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July/August 1999 - Volume 78, Number 4

As this is being written, the swirling forces of Congressional legislative activity for financial services modernization and the mystical gyrations of the Federal Reserve Board are front page news. Everywhere one turns there is yet another article on the revolution of electronic commerce.

In recent years there has been a growing question from our traditional lender customer base, and from emerging customer sets, as to the value proposition of title insurance. Now the protagonists for financial services modernization and mortgage reform seem to be viewing us more with disdain rather than as a representative voice, and in some circumstances as a nuisance factor rather than a contributor to the solution. I see it as a troubling indicator, but not a problem we cannot solve. Let’s face it, these are confusing and frustrating times. We unfortunately seem to have positioned ourselves as against things, trying to buy time, rather than looking for ways or conditions upon which we would begin to accept proposals of change. As I have come through the chairs of ALTA®, I have come to appreciate the demands on the members of the staff of our trade association.

In the next few weeks, the Board will convene to review the strategic plans and direction of the Association. The value proposition of the ALTA® will be brought under the microscope. It may be time for a tweaking. It may be time for an overhaul. It certainly isn’t time for the status quo.

Charles H. Foster, Jr.

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American Land Title Association
1800 M Street, NW, Suite 300S
Washington, D.C. 20036-5828
P. 202.296.3671 F. 202.223.5843
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