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ALTA’s Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices

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ALTA created best practices to help members highlight policies and procedures the industry exercises to protect lenders and consumers, while ensuring a positive and compliant real estate settlement experience.

Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices
Download the full document of ALTA's Best Practices.

Resources and Documents
Here you will find guidance material to aid implementation for each pillar of the Best Practices, including Assessment Readiness Guides, webinars and links to additional information.

Assessment Readiness Guides
Available to ALTA members, the Assessment Readiness Guides can be used to help companies determine if they are prepared to undergo an assessment to determine compliance with ALTA’s Best Practices.

Assessment Procedures
The standard assessment procedures can be used by third parties to evaluate settlement services providers.

Certification Package
The certification package can be used by title professionals to demonstrate to lenders that they have implemented Best Practices. The certification package includes a cover page, an agency letter, a Best Practices certificate and a declarations page.

Best Practices Policy and Procedure Creation Guidance
This guide provides members step-by-step directions on how to draft formal policies and procedures for the Best Practices. In addition, a sample policy and procedure as well as a template to help provide a standard format are provided.

Template for Best Practices Policy and Procedure
Download the template to begin building your Best Practices Policy and Procedure for each of the Best Practices.

Best Practices FAQs
These FAQs are designed to give you a better understanding of the Best Practices.

News on Best Practices
August 28, 2014 Download ALTA’s Best Practices Assessment Readiness Guides
With guidance from its Best Practices Task Force, ALTA has developed Assessment Readiness Guides to help members find out if they are prepared to undergo an assessment to determine compliance with ALTA’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices.”
August 28, 2014 ALTA CEO to Speak at MBA Event About Managing Vendors to Minimize Risk
Michelle Korsmo, ALTA’s chief executive officer, will participate on a panel titled "Managing Vendors to Minimize Risk," during the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Risk Management and Quality Assurance Forum in Miami.
August 28, 2014 Idaho Title and Escrow Companies Warned of Business Identity Scam
The Idaho Department of Finance, issued a cease-and-desist order against a company using the name of Twin Falls Title and Escrow. In order to gain legitimacy, the company allegedly altered a copy of the Certificate of Assumed Business Name for a lawful and long-standing title company in Idaho. Business identity theft is another wrinkle to the many issues title and escrow companies must protect their operations against. The first pillar of ALTA’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices” provides guidance in ensuring title professionals have the proper licensing as required to conduct business.
August 28, 2014 Criminal Tactic: Fraudulent Change of Business Registration Information
For the cost of a filing or processing fee, typically $10 to $20 in many states, thieves may attempt to file a fraudulent change of your business address, or file changes to your business’s officers, directors or registered agent. Find out what can you do to protect your company.
August 28, 2014 Best Practices Can Protect Against Business Identity Theft
Criminals sometimes utilize or register a business name or d.b.a. (doing business as) that is intentionally similar to a well-established business. Through a slight variation in spelling, criminals can intentionally cause the business name to be confusingly similar to the legitimate company’s name in order to deceive creditors, financial institutions and other businesses. Read on to learn how to protect your company.
August 28, 2014 ALTA Board Encourages Completion of Best Practices Self Assessment by September 2014
ALTA’s Board of Governors approved a motion encouraging members to conduct a self-assessment of their adoption of ALTA’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices” no later than September 2014. To help with this, ALTA has developed an Assessment Readiness Guide exclusive to members.
More Articles on Best Practices

Contact Government Affairs Staff

Steve Gottheim
ALTA's Legislative and Regulatory Counsel
202-296-3671 Ext. 230

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American Land Title Association
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Washington, DC 20036-5104
P. 202.296.3671 F. 202.223.5843
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