Competitors to Band Together
August 22, 2017
A different set of challenges is forcing title agents to rethink their business models. Although their rates are essentially capped, their costs are surging. Read on to learn about new models involving partnerships or strategic alliances that allow the partners autonomy on sales and business development, yet share a number of production resources to reduce total cost.
 Agent Has No E&O Coverage for Theft of Escrow Money by Email Impostor
August 22, 2017
A U.S. district court in Maryland recently ruled that an exclusion in a title agent errors and omissions policy for "insufficiency in the amount of escrow funds" has been held to negate the carrier's duty to defend or indemnify the agent for the theft of the seller's money by impersonation and fraud.
It’s Not Official Unless It’s on Instagram
August 22, 2017
Julie McConnell, vice president of marketing for Long & Foster Settlement Services, met her best friend on Instagram. Really. Read on and find out how your company can use this social media tool and market your business one photo at a time. McConnell will discuss this topic during a session at ALTA ONE.
Don’t Be the Weakest Link: Training Your Staff
August 22, 2017
Technology and protection are necessary, but we must shift our focus to what matters most—our employees and our weakest link. Read on for a blog from Stewart's Chief Information Security Officer Genady Vishnevetsky, who will discuss this topic during an education session at ALTA ONE.
 ALTA ONE: True Innovators
August 22, 2017
ALTA President-elect Steve Day shares why he's fascinated by the way Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh transformed his online shoe store to something much more by making company culture and customer service a priority. You can learn more by registering for ALTA ONE.
Several ALTA Member Companies Named to Inc. 5000
August 22, 2017
Companies on the list include PropLogix, A-LIGN, RynohLive, First National Title Insurance Company, Alliant National Title Insurance Company, Westcor Land Title Insurance Company, Priority Title & Escrow and TitleSmart.
TowneBank Mortgage Integrates with LodeStar Software Solutions
August 22, 2017
TowneBank Mortgage recently integrated with LodeStar Software Solutions to quote closing costs throughout the nation.
SYNRGO Appoints VP of Sales
August 22, 2017
In this role, Jennifer Paul will be responsible for driving sales activity across the national organization and delivering customer support for the company, which was formed in June following the merger of Document Processing Solutions and SPL.
Arkansas Secretary of State Approves New Electronic Notary Solution Provider
August 22, 2017
Pavaso joins DocVerify, World Wide Notary and Corporation Service Company as approved e-notary solution providers in Arkansas.
Take Our Homebuyer Outreach Program Survey
August 21, 2017
Please take this survey to help ALTA understand how you're using the Homebuyer Outreach Program, which products we should consider removing and the types of products you'd like to see ALTA develop next. Complete the nine-question survey for a chance to win a gift card. The survey closes September 8, 2017.
Who Hacked My Cyber Insurance Policy?
August 17, 2017
Hardly a day goes by without news of some new cyber attack. Less reported—but equally as concerning—are coverage denials under cyber-insurance policies for losses that were plainly caused by computer hackers. Read on for some examples, and the lessons that can be learned from them.
Going Digital from Start to Finish
August 17, 2017
Communication and data collaboration technology has progressed leaps and bounds over the past decade. Consumers not only want, but expect simple and secure digital experiences. Read on for a blog post from three industry leaders rethinking traditional workflows and communication processes.
Convert Your Customers into Influencers
August 17, 2017
Have you claimed your business on YELP? Do you have consistent feedback from customers online? Do you know the most effective strategies for obtaining reviews from your best customers? Read on for a blog from Elizabeth Russo, managing member of MCP Title Services, who will speak more in depth about this topic at ALTA ONE.
RynohLive Names President, Announces Additional Hires
August 17, 2017
RynohLive, which was founded in 2007 by CEO Richard Reass, recently named Mary Gomez as the company’s new president. Additionally, the company named Kristen Littlewood as vice president of marketing and Matt Field as director of security and product development.
AmTrust Appoints Southwest Regional Manager
August 17, 2017
Read Hammond, a national commercial title underwriter and commercial operations manager with more than 17 years of experience, is responsible for growing the company's business in Texas as well as establishing agency title operations in New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada.
Qualia Launches New Marketplace to Simplify Real Estate Closings
August 17, 2017
By integrating national and local vendors across the country with innovative technology into one online experience, Qualia users are able to simplify the procurement, management, payments, fulfillment and reconciliation of vendor transactions for services such title search, surveys, release tracking and notary.
North American Title Names President of Colorado Division
August 17, 2017
Natalie Koonce, will oversee the company’s 11 branch offices throughout the state, will focus on sharing successful techniques with the regional managers to better serve the company’s real estate agent, lender and homebuilder customers, as well as enhancing NATC’s efforts to provide educational offerings to industry professionals, homebuyers and sellers.
FNF Names SVP of Product and Business Development
August 17, 2017
Leanne Zinn has an extensive career in the title industry working with several underwriters and agents, as well as running her own consulting business.
Swim With the Title Sharks at ALTA ONE
August 16, 2017
ALTA ONE 2017 | October 10 - 13, 2017 | Miami, FL On ABC's multi-Emmy Award-winning reality show Shark Tank, budding entrepreneurs get the chance to bring their dreams to fruition as they present ideas to the sharks--industry titans who made their own dreams a reality and turned their ideas into lucrative empires.
 Recorded Webinar: E-closings Transforming the Mortgage Experience
August 15, 2017
Listen to this webinar recording as experts from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac discuss the transforming e-mortgage ecosystem and share information about the e-closing process so you can learn how your company can benefit by delivering a more efficient process for your customers.
First Full E-mortgage for Purchase Transaction Completed in North Carolina
August 15, 2017
Through a partnership between Raleigh-based North State Bank and Charlotte-based law firm Brady & Kosofsky, the buyer and seller were able to electronically sign their deeds, financing documents and closing disclosures at a convenient time from their Realtor’s office 45 miles away.
Pavaso Partners With Lender for First Residential Hybrid Closing in Nevada
August 15, 2017
Greater Nevada Mortgage and Pavaso recently teamed up to enable three Nevada residents to complete the first residential hybrid electronic closings in the state.
WFG Unveils Online Dashboards to Improve Transaction Transparency
August 15, 2017
WFG National Title Insurance Co. has deployed a series of online transactional dashboards to keep consumers, real estate agents and mortgage lenders updated in real time as to the status of the real estate transaction during the settlement process.
TRID Amendments and Proposal Published in Federal Register
August 15, 2017
The official effective date of the amendments is Oct. 10, 2017. Lending institution get to choose which of the amendments to comply with until Oct. 1, 2018. Title and settlement companies will need to be flexible during this year to account for settlements that will use different rules.
The Importance of Valuation: How to Avoid Running Afoul of RESPA’s Anti-Kickback Provisions
August 15, 2017
While part one of this article provided an overview of the legal and compliance climate surrounding RESPA’s prohibitions against kickbacks and referral fees, part two provides recommendations on how to support and document fair value determinations to avoid risk of non-compliance.
Cyber Tip: 24-hour Data Breach Checklist
August 10, 2017
How you respond within the first 24 hours of a data breach can help you regain your security, preserve evidence and protect your brand. Organizations can greatly reduce the cost of a data breach by having a well thought out incident response plan, a strong IT security platform and a team of professionals selected to respond should the need occur. Make these tips the first steps you take toward data breach resolution because it could mean the difference between a breach that causes a brief disruption or one that jeopardizes the existence of your business.
Demonstrating Value: How to Avoid Running Afoul of RESPA’s Anti-Kickback Provisions
August 10, 2017
Participants in the mortgage and real estate industries often struggle with making practical business decisions while simultaneously avoiding running afoul of Section 8(a) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act’s (RESPA) prohibition on referral fees. Part one of this article provides an overview of the legal and compliance climate surrounding RESPA’s prohibitions against kickbacks and referral fees, and describes the types of arrangements between industry participants most susceptible to Section 8(a) scrutiny.
ALTA Creates Wire Fraud Infographic Members Can Brand With Their Logo
August 10, 2017
In addition to developing a short wire fraud video with tips on how consumers can protect their money and offers advice on what to do if they have been targeted by a scam, ALTA has developed an infographic that members can use to raise awareness. Members can brand the infographic with their own information at ALTA Prints. ALTA encourages members to link to these resources from their website, include in email or share on social media.
Finding the Right Talent in All the Right Places
August 10, 2017
There's always a need for talented employees. But if you’re anything like most of the managers in the world, you only look when there is an immediate need. So what’s the best way to avoid the treadmill of timing your hiring needs with finding the best talent? Rich Griffin, national sales manager for North American Title Insurance Company, provides five tips to improve your hiring process. He also will be lead a discussion on this topic during a session at ALTA ONE.
Marketing With Your Real Estate Partners: The Non-MSA Way ... So, What Can I Do?
August 10, 2017
With all of the buzz surrounding how to market and advertise with your real estate partners in compliance with RESPA, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of questions about what you can do to connect with customers. Dawn Lewallen, senior compliance counsel for federal regulations and a senior underwriter in the national Legal Department of Stewart Title Guaranty, and Sharon Sluder Risch, vice president and director of marketing and business development for Trident Land Transfer, will speak about this topic during a session at ALTA ONE.
Simplifile, Title Guaranty Complete First E-recording of Hawaii Land Court Document
August 10, 2017
While Hawaii has allowed e-recording of Regular System documents since 2010, this achievement marks the first time a Land Court document has been recorded electronically in the state's history.
Landtech, Stewart Title Complete Integration
August 10, 2017
Benjamin Bell, director of sales and marketing at Landtech, said the integration allows Stewart Title agents to create closing protection letters, policy jackets and post policy endorsements without having to leave the Landtech system.
AmTrust Expands Senior Underwriting Team
August 10, 2017
As senior underwriting counsel, Cynthia Kern will be responsible for analyzing and resolving all title issues relating to New York commercial real estate transactions.
Two Days of Tech Trends Just for You
August 9, 2017
The Emerging Technology education sessions at ALTA ONE are designed specifically to help you minimize fraud, improve your operation and grow your business. Learn the latest trends to help make your job a little less stressful.
Alert: Spoofed Email Appears to Come from ALTA CEO
August 8, 2017
ALTA is alerting its members to delete a phishing email that appears to come from CEO Michelle Korsmo with the subject line “Case S.I 691/2017: Your Firm's Attention is Required” asking for prompt attention.
Make Your Customer the First Line of Defense
August 8, 2017
Cyber criminals are successfully using phishing scams to gain access to the email accounts of trusted parties in a transaction (agents, lenders and title providers) to introduce last minute changes to the funding process so that the buyer and/or seller will transfer funds to fraudulent company accounts. What’s the solution?
How to Build an Effective Website
August 8, 2017
Having an effective and easy-to-navigate website is key in attracting clients and generating more business, especially in the title industry. Read on for tips on how to increase visibility of your company's website.
Enhanced Up Selling
August 8, 2017
The peace of mind and protection afforded by having an Owner’s Title policy is invaluable. So why doesn’t every home owner have this policy? One possible reason is that as an industry, we don’t clearly explain the benefits of owning such a policy. A second possible reason is that insufficient time is given to the consumer to make a decision.
ShortTrack Integration With Dotloop Aims to Simplify Title Ordering Process
August 8, 2017
The collaboration between ShortTrack and dotloop helps increase the security of ordering title and shorten the time to close, the companies said in a release.
SoftPro Named Best Place to Work by Triangle Business Journal
August 8, 2017
For the sixth consecutive year, SoftPro was named one of Triangle Business Journal’s Best Places to Work.
RamQuest Adds Free Patriot Search to Closing Market Network
August 8, 2017
RamQuest customers can now perform free Patriot Searches that utilize up to nine data sources.
Building the Right Foundation for Your Team
August 3, 2017
what does it truly mean to change the culture of an organization from one that’s “process or rules focused” to one where the focus is solely on the stakeholder? How is that done? James M. Czapiga, president and CEO of CATIC, will dig into this topic during a session at ALTA ONE in October.
WFG Integrates Electronic CPL and Jacket Services With SMS TitleExpress
August 3, 2017
WFG National Title Insurance Company has successfully completed an integration of multiple electronic services with the Settlement Management Solutions (SMS) TitleExpress platform.
Beyond Customer Service: Growing Your Business in Today’s Market
August 3, 2017
It wasn’t all that long ago that waiting for the cable guy was an all-day commitment. Remember? They’d be there “sometime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.” Well, that’s not how the world works anymore. Successful businesses have enhanced the customer experience with new technology, whittling down those eight-hour windows and replacing time spent on hold with live chats or call-back options. Read on for a blog from Orange Leaf Consulting CEO Cynthia McGovern, who will share more information about this topic at ALTA ONE in October.
The Docket: Missouri Court of Appeals Rules in Case Involving Timing of Claim Notice
August 3, 2017
Shawn T. Briner of the law firm Briner Law Group reviews a recent decision by a Missouri appeals court that addresses the significance of timely and accurately recording all of the documents necessary to establish title. Read on to learn why the decision is important to the title industry.
Meridian Title Corporation Hires National Operations Manager
August 3, 2017
David will be responsible for leading and coaching operational staff, and increasing efficiency in facilitating real estate transactions for a growing customer base.
Human Resources Guru to Provide Practical Guidance on Finding, Keeping the Best People
August 2, 2017
Anyone seeking to get the best results for their organization must find and keep great employees. Yet many HR departments still use cookie-cutter approaches to finding new hires. Register for ALTA ONE and you’ll get to hear Johnny C. Taylor Jr., who recently was named president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, share how you can attract—and hang onto—the best and the brightest talent.
ALTA Welcomes New Members
August 1, 2017
ALTA is pleased to announce new and associate members, as well as real estate attorneys, who have recently joined ALTA. You can view the entire list of new members. Not a member? Join today!
Phishing for Wire Transfers
August 1, 2017
As president and chief executive officer of Texas-based Rattikin Title Company, Jack Rattikin III has plenty of things that occupy his attention. Third-party vendor oversight and threats to the rating structure in Texas were two top-of-mind issues, but they’re not what keeps Rattikin up at night. Over the past year, a new threat has emerged to become the main reason for late-night tossing and turning for title and settlement professionals: phishing and wire fraud.
 First American Reports Second Quarter Results
August 1, 2017
First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance and services segment generated pre-tax income of $197.3 million during the second quarter of 2017.
 Old Republic Shares Q2 Earnings Results
August 1, 2017
Old Republic International Corp. reported that its title insurance group generated pre-tax income of $65.0 million during the second quarter of 2017.
New Tech Creates New Risks
August 1, 2017
The industry is poised to make a gigantic leap from physically signed paper deeds, mortgages and promissory notes to electronically signed, electronically notarized e-documents with closings conducted by video-links across the country. Read a blog from several industry experts, all of whom will discuss this topic during an education session at ALTA ONE in October.
Know Your Customer: The Homeowner’s Dilemma and Why Generation Y Matters More Than Ever
August 1, 2017
It may be hard to believe, but the Great Recession ended more than 8 years ago. Since then, the housing market has slowly recovered in most markets. But, two very important things for the housing market have quietly happened as well -- mortgage interest rates have bottomed out and Millennials have grown up. Read on for a blog from First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming, who will discuss this topic more indepth at ALTA ONE in October.
AmTrust Title Names New Jersey State Counsel
August 1, 2017
In this role, Daniel V. Madrid is responsible for overseeing underwriting in New Jersey for AmTrust Title Insurance Company title agents and direct national commercial transactions.
Cloudstar Names Senior Administrator for ResWare
August 1, 2017
In this role, Stephanie Kane will perform ResWare administration, workflow automation, and operational expansion consulting for new and existing Cloudstar customers.
Deadline Today to Register for Wire Fraud Webinar
July 27, 2017
Hardly a day goes by without news of a new cyber attack. In fact, the number of wire fraud scams reported by title companies to the Internet Crime Complaint Center spiked 480 percent in 2016, according to the FBI. With all of these threats, do you know your liability if your company gets hacked and consumer funds are stolen? Read on to learn about five recent wire fraud schemes involving title companies and register for ALTA's compliance webinar to learn how to reduce risk and protect your company.
What do PINK, Billy Idol, Cher and Foreigner Have in Common?
ALTA ONE 2017 | October 10 - 13, 2017 | Miami, FL  |  July 26, 2017
Mark Schulman has toured, recorded and performed with some of the biggest names in the history of pop music: PINK, Billy Idol, Cher, Foreigner, Velvet Revolver, Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks to name a few. Attend ALTA ONE and you’ll get to hear Mark share first-hand experience of how these world-class artists succeeded on the big stage.
 Use This Video to Warn Consumers About Wire Fraud
July 25, 2017
To help raise awareness about wire fraud, ALTA created a 2-minute video that provides four tips on how consumers can protect their money and offers advice on what to do if they have been targeted by a scam. ALTA members are encouraged to link to this video from your website, include in email or share on social media.
How Wire Fraud Starts
July 25, 2017
Criminals begin the wire fraud process way before the attempted theft occurs. Most often, they begin with a common social engineering technique called phishing. This can take the form of email messages, website forms or phone calls to fraudulently obtain private information. Through seemingly innocuous communication, criminals trick users into inputting their information or clicking a link that allows hackers to steal login and password information.
Examples of Fraudulent Emails
July 25, 2017
Check out a few examples of the types of email you may receive from criminals attempting to steal funds for a real estate transaction.
Sample Wire Fraud Warnings You Can Use
July 25, 2017
Title professionals are encouraged to remind clients about the risk of wire fraud. Read on to learn what other companies have done and access sample warnings to put in email signature lines.
Red Flags to Protect Your Company Against Wire Fraud
July 25, 2017
Title and settlement companies can protect themselves by increasing staff awareness of these scams. Use these red flags in your training.
Stewart Acquires California-based Title Company
July 25, 2017
Stewart Information Services announced it recently acquired the retail branch division of Title365 Company. Title365’s retail division operates primarily in Southern California.
 Stewart Reports Q2 Earnings
July 25, 2017
Stewart Information Services reported that its title segment generated $39.5 million in pre-tax income during the second quarter of 2017.
Westcor Names New York Commercial Counsel
July 25, 2017
Westcor Land Title Insurance Company recently appointed Toni Carasig-Carlos as vice president and commercial counsel in New York.
Weichert Title Group Names President
July 25, 2017
John Roy will be responsible for leading the business strategy, sales, operations management, financial and talent management functions for Weichert’s six title agencies and two settlement services businesses.
The Future is Bright for E-mortgages: An Overview of Relevant Laws and Requirements
July 20, 2017
The industry is working to streamline the overall mortgage process by encouraging the use of electronic documents. Fortunately, there are U.S. federal and state laws that permit lenders to originate e-mortgages in any state and deliver them to investors, including Freddie Mac, for purchase. And with the legal framework in place, interest in e-mortgages is picking up speed.
ALTA 2017 TIPAC Donors
July 20, 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 $558,567 from 1,017 donors so far in 2017. Check out who has supported the industry.
 Fidelity Reports Q2 Earnings
July 20, 2017
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title insurance business generated $294 million in pre-tax earnings during the second quarter of 2017. This is up from $281 million in pre-tax earnings during the same period a year ago.
 The Docket: Recorded Life Estate Equitably Subordinated to Mortgage
July 20, 2017
Lance Pomerantz reviews a recent New Jersey case holding a recorded life estate can be equitably subordinated to a new mortgage, even if the life tenant did not consent to the new loan. Read on to learn how this case impacts the title industry.
Two N.J.-based Title Agencies Merge
July 20, 2017
Bob Cosentino and Simeon Bogiages, who launched ABL Title Insurance Agency Title in 1995, will join Foundation Title as senior vice presidents of business development.
RamQuest Integrates with First National Title
July 20, 2017
The integration allows agents of First National Title to generate FNTI policy jackets and closing protection letters directly through their RamQuest system.
Still Time to Attend ALTA's Innovation Boot Camp
July 19, 2017
Does your company need to refresh its marketing plan? Maybe you need to start from scratch? Join us for our final Innovation Boot Camp of 2017 in Baltimore (August 23-24) and learn about exciting new marketing/communication tools and ideas and take advantage of a tremendous networking opportunity. ALTA has secured an Amtrak discount for those attending the Baltimore Boot Camp.
Are You Vulnerable to This Hacking Attack?
July 18, 2017
Whether you believe the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was hacked by Russians or a guy from New Jersey, there is little dispute in the Information Security community on the methodology used. Read on to learn more and to see if you can spot the counterfeit Google login page.
Kentucky Law Firm Wins RESPA Case Against CFPB
July 18, 2017
A federal judge ruled that Kentucky-based law firm Borders & Borders did not violate the Real Estate and Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and tossed out the lawsuit brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Half a Loaf, Better Than No Loaf
July 18, 2017
Understanding that half a loaf is better than no loaf is a concept often overlooked by many in Congress these days. America is not an extremist country. We’re not dominated by those on the far left or right. We’re moderate. This is a fact that Ronald Reagan knew well.
First American: 6 Trends That Will Reshape Homeownership Demand
July 18, 2017
When analyzing the homeownership rate, First American discovered six key trends that will transform homeownership demand and the understanding of achieving the American Dream.
Survey: Developing Cyber-savvy Workforce Vital to Reducing Risk
July 18, 2017
According to a survey from Willis Towers Watson, 66 percent of reported cyber claims stem from employees’ negligence or malfeasance.
Be Brave and Innovate at ALTA ONE
July 18, 2017
When you think of innovation, it’s important to remember that every new process or concept doesn’t have to be high-tech. To be innovative, you need to observe and listen to your team members and your customers in order to deliver the exceptional experience that they want and deserve. Over the next few weeks, we will highlight people who have created products or processes that have made our lives easier or safer. We hope reading about these pioneering people inspires you to join us in Miami for ALTA ONE—where you can be ready for what’s next and lead the way into 2018 by learning about innovative solutions that can help you provide your customers with what they want today, tomorrow and in the future.
RamQuest Partners With ProcessFast
July 18, 2017
Using ProcesFast’s Ops Insights, RamQuest users can decipher that they are on the right path to a better bottom line. This reporting tool can be customized to an individual RamQuest customer database so that this analytics driven platform helps ensure RamQuest users are making profitable decisions based on their company’s data. Ops Insights is also beneficial for marketing and ROI tracking.
Get the 'Wow' at ALTA ONE
July 14, 2017
ALTA ONE 2017 | October 10 - 13, 2017 | Miami, FL Register for ALTA ONE to hear Zappos Speaker of The House Erica Javellana share Zappos' core values, its approach to customer service and engagement, and how a culture of "wow" service can be applied to your company. You'll be encouraged to do things a bit unconventional and innovative so you can deliver wow through service and differentiate yourself.
Title Industry Generates $3.3 Billion in Premiums During Q1
July 13, 2017
The title insurance industry generated $3.3 billion in title insurance premiums during the first quarter of 2017 compared to $3 billion during the first quarter of 2016, according to ALTA’s 2017 First-Quarter Market Share Analysis. This is an increase of 10.4 percent year-over-year.
Alert: Trump Hotels Data Breach May Affect ALTA Members
July 13, 2017
Trump Hotels Trump International Hotels Management reported that a data breach at a service provider compromised card payment details at 14 of its properties, including Trump National Doral—the 2017 site for ALTA ONE.
CFPB Keeps Onus on Lenders for Determining to Share Closing Disclosure
July 13, 2017
While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized amendments to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule, it didn’t squash the debate on what documents can be shared. It is important to note that the regulation did not implement any changes on data privacy. TRID requires creditors to provide certain mortgage disclosures to the consumer, but the rule does not go so far as to mandate sharing. Read on.
Quiz Time: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
July 13, 2017
The following is a Q&A on a few data/document sharing scenarios as they relate to compliance with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Answers were provided by Richard Andreano and Kevin Leitao of the law firm Ballard Spahr.
Know the Basics of Gramm-Leach-Bliley and Protecting Sensitive Customer Information
July 13, 2017
Need to brush up on the requirements of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)? Purchase this webinar recording for an overview of the core requirements GLBA, and the latest government actions and recent court cases to help you understand when it's legal to share customer information with or without their explicit permission.
NATIC Names State Agency Manager in Florida
July 13, 2017
Andrew Nadal, who will work alongside Florida State Agency Manager Geoffrey Harris, will oversee agency operations in the state, while securing and servicing title agents and real estate attorneys to promote new and increased business activity.
CFPB Answers ALTA’s Request to Issue Consumer Alert on Wire Fraud
July 11, 2017
On July 7, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finally heeded ALTA’s advice and published a warning to help alert consumers about wire fraud schemes. ALTA encourages members to use the consumer alerts to help educate buyers, sellers and real estate partners about the risk. ALTA is in the process of developing a short video and an infographic that members can brand with their logo to help raise awareness and educate consumers about wire fraud.
ALTA Board Approves Revisions to Co-Insurance Endorsement, Arbitration Rules
July 11, 2017
During its 2017 Summer Meeting, ALTA’s Board of Governors approved revisions to ALTA Endorsement 23.1-06 (Co Insurance – Multiple Policies) and the ALTA Title Insurance Arbitration Rules.
CFPB Fails to Fix Inaccurate Disclosure of Title Fees in TRID Update
July 11, 2017
The 560-pages of amendments includes a number of helpful clarifications, but, as ALTA expected, fails to fix the requirement that results in inaccurate disclosure of title insurance fees even though a survey shows that more than 40 percent of homebuyers feel taken advantage of or are confused by the calculation of the cost of title insurance on the mortgage disclosures.
Title Resource Group Forms Commercial Division, Expands New York Presence
July 11, 2017
Title Resource Group (TRG) formed a national commercial title services division, while also acquiring the assets of New York-based EAM Land Services. Read on to find out who will lead TRG's commercial division and the company's plans to form a new title agency.
Severn Bancorp to Purchase Maryland-based Title Company
July 11, 2017
Severn Bancorp Inc., parent company of Severn Savings Bank, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Mid Maryland Title Company, a real estate settlement company in Maryland.
Old Republic Title Launches New Website Promoting OR SigningPro
July 11, 2017
Old Republic Title recently launched a new website promoting OR SigningPro services to lenders, title agents and signing professionals. OR SigningPro was originally introduced in January 2014 to accommodate the changing needs of clients and to provide a secure, professional experience for consumers at real estate closings.
EPN Adds County in Mississippi to E-recording Network
July 11, 2017
The Lafayette County chancery clerk announced a partnership with eRecording Partners Network (ePN) to bring e-recording to the Mississippi county.
Orange Coast Title Names Senior Underwriter
July 11, 2017
Orange Coast Title Company announced that Kent Schmeeckle has joined its management team as vice president and senior underwriter.
Attorney Uses NTP Designation to Promote Business
June 29, 2017
Joe Powell NTP, regional counsel for Fidelity National Title Group, earned his National Title Professional Designation in May 2016. Read on the attorney from Alabama shares how the NTP designation and his ALTA connections have helped his career.
New Communications Firm Launches to Serve Title Industry, Small Businesses
June 29, 2017
Bowe Digital LLC recently launched as a new communications firm servicing small businesses and trade associations throughout the United States.
Qualia Integrates With A.S.K. Services
June 29, 2017
The integration allowing title agents to complete property searches and commitments directly within Qualia.
Florida Governor Vetoes Electronic Wills Bill
June 29, 2017
On June 26, Florida’s governor vetoed a bill set to go into effect July 1 that would have allowed the use of remote technology to assist in the witnessing and notarization of wills.
Equity National Title Now Conducting E-closings with Pavaso
June 29, 2017
“An awesome closing experience for our customers and their borrowers is our primary focus and the digital closing experience is one that more and more of our lending partners are demanding,” said Jim O’Donnell, president of Equity National Title.
Simplifile Adds 21 Southern Jurisdictions to E-Recording Network
June 29, 2017
Throughout the United States, more than 1,629 county recording offices now electronically record deeds, mortgages and other documents using Simplifile.
 The Docket: Washington Supreme Court Rejects Tribal Sovereign Immunity
June 29, 2017
Jeffrey Lang, vice president and national underwriting counsel for Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, provided today’s review of a 5-4 ruling by the Washington Supreme Court involving a land dispute and a tribe’s sovereign immunity. Read on to learn how this decision—which is at odds with various other state and federal cases—impacts the industry.
Texas Land Title Association Names Title Person of the Year
June 29, 2017
Randy D. Pittman, president and county manager of West Texas Abstract & Title Company LLC, received TLTA's Title Person of the Year Award during its Annual Conference and Business Meeting in New Orleans.
Information Security Bulletin: Encryption and Safeguarding Your Data
June 27, 2017
In the second quarter edition of ALTA's Infosec Advisory Bulletin, the Information Security Committee's defines the process encrypting data, why you should encrypt data and what information should be protected. In addition, the bulletin provides a list of different devices that you should consider encrypting.
Fidelity to Acquire Major Stake in Oldest Title Company in Hawaii
June 27, 2017
Fidelity National Financial has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority ownership stake in Title Guaranty of Hawaii, with the Pietsch family, the current owners of Title Guaranty, continuing to own a portion of the company.
ValuAmerica Acquires California-based Escrow Company
June 27, 2017
ValuAmerica expands its closing and escrow operations in California with the acquisition of ValuEscrow Inc.
RamQuest Names Chief Strategy Officer
June 27, 2017
In this role, Ben Cork will be responsible for defining RamQuest’s technology service initiatives with a focus on business drivers and results.
Signature Information Solutions’ GM Honored With Two Professional Service Awards
June 27, 2017
The New Jersey and Pennsylvania land title associations both honored Patrick Roe for his distinguished service to the title industry,
Register for Free Webinar to Learn About the Transforming E-mortgage Ecosystem
June 27, 2017
Be sure to register for this webinar and hear from the GSEs about the transforming e-mortgage ecosystem, learn about the e-closing process and how your company can benefit by providing a more efficient transaction for your customers.
DocMagic’s UCD Technology Solution Now Supports Both Phases of Upcoming UCD Requirements
June 27, 2017
DocMagic reported that its technology solutions allow lenders to fulfill the GSEs’ recommendation by generating and compliantly delivering UCD files that include both borrower and seller data to the GSEs. DocMagic can also accept UCD XML data from third parties—such as title and settlement companies—and deliver it to the GSEs.
Qualia Integrates With NotaryGO
June 27, 2017
The integration allows Qualia users to schedule services with this network directly within their core settlement software, with no disruption in workflow.
 ALTA Advocacy Update
June 26, 2017
ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo provides the latest information on ALTA's advocacy efforts as well as an update on wire fraud, the latest on a series of bills to reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Share This Consumer Alert: Beware of Wire Fraud Schemes When Buying a Home
June 22, 2017
ALTA wants to help its members make sure home purchase doesn’t get derailed by malicious wire fraud schemes attempting to steal consumer money meant for the purchase of homes. Read on for five tips to share with others and increase awareness of this threat.
How (Un)Lucky are You? 
June 22, 2017
A few years ago, a fraudulent $1.1 million wire transfer forced an unlucky California escrow company into bankruptcy. The case was an early example of the growing threat of wire fraud, involving both phishing and hacking to get real estate professionals and consumers to wire money directly to fake accounts.
Visionet Systems Integrates With Freddie Mac's Loan Closing Dataset
June 22, 2017
Visionet Systems, a provider of technology solutions and business process outsourcing services for the mortgage industry, has become a verified technology integration vendor for Freddie Mac's Loan Closing Advisor platform.
9 Reasons Why You Must Attend ALTA ONE
June 22, 2017
ALTA ONE is the largest networking and educational experience in the land title industry. Join more than 1,000 other industry professionals this October who will unite in Miami—a melting pot of cultures, ideas and beliefs—to explore innovative ways to advance their operations and careers. Check out this graphic if you need more reasons to attend ALTA ONE and network with others who share the same sense of leadership, core values and pride in protecting American homebuyers.
ePN Adds 13 County Offices to E-recording Network
June 22, 2017
The county additions are located in Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon and Wyoming.
First American Partners With HouseCanary to Improve Home Price Data Options
June 22, 2017
Through the partnership, mortgage lenders and servicers using First American Mortgage Solutions will now have access to HouseCanary’s Home Price Indices and forecast models.
 ALTA ONE True Innovators
June 20, 2017
Listen to ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo explain why she enjoys following Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and how our industry can learn from his company’s approach to customer service.
North Dakota Streamlines Recording Fee Structure
June 20, 2017
This legislation could be an option for other states that conduct a high volume of gas and oil transactions, as it can cost more than $30,000 to record documents due to the number of pages.
Compliance Webinar Recordings Available for Purchase
June 20, 2017
If you or members of your staff need to brush up various compliance items, check out ALTA’s bank of webinar recordings. Topics include RESPA, wire fraud, GLBA, UDAAP and elder abuse. After your transaction is processed, a copy of the presentation and a link to access the recording will be provided.
RamQuest Integrates With BC Law
June 20, 2017
The integration helps RamQuest and BC Law streamline the conveyance document processing for their mutual customers while saving time and money.
 Minnesota, Missouri Address Signature, Recording Issues
June 20, 2017
The Minnesota legislature recently passed a bill that clarifies that an electronic signature satisfies the requirement that a document contain original signatures and when an electronic document is considered recorded, while Missouri adopted an emergency rule that addresses electronic notary definitions, and electronic signatures and seals.
Deadline to Join ALTA Committee is July 21
June 20, 2017
ALTA is only as strong as the participation of its membership. Once again, we have a fabulous opportunity to continue cultivating support for our valued committees. ALTA is now accepting volunteers for its committees. Deadline to submit your name is Friday, July 21. Read on to fill out an online volunteer form.
The Docket: Florida Court Rules in Case Addressing Alleged Breach of Policy, Land Use Regs
June 20, 2017
James C. Russick, vice president and Florida State and governmental affairs counsel for Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, provided today’s review of a Florida court decision regarding the alleged breach of a title insurance policy and coverage against future changes to land use regulations. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
 ALTA Advocacy Update
June 20, 2017
ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo provides the latest information on ALTA's advocacy efforts as well as a breakdown on the Treasury's report and proposal on financial regulatory reform and information on Fannie Mae's letter to lenders on removing civil judgments and tax liens on credit reports.
GSEs Delay Closing Disclosure Requirement for Uniform Closing Dataset
June 15, 2017
To address recent industry concerns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced they would delay by six months the requirement for lenders to submit borrower Closing Disclosure data under Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD) rules.
ICYMI: Marketing Mojo--Going Digital Evens the Playing Field
June 15, 2017
The cover article of the digital edition of March TitleNews discusses how the electronic age is helping companies of all sizes connect with customers and influencers, and stay on par with competitors while maximizing budgets.
North American Title Group Names SVP of Strategy & Corporate Development
June 15, 2017
Dominic Fahey will provide strategic leadership for the company to establish long-range goals and policies and collaborate in the development of technology for internal and external enhancements.
 Learn How to Use Google AdWords in Two Minutes
June 15, 2017
As part of the Homebuyer Outreach Program (HOP), ALTA provides education to its members about getting started with Google AdWords in just five easy steps. Check out this video to learn how you can enhance your company's online presence.
5 Steps to Promote Your Company on Google
June 15, 2017
Google ads may seem confusing or too costly for your business. ALTA has developed this five-step process to help you get started for just $50 per ad. Read on.
First American Title Hosts Its First Ever ‘Women In Title’ Event
June 15, 2017
Women leaders from the nation's largest title companies gathered to discuss pressing industry topics and the growing role of women in the title industry. Cornelia Horner CMP, ALTA's chief operating officer, also attending the event.
Check Out the ALTA ONE Reg Brochure
June 14, 2017
The registration brochure for ALTA ONE should be arriving in your mail box. But why wait? You can also check it out here to find out all that ALTA ONE has to offer and start planning your trip to Miami.
OCC Issues FAQs on Bank Risk Management for Third-party Providers
June 13, 2017
The major driver in publishing the FAQs was to explain how banks interact with newer fintech companies. Many banks have been reluctant to share information with these start-ups, even when customers give their approval, due to security concerns. While the FAQs are not directed at title and settlement companies, they do provide some parallels
Create a Facebook Advertising Campaign in Three Easy Steps
June 13, 2017
Creating an advertising campaign on Facebook can be accomplished in just a few steps. Take advantage of material available through ALTA's Homebuyer Education Program is you're struggling to develop content and images.
ALTA Announces DocMagic as ALTA Elite Provider
June 13, 2017
DocMagic has more than 25 years of experience in document preparation, delivery, automated compliance solutions and electronic mortgage services for the mortgage industry.
SoftPro Integrates With Alliant National Title
June 13, 2017
The integration allows Agents of Alliant National Title Insurance Co. who use SoftPro to generate closing protection letters and policy jackets directly through their SoftPro software.
CATIC Receives Positive SOC 2 Report
June 13, 2017
CATIC has received a positive SOC 2 report (Service Organization Controls), a third-party verification that the company’s critical controls are effectively designed to manage the security and confidentiality of its data.
Simplifile Continues Network Expansion
June 8, 2017
Simplifile, a provider of real estate document collaboration and recording technologies for lenders, settlement agents and counties, has added many more new recording jurisdictions in states across the country.
Old Republic Title Appoints New Exec to Central Title Division
June 8, 2017
Brooks Yeager has joined Old Republic Title's Corporate Development team as senior vice president of ORNTIC and director of business development for the Central Title Division.
 Three More States Pass Predictable Recording Fee Bills
June 8, 2017
Illinois, Louisiana and Nevada became the latest states to enact legislation for predictable recording fees, which helps facilitate fee accuracy and compliance with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule.
Stewart Opens Commercial Services Center in Florida
June 8, 2017
Stewart Title has opened a Commercial Services Center in Tampa, Fla. This is Stewart’s first office dedicated to providing title insurance and escrow services for commercial real estate in the state.
FTC Rolls Out New Cyber Resources for Small Businesses
June 6, 2017
Small business owners have lots on their mind. They can’t afford to lose time or money to scammers or a compromised network. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has unveiled new resources to help avoid scams, protect computers and networks, keep customer data safe—and protect the bottom line.
 New Florida Law Aims to Rein in Homeowners’ Associations
June 6, 2017
The legislation, which goes into effect July 1 unless vetoed by the governor before June 15, places stricter requirements on condominium associations, cooperatives and homeowners’ associations, making it quicker, easier and less expensive to obtain necessary information before a closing.
ClosingCorp Introduces New Rate Engine for Title Companies
June 6, 2017
ClosingCorp released an advanced rate management solution that enables title organizations to collect and manage their specific rate and fee data.
MERS Prevails in Cases Brought by Four Pennsylvania Counties
June 6, 2017
In May, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania reversed a lower court’s ruling and ruled by a majority opinion in favor of MERSCORP Holdings Inc. in four lawsuits filed by the recorders of four Pennsylvania counties.
ATG LegalServe Names President, CEO
June 6, 2017
Kelly Ann Kienzle has been named president and CEO of ATG LegalServe, Inc., a subsidiary of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund Inc.
Free Webinar: How to Build an Effective Title Insurance Website
June 6, 2017
Creating a professional website that generates new business and helps you serve existing clients is simpler than you think. Register for this free webinar to learn how to drive more visitors to your website and generate more title orders.
Put That Coffee Down. Coffee’s for Closers Only.
June 5, 2017
You probably remember that well-known line from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. But we’re here to tell you, coffee isn’t just for closers. And ALTA ONE isn’t just for your boss. Whether you’ve been on the job for three years or 30, ALTA ONE is your opportunity to get the insider’s perspective, participate in workshops, learn industry trends and improve your leadership skills in order to evolve your business and your career.
ALTA Launches ‘Whatever You Call Home’ Campaign
May 31, 2017
Coinciding with National Homeownership Month in June, ALTA launched an ad campaign titled “Whatever You Call Home” to help educate consumers about the closing process and the benefits of title insurance.
N.Y.-Based Startup Title Company Receives $4.5M in Venture Funding to Fuel Expansion
May 31, 2017
Spruce, which was founded by two former employees of a wealth management company, currently operates in 11 states and plans to expand nationally by year's end.
 The Docket: Rulings by Ohio Appeals Courts Affect Title Examinations
May 31, 2017
Michael Sikora III, CEO of the law firm Sikora Law LLC, provided today’s review of rulings by the Tenth and Eleventh District Courts of Appeals that addressed chains of title stemming from a common grantor. Read on to learn why the holdings are important to those conducting title exams in the Buckeye State.
Eight Free Ways to Use HOP
May 31, 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.
SLK Global Unveils Single Platform for Property and Tax Reports
May 31, 2017
SLK Global Solutions announced the ability to order property searches and property tax reports from within a single integrated platform.
Stewart Promotes Industry Veteran to Senior Leadership Position
May 31, 2017
As executive vice president and director of commercial services, Tom Konkel will oversee more than 320 associates in 20 offices with responsibility for driving commercial sales and revenue growth.
WFG National Title Grows Agency Team
May 25, 2017
As senior vice president for its agency group, Susan Silverstein will work to further grow WFG’s base of independent title agents and support the underwriter’s existing agency relationships in the Florida region.
GRS Title Services Hires Business Development Director
May 25, 2017
Nathan VonGunten will be responsible for developing title business with national customers, focusing on individual as well as multi-state and multi-site transactions.
The Question You Should Ask
May 25, 2017
Think about what will hold true for our industry over the next decade. People will still buy homes and other types of real estate. Mortgages will still be refinanced. Consumers will want assurances their property rights are protected. But, customers will have a more active expectation of the service and information they receive in the process. How will you adapt to meet these new expectations?
Create Your Own Education Materials with ALTAprints.com
May 25, 2017
If you need to add some energy to your marketing efforts, members can take advantage of ALTAPrints, ALTA’s online print shop where members can print, customize and download education materials. ALTA recently added a wire fraud infographic that you can brand with your own company logo and information.
 The New 2016 ALTA Commitment: Expressing Limitations on Liability
May 25, 2017
A significant change to one of the standard title insurance forms recently was approved by ALTA. The new 2016 ALTA Commitment both streamlines the existing features of the title insurance commitment and, for the first time, expressly sets out many of the fundamental title insurance industry assumptions underlying such commitments. Read for for a summary of the changes to the form, with a particular focus on the important new notice and the express prescription on the title insurance issuing agent’s limited role on behalf of the title insurer.
Stewart Title Expands in Utah
May 25, 2017
Stewart Title’s direct operations in Utah recently acquired Title West, a title agency serving the greater Salt Lake and Utah County areas.
Black Knight Launches Municipal Lien Search Solution
May 25, 2017
Black Knight Financial Services introduced a new solution that helps find liens that are not included on property reports and are outside the scope of title insurance coverage.
Westcor Names VP of Florida Commercial Division
May 25, 2017
Renee Becker Bourbeau will oversee the launch of the Florida Commercial Division for Westcor Land Title Insurance Company.
 Don’t Take Our Word For It, Imagine Yourself Fueling Your Curiosity
May 24, 2017
We could tell you that ALTA’s Innovation Boot Camps will get your team inspired and provide tools that will reinvigorate your marketing efforts, but we don’t have to. Don’t miss out. Only one Boot Camp remains.
Most Voters Say CFPB Should be Run By Bipartisan Commission
May 23, 2017
A poll commissioned by ALTA, the Consumer Bankers Association and Independent Community Bankers of America, found that 58 percent of registered voters in key battleground states say the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) should be run by a bipartisan commission.
FNF Acquires Auction Company
May 23, 2017
FNF reported that it expects the partnership with Hudson & Marshall to enhance the services it can provide to lenders, servicers and real estate agent.
Stewart Appoints New Leader of Direct Operations in the Western States
May 23, 2017
As group senior vice president of direct operations, Michael Tafoya will oversee business operations and strategy with responsibility for top-line growth of the Western states.
FLTA Names New Executive Director
May 23, 2017
In this role, Scott Merritt will serve strategic and operational roles and will be responsible for the overall performance of the Florida Land Title Associaiton's statewide operations and activities.
CATIC Names Massachusetts State Counsel
May 23, 2017
As vice president and state counsel, Melanie E. Kido will be responsible for the management of the Massachusetts underwriting department and help service and support agents in the state.
WFG New York Agency Counsel to Retire
May 23, 2017
Michael Kelly, vice president and state underwriting counsel for WFG National Title Insurance Company’s New York agents, started his career in the title industry as a title searcher in 1972.
Westcor Names Manager for Southeast, Midwest Regions
May 23, 2017
Westcor Land Title Insurance Company promoted Glenn Bradley to manager for the Southeast and Midwest regions. He will have oversight of operations, strategic direction and growth for 22 states.
Qualia Partners with FasTrax
May 23, 2017
This integration allows Qualia users to order release tracking from FasTrax directly from their title production system.
ALTA ONE Registration Now Open
May 17, 2017
October 10 - 13, 2017 | Miami, FL | meetings.alta.org
DocuSign Confirms Hackers Gain Access to Email Addresses
May 16, 2017
DocuSign confirmed Tuesday that a malicious third party gained temporary access to a"non-core system" allowing it to steal email addresses. According to DocuSign, non-public personal information was not accessed.
 Fannie, Freddie Accept E-recorded Mortgage Copies Rather Than Wet-signed Docs
May 16, 2017
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both recently announced they would accept copies of electronically recorded mortgages rather than original wet-signed documents. Read on for information to share with your lender partners.
 Old Republic 2017 First-quarter Earnings
May 16, 2017
Old Republic International Corp. reported that its title division generated $40.4 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2017.
Need a Product or Service to Improve Your Operation?
May 16, 2017
Take advantage of ALTA’s Vendor Directory to find products and services that could improve the efficiency of your operation. You can search by vendor name or search for specific products and services.
8 Key ‘E’ Definitions
May 16, 2017
Trying to explain electronic mortgages and closings to your customers and staff can be difficult. Use these definitions to help aid the conversation and discussion.
ALTA Honors Top Donors, Advocates
May 16, 2017
During the 2017 ALTA Advocacy Summit, ALTA honored individuals and entities for their effort in helping to raise donations for the Title Industry Political Action Committee (TIPAC), and recognized the industry’s top advocates and participation in the Title Action Network (TAN).
Quiz Time: Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices
May 11, 2017
Unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts or practices statutes have far-reaching implications for title and settlement services providers because they provide for enforcement by the government to stop the practices, individual actions for damages brought by consumers who are hurt by the practices and even criminal liability. Unfortunately, the CFPB consent orders do not provide a factual record or legal rationale for UDAAP. Take this quiz to help get an idea of what the CFPB considers UDAAP violations.
Texas, Georgia Title Companies Join Forces
May 11, 2017
Georgia-based Liberty Title and Texas-based Allegiance National have merged into one national title processing company known as Elevated Title, effectively immediately.
Get More Business During This Booming Purchase Market
May 10, 2017
The purchase origination market continues to sizzle in 2017, but is your company getting all the title orders it could be? Now's the time to reinvigorate your marketing efforts and snag marketshare by attending one of ALTA's Innovation Boot Camps and learn from some of the best marketing, communications and sales experts in the industry.
Reach Realtors, Consumers With Customized Education Material
May 9, 2017
ALTAprints is ALTA’s online portal for its Homebuyer Outreach Program (HOP) where members can print, customize and download education materials.
 Title Companies Report 480% Increase in Wire Fraud Attacks
May 9, 2017
The number of wire fraud scams reported by title companies to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) spiked 480 percent in 2016, according to a warning issued to businesses by the FBI. Read on for strategies to protect money and data.
Scam Alert: ALTA Mailing Database
May 9, 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.
 DIY: How to Develop Hacker-proof Passwords
May 9, 2017
With all the publicity about cyber fraud, many people are rethinking their online security and trying to come up with hacker-proof passwords. But is there really such a thing as “hacker-proof”? At the very least, you can lengthen the odds that anyone would get access to your email, your bank account, your credit card information and your online business accounts. Here’s how.
 Fidelity Reports First Quarter Earnings
May 9, 2017
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title segment generated $151 million in pre-tax earnings during the first quarter of 2017. Additionally, the adjusted pre-tax earnings of $175 million for the title segment was the largest amount recorded in the history of the company.
ePN Adds 12 Counties to E-recording Network
May 9, 2017
eRecording Partners Network (ePN) recently added 12 jurisdictions to its electronic ecording network in April.
Old Republic Announces Q1 Results
May 4, 2017
Old Republic International reported that its title segment posted pre-tax income of $40.4 million during the second quarter of 2017. This compares to pre-tax income of $21.4 million during the same quarter a year ago.
New Legislation Enables Massachusetts Jurisdictions to E-record Land Court Documents
May 4, 2017
Early this year, the governor of Massachusetts signed into law House Bill 3862, which overturns a law that dictated recorders must retain original, hard-copy Land Court documents, making electronic recording of these documents impossible. Registers of deeds can now e-record Land Court documents.
RedVision Names VP of Operations
May 4, 2017
Tim Padgett is responsible for managing RedVision’s national and regional operations and service centers with an emphasis on continuous customer success and satisfaction enterprise-wide.
North American Title Group Announces 2016 Financial Results
May 4, 2017
North American Title Group, LLC (NATG) reported pre-tax income of $39.3 million in 2016. This compares to $23.5 million in pre-tax income during the prior year.
SoftPro Wins Gold in 2017 American Business Awards
May 4, 2017
SoftPro was named the winner of Gold Stevie Awards in the categories of Company of the Year–Real Estate and Customer Service Department of the Year during the 15th Annual American Business Awards.
Photos from ALTA Advocacy Summit
May 2, 2017
Check out some photos events from the ALTA Advocacy Summit, including the TAN Welcomes You to D.C. Reception, general sessions and TIPAC/TAN award winners.
HUD Secretary Carson: Property Rights Foundational to Country’s Success
May 2, 2017
U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson discussed the importance of homeownership and how it creates prosperous communities during ALTA’s Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. Read on to learn about one idea the department is considering to help install a different mindset to homeownership.
ALTA Advocacy Summit Attendees Set to Converge on Capitol Hill
May 2, 2017
Nearly 250 title professionals from across the country will meet with members of Congress and their staff on Wednesday to help advance the industry’s interests during the 2017 ALTA Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. Read on to learn about the industry's top asks while on Capitol Hill.
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.
A Recruiting Primer–As Easy as ABC
May 2, 2017
Look around the room at any title company and the tenure of the staff is pretty darn impressive. While this experience is a strength, it is also a threat. What happens when all of these people retire? What are we doing to attract new (and younger) talent to our industry? Read on for a few tips on attracting top talent.
Take Advantage of the ALTA Job Description and Advertisement Library
May 2, 2017
A clear and detailed job description is vital to attracting talented recruits. To help members with this, ALTA created a sample library of job descriptions and advertisements. Job descriptions range from sales managers and examiners to agency managers and policy typists.
 Technology Driving Changes at the Closing Table
May 2, 2017
Just as the trucking industry is using technology to improve the transportation system, innovators in the title and closing industries are implementing new technology to deliver new efficiencies to the closing process and make it more transparent. Many of the changes revolve around electronic and remote closings and notarizations. Earlier this year, ALTA formed a Remote eNotary Workgroup to examine the benefits and challenges, and to help ensure innovation in this area improves the consumer experience. Read on to learn more.
Simplifile Hires National Settlement Account Manager
May 2, 2017
In this role, Toni Carroll will maintain and improve Simplifile’s settlement software vendor relationships while supporting the sales effort to deliver Settlement Collaboration to the real estate industry.
Require Holdings Purchases Valuation and Settlement Services Company
May 2, 2017
Require Holdings LLC recently completed its acquisition of Service 1st Valuation and Settlement Services, Inc., a provider of desk reviews, valuation risk analysis, field reviews and market data.
#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.
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.
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. The latest answers address questions about E&O coverage for third-party notaries, re-certification requirements and cyber insurance.
 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 its 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.
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.
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.
Cyber Tip: How to Build 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
 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 New Members
March 21, 2017
ALTA is pleased to announce new and associate members, as well as real estate attorneys, who have 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  |  Daniel D. Mennenoh ITP, NTP
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
 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.
Give Your Marketing Wings With ALTA's HOP Box
January 24, 2017
ALTA's HOP Boxes won't actually help you fly. Let's get that out of the way right now and remove any threat of lawsuits. The HOP Boxes will, however, invigorate your marketing efforts. Each box 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.
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.
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.
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.
 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.
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.
SoftPro, based in Raleigh, NC, offers a mature suite of products, designed specifically for the closing and title industry. Our mission is to serve our client base, with best-in-class products and services. Our products are modular so we don't force you to buy anything you don't need. You can always add on as your business grows. Unlike other software companies, we view the sale as the beginning of the relationship rather than the end. North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC) is a seasoned title insurance underwriter, helping title agents to achieve their individual business goals for more than 50 years. Today, the company conducts real estate settlement services in 39 states and the District of Columbia through a network of experienced, independent agents.