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You Can Help Develop 2017 ALTA ONE
March 23, 2017Following 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, 2017After 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, 2017RynohLive recently appointed Jared Uthe as vice president of sales and marketing for the Midwest.
Reli Settlement Solutions Expands in Alabama
March 23, 2017Alabama-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, 2017According 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, 2017Through 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, 2017The 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, 2017Michelle 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.
Your Influence Is Needed Now
March 22, 2017ALTA’s Advocacy Summit is the cornerstone of the title industry’s advocacy efforts. Whether you’re a state leader, first-time attendee or you’ve participated 20 times in the past, it is your opportunity to exercise your political rights.
2016 Title Premium Volume Up 8.7 Percent
March 21, 2017The 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 More Than 225 New Members
March 21, 2017ALTA is pleased to announce that more than 225 new and associate members, as well as real estate attorneys, 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, 2017Majesty 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, 2017The 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, 2017Title 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, 2017ATA 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, 2017Bill 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, 2017As 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, 2017There’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, 2017Kicking 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, 2017Investors 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, 2017Title 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, 2017The 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, 2017First 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, 2017The 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, 2017Bob 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.
In Unpredictable Times, We Must Unite and Protect
March 15, 2017We the Protectors of American property rights, in order to defend land privileges and provide peace of mind to homeowners, do plan to meet May 1-3, 2017, in Washington, D.C., to shape the future of the title industry.
Photos From the First ALTA SPRINGBOARD
March 14, 2017Nearly 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, 2017More 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, 2017ALTA 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, 2017Superstorm 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, 2017Virtual 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, 2017This 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, 2017The 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, 2017David 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, 2017According 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, 2017North 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, 2017Aprio, 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, 2017This integration enables Qualia’s customers access to national property title research solutions through RedVision’s production platform, TitleVision.
Free TitleTopics Webinar: Recruiting Talent: Staffing the Future Title Company
March 7, 2017To continue delivering quality service and meet the expectations of real estate agents, lenders and consumers, register for the free webinar "Recruiting Talent: Blueprint for Staffing the Future Title Company" and learn how to find and hire staff that can drive customer loyalty and ultimately grow market share.
First-ever ALTA SPRINGBOARD Ready to Take Learning, Networking to New Heights
March 7, 2017Nearly 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, 2017Title 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, 2017Steven 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, 2017Qualia, 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, 2017ePN 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, 2017Real 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, 2017The 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, 2017ClosingCorp'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, 2017ALTA 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, 2017Which 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, 2017Consumers’ 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, 2017Snapdocs 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, 2017ZOCCAM, 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, 2017Adding 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, 2017Entrust 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, 2017Companies 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, 2017Elizabeth 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, 2017Jeffrey 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, 2017ALTA 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.
ALTA 2017 TIPAC Donors
February 28, 2017The 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 $203,214 from 173 donors in so far in 2017. Check out who has supported the industry.
Westcor Names Industry Veteran as Texas Regional Sales Manager
February 28, 2017In 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, 2017The 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.
Date Change: ALTA Advocacy Summit to be Held May 1-3
February 28, 2017A change to the U.S. House of Representatives’ 2017 schedule has required ALTA to reschedule its 2017 Advocacy Summit one week earlier in May. The ALTA Advocacy Summit will now be held May 1-3.
Entrust Adds New Underwriter To Nexus Program
February 28, 2017The 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, 2017Qualia 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, 2017In 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, 2017The 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, 2017The 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, 2017In 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, 2017A 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, 2017Supply 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, 2017The 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, 2017Maturity 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, 2017ALTA’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, 2017A 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, 2017Called 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, 2017The 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, 2017Justin 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, 2017According 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.
New SOC 1 Standard Goes Into Effect May 1
February 16, 2017Last 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.
GRS Title Serves Names President
February 16, 2017GRS 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, 2017All of the counties and parishes, which span 18 states, joined Simplifile’s network in the last quarter of 2016 or first quarter of 2017.
Curate Your Networking and Learning Experience at ALTA SPRINGBOARD
February 15, 2017This year, we're turning ALTA SPRINGBOARD into a peer-learning hub. ALTA is introducing a new concept in networking—Brain Dating.
ALTA Supports Effort to Improve Real Estate Closing Process
February 14, 2017In 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, 2017Stewart Information Services reported that its title segment generated pre-tax income of $139.1 million during 2016.
First American Closes Strong 2016
February 14, 2017First 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, 2017J. 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, 2017Marci 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, 2017The 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.
Learn from Industry Power Houses at ALTA SPRINGBOARD
February 13, 2017There are many methods for improving the customer experience--some complex and costly, others relatively simple and inexpensive. One tried and true way to help drive positive results is to spend the time and money to ensure your staff is properly trained to complete tasks and fulfill responsibilities. Don't accept losing business because your staff isn't skilled properly.
RamQuest Integrates with Agents National Title
February 9, 2017Through 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, 2017This 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, 2017In 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, 2017A 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, 2017Through 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, 2017SLK Global Solutions recently launched a new real estate tax services (RETS) solution for commercial and residential portfolios.
HomeServices Acquires Thoroughbred Title
February 7, 2017HomeServices 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, 2017Selecting 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, 2017AmTrust 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, 2017As 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, 2017Commonwealth 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, 2017What 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, 2017Title 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, 2017Kandi Jablonski will serve as executive vice president and head up the Pittsburgh-based national title originations division.
3 Reasons You Need to Attend ALTA SPRINGBOARD
February 2, 2017ALTA SPRINGBOARD is a brand-new, live-event experience where attendees will collaborate and be part of the conversation to learn new ways to grow market share, enhance customer relationships and improve staff performance.
MBA Proposes Path for GSE Reform
February 2, 2017The 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, 2017Dr. 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, 2017In 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, 2017Fidelity 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, 2017Old 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, 2017Fake 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, 2017Amy Tankersley will manage the company’s publications, educational materials and customer outreach.
ALTA Sets 2017 Strategic Priorities
January 31, 2017The 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, 2017The 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, 2017Pavaso, 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, 2017Check 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, 2017FNTG 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, 2017Michael 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, 2017Want 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, 2017Three 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, 2017When 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, 2017TitleTap 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, 2017Following 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, 2017Qualia, 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.
ALTA SPRINGBOARD: Why You Need to Attend
January 25, 2017We've ditched the general session, typical education programs and exhibit hall, and are introducing a fresh curriculum that will focus on key issues such as staffing, connecting with customers and compliance. Check out all that ALTA SPRINGBOARD has to offer and take your career and business to the next level.
Nebraska Bill Would Allow Remote Electronic Notarization
January 24, 2017A 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, 2017A 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, 2017The 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.
Get Your HOP Box Today
January 24, 2017ALTA HOP Boxes 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, 2017The 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, 2017The 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, 2017With 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, 2017WACO 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, 2017While 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, 2017Daniel 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, 2017Make 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.
Deadline Today: Renew Your Membership for Access to Essential Tools and Information
January 18, 2017ALTA 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.
What Is ALTA SPRINGBOARD? Details Shared During Facebook Live Event
January 17, 2017Looking 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, 2017Habif, 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, 2017This 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, 2017Hidalgo, San Patricio and several other Texas counties are now available for access from Integrity Title Records.
Preparing for Transition
January 17, 2017Shortly 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, 2017The 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, 2017ALTA’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, 2017According 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, 2017ALTA 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.
Compliance Webinar: How PHH v. CFPB Impacts RESPA Enforcement
January 12, 2017While a final decision in PHH Corp. v. CFPB remains in limbo, one thing is certain: Enforcement of RESPA isn’t going away. To learn about the far-reaching policy and compliance implications, register for ALTA’s next compliance webinar “Much Ado About Nothing? How PHH v. CFPB Impacts RESPA Enforcement," which will be held from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 22. RESPA expert Richard Horn, founder of the law firm Richard Horn Legal PLLC and a former senior counsel at the CFPB, will provide an overview of the case, discuss what’s next and explain how the current ruling affects RESPA enforcement going forward. Attendees also will learn how state enforcement interplays with federal regulation of RESPA.
Respecting the Past, Innovating for the Future
January 12, 2017Whether 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.
Be Part of the Faculty at ALTA SPRINGBOARD
January 12, 2017The format of ALTA SPRINGBOARD is different from the typical ALTA meeting, so the responsibilities of the faculty are different as well. ALTA is looking for discussion facilitators to lead thoughtful and interactive round-table discussions and brainstorms on specific issues, and speakers for a limited series on career advancement. Find out what’s required, the perks and how to submit an application. Deadline to submit an application is Friday, Jan. 20.
North American Title Realigns Geographic Regions
January 12, 2017North 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, 2017Despite 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, 2017Data 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, 2017Adeptive’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.
Don’t Miss ALTA’s Live Facebook Event
January 10, 2017Join ALTA President Dan Mennenoh ITP, NTP and CEO Michelle Korsmo today for a unique Facebook Live event. This special industry event will share information and invite all land title industry professionals to ALTA's newest live experience, ALTA SPRINGBOARD. You won't want to miss it.
Title Company Owner Involved in $10M Fraud Scheme, Lawsuit Alleges
January 10, 2017The 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, 2017The 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, 2017Vince 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, 2017ALTA’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, 2017Best 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, 2017Wyoming 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, 2017ALTA 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, 2017In 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, 2017Segin’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, 2017Laura 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, 2017F&M Bank Corp., parent company of Farmers & Merchants Bank, completed its acquisition of Valley Southern Title on Jan. 1.
Register for Free Webinar on 2017 Housing Forecast and Buyer Trends
January 5, 2017Register for the free webinar "Has the Game Changed? 2017 Housing Market Forecast and Homebuyer Trends" and get a better understanding of the types of title orders you will receive in 2017. This webinar will help you dominate a purchase-driven market and provide better service to your customers.
WFG Adds Agency Resource in Chesapeake Region
January 5, 2017As 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, 2017Stewart appointed Clifford Allen Bradley and Frederick H. Eppinger to the company’s board of directors.
Earn Industry Distinction as a HOP Leader
January 5, 2017Want 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, 2017The 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.