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First American Launches Online Platform to Help Agents Implement ALTA Best Practices

July 3, 2014

First American Title Insurance Company launched a new web-based tool designed to help title agents create and document policies and procedures needed to implement ALTA’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices.”

The ALTA Best Practices were created to help title insurance and settlement service providers assist mortgage lenders in meeting third-party oversight requirements and protect consumers.

Designed to mirror the seven pillars of ALTA Best Practices, the Competitive Advantage Platform demonstrates First American’s commitment to the industry, the success of title agents and, most importantly, the consumer.

“We developed the Competitive Advantage Platform because encouraging the adoption of ALTA Best Practices is important for the industry and provides consumers with a more consistent and higher-quality closing,” said John Hollenbeck, executive vice president at First American Title Insurance Company. “Yet, for many title agents, documenting and implementing them in preparation for certification requires a significant investment of time and resources, which puts a strain on their business.”

Hollenbeck added that the online tool “provides title agents with a pathway for efficiently completing the documentation phase of ALTA Best Practice compliance, allowing title agents to focus on the next critical step—consistent implementation of the documented policies.”

Only available to First American Title Agents, the Competitive Advantage Platform’s web interface walks title agents through a step-by-step process. The tool captures ALTA Best Practice-compliant policies the agents may already have in place and helps identify gaps where compliant policies are needed. The platform also packages the policies in a format from which a comprehensive Best Practice binder can be quickly produced, designed to be useful with lenders and a requirement of the Best Practice audit.

Several First American Title agents have already accessed the platform and commented on their experience.

“This is the best tool I have seen to get agents ready for certification. Within 30 minutes of using the Competitive Advantage Platform, I found several areas where we could improve on the work we have already done,” said Rick Neff, principal of Pennsylvania Land Titles, which has undertaken a comprehensive effort to document its compliance with ALTA Best Practices since the program was released last July.

“We used First American’s Competitive Advantage Platform to complete our policy and procedures manual as required to be compliant with ALTA Best Practices,” said Kimberly Holt, owner, escrow officer and title officer at Gateway Title Insurance.

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