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Countering the skyrocketing home values, the title and settlement industry continues to find ways to manage fees associated with buying a home and utilizing artificial intelligence and automation to drive faster turn times.
What can companies do to better engage employees? For Amy Niesen, senior vice president and general counsel for of Land Title Company of Alabama, surveying staff and getting feedback of how people feel has proved beneficial to her company.
The Docket: When an Easement Holder Ran so Far Away from the Easement’s Purpose, It Lost the Easement
Michael R. O’Donnell, Michael P. Crowley and Kevin Hakansson, all of the law firm Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti LLP, provided today’s review of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in a suit alleging that an ordinance triggered the easement's abandonment clause. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.
Stewart Information Services Corp. acquired Illinois-based Greater Illinois Title Company (GITC) and its subsidiaries, which include Greater Florida Title Services, Greater Indiana Title Company, Greater Wisconsin Title Company, GIT Michigan Title Services, Greater Missouri Title and Greater Illinois Title Company.
Founded in 2003 by Chris Blum and Scott O'Neill, Action Title Research deploys a technology-driven process to title research and public records analysis. Its clients include independent agencies, law firms and underwriters.
Doma Holdings Inc. announced the expansion of its intelligence platform in Washington, Utah, Maine, Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky.
What's behind the Great Resignation which has resulted in the departure of 15 million workers since April of this year alone? Blame burnout. It's the primary culprit behind the scores of people who have left jobs over the past six months, according to recent report from Limeade. Read on for practical and preemptive strategies from a title industry veteran to combat stress.
While you’re clearing off your desk before your office closes for the holidays, make sure you register for the ALTA, MBA & MISMO Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camp, Jan. 13-14 in Clearwater, Fla.! We know how it goes—the celebrating (and added stress) make it hard to remember everything you want to finish when you return to work. Cross “register for Boot Camp” off your to-do list today!
ALTA is ushering in 2022 with a sale on our Title Triumph Board Game, Levels 1 and 2! We are currently offering a 22% discount to celebrate the New Year—including postage—but hurry: This offer is only good through Jan. 6.
2021, like 2020, continued to be shaped by the global pandemic. While the overall health of the economy may be uneven, from a title industry perspective, the past year has proved to be historic in terms of business. As we prepare to say goodbye to 2021, it's time to reflect on all of the accomplishments and lessons learned as we start contemplating a new year energized by hope. There were many more great things that were achieved over the past year, but here's a look at 20 that were achieved in 2021.
As part of its ongoing GiveBIG initiative to support local communities, RamQuest and sister company Pavaso came together to support the Plano Police Association’s (PPA) Christmas Cops program.
In this role, Mark Ginzo will help with the process flow of title production in Florida, commercial examination, and will work closely with national underwriting counsel to assist in answering regional underwriting and examination questions.
Res/Title has expanded its footprint with new local offices in California, Oregon and Washington.
ClosingLock, a wire fraud prevention provider, has completed its acquisition of select assets of Ohio-based SafeWire, which provides software to title companies to combat wire fraud.
Grab your hotel discount for the ALTA, MBA & MISMO Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camp, Jan. 13-14 in Clearwater, Fla., before it’s gone! The room block ends Monday, Dec. 20.
In the quest for automation in the title industry, the simplest solution may already be under our noses.
The Fidelity National Financial Family of Companies promoted Mary Pat Dunleavy to senior vice president and agency divisional manager for Florida and the title underwriter’s Southwest and Western regions. The move will become official on Jan. 1 following the retirement of Executive Vice President John Obzud,
Keep up-to-date with your state’s title laws, regulations, customs and practices! Developed by industry regulatory counsel, the TIRS State Compliance Guides help you stay on top of the local practices and state laws relating to your business’ licensing and operating requirements. Your ALTA membership provides you with discounts on these publications.
If you support a non-profit organization that could use a little extra help in 2022, apply for a grant from the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation today! The grant application process closes Jan. 31, and applicants will be notified of all decisions in March.
ALTA’s Discriminatory Covenants Workgroup developed a publication that details the various approaches to addressing discriminatory covenants in the public land records. The document also highlights the pros and cons of each method, which include notification, repudiation, modification and redaction.
Racially restrictive covenants are an unfortunate legacy of racism in America. Their use not only segregated our society, but also hindered minority families’ ability to access the greatest source of wealth in this country: homeownership. We know the Fair Housing Act made discriminatory covenants explicitly illegal, but they still exist in public records. Read on to learn about a federal bill that’s been introduced and what ALTA is doing to help find solutions.
Advancements in electronic notarizations, changes in certain consumer and creditors’ rights law, and case law developments were primary drivers leading to the latest revision of the ALTA Loan and Owner’s policies and numerous other ALTA forms and endorsements. The updated collection was published in July and is being rolled out. Listen to this SoftPro-sponsored webinar to learn why the forms were revised, the key changes, how to explain the updates to your customers, how to prepare for the new forms and when they will be used.
Don’t miss our holiday sale: Pick up your print or digital Claims Guide now and enjoy an exclusive discount! Available through Thursday, Dec. 23, get a 15% discount on ALTA’s 2021 Title and Escrow Claims Guide.
In her new role, Jennifer Landon will assume area-wide responsibility for strategy, marketing, and operational activities for the company's operations in Eastern Idaho.
Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. hired Stephanie Marcello as underwriting counsel in the Mid-Atlantic and Erin Stines was added in the same role to support the company’s Pacific Northwest team.
Title companies are utilizing technology to deliver title commitments and policies faster to their customers. While handling record levels of business, companies are finding ways to keep costs down as home values continue to increase. A simplified process is what your customers want and expect. They also need you when problems arise. Don’t forget the personal touch as you drive for speed and efficiency.
By utilizing ClosingLock, companies that use SoftPro can eliminate the need to email wiring instructions and can better protect themselves from wire fraud, email spoofing and business email compromise.
Roselyn Langianese, president of Summit Title Services in New Hampshire, talks about the value of using results from an employee engagement survey to develop a strategy to hire new employees, retain top performers and build a better workplace.
The title insurance industry generated $6.8 billion in title insurance premiums during the third quarter of 2021, according to ALTA’s latest Market Share Analysis. This is the best-performing quarter on record as title premium volume is up 32.5% compared to the same period a year ago.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is seeking public comment on a potential rule to address the vulnerability of the U.S. real estate market to money laundering and other illicit activity. Under the latest Geographic Targeting Order, title insurance companies in 12 metropolitan areas are required to file reports identifying individuals who make all-cash purchases of residential real estate through shell companies, if the transaction exceeds $300,000. The potential regulation published by FinCEN would expand reporting requirements on all-cash real estate deals.
We are quickly heading into 2022, and you are probably starting to think about wrapping up your annual budgets. If you have money left over for on-the-job training, now is a great time to consider who on your staff can benefit from an online course through ALTA’s Elevate Learning Center, sponsored by Qualia. From beginners to experts, the Learning Center has education for staff at all levels.
It’s that time of year again—peak shopping and peak shipping season is here, and UPS has a few shipping tips to help you maximize holiday outcomes for ALTA members.
With Qualia's Vendor Performance Reports, title and escrow agents can identify which of their vendors, such as title search, release tracking and notary service providers, are delivering optimal performance and cost efficiency in particular states.
Idaho-based Alliance Title & Escrow LLC collected nearly 17,000 pounds of non-perishable food items and donated nearly $50,000 through its 10th annual Closing the Hunger Gap Food Drive.
The CATIC Family of Companies announced a partnership to provide LEAP’s cloud-based legal practice productivity solution to the underwriter’s network of title agencies and law firms.
Columbus, Ohio-based Empora Title officially entered the market after garnering $24.6 million over the past year from venture capital firms.
Tom Gysin will remain president and Evan Harris will continue as co-owner of Homestead Title & Escrow, which has offices throughout the Denver metro area.
The two patents, now part of the company’s portfolio that includes more than 30 active patents, allow First American to analyze and select relevant property description data, fueling more accurate automated title production.
First American Title Company of Montana expanded its brand into Helena with the acquisition of First Montana Land Title Company.
Becky Taylor, president of Virginia-based Titleworks Inc., started working in the title industry in 1992. Read on to learn more about Taylor, including why she loves working in title, how her company has evolved over the years and why she's an ALTA member.
In this role, Brent Fielder will be responsible for expanding the company's footprint beyond Illinois, initially with a new location in northwest Indiana.
Old Republic Title announced that Jesse Oman, the company’s chief information officer (CIO) received the 2021 Info-Tech CIO Award.
Criminals have deployed a Zelle fraud scam that allows them to infiltrate a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment service used by many financial institutions by circumventing multifactor authentication and accessing a victim’s bank account without knowing the username or password.
Diverting seller proceeds and mortgage payoffs appear to be happening with more frequency in markets such as Michigan and Wisconsin where split closings are commonplace.
In this week's Advocacy Update, ALTA CEO Diane Tomb outlines some of the major items that Congress must address before the end of the legislative year, such as extending government funding and the debt ceiling, passing the annual defense spending bill and considering President Biden’s Build Back Better Act. Tomb also discusses the nomination of Jerome Powell to serve as chair of the Federal Reserve for a second term; Ginnie Mae allowing e-signatures and remote online notarizations on loan modifications; and upcoming hearings for the House Committee on Financial Services.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification attests that D. Bello's title production facility has the proper procedures in place to manage data security through its Information Security Management System (ISMS).
Mainspring Services announced that its titleLOOK solution now includes new automation features that eliminate the manual title review process.
You probably have hired a few new employees to keep up with demand, and it’s important to ensure they have the best training available. From beginners to experts, everyone on your staff can benefit from ALTA’s new “Ethics in the Title Industry” course in the Elevate Learning Center, sponsored by Qualia. Even better, your ALTA membership provides you with discounts on our education courses.
To Sell or Not to Sell (or Buy): How Do Title Agencies Decide Whether It’s Worth Entering the M&A Market?
Several businesses in the title industry, agencies as well as other related firms, have had an incredibly profitable run over the past two years. This has resulted in many finding themselves flush with cash. It has also, as a more competitive purchase market emerges, driven some owners to ask, “Is it time to cash in on my hard work building my business?” For others, perhaps the time is now to grow their market footprints through acquisition.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently issued an alert reminding companies that holidays and weekends are often a time when cyber criminals look to disrupt critical networks and systems.
RamQuest’s Closing Market digital network is now integrated with TitleLogix Solutions, a Texas-based company that specializes in tax research.
Title and settlement companies can now use MuniPay to transfer funds via ACH directly from their escrow account to the municipality's operating account.
Go digital now with the ALTA, MBA & MISMO Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camps! At Boot Camp, you get first-hand access to innovative technology solutions that will boost your results. Hear directly from the experts on the types of tech that can help you set up your digital closing strategy the right way.
While merging the cultures and adopting the same vision from office to office has been well covered elsewhere, one factor that surprisingly and too frequently gets short shrift is the merger of operational systems and technology. Many acquiring agents have learned the hard way that poor due diligence into the acquired firm’s existing technology and security can lead to unpleasant and costly surprises.
In this week's Advocacy Update, ALTA CEO Diane Tomb gets in the Thanksgiving spirit and shares a little about what she's thankful for this year. She also highlights HUD's annual report to Congress, which details the financial status of the Federal Housing Administration’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund; shares the FHFA's 2022 scorecard for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; and a new rule issued by several federal regulators requiring banks to report significant computer-security incidents within 36 hours.
nCino Inc., a provider of cloud banking and digital solutions, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SimpleNexus in a stock and cash transaction valued at approximately $1.2 billion. SimpleNexus provides a digital platform that serves mortgages from application to closing.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ginnie Mae announced effectively immediately it would permit the use of e-signatures and remote online notarizations for loan modification agreements on paper mortgages.
Dealing with unexpected closing delays while juggling increased workload with fewer employees were the biggest challenges in 2021, according to the latest State of the Title Industry survey from PropLogix.
MISMO will focus on standardizing the datasets of nationally used pre-closing title documents including the closing protection letter, title commitment and request for fee sheet.
The Docket: Easement Rights Declared in the Context of the Entire Instrument and Its Intended Purpose
Michael Sikora III, managing partner of Sikora Law LLC., provided today’s review of a decision by an appeals court in Ohio that addressed the power of enforcement of express easements rights. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.
First Class Signing Service announced it has launched a new MISMO-approved remote online notarization (RON) service to serve digital closings nationally and internationally.
During the SoftPro-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar, "First Look at 2022 Midterm and Policy Update," industry experts shared the latest on important policies that impact the title and settlement industry, including remote online notarizations, tax policy, data privacy, wire fraud and cannabis. The speakers also provided analysis on how the infrastructure bill will help real estate and offered insight into the 2022 midterm elections. Speakers included Heather McHugh, Founder and Principal of Resolution Public Affairs; Chris Morton, ALTA's SVP of Public Affairs; and Emily Tryon, ALTA's Senior Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs.
To support the company’s growing presence in South Texas, Debbie Youens was named regional escrow manager and Gregg Harris was named regional sales manager.
The new co-branded office will be Truly Title’s first expansion into Wyoming. The office will be managed by Truly Title and backed by TFC of Wyoming to cater to the rapid growth of the surrounding communities.
ALTA is proud to announce that Emily Tryon, ALTA's senior director of public policy and government affairs, was named one of the top 100 lobbyists across the country in 2021 by the National Institute for Lobbying & Ethics.
In this role, Lisa Foxworthy-Parker will work closely with the Fidelity National Financial (FNF) executive team on articulating performance and key strategies of the company’s title and life and annuity businesses to constituents, such as sell-side analysts, equity and debt investors, rating agencies and regulators.
Agents of Fidelity National Financial's family of underwriters who use SoftPro can now use the agentTRAX Starter Search feature to search for starter records.
With more lenders offering digital closings and more consumers wanting them, now is the time to invest in your operation’s digital closing capabilities. You don’t want to lose ground to your competitors as the number of title companies offering digital closings has increased 228% since 2019, according to an ALTA survey. Additionally, 52% of those surveyed said closing times decreased utilizing RON, while 43% reported cost savings. You can tap into these operational efficiencies by attending an upcoming ALTA, MBA & MISMO Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camps.
Keep up-to-date with your state’s legislative changes and local customs and practices! Developed by industry regulatory counsel, each TIRS State Compliance Guide helps you stay on top of state laws relating to your business’ licensing and operating requirements. Editors have updated 20 state guides in 2021 and 26 in 2020 to reflect the latest regulations and statutes on their respective legislative sessions. An ALTA membership provides you with discounts on these publications.
Ransomware is commonly delivered through phishing emails or via “drive-by downloads,” according to CISA. Phishing emails often appear as though they have been sent from a legitimate organization or someone known to the victim and entice the user to click on a malicious link or open a malicious attachment. Read on for tips on how to protect your data and network.
You probably use personal identification numbers, passwords or passphrases every day: from getting money from the ATM or using your debit card in a store, to logging in to your email or your company’s VPN. Tracking all the number, letter and special character combinations may be frustrating, but these protections are important because hackers represent a real threat to your information.
ALTA and its Native American Lands Committee produced a four-part webinar series titled "Insuring Native American Land: Special Issues and Consideration." Read on to listen to recordings from all four of the presentations. Presentations cover vesting and ownership of land, the Indian Non-Intercourse Act and Section 17 Corporations; statutory and regulatory authority and processes for leasing restricted Native American lands; and authority, recording and access. The final presentation applies the concepts to underwriting issues presented by hypothetical situations involving commercial and residential transactions.
Founded 15 years ago, PropStream provides residential real estate data and analytics.
In this week's Advocacy Update, ALTA CEO Diane Tomb discusses how the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law by President Biden will benefit local communities, the economy and land value. Tomb also discuss an announcement by the CFPB and several other banking regulators that points to a more aggressive supervision and enforcement approach, the CFPB seeking comments on its inquiry into large technology providers and their payments systems and the upcoming ALTA, MBA & MISMO Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camps.
Visionet Systems has integrated its X1 Analytics X1 Xpress engine with AtClose to expedite turn times and closings, while reducing title production and curative costs.
Nicole Beattie, who currently serves as executive vice president of mortgage servicing Rocket Mortgage, will replace the retiring Brian Hughes as Amrock's chief executive officer beginning Nov. 19.
The Biden administration may have a chance to revive its workplace COVID-19 vaccine rule that was blocked last week by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. More than a dozen lawsuits filed around the country challenging the rule—which requires employers with at least 100 workers to mandate COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing combined with wearing a face covering at work—are expected to be consolidated in a single federal appeals court chosen through a lottery.
We know it’s hard to find employees and fully staff your office right now. Why not entice new title professionals with on-the-job training? From beginners to experts, everyone on your staff can benefit from ALTA’s Elevate Learning Center, sponsored by Qualia.
Proptech company Spruce recently appointed Brian Kielian as head of customer experience, and Blair Drake as head of service delivery. These are both new positions for the company.
It’s been another successful (but busy) year. We’re still dealing with COVID. The holidays are coming. You’re stressed. However, as Freddie Mercury sang, “Time Waits For No One.” Because of this, we’ve scheduled two upcoming ALTA, MBA & MISMO Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camps in cities where you can learn and relax—places where we can plan our digital closing hopes together!
The company said it can facilitate transactions using Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Ripple and Bitcoin Cash.
In this week's Advocacy Update, ALTA CEO Diane Tomb discusses the opportunity to attend an upcoming ALTA, MBA & MISMO Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camp. Tomb also highlights FinCEN's extension of the Geographic Targeting Orders, a hearing on proposed bills to address cybersecurity and passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Learning about claim trends and hearing stories that lead to claims are important to title professionals as they are a valuable teaching tool. Read on to learn the top claims trends, the most common process errors that lead to them and the three questions to ask when a claim is submitted.
North Carolina-based Investors Title Co. reported pre-tax income of $18.4 million during the third quarter of 2021. This compared to $18.9 million in pre-tax income during the same period a year ago.
Stewart Information Services reported that its title segment generated $119.1 million in pre-tax earnings during the third quarter of 2021. This is up from $82.4 million during the Q3 of 2020.
The integration allows SoftPro users to electronically order an array of services offered by Exacta, including land surveys, field management services, utility and municipal lien searches, elevation certificates and estoppel reports.
Greater Illinois Title Co. (GIT) was voted Title Company of the Year for the third consecutive year by Chicago real estate agents in the Chicago Agent Magazine Agents’ Choice Awards.
Stewart Title acquired Rainier Title Company, a title agency that has served the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years.
Agents National Title Insurance Co. named Kami D’Olive as underwriting counsel for Texas.
Realogy Title Group and Ho’okele Title & Escrow announced a joint venture to provide title and settlement services to the Hawaii market.
Old Republic International reported that its title insurance segment generated pre-tax income of $135.7 million during the third quarter of 2021. This compared to $103.1 million in pre-tax income during the same period a year ago.
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title segment generated pre-tax earnings of $486 million during the third quarter of this year. This compared to pre-tax earnings of $507 million during Q3 2020.
First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance segment generated $352.4 million in pre-tax income during the third quarter of 2021. This is up from $337.5 million in pre-tax income during the same period a year ago.
The renewed Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) requiring U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used in all-cash purchases of residential real estate remain identical to previous orders. The purchase amount threshold remains $300,000 for the 12 covered metropolitan areas. FinCEN appreciates the continued assistance and cooperation of title insurance companies and ALTA in protecting the real estate markets from abuse by illicit actors. Read on to learn about the latest to create a beneficial ownership database and potential legislation that would expand the GTOs by making them permanent and national.
Go digital with the ALTA, MBA & MISMO Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camps! Right now, you can take advantage of our BOGO offer and bring a colleague or friend for free when you register. You have two chances to attend for your ultimate convenience.
In this week's Advocacy Update, ALTA CEO Diane Tomb detailed the latest efforts to reach a deal on President Biden's reconciliation bill, which includes $150 million for affordable housing. Tomb also highlights Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra's testimony before Congress, as well as the Federal Trade Commission announcing its final rule to update the Safeguards Rule under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA).
Looking for an easy way to manage E&O insurance data submissions to your underwriters? If you are fed up with sending the same E&O data multiple times each year and constantly having to share spreadsheets, we have the solution. The E&O One and Done tool in the ALTA Registry is a free service to all title insurance agents who have a listing.
First American said ServiceMac’s mortgage subservicing business will enhance its ability to provide lenders and servicers with end-to-end mortgage, settlement, post-closing services and servicing-related products and solutions.
In this role, Catherine Hartnett will be the first point of contact for transactions, including contract issues, earnest money disputes, title questions and complex escrow related matters.
The acquisition of Slade Title Research solidifies Punctual Abstract’s footprint in Mississippi.
Stephen Gregory, underwriting counsel for WFG National Title Insurance Co., provided today’s review of a decision by the Virginia Supreme Court that settled litigation involving the burdens of production and persuasion. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.
ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight SitusAMC, which helps title agencies and underwriters increase profits, shorten cycle times and reduce risk. The company provides title search, examination and commitment prep, policy production, tax certificates, title curative (liens/ payoffs/subordinations and municipal lien searches.
Testifying before Congress, new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra said the agency will focus on how technology giants impact the flow of money with the use of real-time consumer payments systems that collect huge amounts of personal data. Meanwhile, ALTA sent an introductory letter to Chopra that outlined key issues that affect ALTA members.
While most fraud types showed increased risk nationally, both income and property fraud risk decreased slightly, which aligns with the strong job market and home price growth, according to the latest report from CoreLogic.
In this week's Advocacy Update, ALTA CEO Diane Tomb detailed the latest efforts to reach a deal on President Biden's Build Back Better plan and recent actions by new CFPB Director Rohit Chopra regarding data privacy and redlining. Tomb also highlighted a Senate hearing that analyzed the impact of private equity in the housing market and a report on climate change and the risks it poses to the financial system.
In the 1991 film "What About Bob," Bill Murray’s character, Bob Wiley, suffers from phobias that make it difficult for him to leave his apartment. He’s divorced because his ex-wife likes Neil Diamond and he doesn’t. Bob is eventually referred to the egotistical Dr. Leo Marvin, played by Richard Dreyfuss. Dr. Marvin suggests Bob read his newly released book, "Baby Steps."
Currently, Washington mandates title insurance companies and agents to keep adequate records of all transactions. The proposed rulemaking would require title companies to store records in the state unless otherwise approved by the commissioner.
The solution will allow notaries, RON platform providers and authorized parties during post-closing review, loan purchase and downstream events such as foreclosure to access and retrieve RON video recordings.
If you’re thinking about attending the ALTA, MBA & MISMO Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camp in San Antonio, register today! The Early Bird rate for our first Boot Camp expires Nov. 1. Sign up now to get $100 off your registration and join us Dec. 6-7 in Texas.
The provider of technology-based solutions for the title and settlement industry raised $2,440 for Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans during the 2021 ALTA ONE conference.
Countering skyrocketing home values, the title and settlement industry continues to find ways to manage homebuying fees as closing costs as a percentage of purchase price declined during the first half of 2021.
According to a release, the ClosingCorp team will join CoreLogic’s BUY segment, which includes various solutions focused on the origination of home loans.
Kelly Romeo, senior vice president and chief information officer for ALTA, was reappointed to the Property Records Association's (PRIA) Council of Advisors. Additionally, Elizabeth Blosser, ALTA’s vice president of government affairs, was named to PRIA’s Communications Committee.
ALTA Past President Diane Evans NTP received an ALTA Honorary Membership during ALTA ONE, Oct. 13-15 in New Orleans.
The funding from First American will further accelerate Endpoint’s title and settlement automation and expand its platform for proptech companies and real estate professionals.
John Voso Jr. NTP was recognized for his dedication to advocating for the title industry during the 2021 ALTA ONE in New Orleans.
For the third year in a row, ALTA successfully worked with the Senate Committee on Appropriations to push several federal agencies to focus more on real estate wire fraud and business email compromise (BEC) scams as part of Congress’s annual appropriations process.
The title insurance market remained robust in 2020 despite the economic slowdowns and lockdowns attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the ratings firm AM Best. Read on to learn what two analysts have to say about the industry's performance and if they have any concerns for the housing market.
In the coming months, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSEs) will expand eligibility requirements for their RefiNow and Refi Possible refinance programs aimed at assisting low-income borrowers. The GSEs also will incorporate desktop appraisals into their Selling Guides for many new purchase loans starting in early 2022.
ALTA installed Dan Wold as president as well as its Board of Governors for the 2020-2021 year, during ALTA ONE in New Orleans. Read on to learn what priorities ALTA's leadership will focus on over the next year.
In the latest round of giving, the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation awarded $6,000 grants to 23 charities supported by ALTA members. In addition, in the wake of Hurricane Ida, the Foundation awarded a $5,000 emergency grant to the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, which provides emergency financial assistance to individuals in one of Louisiana’s largest employment sectors. Read on to see other organizations that received funds.
During the 2021 ALTA ONE in New Orleans, ALTA honored individuals and entities for their effort in helping to raise donations in 2020 for the Title Industry Political Action Committee (TIPAC).
In this role, Steven Presley will provide legal guidance to associates, independent and affiliated agents, support Doma’s Florida title and examination production and independent agency teams, and develop and present educational courses and trainings on state and national legal and underwriting issues.
Barry Sloop has over 30 years of title industry experience and spent most of his career working for two national underwriters.
12:00-1:00 p.m. ET | Wednesday, Nov. 10 | Register Today
In the final webinar of this four-part series, industry experts will review many of the concepts presented in the previous programs and apply those concepts to underwriting issues presented by hypothetical situations. The presentation will dig into underwriting issues involving commercial and residential transactions. Register for this webinar to help your company avoid potential pitfalls when handling transactions involving Native American land.
Vista Title & Escrow reached a deal to purchase Stevens County Title Co. in Colville, Wash., and expand its footprint in the growing region of the Inland Northwest.
In this role, Carlos Rodriguez will lead Doma’s team of Florida agency managers and support the needs of the underwriter’s commercial and attorney agents and customers.
Dexter, Mo.-based National Title & Escrow opened its fifth office after expanding into Sikeston.
Simplifile eSign Events offers agents a streamlined signing workflow, including in-person electronic notarization and remote online notarization.
The award program showcases the title insurance industry’s Our Values initiative, which serves as a cultural compass and highlights core ideals ALTA members embrace. Read on to see who received this year's award.
ALTA has announced the winners of the 2021 Title Webbies, an awards program recognizing member companies that have created or redesigned the best industry consumer-facing website within the past year.
ALTA ONE provides the opportunity for title professionals to dive into trends and policies shaping the industry. It’s also the optimal event to reconnect with colleagues from across the country and prepare for upcoming opportunities and challenges. It’s time to be ALL In for your customers, your business, your team and your future. Read on for a summary of featured Omni Session speakers that will touch on leadership, diversity, seeing the world differently, cybersecurity and community.
Giving back to their community is part of the company culture at Missouri-based Monarch Title Co.
Title companies face multiple, intensifying challenges—from staffing shortages to volatile revenues to processes that are riddled with manual labor. But there is relief available if they know where to look.
The Virginia Bureau of Insurance said it had received inquiries regarding whether a settlement services fee could be reduced or eliminated in order to obtain or retain business from a consumer.
ALTA HOP can now be found on TitleTap’s HUB with a “one-click” option to have the integration added to a customer’s website for online digital resources and customizable collateral.
As underwriting counsel, John Cannito is responsible for providing counsel to AmTrust’s independent agents and helping them close complex transactions, including larger commercial orders in New Jersey.
In this role, Roxanne Golden supports Doma policy-issuing independent title agents and secures new business for the underwriter.
Go digital now with the ALTA, MBA & MISMO Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camp! Don’t start from the back of the pack—put your business in the best possible position to succeed today. Check out a sample of the education sessions we have on offer to put you on the right path. Register with our Early Bird rates today!
The last touch point with consumers before they get the keys to their new home is the closing. As their representative, you want to make sure this process goes as seamless as possible. To help give your customers a great closing experience, they need to know what to expect. Real estate closings are changing across the country with more states allowing remote online notarization. Wire fraud threats continue to mount. Share this video with your customers to let them know how closings have changed during COVID.
Private equity investment firm Centerbridge agreed to purchase controlling interest of Title Resources Guaranty Co. (TRG), Realogy’s insurance underwriter, for $210 million. Realogy will maintain a 30% equity interest in a newly formed joint venture and also continue to own and operate its national title settlement and escrow services.
Qualia was named to the Fintech 250 by CB Insights for the second consecutive year.
With this release, title companies that underwrite with Agents National Title can request CPLs and policy jackets, including owner’s, mortgagee, short form, commitment or simultaneous issue directly from SoftPro 360.
WFG National Title Insurance Co. has renewed its health insurance program that provides access to cost-effective coverage for its title agents.
Buyers who select Premium Title, an Altisource affiliate, as their title and escrow provider will be given an option to purchase property using cryptocurrency.
The merger with Clearwater, Fla.-based International Title Partners gives Florida Agency Network more than 30 offices with nearly 300 employees located in the Sunshine State.
In this role, Mark Short consults with underwriters, title agents, real estate attorneys, lenders and third-party vendor partners to utilize Punctual Abstract’s title and escrow services and drive efficiency in their operations.
Pick up your Claims Guide today and enjoy an exclusive discount! Don’t miss our fall sale: Use the code Claims15 during purchase to get a 15% discount on ALTA’s 2021 Title and Escrow Claims Guide. The discount code is available through Friday, Oct. 22, for both the digital and printed versions. Subscribe Today
There’s still time to register for ALTA ONE! Your safety is our priority, and ALTA President Bill Burding NTP has an important update for you on our COVID-19 protocols and hurricane status. Don’t forget, you can register to attend in person in New Orleans or virtually throughout the event. You can even grab a day pass if you have limited time or a specific interest! Register Today
The U.S. land records system is quirky. It’s essentially an 1850s system with some automation built around it, but no real modernization like many other advanced countries. Read on to learn how Geographic Information Systems can help improve the property records systems across the country and facilitate the identification and documentation of property ownership including Black and Native American-owned land.
The U.S. Senate voted 50-48 on Sept. 30 to confirm Federal Trade Commission official Rohit Chopra as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). ALTA congratulated forward to working with Chopra and the bureau’s staff to help provide positive and compliant real estate settlement experiences for consumers. Read on to learn more about issues ALTA will focus on regarding regulation from the bureau.
According to company CEO Aaron King, the solution informs title and escrow agents about potential documentation issues sooner, creating loyalty with lenders and saving time remediating issues.
From serving under three U.S. presidents to leading ALTA, learn how Diane Tomb’s passion and vision for the title industry push her forward. CloseSimple’s co-founder Bill Svoboda sits down with ALTA’s CEO to discuss everything from her time working in the White House to how she is using her position to serve the industry and make an impact beyond the world of title and escrow.
Fall is in the air and stores are packed to the gourd with everything pumpkin flavored. We can debate the allure of cinnamon and spice, but one thing that can’t be denied is the importance of having good cybersecurity hygiene. Read on for tools and resources your company can use to raise awareness about cybersecurity.
In this role, Craig Austin will manage an enterprise team of account executives and relationship managers responsible for providing digital mortgage technology to lenders across the United States.
ALTA joined 21 other associations urging Congress to pass national privacy legislation that equally protects all Americans. In a letter to U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) ranking member of the committee, the groups urged the committee to develop legislation that provides robust protections for consumers, predictability for businesses and new resources for the Federal Trade Commission.
First American Title Insurance Co. expanded availability of remote online notarization (RON) through its direct and agency operations for residential real estate transactions.
Industry veteran Marlen Rodriguez recently launched Miami-based New Dawn Title Group, which also has offices in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
As head of technology, Priti Desai will be responsible for all aspects of technology for AmTrust Title.
As executive vice president of the national agency division, Tom Klein is charged with developing the company’s business segment supporting national and multistate agencies. As vice president, Cheryl Klein will develop national, multistate and local agency relationships.
Expetitle recently received $2.3 million in investments to help fund sales and marketing efforts.
WFG National Title Insurance Company recently published a whitepaper that examines how title agencies can collaborate with their underwriter to streamline operations and drive revenue.
Guess what? We have a few changes to announce! (Shocking, we know.) It’s been one of those years, friends; by now, we hope everyone has learned to go with the flow. For the first time, the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation will be hosting ALTA Unplugged during ALTA ONE! Moved from its original Friday, Oct. 15, time slot, the event is now scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 14, from 6-9 p.m. The voodoo-themed event will be held in the Mark Twain Courtyard. The event is free, and all donations will go to support the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation. Join us for food, specialty cocktails and friends!
ALTA, MBA and MISMO have teamed up to bring you the ultimate event designed to help you navigate the digital closing process. The ALTA, MBA & MISMO Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camps are here to help you go digital now. You have two chances to attend: Dec. 6-7 in San Antonio, Texas, and Jan. 13-14, 2022, in Clearwater, Fla. Don't miss out on our Early Bird rates!
Dan Buchanan, senior title counsel for First American Title Insurance Co., provided today’s review by the Texas Supreme Court that enforced a boundary stipulation between a leasehold owner and neighboring lessees. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.
The integration of SimpleNexus' closing e-mortgage solution with DocMagic's e-vault and e-note technologies enables the automated generation of an e-note with a tamper-evident seal.
The Land Title Association of Arizona recently honored Tyler Newlon of Pioneer Title Agency with its John K. Graham Title Person of The Year Award.
In business for more than 50 years, the CATIC Family of Companies is now licensed in every state east of the Mississippi and in Texas.
ASAP Tax and Lien Search, which services Florida, was founded in 1999 by Francine Citarella and operated as a family-run business
Title Insurance Industry Market Share and Financial Statement compilations for the 2nd Quarter of 2021 are now available on the ALTA website (www.alta.org/industry/financial.cfm). The second quarter of 2021 was again a very positive quarter for the title insurance industry. Title Insurance Premiums Written were up 56.3% from the second quarter of 2020. Total Operating Income was up 52.4%, Operating Expenses were up 50.8% and Loss and Loss Adjustment Expenses were up 41.7%, resulting in Net Operating Gain up 73.5%.
We know many of you have questions about what the COVID-19 safety protocols will look like at ALTA ONE. As always, your health and safety are our priority. With that in mind, you can expect to see the safety protocols listed in this article at ALTA ONE. Join us in New Orleans, Oct. 12-15. Register Today
New 2021 ALTA Policy Forms collection were published July 30. Since being published, a technical correction has been issued for the ALTA Homeowner's Policy. Read on to access the forms and updated Homeowner's Policy, as well as redlines and comparison charts. To prepare for the new forms, title companies should participate in training and guidance from their underwriters. Agents will also want to work with their production software providers to ensure that the updates have been made after forms have been appropriately filed and approved by state regulators, and authorized by their underwriters.
After the launch of the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation last year, Florida Title Insurance Co. implemented a program to donate a portion of each month's closing proceeds to a selected charity. Over the past year, the title company has donated $20,000 to various organizations. Have a good deed to share? Read on. During ALTA ONE next month in New Orleans, we will announce the latest recipients of grants from the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation. The foundation will award $143,000 to 24 nonprofit organizations across the country.
Turnaround times are among the chief operational challenges for lenders, according to a survey by Williston Financial Group (WFG). The results signal a marked increase in concern over the impact lengthy turnaround times are having on real estate transactions.
Global insurance broker Acrisure has entered the real estate services business through its acquisition of New York-based Tempo Title.
In this role, Lisa Cornehl is responsible for setting First American's legal strategy and overseeing legal affairs.
As chief operating officer, Jennifer Pensa manages the company's day-to-day operations and is charged with optimizing the systems, technology and production processes that are critical to settlement services providers in an emerging purchase mortgage market.
The acquisition extends Compass' title and escrow portfolio that now serves California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Washington, D.C.
ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight Skyline Lien Search, which provides lien searches, HOA estoppels, HOA verification and tax certificates. Find out how the company's resolutions department will change the way you think about lien search companies.
October 12 - 15, 2021 | New Orleans | Register Today
If you’re still waiting on a reason to head to ALTA ONE, look no further: Join us for our Commercial Network education track! Whether you attend virtually or in person in New Orleans, Oct. 12-15, we have a full slate of sessions geared toward you. To accommodate everyone, ALTA ONE is extending both the room block and the cancellation deadline until Sept. 24.
It’s not news to anyone in the title industry that there has been an explosion of interest in remote online notarization (RON) since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The past year also saw growing interest in paper alternatives to the RON experience. Read on to learn how the new RULONA amendment provides more flexibility as well as the three ways to perform a paper remote online notarization.
The cover article of this edition looks at the 228% spike in title companies offering remote online notarization since 2019, along with the reintroduction of the bipartisan Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act and a survey from Fannie Mae that shows more consumers conducting the entire homebuying process online. Additional features include Freddie Mac’s RIN guidance includes multifactor authentication requirement; the new RULONA amendment provides more flexibility to the signing process; elders are the top target of financial fraud; and FinCEN's Geographic Targeting Orders run through October 21.
Shawn Briner of the law firm Briner Law Group LLC provided today’s review of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District that held a county road does not need to be filed in the land records to be a “public record.” Read on to learn why this ruling could open the industry to increased liability.
After initially debuting in Florida, Radian Group has launched its blockchain-based title insurance and closing services in Arizona, California, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
In this role, Karen Woodard will service independent title agent and attorney customers, and secure new business in an important area of expansion for Doma underwriting.
Former boxer turned modern-day philosopher Mike Tyson offered the famous quote, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” prior to one of his fights against Evander Holifield. Whenever you are doing any planning, it’s important to remember these immortal words.
If a title or settlement company is looking to enter into a marketing services agreement (MSAs) with another company involved in the mortgage or real state transaction, it’s important to know what is acceptable and what’s illegal under RESPA. There are a lot of questions about what you can do to connect with customers. Read on to learn more.
WFG National Title Insurance Company has hired industry veteran Jason Vasek as vice president of strategic growth.
In addition to the deal to acquire LegacyTexas Title Co., Compass has purchased Washington D.C.-based KVS Title and title and escrow software startup Modus over the past year.
Covius Holdings has reached an agreement to acquire Florida-based national lien release provider Nationwide Title Clearing.
First National Title Insurance Co. (FNTI) recently added Matt Powell as senior vice president and agency manager for its Southeast region.
Old Republic Title Insurance Co. agreed to pay $1 million to settle allegations it entered into no-poach agreements with competitors in New York, according to the state’s attorney general. Old Republic, which cooperated with the attorney general’s office, didn’t admit or deny the findings.
From a worldwide health pandemic to hurricanes and wildfires to unrelenting cyberattacks: Where you may see uncertainty, former White House CIO Theresa Payton sees a future of technology innovation and hope. In her session at ALTA ONE, Oct. 12-15 in New Orleans, she will discuss her unique perspective on accelerating and reimagining your technology while also keeping your employees, customers and data secure. Register Today!
ALTA joined a coalition of 17 other groups asking Congressional leadership to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before it expires Sept. 30.
Check out all four of the recordings from the 2021 ALTA Commercial Network webinar series. The presentations focused on the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the McGirt v. Oklahoma, the new ALTA Policy Forms, the revised ALTA NSPS Land Title Survey Standards and potential changes to 1031 business.
The designation affirms that SimpleNexus’ Nexus Closing e-mortgage solution meets the technical requirements for e-closing, e-note and e-vault functionality by both government sponsored entities.
The integration allows title agents, attorneys and escrow officers the ability to generate policy jackets and closing protection letters from Stewart directly from the SnapClose Pro platform, the companies announced.
Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET | Register Today
Between a worldwide health pandemic, major weather events, wildfires and just getting the kids back to school, you’re dealing with a lot of stress at home. Meanwhile, the title industry continues to handle historic order volume, and you can’t help but feel the pressure. Join us for a free SoftPro-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar and learn tactics to identify stress as it sneaks up on you.
Only one in five homebuyers understand the documents they signed at closing, according to a survey commissioned by Qualia. Through the Homeowner Outreach Program, ALTA provides exclusive resources—including blogs, educational flyers, print and digital ads, infographics, posters and presentations—to help ALTA members explain title insurance and the closing process.
Arizona-based Long Companies launched Agave Title Agency in an effort to provide a one-stop-shop for its customers.
ALTA joined 39 other trade associations urging members of Congress to urged senators and representatives to preserve current law as it relates to 1031 like-kind exchanges.
First National Title Insurance Co. named Tim Donovan as senior vice present and underwriting counsel for its Great Lakes region.
In the newly created role, Monique Modica Vasek will head WFG National Title Insurance Co.'s expansion into San Antonio, Austin and Houston.
Philadelphia-based TitleBox has released a product that offers instant assessment of searches designed to help title agents clear title more efficiently while maintaining control of the decisioning process.
October 12 - 15, 2021 | New Orleans | Register Today
Between Hurricane Ida and the COVID-19 pandemic, there are lots of questions about ALTA ONE. We are happy to say that we are moving forward in-person. (There is a virtual option, too.)
Authentication and training are important, but why aren’t we thinking about attacking the threat from other angles as well? Read on as Paymints.io CEO Jason Doshi discusses solutions to wire transfer fraud.
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. In 2021, 816 people donated $509,456 to TIPAC. In addition, $142,000 from 23 companies was donated to the TIPAC Education Fund.
With a doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics, you'd expect to find Andy Mahdavi doing research to explain the birth, life and death of stars and planets in the universe. Fortunately for Doma, he's focused on developing solutions to simplify the homebuying process for earthlings. Read on to learn more about Mahdavi.
Companies in all industries have often said their greatest asset is their people. As the market shifts to a more demanding, hands-on purchase
market, now isn’t the time to forget.
Insured and uninsured losses from wind, storm surge and inland flooding damages to residential and commercial properties in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama caused by Hurricane Ida are estimated between $27 billion to $40 billion, according to data from CoreLogic. The analysis does not include losses sustained in the Northeast due to the flash flooding.
More ransomware attacks, poor risk management protocols and lack of employee training resulted in a 25.5% increase in the average premium for cyber insurance coverage, according to a survey from the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.
Boston National Title of Texas recently named Monica Middleton as executive vice president of the Austin region.
Williston Financial Group (WFG) reported that its 2021 net revenue is up 45 percent during the first half of 2021 when compared to the same period a year ago.
ALTA’s thoughts remain with everyone in the Gulf Coast area enduring the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Ida, which has left more than a million customers without electricity. With this year’s ALTA ONE scheduled to take place in New Orleans from Oct. 12-15, ALTA continues to monitor the situation closely—along with the latest on COVID-19 requirements—and will provide updates if there are any changes.
The title insurance industry generated $6.5 billion in title insurance premiums during the second quarter of 2021, according to preliminary data from the latest ALTAs Market Share Analysis. Title premium volume is up 56.3 percent compared to the same period a year ago.
PropLogix secured a strategic growth investment from Accel-KKR, a technology-focused private equity firm to accelerate market expansion plans, scale product development and pursue acquisition opportunities.
Used primarily on refinances, Flueid will now apply its digital process to enhance traditional search and examination reviews for purchases.
Alliance Title & Escrow, which is part of the Futura Title & Escrow Family of Companies, recently acquired Boundary Abstract Co. in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.
Bowe Digital has established a strategic alliance with Title Success Solutions to provide comprehensive, expert services to help companies navigate the mergers and acquisitions market.
Save some money on your trip to ALTA ONE by securing your hotel room today! Get moving: Our room block at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel closes Wednesday, Sept. 8. Register Now.
Informative Research provides credit, consumer, and real estate data and technology services through its proprietary platform to more than 3,000 customers.
Kevin Sinclair, a partner with the law firm Sinclair Braun LLP, provided today’s review of a ruling a California appeals court that reversed a lower court’s ruling and found a quiet title judgment was void. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
With this integration, Encompass loan information from the ICE Mortgage Technology platform is delivered to the ClosingCenter platform.
New York-based Core Title Services can now accept various cryptocurrencies for commercial and residential real estate purchases.
While data standards are commonplace in other housing segments—such as real estate, mortgages and appraisals—there is no data standard in the title industry. But there has never been a better time to change this situation than now.
Former New Orleans Saint Archie Manning has a message for you! An award-winning football star, humanitarian, author and father, Manning will headline Friday’s Omni Session—sponsored by Accutitle—at ALTA ONE, Oct. 12-15 in New Orleans, also available with a virtual option. Check out Manning's video. Register Today
ALTA joined 27 other trade groups in a letter to Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) expressing support for H.R. 4773, the Consumer Financial Protection Commission Act.
ALTA’s Nominating Committee is pleased to present the list of nominations for the 2021-22 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. 12-15, 2021.
Strong origination volume last year helped several companies in the title and settlement industry make the Inc. 5000 list in 2021.
Texas-based Flueid has received a patent for its technology that the company says centralizes and automates the title clearance decision in less than a minute.
In this role, Sheila Thiele assists North American Title/Doma’s national underwriting and state expansion team with underwriting, regulatory and compliance matters for the company’s national affiliated title agencies.
ALTA’s Elite Provider Program features distinguished service providers committed to furnishing extensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. AccuTitle provides the title management platforms TitleFusion, Closers’ Choice, Landtech, and TrackerPro,
Listen to this Qualia-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar and learn how you can implement artificial intelligence technology to handle various repetitive tasks that will help your operation become more efficient and let your employees focus on growing marketshare.
The industry is using new AI-based technology that allows title agents to communicate with interested parties and clients without requiring two missed calls, three voice mails and an email to exchange one simple bit of information.
The landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in the McGirt v. Oklahoma in 2020 affirmed the historic reservation boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in eastern Oklahoma. The court held that the lack of any clear action or intent to diminish that reservation’s boundaries by Congress left them intact. Listen to this ALTA Commercial Network webinar recording to learn how the ruling could impact the title insurance industry and property rights involving tribal land, the ALTA 47 Operative Law Endorsement Series and Policy Addendums.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) proposed housing goals? for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to promote equitable access to affordable housing that reaches low- and moderate-income families, minority communities, rural areas and other underserved populations over the next three years.
Washington, D.C.-based fintech company WahooCloud announced the launch of its cloud-based platform as a service (PaaS) software aimed at digitizing the title search and payment process.
Ron Damashek, a partner at Dickinson Wright PLLC, provided today’s review of a ruling by an Illinois Appellate Court that held an equitable lien can be asserted despite a forged mortgage. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
Stewart was ranked 24th in a list that was topped by Square (merchant payments), followed by Stripe (merchant payments), Finastra (banking technology), Figure Technologies (consumer lending) and Personal Capital (wealth management).
“You don’t have a diversity problem—you have a leadership problem.” The former director of executive recruiting at Google, Ginny Clarke is a proven expert in driving diverse leadership. In her ALTA ONE Omni Session, sponsored by the FNF Family of Companies, she will deliver a “no-holds-barred” discussion on the causes that lead to a lack of diversity in organizations. Join us for ALTA ONE virtually or in person in New Orleans, Oct. 12-15. Register Today
We’ve all probably experienced a scenario like this. You’re having a conversation about something and later that day you’re bombarded by online ads for the product. You don’t really want a life-sized stuffed unicorn, but you happened to mention one while talking to your five-year-old and now your social media feeds and search results are full of ads for giant plush monstrosities.
ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight SoftPro, which provides closing, title and escrow software aimed to make businesses more efficient and profitable.
This ALTA Commercial Network webinar recording discusses changes to ALTA's Loan and Owner’s policies, as well as numerous endorsements that were published July 30. It's important to understand the revisions so you can educate your staff and commercial customers.
New initiatives will enable title professionals to go a step beyond awareness/to prevention. Randall Airst, the CEO of Exceedant, discusses the scope of the problem, a renowned case and tools that can be applied to protect seniors and their real estate.
ALTA's Board of Governors will vote on proposed amendments to its bylaws on Oct. 14, 2021.
A chat widget version of alanna.ai's conversational AI assistant, Alanna, can respond to general questions and gather information from users of any TitleTap-produced website.
In this role, James Rogers assists with underwriting decisions pertinent to residential and commercial properties in Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, as well as expansion into new states in North American Title's Midwest and Western regions.
Lenders using SimpleNexus and First American Docutech can now provide borrowers the ability to e-sign initial mortgage disclosures through a single sign-on experience.
Happy birthday to our baby, the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation! Now officially 1 year old, the Foundation incorporated one year ago this week on Aug. 17. To continue to fund important non-profit organizations, we need you. Please consider celebrating our baby’s very first birthday with a good-deed gift.
According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, “Corporate Social Justice is a framework regulated by the trust between a company and its employees, customers, shareholders, and the broader community it touches, with the goal of explicitly doing good by all of them.” Effectively applying this strategic approach over time can be a key differentiator for business leaders as it relates to successfully advancing diversity, equity and inclusion strategy in an impactful way for their respective organizations. With the American population growing more diverse over the past decade, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, leaders committed to driving meaningful changes must execute key strategic actions.
Pennsylvania-based Title Alliance recently unveiled a modernized, achievement-oriented approach to its core values. The guiding document aims to offer fresh insight into the mission and values of the growing, multi-state company.
According to First American, Clear2Go automates the title search, document collection and title examination, allowing a title agent’s production staff to rapidly create a title commitment for an eligible residential refinance or home equity transaction.
The Todd County Clerk’s Office has partnered with eRecording Partners Network (ePN) to bring e-recording to the Kentucky county effective Aug. 9, 2021.
RamQuest announced its Closing Market digital network is now integrated with United Tax Services.
How can we adapt and thrive when the ground beneath us is shifting? Neuroscientist Dr. Beau Lotto has spent decades studying the way we see—and in his ALTA ONE Omni Session, sponsored by First American, he will illuminate these principles of perception, helping you overcome biases, embrace uncertainty, transform your approach to creativity and unlock innovation. Join us for ALTA ONE in person in New Orleans or virtually, Oct. 12-15. Register Today
A shift to a purchase-dominated origination market from strong refinance business has pushed fraud risk to its highest level since early 2019, according to CoreLogic’s latest report.
First American Title Co. agreed to pay $1 million after a California Department of Insurance investigation alleged that one of its former title marketing representatives violated the state’s law anti-inducement laws. The insurance commissioner said the penalty should serve as a warning to other companies.
Because the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act was signed into law two days before the newly created holiday on June 19 (which was a Saturday), it created regulatory compliance questions regarding certain timing requirements for closings. When the relevant time period began determines if June 19, 2021 is counted as a business day or federal holiday.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) allows small and midsize employers, and certain governmental employers, to claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave to their employees due to COVID-19. This includes leave taken by employees to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations. The ARP tax credits are available to eligible employers that pay sick and family leave for leave from April 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2021. Read on to see if you're company is eligible, and how to calculate and claim the credit.
The Ohio Land Title Association (OLTA) recently launched its OLTA Academy to provide greater training opportunities and boost general knowledge of the industry.
Ransomware is expected to cost businesses over $20 billion this year according to security experts. This cybercrime leverages malicious software (malware) that prevents users from accessing their computer networks, applications and files and demands a ransom payment in order to regain access. Depending the sophistication of a ransomware attack, the cyber perpetrator may have access to personally identifiable information that is used as further leverage to obtain a ransom payment or the information is released on the internet. In light of recent and high-profile ransomware attacks that have affected the real estate industry, register for this CertifID-hosted webinar and hear from U.S. Secret Service agents who will explain the evolution of ransomware, current tactics used by cyberscammers to deploy and take over company networks, and ways to prevent your company from being a victim.
Redlines are now available to all 2021 Policy Base Forms, Commitments and Endorsements that were published July 30.
When you need insightful analysis on new laws affecting the title insurance industry, turn to the Title Insurance Law Newsletter, sponsored by the FNF Family of Companies. Additionally, the 2021 edition of the Title & Escrow Claims Guide highlights the addition of more than 150 new court decisions. Subscribe Today!
According to a survey issued by ALTA member company Champion Title, 97% of consumers who closed on transactions in Virginia using RON said the process was safe and secure. Additionally, 95% said they would recommend the RON process to others. Read on.
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title insurance segment generated $644 million in pre-tax earnings during the second quarter of 2021. This is up from $528 million in pre-tax earnings during the same period in 2020.
Investors Title Co. reported pre-tax income of $25.3 million during the second quarter of 2021. This is up from $17.9 million in pre-tax income during the same period a year ago.
Hiring and staffing is one of every manager's main concerns. From a worldwide pandemic to a historic increase in real estate transactions, there are a multitude of reasons why attracting and holding on to stellar employees has been difficult. Now is the time to find out how your agency stacked up against the competition by taking ALTA’s Industry Hiring Practices and Challenges Survey. This five-minute benchmarking survey will provide a snapshot into current hiring needs, practices and challenges. Only the aggregated data will be published in TitleNews.
Rachel Richardson and Tory Vincent will both serve as Michigan state counsel and national agency counsel for WFG National Title Insurance Co.
According to a survey issued by ALTA member company Champion Title, 97% of consumers who closed on transactions in Virginia using RON said the process was safe and secure. Additionally, 95% said they would recommend the RON process to others. Read on.
Learn your state’s local customs and practices, not just the title insurance legislative changes and regulations, with the TIRS State Compliance Guide. Updates have recently been published for California, Texas, Florida, Virginia, Nevada, Michigan, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Iowa, Rhode Island and Alaska. An ALTA membership provides you with discounts on these publications! Subscribe Today.
The cover article of this edition discusses results of an ALTA survey that shows wire fraud is attempted on a third of all transactions. Additional features include a court ruling that held a title agent has not insurance coverage for wire transfer fraud; a homebuyer’s life savings stolen in wire fraud but recovered in time for closing; the title industry asks Congress to support nationwide use of RON during ALTA Advocacy Summit; ALTA President Bill Burding interviews Rep. Ed Perlmutter; title premium volume jumps 45% during Q1; and Doma’s chief data scientist strives to take title, closing to a new galaxy.
For the title agent or owner seeking to grow, the due diligence and valuation process is critical to the success of the strategy. But often overlooked in the larger process is what comes after the contracts are signed. Aaron Davis, CEO of Florida Agency Network, says its important to not overlook the importance—and cost—of integrating two existing firms after the acquisition becomes final. Read on.
The program aims to help agricultural producers and landowners resolve heirs’ land ownership and succession issues. Intermediary lenders—cooperatives, credit unions and nonprofit organizations—can apply for loans up to $5 million at 1% interest once the Farm Service Agency (FSA) opens the two-month signup window in late August.
ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight DataTrace, which provides real estate title search technology, automation and property report production that enables settlement services companies to grow their title business.
There are only a few days left to take advantage of the Early Bird discount for ALTA ONE! Save $200 on your ALTA member in-person registration when you sign up by Monday, Aug. 9. (Prices as marked; no discount code needed.) Go ALL IN and join us for ALTA ONE in New Orleans, Oct. 12-15. Register today!
The Mapping Housing Discrimination Act would create a competitive grant program for educational institutions to conduct primary data analysis of local historic property records to identify racial covenants and racially restrictive language. The bill would also create a national database maintained by HUD of historic housing discrimination patterns in property records and support efforts by local governments to digitize historic deeds and other property records.
Illinois, New Jersey and Oregon became the latest states to pass remote online notarization legislation. There are now 37 states that allow this type of digital closing. Legislation in New York and New Hampshire is pending, while awaiting the signature of each state’s governor.
Michael R. O’Donnell, Desiree McDonald and Michael P. Crowley, all of the law firm Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti LLP, provided today’s review of a case where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld a bankruptcy court’s ruling that said a purchaser established valid title to the parcels and that the debtor half interest claim was invalid. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
Doma, which operates the title insurance underwriter North American Title Insurance Co., completed its merger with special purpose acquisition company Capitol Investment Corp. V. The company stock is now being traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Fidelity National Financial announced the launch of its Notarize inHere platform and the expansion of its digital closing services team to enhance the experience for consumers and real estate professionals involved in real estate transactions.
Boston National Title Agency has added Wendi Thom to serve as senior vice president of business development for the company’s commercial services division.
Wednesday, August 11, 2021 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET | Register Today
With changes to ALTA’s Loan and Owner’s policies and numerous ALTA endorsements now in effect, the free ALTA Commercial Network webinar, “How ALTA Policy Form Changes Will Impact Commercial Deals,” will help you understand the revisions so you can educate your staff and commercial customers. Register for this SoftPro-sponsored webinar today.
Licensed title companies in Texas that subscribe to Title Data’s title plants will have access to the X1 Xpress data analytics engine to accelerate title production in the state.
Old Republic International Inc. reported that its title insurance division generated pre-tax income of $138.9 million during the second quarter of 2021. This is up from $65.4 million in pre-tax income during the second quarter of 2020.
First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance and services segment generated pre-tax income of $402.4 million during the second quarter of 2021. This is compared to $237.8 million in pre-tax income during the same period a year ago.
Stewart Information Services Inc. reported its title segment generated pre-tax income of $125.7 million during the second quarter of 2021. This is up from $54.8 million during the same period a year ago.
ALTA and several other housing trade organizations requested Congress refrain from using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's guarantee fees (g-fees) to help pay for any infrastructure package being negotiated in the Senate.
Headquartered in Westerville, Ohio, Title First also has offices in West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Texas. The company is licensed to operate in 34 states with strategic partnerships throughout the country.
Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund Inc. elected Steve Norgaard as chair of its board of directors. The company also added David Dunn, Aurora Austriaco and James Hallene to its board.
The former president of an escrow and title company was sentenced July 26 to 18 months in prison for misappropriating $715,000 of closing funds in connection with 48 real estate transactions for which she served as the settlement agent.
In this role, Brian Hayes leads strategic initiatives designed to streamline sales processes and is charged with steering the customer experience.
This ALTA Commercial Network webinar recording, which is sponsored by This FNF Family of Companies, discusses how the Biden Administration’s proposal would hinder 1031 business, the impact like-kind exchanges have on the economy and what you can do to protect this important source of capital for housing. Learn how you can take action and protect this business source.
In this role, Kenneth Farmer will provide underwriting guidance and assistance to title agents in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee.
The Uniform Law Commission recently authorized the appointment of a new drafting committees to develop model legislation that would create a process for property owners to remove discriminatory restrictive covenants from deeds.
The 2021 Best Places to Work winners were chosen based on employee participation and their responses to a survey. SoftPro has been named to the journal’s Best Places to Work eight previous times.
Find out who is winning awards, who is being honored and who earned a National Title Professional designation this year at ALTA ONE! Join us in person in New Orleans or check out our virtual option, Oct. 12-15. Your friends and colleagues need your support: Cheer them on from wherever you are! Register before Aug. 9 and receive $200 off your in-person registration.
Comprehensive data privacy laws, like what has been passed in California and Virginia, require covered entities to manage service provider and third-party relationships. In the event of a data breach, notifications to consumers and/or regulators may be required. If your business is subject to data privacy laws, ALTA encourages companies to consult counsel on updates to both new and existing contracts. Read on for tips as you review your contracts.
The proposed guidance is intended to assist banking organizations in identifying and addressing the risks associated with third-party relationships and responds to industry feedback requesting alignment the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency with respect to third-party risk management guidance.
The Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act of 2021 shields the personally identifiable information of federal judges and their immediate family, including home addresses, social security numbers, contact information, vehicle registration information, and the name of the schools and employers of their immediate family members. The bill includes all the requested changes from ALTA’s Redaction Workgroup.
As chief intellectual officer, Rouz Tabaddor will accelerate the expansion and monetization of the company’s intellectual property portfolio, which includes 30 active patents and an additional 13 patent applications pending.
In this role, Janice Cassidy will evaluate and monitor North American Title's appointed independent policy-issuing agencies, settlement agents, escrow agents and approved and supported attorneys for compliance with agency underwriting agreement requirements, company programs, legal and regulatory requirements and ALTA Best Practices initiatives.
Cloudstar, which is a cloud-hosting and data security provider to title and settlement companies, was the target of a sophisticated ransomware attack in July. Several software vendors and title companies offered their expertise and services to help title companies impacted by the cybersecurity incident.
The survey showed that 88% of recent homebuyers expressed satisfaction with the mortgage process during the first quarter of 2021. This remained unchanged from 2020. More consumers are gradually migrating to a complete digital process. According to the survey, 12% of recent homebuyers conducted their transaction completely online during Q1 2021. This is up from 7% compared to the same period a year ago.
While title and settlement agents typically don’t come into contact with the subject until the closing, it’s important to be aware of red flags and proceed cautiously when encountering irregularities or unusual situations. Read on for signs to consider when evaluating whether a party to the transaction might be suffering from reduced mental capabilities.
The integration allows SoftPro users to generate approved Stewart closing protection letters and policy jackets.
The new Qualia Connect capabilities provide ways for title and escrow businesses to create custom automations for many common partner and client interactions.
As director of national commercial services and senior regional underwriting counsel, Margaret Redman will serve as the point of contact for national commercial agents and help North American Title Insurance Co. continue its communications with industry regulators.
The new offering enables Punctual Abstract to take a title agency’s file from start to finish, from the abstract through to document recording.
With FirstAm IgniteRE, real estate professionals through single sign-on access can share transaction details with First American Title’s escrow team and homebuyers and sellers.
This year at ALTA ONE, you will learn more about what’s next in technology, how government affairs impact your business, where your next deal is coming from, how to elevate employees to leaders, what skills you need for effective storytelling and much, much more. Don’t forget: Through Aug. 9, you can receive $200 off your in-person registration. Register today!
The profitable past year has spurred a wave of industry veterans to consider selling their companies and cash out after decades of getting deals done and protecting property rights. However, it can be overwhelming to think about planning an exit strategy while continuing to serve customers. The good news is you don’t have to develop your entire succession plan today. Listen to this Stewart-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar to learn how title company owners can best evaluate, cultivate and execute a successful transition away from their title company through a comprehensive succession planning strategy.
ALTA exists to help members excel in a changing business and regulatory environment. To help with this effort, ALTA plans to redesign its website and several other external sites to improve user experience and functionality. ALTA has issued a request for proposal for companies interested in helping us reimagine, rebuild and deploy a new website. Proposals are due Aug. 6.
According to the 2020 IC3 Elder Fraud Report, 28% of the total fraud losses in 2020 were sustained by victims over the age of 60, resulting in approximately $1 billion in losses to seniors. While title and settlement agents typically don’t meet the subject until the closing, it’s important to be aware of red flags and proceed cautiously when encountering irregularities or unusual situations. Read on for more results.
ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight PropLogix, which provides detailed municipal searches, homeowners' association research and tax certificates to survey coordination and payoff tracking, as well as a remote online notarization platform.
With the new integration, SoftPro users will have the ability to access the data and experience a more seamless, technology-driven workflow to help simplify the tax and title process.
Title Alliance Ltd. recently expanded in the Phoenix area with the opening of Title Alliance of Gilbert, through a joint venture with Keller Williams Realty-Gilbert.
Washington, D.C.-based Federal Title & Escrow Company opened a new office in Maryland, bringing the company's total to five offices serving the Capital region.
Some lenders are inaccurately disclosing fees for lender’s title insurance on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures in violation of Regulation Z, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) summer Supervisory Highlights report. While report focuses on lenders, title and settlement companies should take note that the CFPB is reviewing disclosure of fees and finding mistakes.
ALTA’s 2021 Digital Closing Survey of 300 title professionals showed that 46% companies offered digital closings in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the health crisis, a 2019 survey showed that 14% of companies offered digital closings two years ago. The ALTA Registry identifies title and settlement companies that can perform RON closings.
If you support a non-profit organization that could use a little extra love, apply for a grant from the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation today! The grant application process closes July 31, and applicants will be notified of all decisions in September. Apply Today
In this role, Jacquie Brink, who is the incoming president of the Michigan Land Title Association, will head FNTI’s expansion efforts into the Great Lakes region.
Agents National Title Insurance Co. promoted Mark Batis to agency manager for the company’s southwest division. Additionally, Agents National named Pamela Blake to the newly created position of Florida title production manager and Kimberly Fields as regional underwriting counsel.
First American’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Council partnered with its #FirstAmCares Champions to sponsor Volunteer Month in April. Overall, the Champions campaign held over 40 virtual and in-person food drives raising $152,500 and collecting more than 15,000 pounds of food.
Knight Barry Title recently expanded once again in the Minnesota market with the acquisition of St. Cloud-based Heartland Title LLC.
The new 2021 ALTA Policy Forms collection will be published July 30. To prepare for the new forms, title companies should participate in training and guidance from their underwriters. Agents will also want to work with their production software providers to ensure that the updates have been made after forms have been appropriately filed and approved by state regulators, and authorized by their underwriters.
In a joint letter, ALTA and the Mortgage Bankers Association encouraged the National Association of Secretaries of State to support the bipartisan Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act, which has been reintroduced in the House and Senate.
In this role, Brendan Lewis will be responsible for securing new independent title agent business and servicing policy-issuing agents of North American Title Insurance Co. in the Dallas market.
First National Title Insurance Co. has named John Micciche as vice president and agency manager, while Ned Livornese joined the company as national and Mid-Atlantic underwriting counsel.
Georgetown Title will become part of the direct operations of First American Title Insurance Co., strengthening the company’s presence in Williamson County.
Through the integration, Qualia users will benefit from automated access to Municipal Data Services search products through the Qualia Marketplace.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021 subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Market and regulatory pressures are forcing title agencies to reckon with the ways they interact with clients. Simply dedicating more personnel to collecting needed information or resolving customer inquiries is usually a luxury many cannot afford.
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 | 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET | Register Today
Many title companies offer 1031 exchanges as a value-added service to existing customers or even generate new business. This revenue generator is on the chopping block as tax breaks for 1031 like-kind exchanges would be capped under a wide-ranging economic plan proposed by President Biden. Register for this free FNF-sponsored ALTA Commercial Network webinar to learn how Biden’s proposal would hinder 1031 business, the impact like-kind exchanges have on the economy and communities and what you can do to protect this important source of capital for affordable housing.
Head to ALTA ONE in New Orleans and network in person with your friends, coworkers and peers—or stay home and network virtually with our hybrid option! If you’re ready to go ALL IN in New Orleans, be sure to arrive in time for our Grand Opening Ceremony starting at 5 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Oct. 12. Next up is the Party in Market ONE, sponsored by SoftPro! These celebrations are not to be missed.
Owner John Bethell said he has long identified Kara Oltman as a potential partner and felt like now was the right time to make it a done deal.
TitleWave Real Estate Solutions named Deana Colliver as state manager of its operations in the Rocky Mountain State.
New York-based Kensington Vanguard National Land Services recently acquired Hometown Title & Escrow.
The cover article of the May edition of TitleNews highlighted the organizations that received $125,000 in grants from the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation. You can also read more about each group here and the impact they are having on their local communities. Grant applications are being accepted through July 31 for the next round of giving. Help us keep growing communities by making a contribution to the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation.
Interested in getting involved with ALTA? The association is accepting volunteers for its various engagement groups through Wednesday, July 15. Sign Up Today
Over the past year, ALTA has highlighted how members continue to serve their customers and communities through the #gooddeeds campaign. During the first quarter of the year, Continental Title Co. has donated over $10,000 to 14 organizations.
The title insurance industry generated $5.68 billion in title insurance premiums during the first quarter of 2021 compared to $3.92 billion during the same period a year ago, according to ALTA’s latest Market Share Analysis.
U.S. Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) and Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), along with 31 other members of the House of Representatives, reintroduced the bipartisan Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act of 2021. A similar bill was reintroduced in the Senate in May. Contact your member of Congress and request that they co-sponsor this important bill.
First American Financial Inc. settled charges with the Securities and Exchange for disclosure controls and procedures violations related to a cybersecurity vulnerability that exposed sensitive customer information.
Previously, Stewart Title’s Northern Nevada presence was divided into two divisions: The Legacy Division (previously Capital Title) and the Western Division (formerly Western Title Company).
Enverus, a global energy data analytics and SaaS technology company, plans to integrate Integrity Title's title plant databases in Texas and New Mexico into a unique-to-market online platform called Integrity Title Plants.
Title Alliance Ltd. recently added a new office in Washington to its family of joint ventures with Title Alliance Northwest.
RamQuest joined forces with sister company Pavaso in May for a GiveBIG charity matching campaign.
On April 16, NASA reported that the Ingenuity helicopter successfully completed a historic flight on Mars and safely landed back on the surface. It was the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. NASA said the Mars project went from a "blue sky" feasibility study to workable engineering concept to achieving the first flight on another world in just six years. How could you transform your company or community over the next six years?
As we look to the future, now is the perfect time to focus on honing your skills and positioning your company for continued success. We’re ready to go ALL IN at ALTA ONE: Are you? Don’t forget: Through Aug. 9, you can receive $200 off your registration! Register Today.
Ridgway Law Group and its affiliated title agency, Community Title Network, recently opened its third office to provide settlement operations for the growing beach communities in Delaware.
The subscription gives notaries access to ID verification and knowledge-based authentication (KBA), a free digital certificate and eSeal, video file storage and an electronic journal.
Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. recently added Kimberly O’Connor as Michigan underwriting counsel.
North American Title Insurance Co. has added Nikki Dominique as state manager for southern Florida.
Titlegenius provides consumers access to Radian’s blockchain-enabled online portal that allows them to shop for title and closing services.
Dominion Title & Exchange Services in Green Bay, Wis., recently launched a few campaigns, including “Casual for a Cause,” to raise money for local charities. Meanwhile, members of the New York State Land Title Association donated nearly $18,000 to four Feeding America foodbanks in New York.
June is National Homeownership Month, a time to celebrate the benefits that homeownership brings to families, neighborhoods and communities across America. It’s also a time to help your customers understand the benefits of title insurance and how it protects their property rights. Through the Homeowner Outreach Program, ALTA provides exclusive resources—including PPTs, blogs, educational flyers, print and digital ads, infographics and posters — to help ALTA members explain title insurance and the closing process.
Ron Damashek, a partner at Dickinson Wright PLLC, provided today’s review of a decision by a New Jersey state appeals court that restored the state’s ownership of more than 250 acres in the Pinelands National Reserve. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.
Emily Traxler will lead Bank Shot as CEO, taking over from founders Bernardine Drake and Glenn Drake.
Lanco Title was founded in 1979, servicing the southeastern and central Ohio markets.
New Jersey-based National Integrity Title Agency has deployed a conversational artificial intelligence-powered technology called "Robin," which is designed to manage routine and recurring conversations with clients without the need for human involvement.
The time to close on a mortgage decreased for the fourth consecutive month, according to the latest report from ICE Mortgage Technology, but is still taking longer since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Bellevue, Neb., Tom Low of TitleCore National volunteers at Bellevue Together, an organization that work closely with community leaders, school teacher and counselors to help those in need.
ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight PCN Network, which provides managed disbursement services.
Most of Freddie Mac’s remote ink-signed notarizations (RIN) guidance mirrors what Fannie Mae issued except for a requirement for multi-factor authentication. Freddie's multi-factor criteria follow the MBA-ALTA and RULONA model acts, as well as the MISMO standards, while Fannie's audio-visual standards say that either two forms of signed government-issued identification be provided or two-factor authentication be used.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” guidance document on May 28, providing clarity and guidance for employers on a number of vaccination issues.
Electronic payments platform Earnestly has rebranded as Payload Keybox in a move to reflect the wider array of payment services it provides to the industry.
Chris Mitchell, a 20-year title industry veteran, has been tapped to lead the title operations in the newly created position of managing director for its Texas operations.
In this role, James Bozzomo will be responsible for leading direct underwriting operations across the entire direct commercial and residential platform.
If you used 2020 to create or update your website, now is the time to show us what you’ve got! Submit your company’s new consumer-facing website for a Title Webbie Award and be recognized for your originality. Nominate Your Company Today!
Stewart Information Services Corp. said it acquired the Arizona-based Thomas Title & Escrow to bolster its national commercial presence.
The proptech company said the latest investment will toward building up its title and closing technology.
At the request of a property owner or someone with an interest in real property, the Senate Bill 30 provides a mechanism for a judge to remove by an order language from deeds that prohibits ownership based on race, color, religion or national origin in violation of the Texas statutes. It also instructs the county clerk to file and index the deed modification. The Texas Land Title Association supported the legislation after working with the bill authors.
Fannie Mae updated its Selling Guide announcing specific requirements for remote ink-signed notarizations (RIN) for loans issued on or after July 1. Fannie Mae added specific minimum standard audio-visual requirements for RIN.
In this role, Liz Fox will serve agents and approved attorneys for North American Title Insurance Co. throughout Central Florida.
The T.A. Central Processing Unit will provide administrative services including order entry, post-closing, recording division, disbursement and title curative across the company’s family of joint ventures.
June 10 - 11, 2021 | Register Today
If you haven’t yet registered for ALTA’s Consumer Marketing Workshop, what are you waiting for? Joining us for this virtual event, June 10-11, couldn’t be easier. The content is provided in just six hours spread over two days so you can join from your office, dinner table or favorite coffee shop and still get your work done.
Revisions to the 2021 ALTA Policy Forms collection have been published and went into effect July 30, 2021. Recommended changes were approved by ALTA’s Board of Governors in May, for adoption on July 1, 2021.
Weston Conway previously worked in sales leadership roles at Procore and Dropbox, two venture-backed software companies.
Knight Barry Title entered the Orlando market with the acquisition of Closing Boutique’s two offices in Clermont and Mount Dora. A second pending deal for West Palm Beach-based Home Title America will give Knight Barry its fourth office in South Florida.
In this role, Anthony Nalbone will provide support services to FNTI’s agents in the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Recent state and federal legislative efforts aim to allow for record shielding and privacy measures in public documents, including land records. Listen to this ALTA Insights webinar, sponsored by Old Republic National Title Insurance Co., as industry experts discuss how a balance can be struck to protect at-risk individuals, while preserving public records and the ability for a covered party to buy, sell or refinance. The webinar addresses the history of redaction and record shielding in land records, provides redaction examples, outlines the current landscape driving record-shielding initiatives and provides effective solutions.
For years, the title industry has taken efforts to protect Social Security numbers and other personal information of individuals involved in real estate transactions. Recent redaction measures are intended to shield the location and other personal information of individuals with recognized safety concerns from being accessible through documents contained in public records. While there is a need to shield protected classes with recognized privacy concerns, this must be addressed in a way that does not hinder the ability to complete transactions in a timely fashion.
Randi Benge has been named manager of the new office in Bonita Springs, Fla.
The Georgia branch, which will open in June, will be run by title industry veteran Kristie Parker.
Westcor Land Title Insurance Company recently hired Roy Poll as vice president and Southwest region manager.
Title Insurance Industry Market Share and Financial Statement compilations for the 4th Quarter of 2020 are now available on the ALTA website (www.alta.org/industry/financial.cfm). The fourth quarter of 2020 was a very positive quarter for the title insurance industry. Title Insurance Premiums Written were up 33.6% from the fourth quarter of 2019. Total Operating Income was up 33.7%, Operating Expenses were up 32% and Loss and Loss Adjustment Expenses were down 7.3%, resulting in Net Operating Gain up 79.8%.
The ransomware attack on one of the largest pipelines in the United States highlights the interconnectedness of cyber risk and the importance of cyber security to all business operations, according to commentary from AM Best.
SimpleNexus announced that its closing platform now supports remote online notarization (RON).
The company said the new round will accelerate its vision of building the digital infrastructure that connects lenders, settlement services and borrowers together to digitize mortgage closings at scale.
Founded in 2016, Cloudvirga is a customer engagement platform and digital origination platform that powers lenders, originators and brokers while also automating back-office tasks.
ALTA ONE is heading to New Orleans—and you’re invited! Whether you plan on joining us in person or virtually, register today to snag your Early Bird discount. Through Aug. 9, you can receive $200 off your registration! Register Today
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that will increase awareness of discriminatory restrictive covenants and refine the court process for striking them from the chain of title.
While the M&A due diligence process includes a pretty thorough review of the business being acquired, there are still aspects of the acquired business the new owner or owners may have to learn about after the ink on the contract has dried.
Digital homeownership platform Better HoldCo Inc. will go public via a merger with special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC) Auroa Acquisition Corp. in a deal with an equity value of about $6.9 billion and a post-money equity value of about $7.7 billion.
First American Title’s close cooperation with Offerpad made the companies’ first next-day close of escrow a reality for a Nevada customer who wanted to quickly qualify for his next home purchase.
The integration allows settlement agents to send, confirm or collect wiring instructions for secure transfers through the SoftPro 360 business exchange portal.
The U.S. Secret Service issued an advisory warning of a drastic increase in wire transfer fraud related to mortgage payoffs.
Tuesday, June 15, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET | Register Today
Cybercrime continues to grow, especially during the pandemic and the new age of remote work. Join us for this moderated discussion as government officials discuss the latest cyber threats, what agencies are doing to prevent cybercrimes and what the industry can do to help report criminal activity. Register for this RamQuest-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar to hear from the FBI and Secret Service and learn how you can help fend off cyberattacks and protect your customers and business. This presentation will not be recorded for later viewing.
A record attendance of nearly 400 title professionals during the 2021 ALTA Advocacy Summit held more than 250 virtual meetings asking members of Congress to support nationwide use of remote online notarization (RON). On May 13, Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) reintroduced the SECURE Notarization Act of 2021 (S. 1625).
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on May 14 issued an update to its TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule FAQs to address a partial exemption added by the Building Up Independent Lives and Dreams Act (BUILD Act) that became law in January 2021.
Wells Fargo & Co. will utilize Doma’s title and escrow platform to improve the refinance process for its customers.
In this role, Kenneth DeGiorgio will have oversight responsibility for the corporation’s operating groups, including title insurance, specialty insurance and data and analytics businesses.
In his new role at SoftPro, Gorkem Kuterdem will focus on long-term research and development strategy as well as ensuring the security and integrity of SoftPro’s current software and service offerings.
Shaddock National Holdings has finalized a majority equity acquisition of Continental Title Co., which is headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., and has over 20 locations across Kansas and Missouri.
In an April opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit clarified when data breach plaintiffs can rely on fear of identity theft to establish Article III standing. The decision may serve as an indication to how courts may view future, unrealized harms from data breaches.
Ron Damashek, a partner at Dickinson Wright PLLC, provided today’s review of a decision by an Arizona appeals court addressing policy exceptions on a plat. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.
U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) reintroduced a bipartisan bill supported by ALTA that would allow for the immediate nationwide use of remote online notarization (RON).
SearchCONNECT is an affiliate of Investors Title and National Investors that provides search solutions in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
ALTA’s Elite Provider Program features distinguished service providers committed to furnishing extensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members’ critical needs.
If you're considering entering into a marketing services agreement (MSA) or forming a joint venture, compliance should be top of mind. Listen to this ALTA Insights SoftPro-sponsored webinar recording to learn best practices when forming a joint venture or MSA so you can navigate any issues that arise after entering into a strategic alliance. Holly Bunting, a partner with the law firm Mayer Brown, addresses RESPA requirements, shares dos and don’ts for compliant arrangements, and digs into capitalization obligations, corporate structuring and associated costs for joint ventures.
In the latest ALTA Insights Podcast, ALTA CEO Diane Tomb talks with Kelly Romeo, ALTA’s senior vice president and chief information officer. The discussion focuses on cybersecurity issues that keep chief information officers up at night, as well as the continued threat of wire transfer fraud and efforts by ALTA and title professionals to raise awareness and protect money involved in real estate transactions.
The Notarize integration is accessible within the dotloop platform and offers the ability to digitally notarize powers of attorney, lease agreements, survey affidavits, parental guarantors and other essential real estate documents in need of a notary stamp.
ALTA started collecting and sharing examples of good deeds and how members continued to serve their customers and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know these good deeds are still happening and ALTA wants to hear how you continue to support your customers and communities.
Revisions to the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys went into effect Feb. 23, 2021. The changes primarily focus on modifications to make the standard easier to understand. Refinements also address unintended liability placed on surveyors while assuring that lender and title needs are still adequately met. Other changes impact reporting of easements and how underground utilities are shown. Listen to this ALTA Commercial Network webinar recording, sponsored by Dell Technologies, to learn how these changes could impact your work on commercial transactions. Speakers include Gary Kent, owner of Meridian Land Consulting LLC, and Todd D’Amico , director of operations for First American Commercial Due Diligence Services Co. Kent is chair of the ALTA/NSPS Land Survey Work Group, while D'Amico is vice chair. Upcoming ALTA Commercial Network webinars will focus on proposed legislation that would end the real estate tax break when investors exchange property for gains above $500,000; the impact changes to the ALTA Policy Forms will have on commercial transactions; and changes to the 47 Series Endorsements and addendums following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case McGirt v Oklahoma.
October 12 - 15, 2021 | Register Today
You read that right: We’re getting the band back together IN PERSON at ALTA ONE! If you’re not quite ready to catch a flight, we’re still offering a virtual hybrid option. However you want to attend, register today for the title industry event that unites us all right when we need connection the most. Get $200 off in-person registration with our Early Bird Discount!
Advocacy is important no matter the political party of the president or which side controls Congress. Whether you’re Republican or Democrat or none of the above, ALTA strives to promote your interests as well as the interests of the industry. You can help advocate for the title industry during next week's virtual ALTA Advocacy Summit.
Diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace are correlated to more creative, innovative and productive outcomes. In all contexts, but especially during a crisis, it’s critical to ensure employees from all backgrounds feel safe and supported. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently held a three-part webinar series to provide information about why culture and inclusion aren’t buzzwords or nice-to-haves, but critical pillars to a productive workplace. Read on as experts share insight on how to build a culture of empathy, mitigate unconscious bias in new work environments, and strengthen diversity and inclusion hiring strategies and talent pipelines.
AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has named Jack Sudol as a senior agency representative in the North Atlantic region.
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title insurance segment generated pre-tax income of $439 million during the first quarter of 2021. This compared to pre-tax loss of $53 million during the same period a year ago.
As president of TitleSouth LLC in Alabama, Amye von Seebach knows 2020 proved to be a very successful year from a business standpoint for the title industry. However, the COVID-19 pandemic affected the homeless much differently. Von Seebach became overjoyed when she learned that Be a Blessing Birmingham would receive a $5,000 grant from the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation. Be a Blessing was one of 21 organizations that received grants totaling $125,000 that the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation awarded in March. Read on as many other groups that receives grants offered their thanks and gratitude.
ALTA Legal Publications are the perfect tool for title professionals like you. But don’t take our word for it: Hear straight from your peers how ALTA Legal Publications can help your business.
North Carolina-based Investors Title Co. reported record results for total revenues, net premiums written and net income during the first quarter of 2021.
Ohio-based Accurate Group recently acquired Coast to Coast Title & Escrow (CTC) to help expand the company’s presence in the Southeast.
With its latest release, ClarityFirst offers new services for portfolio transactions that include multiple sites and geographic locations, as well as a feature that allows customers to track deal progress and receive real-time notifications.
Florida Agency Network has added Tarpon Springs, Fla.-based Patriot Title to its statewide network of title agencies.
Agents National Title achieved a 262% increase in premiums from 2019 to 2020, according to data from ALTA’s latest market-share report.
In this role, Mike Watson will be responsible for the servicing and growth of AmTrust’s Texas agency partner network.
ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight eRecording Partners Network, which provides a variety of recording solutions including a web-based traditional option, an outsourced e-recording service and an integrated recording solution.
Stewart Information Services reported that its title segment generated $77.1 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2021. This compared to $14.8 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2020.
If you’re interested in hearing the Biden Administration’s perspective on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses and the economy—and where we go from here—you’ll want to attend the free and virtual ALTA Advocacy Summit, May 18-20. Cedric Richmond, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, will speak to these topics and more on Thursday, May 20. Register Today
First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance and services segment generated $321.6 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2021. This is up from $73.0 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2020. Read on to find out what First American CEO Dennis Gilmore said about the company's investments in technology.
Old Republic International reported that its title insurance segment generated $103.7 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2021. This compared to $43.3 million in pre-tax income during the same period in 2020.
AccuTitle announced it recently acquired New York-based TrackerPro, which provides a paperless office solution for the title insurance industry.
Federal law enforcement and industry experts see a sharp increase in wire fraud targeted at buyers paying cash for homes.
This year, the company has partnered with DomesticShelters.org, an organization with an online searchable directory of items needed for survivors of domestic violence.
The growth of digital closing options during the COVID-19 pandemic has been massive. To collect more information, ALTA is surveying title companies about their digital plans. The more data we get, the more valuable the survey will be for agents wanting to benchmark their experience. Please take the survey and you’ll be entered to win one of five $100 Amazon gift cards.
The U.S. Department of Interior on April 27 issued an order that eases the ability of Native American tribes to take land back into trust. Does your title company handle transactions involving Native American land? Read on to access webinar recordings and materials from three presentations provided by ALTA's Native American Lands Workgroup.
Tax breaks for 1031 like-kind exchanges would be capped under a wide-ranging economic plan proposed by President Biden. To pay for the package, the president's plan would end the real estate tax break when investors exchange property for gains above $500,000.
North Carolina-based HG Holdings Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire National Consumer Title Insurance Co. and National Consumer Title Group LLC, which indirectly owns 50% of the membership interest in Omega National Title Agency.
As business development and underwriting counsel, Margaret Ling will focus on the continued support, development and growth of the New York state agency division.
What better way to learn more about the inner workings of Congress than to chat with former legislators? ALTA is honored to announce that we will be hosting former Sens. Trent Lott and John Breaux Sr. at the free and virtual ALTA Advocacy Summit, May 18-20. Sponsored by Stewart, the keynote will feature Lott’s and Breaux’s perspective on the agenda of the Biden Administration and the 117th Congress and the dynamics of the 50-50 Senate as well as a Q&A period. Register Today
LiveBy's technology pairs local data with its geospatial boundaries to create insights that help boost website engagement, inform and attract consumers, and nurture agent leads. Fathom entered the title space in 2020 with the acquisition of North Carolina-based Verus Title Inc.
2021 started off with a bang, and you need all the help you can get! Attract the best and brightest talent to your organization with a compensation package that beats your competition’s. To evaluate how good your company’s benefits really are, check out ALTA’s Title & Settlement Services Industry Compensation Index!
Purchase originations are on track to grow 16.4% to a new record of $1.67 trillion in 2021, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported.
E-Closing and E-Closing DoubleTime users can order municipal lien searches, association estoppels, surveys and lien release tracking through the integration with PropLogix.
The integration provides SoftPro users access to over 560 title plants, nationwide tax and recorded property data and more than seven billion document images provided by DataTrace.
The patented enhancement applies artificial intelligence to validate and correct text obtained from a document image via OCR, fueling more accurate automated title underwriting and production on key text-based components of the title policy.
David Cox, of counsel for the law firm Jackson & Campbell, PC, provided today’s review of a decision by the Court of Appeals of Indiana that addressed coverage for "actual damages" and not for the insured's effort to thwart the neighbors’ use of the access easement. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
Chad Hansen’s legal experience will allow him to assist with regulatory and compliance issues as First National Title Insurance Co. expands both geographically and into other areas of business.
While the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend some temporary loan origination flexibilities until May 31, the expanded use of powers of attorney will expire at the end of April.
Thanks to a member discount program, ALTA member companies saved more than $814,000 in shipping through UPS in 2020.
Communities are more important than ever in all aspects of our lives. That's one of the reasons why ALTA launched a new online community called ALTA Connection to provide a venue for ALTA members to share information, and build and expand their networks.
May 18-20, 2021 | Register Today
ALTA is happy to announce that we will be hosting California Representative Young Kim at this year’s free and virtual ALTA Advocacy Summit. An immigrant, small-business owner, community leader and mother, Kim has dedicated her life to giving back to her community – much like you!
Nebraska-based Charter Title & Escrow recently formed a Hispanic division to further assist Spanish-speaking customers. Itzel Gonzalez leads the division.
Punctual Abstract said it delivers the abstract, title evidence and ancillary documents—such as HOA estoppels, tax certificates and municipals—bundled together in a fully examined product.
The Call for Faculty for ALTA ONE is now open. Applications deadline is May 18. At this time, ALTA ONE is scheduled to be an in-person event in New Orleans. The association is committed to the safety of its members and will provide updates as new information becomes available.
Don’t let the extraordinary ALTA members in your life go unnoticed: Nominate someone for the ALTA Our Values Awards today! Celebrate your friends and colleagues who showcase what it means to Lead, Deliver and Protect in the best possible ways. Up to four awards are up for grabs: three for individuals and one for an entire ALTA member office or operational team. The deadline to submit nominations is May 31, 2021.
ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight HDEP International, which provides title production services including order entry, commitment preparation, o&e reports, abstracts, foreclosure reports and final policies. The company also builds and maintains electronic title plants.
Wisconsin-based Knight Barry Title (KBT) has expanded its presence in Florida with the acquisition of MLS Title in Fort Myers.
This is the fourth acquisition for Community Title Network, which serves the Mid-Atlantic region.
Christopher Cury succeeds Gregory McDonald, who founded Cloudstar in 2009 and served as president and CEO.
ALTA applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the SAFE Banking Act (HR 1996), by a vote of 321-101. The bill prevents federal regulators from taking enforcement actions against financial institutions and insurance companies that do business with the cannabis industry in states where it is legal. It also provides protection from prosecution for handling cannabis funds and will move those businesses away from cash-only transactions into the banking system.
Title insurance professionals reported cyber criminals attempted to trick employees to wire funds to a fraudulent account in a third of all real estate and mortgage transactions, according to ALTA’s 2021 Wire Fraud and Cyber Crime Survey. However, training and education seem to be working as funds were only wired to a fraudulent account in a little over 8% of these attempts.
Black Knight and Stavvy join eNotaryLog, Hercules Holding, Nexsys, Notarize, NotaryCam, Pavaso, Signix and Snapdocs to successfully complete the MISMO Remote Online Notarization (RON) certification.
The cover article of this edition discusses ways companies can build an inclusive and diverse workplace. Other articles in this edition include how a Fidelity executive works to foster female leadership; a diversity, equity and inclusion council created by First American; a look at the new ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey Standards; Second PPP loan eligibility and application deadline; Multifamily housing outlook; ALTA sends letter to CFPB about access to consumer financial data; and PRIA develops a papering-out paper.
Bringing a diverse pool of employees into your company is great, but unless those employees feel included and welcomed, retention could be a challenge. Beyond creating a positive, welcoming environment, inclusion has many benefits, including increased employee performance, retention and financial growth. Creating inclusive, diverse workplaces is more than just a “nice” thing to do. Industry experts discussed ways to maximize your inclusion efforts in this informative and motivational seminar. Speakers provide tips on how to drive diversity and inclusion, share examples of what successful companies are doing and explain how diversity can grow your business and make your company stronger. Participating in the discussion were Felecia Buycks , vice president and Arizona state manager for First American Title Insurance Co.; Damon Carter, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for CATIC; and Teresa Palacios Smith, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for HomeServices of America.
Kansas joined 31 other states passing legislation that authorizes the use of remote online notarization (RON).
Boston National Title has promoted Lisa Vogel to senior vice president of its national commercial division.
Fidelity National Financial (FNF) recently promoted Rick Rivas to the position of associate regional counsel for Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
PropLogix was voted the best local place to work in Sarasota, Fla., by SRQ Magazine.
Now that we’re more than a year into the COVID-19 crisis, ALTA CEO Diane Tomb recently talked with ALTA President Bill Burding NTP during the first ALTA Insights Podcast to reflect on how the health pandemic has impacted the real estate market. We discussed how the industry responded working to innovate and serve the needs of their communities and customers—all while handling historic order volume. The two also chatted about COVID-19 vaccinations, being able to travel once again, and the importance of telling your story and advocating for your industry. You’ll get the chance to do the latter during our free virtual ALTA Advocacy Summit, which will be held May 18.20.
Wednesday, April 28 | 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT | Register Today
Several issues that will affect housing and mortgage finance are being discussed at the federal level. Significant infrastructure investments, major tax law changes, and industry-specific legislation, such as the SECURE Notarization Act and SAFE Banking Act, could impact your operation. Register for this free ALTA Insights webinar to get a snapshot of what’s coming on Capitol Hill, while also learning more about this year’s virtual ALTA Advocacy Summit (May 18-20, 2021) and the opportunity to tell our industry’s story. You’ll get a preview of speakers and sessions, as well as best practices on how to successfully conduct virtual meetings with members of Congress and their staff.
The automated underwriting model was launched in Colorado and Arizona and in conjunction with Spruce's partnership with American Digital Title Insurance Company.
Even before the COVID-19 crisis, cybercrime was on the rise. And because criminals take advantage of the chaos emergencies create, the pandemic has produced the prime environment to embolden these thieves. As has been proven time and time again, it only takes one: One click, one failed alert or one unsuspecting employee, and the criminal can be in your network. But heightened awareness can be a powerful antidote. Listen to this Qualia-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar to learn how to safeguard against social engineering, phishing and business email compromise (BEC) scams. This webinar discussed the latest cyber statistics, impact on the real estate industry, tips to protect you, your agency and clients, and how to develop a response plan.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on April 8 vetoed a bill that would have would have exempted personally identifiable information of judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers from public records.
Patten Title Co. has expanded its presence in Houston with the acquisition of Celebrity Title Co.
Texas-based First National Title Insurance Co. (FNTI) has hired Nicole Hayes as agency manager in Florida.
Stewart Title recently acquired Santa Fe, N.M.-based Prima Title in an effort to continuously build out its local markets,
This marks the sixth year in a row that First American Financial has earned a place on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list.
ALTA makes it easy for you to stay up-to-date with your state’s legislative changes! ALTA has updated more than 40 state Title Insurance Regulatory Surveys (TIRS) within the past 12 months. An ALTA membership provides you with discounts on these publications. Subscribe Today
This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, landmark legislation signed into law April 11, 1968, by President Lyndon B. Johnson. To help raise awareness, Realogy Holdings produced an online course titled “Delivering the Promise of Fair Housing,” which offers insight across a slate of topics such as the human side of the home, history and reform, building on past progress, and how agents and brokers can contribute by doing their part.
Cheryl Cowherd NTP, KTP, MTP, director of underwriting for Agents National Title Insurance Co., provided today’s review of a decision by the California State Court of Appeals that addressed exclusion of matters subsequent to the date of policy and marketable title.
For Neville Nofar, owner of Great Northern Title, becoming a Proliant Settlement Systems franchisee was a natural way to complement his suite of businesses that also comprises Great Northern Tax and Great Northern Insurance Agency.
Revisions to two ALTA Closing Protection Letters (CPLs) were published and went into effect April 2. The ALTA Forms Committee recognized the need to conform the CPLs for single and multiple transactions to the work in progress on the 2021 ALTA Loan and Owner’s Policies and the value of making the revisions available immediately. The CPLs were last revised in December 2018.
Newly formed Florida-based holding company CNL Strategic Capital acquired a majority stake in ATA National Title Group LLC, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Talon Title Agency. Dave Trott, chairman of ATA National Title Group, said that all existing equity members of ATA and Talon will also participate as owners of the holding company.
The company reported it broke a record for orders received in a single day in March and saw a 187% growth for all services compared to March 2019 and a 70% increase over 2020.
Columbus, Ohio-based Omni Title LLC named Jon Lindahl as vice president of business development.
Driven by historic mortgage origination activity and increased home values, ALTA reported the title insurance industry generated $19.2 billion in title insurance premiums during 2020 compared to $15.8 billion during 2019, according to ALTA’s Market Share Analysis.
North American Title Insurance Co. (NATIC) has added Andrea Alderman Keith as Northwest regional underwriting counsel to provide underwriting guidance, support and education to title agents and affiliates in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and additional jurisdictions.
Fidelity National Financial Family of Companies has hired Elizabeth Wysong Berg NTP as national agency vice president for education and training.
D. Bello, which provides remote production solutions for companies in the real estate land title space, was recently named one of the top growing small businesses in California by Inc. Magazine.
ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight CSC, which provides e-recording and nationwide paper document recording that allows document submitters to record documents quickly and securely across the United States.
The New York State Land Title Association (NYSLTA) kicked off its 100th anniversary celebration with the “Feeding Our Neighbors” fundraiser—a statewide virtual food drive.
Freshmen members of Congress need to know what is happening in the title insurance industry, and the only way they’re going to be informed is if we show up and tell our story during the free, virtual ALTA Advocacy Summit! We need your help May 18-20 showing new Congress members who we are: the protectors of the American Dream. Register Today
Have you heard the good news? The ALTA Good Deeds Foundation awarded 21 grants this month for a total of $125,000 to charitable organizations in local communities across the United States!
As part of its consumer protection mission, Congress tasked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) with ensuring that markets for consumer financial products and services operate transparently and efficiently to facilitate access and innovation. One area the CFPB is monitoring is AI and machine learning (ML). Meanwhile, state regulators have started paying attention to how companies utilize technology as well. In 2020, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) unanimously adopted guiding principles that AI be fair, ethical, accountable and safe.
The title industry has used AI and automation in various parts of the process for many years. Title production software companies have made great strides in automation that eliminates rekeying and the transferring of data from one application to another. This streamlines the order process and eliminates duplicative tasks. More and more companies—including underwriters, third-party vendors and business process outsourcers—have started offering title production automation.
TitleTap launched a new service making it easier for title and settlement companies to integrate business solutions on their websites.
As group vice president for the Southeast, Ana Villela-Murillo will oversee direct operations in Florida, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee.
In this role, Chase Evans will provide leadership, team management and vision as he oversees the implementation of the company’s strategies.
Through its role in giving consumers and businesses options to complete these transactions online, reported 800% year-over-year growth in volume in its real estate sector.
The Pennsylvania Land Title Association (PLTA) is ”A Century Strong” as it celebrates its 100th year of protecting property rights of Pennsylvanians through its member title agents and agencies, title insurance underwriters, real estate attorneys and other real estate professionals.
It’s not every year that we have a title insurance champion working in the hallowed halls of the Capitol Building, and it’s not every day that we get to hear from such a powerhouse about what’s happening in Congress! At this year’s virtual ALTA Advocacy Summit, you will have the chance to hear directly from title industry supporter Rep. Ed Perlmutter. Register Today
Stop wasting time on TikTok and watch videos that can help you grow your career! From beginners to experts, everyone on your staff can benefit from ALTA’s Elevate Learning Center. Sponsored by Qualia, the courses include materials such as videos, reading materials, quizzes and/or a resource guide as well as a certificate of completion. An ALTA membership provides discounts on these courses, and CE/CLE credits are offered for some of the classes in certain states. Study at your own pace and in your own place!
The cover article of February 2021 edition discusses the various ways title companies are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate various aspects of the real estate transaction. Other articles include a survey that shows the majority of borrowers want a digital closing experience; a review of what title company owners should be doing to develop an exit strategy; when title professionals can get the COVID-19 vaccine; and Qualia acquiring the developer of ResWare.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported a 54 percent increase in consumer complaints last year when compared to 2019. Specific to mortgages, the CFPB received roughly 29,400 complaints in 2020. Of these, 10 percent were related to the closing of mortgages.
ALTA joined 30 other organizations in letters to Congressional leaders and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen explaining the importance of 1031 like-kind exchanges.
Monica Gilroy, a partner at The Gilroy Firm, and Matthew Mashburn, a partner at Aldridge Pite, provided today’s review of a decision by the Georgia Supreme Court addressing the doctrine of mutual mistake. Read on to learn how this case unfolded.
What would happen if you let go of fear, got off the sidelines, and jumped boldly into the game of life? Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of GRAVITAS, unpacked the vital question in a moving, motivating and empowering talk during an ALTA SPRINGBOARD Ideas Festival. Sun explored why it’s vital to push past your potential, how to transform an idea into a movement and why you’ve got to bet on yourself every single day. She encouraged the virtual attendees to harness their “superpower” and use gravitas to advance personally and professionally.
From Oreos to Gatorade, Bonin Bough is the master marketer behind the rapid growth of some of the world’s most-loved brands in kitchens across the country. During an Ideas Festival at the 2021 ALTA SPRINGBOARD, the award-winning marketing executive provided tips to help companies create their own breakthrough “communications experience” and how to cultivate talent.
Washington’s insurance commissioner issued a cease-and-desist order against Seattle-based title and escrow software startup Modus for allegedly violating the state’s anti-inducement regulations and offering non-title services for free in exchange for business.
Minnesota-based Guaranty & Title Co. named Ashliegh Rymar as commercial escrow manager for the company’s new office in Eden Prairie, Minn.
ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight TrustLink, which provides full-service trust accounting. The company offers segregation of duties, daily three-way reconciliation, electronic verification and management approval, a comprehensive unclaimed property service and positive pay upload to the bank, along with our 1099-S tax reporting and W-9 due diligence service.
Much has changed in 2021, and ALTA now has 40 updated Title Insurance Regulatory Surveys (TIRS) to help keep you in the know. The latest reports include Iowa, California and Pennsylvania! An ALTA membership provides you with discounts on these publications. Subscribe Today
A.S.K. Services is a provider of search and support services to the title industry, currently operating in five states and 312 counties.
Drive a more successful business with the new ALTA Employee Engagement Program! This new initiative helps you reduce turnover costs by improving your employees’ experience and retaining more of your workforce while raising productivity and improving your bottom line. ALTA members can benefit from reduced prices for this program.
According to the FBI’s 2020 Internet Crime Report, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 791,790, complaints with reported losses exceeding $4.2 billion last year. Business email compromise (BEC) schemes continued to be the costliest, with 19,369 complaints resulting in losses of $1.8 billion. In regard to real estate, there were 13,638 fraud victims with $213,196,082 in reported losses.
Grants in the amount of $6,000 were awarded to charities supported by ALTA members across the United States, ranging from the Second Harvest food bank network in Spokane, Wash., to the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, Ohio.
In the House, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2021 was reintroduced and provides a legal safe harbor for financial institutions doing business with state-legal cannabis businesses. Meanwhile, the Clarifying Law Around Insurance of Marijuana (CLAIM) Act of 2021 was introduced in the Senate and ensures legal marijuana and related businesses have access to comprehensive and affordable insurance coverage. ALTA supports efforts to clarify compliance for businesses that provide services to the growing cannabis industry.
Michigan-based Best Homes Title Agency, along with the law firm Schneiderman and Sherman PC, hired Eric Hamann as corporate controller.
Digital lending software company Blend has entered into a definitive agreement with Mr. Cooper Group to acquire Title365 in a deal valued at near $500 million. Title365 was founded in 2009 by a group of settlement service veterans to offer a combination of centralized product fulfillment, including title, escrow and default services,
Anna Collins has vast experience scaling new businesses and has held leadership roles with notable companies including Amazon, Microsoft, drugstore.com, aQuantive, and several startups.
A Michigan real estate broker and investor pleaded guilty for executing a fraud scheme to defraud investors to fund his gambling habit with the Michigan Lottery. The man convinced the investors to wire funds into the account of a fake title company. The fraud scheme unraveled over a two-year period resulting in over $19 million in losses.
As the former vice president of innovation and creativity at The Walt Disney Co., creativity speaker Duncan Wardle knows a thing or two about fostering an environment of innovation. Innovation is not something that happens by chance. It is the result of building an environment in which it can thrive. Speaking at the 2021 ALTA SPRINGBOARD during a session sponsored by SoftPro, Wardle shared strategies to encourage an innovative culture that unlocks employees’ ability to let their ingenuity run wild. Find out how to get your amazing alpha.
The new integration between ClosingCorp Order Management and SoftPro 360 integrates lender and settlement agent data to streamline the reconciliation of fees for final loan closing disclosures.
Avanze Tech Labs said its post-closing SaaS solution STACX leverages artificial intelligence (AI), optical character recognition (OCR) and machine learning (ML) to support lenders and servicers, title companies, and correspondent lending channel by creating an automated workflow solution.
The new feature allows real estate agents using Lone Wolf Transactions' zipForm or TransactionDesk editions to digitally submit title orders with their preferred provider.
Texas-based Mid America Mortgage Inc. launched a title company dedicated to providing a more comprehensive digital mortgage closing experience to the residential real estate market.
Qualia Scale allows companies to integrate their own their own internal title operations directly or access a network of tech-enabled title and escrow companies across the United States.
The average U.S. home price increased by roughly $30,000 last year, but the year-over-year difference in the average purchase closing costs was only $339 including taxes and $131 excluding taxes, according to Bob Jennings, chief executive officer of ClosingCorp. The use of technology enabled the industry to scale up capacity while holding the line on closing costs.
In this role, Rusty Tellone oversees and serves the needs of the underwriter's title agents throughout the state.
Britehorn Partners served as the exclusive investment bank in the transaction between Philadelphia-based World Wide and private equity firm Corridor Capital.
Improve your employees’ experience and create an engaging culture to drive a more successful business! With the new ALTA Employee Engagement Program, you can reduce turnover costs by retaining more of your workforce while raising productivity and improving your bottom line. ALTA members benefit from reduced prices for this program.
It was one year ago today that the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Two days later, the United States declared a national emergency and the country started shutting down. While stay-at-home orders affected millions of workers, the title and settlement services industry pressed on as “essential businesses” and helped facilitate closings for a record-breaking $4.3 trillion in mortgages during 2020. But what do you miss most from your pre-pandemic life? According to responses on ALTA’s social media channels, the overwhelming majority miss travel, friends and hugs.
At ALTA SPRINGBOARD you will you find specific interactive outlets for initiating discussion with your peers on today’s most important topics relevant to the industry. The format of this virtual event allows you to customize your experience through unique connections and conversations. The virtual ALTA SPRINGBOARD will be held March 16-18. Register today!
A year into one of the most difficult years for public health in modern history, we’ve struggled, adapted and persevered. One positive thing from the crisis, however, is that it showed the country how the title and settlement services industry gets things done. We’d like to hear how COVID-19 has changed your life.
One year ago the world changed, and the real estate industry was forced to adapt within a matter of weeks. Numerous technology tools were quickly implemented along with safety protocols and creative closings to produce what was a record year for many professionals. Now, as we begin to emerge from COVID-19, what lessons were learned? How can we leverage this experience to continuously improve our industry? ALTA CEO Diane Tomb shares some answers during a podcast with Linda Grahovec ITP, IEP, NTP, national agency director of education and marketing strategy for FNF Family of Companies.
In addition to serving as president of Boston National Title's national commercial division, Nicole Wolosoff will remain president of BNT’s New York office.
To help drive new business through automation, all three of AccuTitle’s title management platforms (TitleFusion, Closers’ Choice and Landtech) are now integrated with TitleTap to offer “Automatic Reviews” functionality.
Norma Scott has nearly 25 years of industry experience, previously holding executive roles in escrow operations with national underwriters.
ALTA praised the Senate’s confirmation on March 10 of U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
If you have been in business for any amount of time, you have probably noticed that most markets tend to be cyclical and require some evolution to survive. A company that was once king often must adapt to stay relevant. What you may not know is that online reviews are quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to market your business. It boils down to which company builds trust fastest, and online reviews on platforms like Facebook and Google do just that.
Using commitments and preliminary reports from any title production software, titleLOOK automatically inserts hyperlinks to search documents, creates the title exception summary and publishes a responsive web format.
A lender headquartered in Maine agreed to a $1.5 million fine for violating several provisions of New York’s cybersecurity regulations after an employee’s email account was compromised due to a phishing attack. Read on to learn what this consent order means to companies that are licensed to operate in New York.
ALTA SPRINGBOARD is almost here! We are very excited for this virtual event, and we hope to see you online. Scheduled for March 16-18, ALTA SPRINGBOARD has a LOT to offer—including inspirational speakers, education sessions, networking opportunities, CE/CLE credits, vendors with the latest in tech and services and even a full slate of prizes! Register Today
ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight RynohLive, which provides financial management and fraud solution systems for title and settlement companies. RynohLive conducts automated three-way reconciliation, an end-to-end auditing of escrow accounts and identifies anomalies, potential fraud and audit issues to minimize exposure to loss.
The average time to close all transaction types averaged 58 days in December and January, according to an origination report from ICE Mortgage Technology.
Armatage Capital announced it has acquired Meridian Title Corp., which has 34 offices in Indiana and Michigan. Britehorn Partners served as exclusive investment banker in the deal.
CATIC announced it has promoted Edward Forristall to chief revenue officer, while Michael Savenelli was named chief operating officer.
President Biden on March 11 signed into law the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress. Read on for a summary of provisions of the American Rescue Plan that could impact title professionals, including another round of stimulus checks, money for the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as funds that could affect the commercial market.
Registration is open for the virtual ALTA Advocacy Summit, and there is a lot that is fresh this year! New dates: May 18-20, 2021. New platform: Virtual. Join us from wherever you are! New cost: $0.00 (That’s right, it’s free!) Register Today
ALTA stood with the title and settlement services industry every day through 2020. Stand with us to achieve more for your business in 2021. Make sure to renew your membership or join today.
An agent verification system used by a lender showed that a title company’s closing protection letters (CPLs) were inactive, putting 25 deals in peril. However, a quick review of the ALTA Registry validated the title company was in good standing, allowing the deals to close that day. Does your title company have a free listing in the ALTA Registry?
States Title will go public as Doma following a $3 billion deal with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Capitol Investment Corp. V.
March 16-18, 2021 | Register Today
A virtual ALTA SPRINGBOARD doesn’t mean missing out on networking opportunities—it means creating connections you couldn’t otherwise have initiated! ALTA SPRINGBOARD is hosting virtual Braindates as well as Networking Roulette, allowing you to bond online with people who share your interests, ambitions and concerns. If you are ready to LEVEL UP, join us March 16-18 from wherever you are for this one-of-a-kind experience!
Real estate technology company Compass, which acquired title and escrow software startup Modus in November, has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Washington, D.C.-based KVS Title.
Stewart Information Services Corporation acquired Signature Closers LLC in a move to strengthen its digital closing strategy.
Social media can be a cost-effective way for title and settlement companies to reach target audiences and grow their market share. Powered by the Homeowner Outreach Program, ALTA provides members several digital advertising and marketing options that can be used on social media platforms. There are also several resources to educate real estate agents, consumers and lenders about the benefits of title insurance and how it protects property rights. Listen to this webinar recording and learn how to find and use the marketing resources ALTA provides, as well as tips and a demo on how to get started or how to enhance your current digital marketing efforts.
Title and settlement professionals can join the Federal Trade Commission and more than 100 groups and organizations participating in the 23rd annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) to raise awareness about scams, including wire fraud.
Every year mortgage closing scams cost homebuyers millions of dollars and, tragically, sometimes even their homes. These scams aren’t new, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a rise in this type of fraud. AARP talked with a recent homebuyer who moved back to his hometown to care for his mother but finds that his life savings and his new home are in jeopardy because of a scam. AARP also spoke with ALTA CEO Diane Tomb and Tom Cronkright, CEO of CertifID, about the anatomy of mortgage closing scams and how consumers can protect their money.
CATIC Title Insurance Company named Lisa Mansueto as vice president and state manager of Pennsylvania.
TitleOne, a subsidiary of Realogy Title Group LLC, acquired Land Title of Nez Perce County in Lewiston, Idaho.
Tennessee-based Realty Title announced it named Brad Lehman as president of its Mid-South divisions.
SoftPro was awarded Gold in two categories, Sales Growth Achievement of the Year and Sales Distinction of the Year for Computer Software.
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) issued a cease-and-desist order against a business for posing as a Michigan-based title insurance company, selling fraudulent title insurance online to consumers and operating without a license.
2020 was—well—a lot of things, including incredibly busy for those of us in the real estate industry. Now, all of the trends reports are signaling more of the same for 2021. If you aren’t already evaluating your compensation packages to attract the new employees you’ll be hiring, now is definitely the time. Sponsored by Qualia, the ALTA’s Title & Settlement Services Industry Compensation Index is officially open for 2020 data collection!
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek was recently asked, “If you had a billboard, metaphorically speaking, to get a message, a quote, a question, an image, anything out to billions of people, noncommercial, what might you put on that billboard?” The self-made billionaire offered a rather simple eight-word response.
The cover article of this digital edition discusses how the results of the 2020 election will affect the title insurance industry. The article looks at issues such as the SECURE Notarization Act, housing finance reform, housing opportunity and availability, tax policy, financial services policy, CFPB, cannabis and beneficial ownership. Other articles in this edition include a forecast of the 2021 housing market; why enhancing operational efficiency is so important; a review of a TRID assessment report released by the CFPB; and a settlement between Zoom and the FTC regarding data security concerns.
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title insurance segment generated record pretax earnings of $1.8 billion during 2020. This is up from $1.5 billion in pretax earnings during 2019.
Stephen Gregory, underwriting counsel for WFG National Title Insurance Co., provided today’s review of a decision by the Virginia Supreme Court that considered whether an option to purchase a decedent’s real property at “fair market value” provided sufficient certainty as to the sale price to warrant specific performance of a contract for sale. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
The FNF Family of Companies named Ravi Bapodra to the position of senior vice president and regional manager for the Southeast Region of Agency Operations.
As a second-time home buyer outside of Denver prepared for the purchase of his new home, he received an email appearing to come from the title company asking him to wire his closing funds early in the transaction. The buyer wired nearly $80,000. Two days later, he was notified that the money did not arrive at the title company. Fortunately, the title company quickly engaged and advised him how to notify the financial institutions involved of the crime.
Wednesday, March 24 | 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT | Register Today
As has been proven time and time again, it only takes one: One click, one failed alert or one unsuspecting employee, and the criminal can be in your network. But heightened awareness can be a powerful antidote. Register for this free Qualia-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar to learn how to safeguard against social engineering, phishing and business email compromise (BEC) scams.
CoreLogic launched a new digital title and closing solution to deliver a single, end-to-end digital mortgage workflow. The company said the solution can help lenders accelerate their existing title processes by automating dozens of manual steps.
From Oreos to Gatorade, Bonin Bough is the master marketer behind the rapid growth of some of the world’s most-loved brands you probably have in your kitchen right now. Once one of the largest media buyers in the world, Bough will show you how to create your own breakthrough “communications experience” during virtual ALTA SPRINGBOARD, March 16-18. Register Today
ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight RamQuest, which provides title and settlement production, escrow accounting, document imaging and management, and transaction management services.
The integration automates orders of First American Mortgage Solutions’ loss mitigation products and services for BackInTheBlack technology users.
If signed by the governor, Virginia would be the second state to enact major privacy legislation, following the California Consumer Privacy Act.
ALTA and the Property Records Industry (PRIA) have combined efforts to publish several documents to aid members facing redaction legislation statutes in their states.
Need advice on how to handle claims on land title insurance policies, closing protection letters and closing mistakes? With 150 new court decisions, the 2021 Title and Escrow Claims Guide is now available to purchase. For the first time, the digital version features a linkable table of contents for ease of use. Subscribe Now
States Title recently announced $150 million in debt financing from HSCM Bermuda,.The financing will be used to accelerate market expansion to transform the home closing experience, the company said.
In addition to the increase in acceptance of cybercurrencies, several payment services have emerged as alternatives to automated clearing house (ACH) transactions and wire transfers. Because of this, updates to good funds laws should ensure new transfer methods have the same level of security, stability, payment assurance and consumer protection as the ones the industry currently relies upon. ALTA’s Digital Process Impact Work Group developed principles that should be considered when amending good funds laws as well as best practices title and settlement agents should consider when accepting digital funds from consumers.
TitleWave Real Estate Solutions, a Division of the FNF Family of Companies, has named Martin Brown as national vendor and customer service manager, and promoted Jeremiah Richard to Ohio state manager.
ALTA’s Board of Governors approved a recommendation by the Forms Committee to revise the two ALTA Closing Protection Letters (CPLs), and adopt four new Endorsements and two new Addendums during a meeting on Feb. 11. The forms are now available for comment until March 19.
AM Best revised its market segment outlook on the U.S. title insurance industry to stable from negative due to its exceptional performance in 2020 despite the pandemic. In 2020, the title insurance industry proved to be the most profitable segment in the property/casualty industry, as low interest rates and record-low mortgage rates led to a refinancing and homebuying surge in the latter half of 2020, and furthered the business activities of title insurers.
With more than 20 years of experience, Casey Brown will take a lead role managing internal operations, streamlining processes and improving efficiencies across departments and office locations.
The SoftPro 360 business exchange platform is now integrated with SearchCONNECT, an affiliate of Investors Title and National Investors that provides search solutions in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
New Jersey-based Two Rivers Title Family of Companies hired Laurie Emenecker as assistant vice president of operations!
Every year, February brings us Valentine’s Day and Random Acts of Kindness Day (well, that and really, really bad weather). It’s as if someone wants us to be nice to each other! With all of those good vibes in the air, why not “Spread the Love” with the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation and help us provide grants to charities that strengthen local communities? Give Today
ALTA SPRINGBOARD will be virtual this year, making it easier than ever to level up your business! Join us March 16-18 for inspiration, education and networking opportunities. Register by Monday, Feb. 22, to get an ALTA SPRINGBOARD welcome box full of event goodies! Check out this new video to see why your peers and colleagues attend. Register Today.
ALTA submitted a letter to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris congratulating them on the quick start to the Administration, while also highlighting how the title and settlement industry responded during the COVID-19 crisis and the importance of expanding housing opportunities and affordability. The letter also touched on the growth of digital closings, importance of protecting consumers from wire transfer fraud, cannabis legislation, the impact of commercial real estate on the economy, consumer privacy, and the need for effective and balanced regulation.
First American Financial Corp. recently formed an advisory council to promote the company’s commitment to a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment.
Regulatory and supply-side challenges coupled with slowing rent growth and rising vacancy rates will weaken the multifamily construction market in 2021. However, the development market should stabilize by 2022, according to economists from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Read on for analysis from NAHB as well as commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE.
First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance and services segment generated pretax income of $1.0 billion during 2020. This was up from $912.2 million in pretax income during 2019.
Stewart Information Services Inc. reported that its title insurance segment generated $94.9 million in pretax income during the fourth quarter of 2020. This is up from $20.3 million in pretax income during the same period a year ago.
Neil Narut will provide underwriting support to title agents in Illinois and Indiana, which comprise the central region of WFG's Midwest Division.
Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to sell its subsidiary, ATG Trust Company, to Midland Trust Company.
March 16-18, 2021 | Register Today
Oprah loves her, and so will you. Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of GRAVITAS, a women’s clothing brand, will tell you how her business used flexibility to manage a worldwide crisis during virtual ALTA SPRINGBOARD, March 16-18. Sponsored by the FNF Family of Companies, Sun will share the difficult decisions she's made during the pandemic and the changes she's implemented to ensure success now and in the future. Register Today
With this new functionality, users of the SoftPro360 business exchange platform can directly order municipal lien searches, HOA estoppels and tax certificates from Skyline.
DataTrace announced it now can provide title professionals access to historical property document images that are currently unavailable through New York City’s Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS).
In this role, Kelly Romeo will provide strategic direction of the association’s information technology, ensuring that all systems necessary to support its operations are in place.
Valutrust Solutions has added property evaluation services and broker price opinions to its suite of property valuation offerings.
ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight CSC, which provides electronic recording and nationwide paper document recording.
You can play a key role in shaping the work of the new Congress, be an educator to these politicians and be a protector of the title industry. Start today by taking five minutes to complete the ALTA Congressional Liaisons Survey.
While the U.S. Supreme Court struck down racial covenants in the 1948 case Shelley v. Kraemer and state and federal laws banning housing discrimination, the language remains in property records across the country. A bill introduced in Indiana’s General Assembly and supported by the Indiana Land Title Association would allow for a notice to be attached rejecting any of these covenants.
Don’t miss the Presidents’ Day sale on ALTA’s best-selling board game: Title Triumph! For the very first time, we are offering a 2-for-1 sale on both levels of ALTA’s favorite quiz game. Hurry: This offer is good through Feb. 28 while supplies last. Order Title Triumph Today.
ALTA asks you to delete a phishing email with the subject line "ALTA request for information." ALTA will never ask for personal information via email. This is a phishing scam and our system was not breached.
Whether you’re celebrating Feb. 14 with your Valentine, Galentine or cat, why not “Spread the Love” with the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation? When you donate in the month of February, the Foundation will “Spread the Love” right back. Keep an eye on your mail for a special “thank you” from our hearts. Give Today
ALTA submitted two letters to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to aid in the development of regulations that affect consumer rights to access financial data. The bureau issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking last year to gather comments and information to assist in the development of regulations to implement Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In one letter, ALTA outlined five principles the bureau should consider when evaluating access and use of data. In a second letter, ALTA along with eight other trade groups wrote evolving standards that protect consumers while promoting innovation.
In this new role, Jenkins provides guidance on underwriting decisions for business originated by strategic and enterprise accounts and advises associates and customers on instant underwriting files and the legal aspects of title and closing issues.
The integration allows users of SoftPro’s closing and title automation software to link directly with Mortgage Cadence’s Collaboration Center.
Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. has promoted Erik Helgeson to regional manager of the company’s Mountain states region.
First American Financial Corp. earned a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index, a benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality.
The changes primarily focus on modifications making the standard easier to understand. There are also updates to resolve inconsistent, confusing or conflicting language in and across the different sections. In a few instances, the refinements address unintended liability placed on surveyors while assuring that lender and title needs are still adequately met. Read on.
Feb. 24, 2021 | 12-1 p.m. EST | Register Today
Learn how to stop the scroll! Social media can be a cost-effective way for title and settlement companies to reach target audiences and grow their market share. Powered by the Homeowner Outreach Program, ALTA provides members several digital advertising and marketing options that can be used on social media. Register for this free FNF Family of Companies-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar and learn what resources are available, how title agents have used the material for successful campaigns and tips to start a your digital marketing effort. Your next deal could be one “like” away!
In the case Authentic Title Services, Inc. vs. Greenwich Ins. Co., a New Jersey court held that an attorney title agent has no coverage under his errors and omissions insurance against a claim based on wire transfer fraud.
Originally from Casablanca, Morocco, Mo Choumil, founder and CEO of Virginia-based ATG Title, got his start in the industry as an abstractor in 1993. Read on to learn more about Choumil and how he embraces technology, the user experience and reggae.
We all miss the heart-to-hearts and exchange of ideas that often happens during chance encounters at in-person events. That’s why ALTA incorporated opportunities for those spontaneous conversations into the ALTA SPRINGBOARD virtual format! Register Today
Consolidated Title Services, which has offices in Detroit Lakes and Perham, Minn., is a subsidiary of North Dakota-based Guaranty and Title Co.
The increase in origination volume will continue to put significant pressure on production capacity, and with default-oriented volumes anticipated to jump start in early 2021, it will cause ongoing stress to title and settlement operations. Reducing this tension will require title and settlement providers to place a laser focus on production capacity while managing operating costs. More specifically, it will require ongoing innovation to drive as much efficiency in their title and settlement operations as possible. The question is how.
Chris Cooper, CATIC’s business analyst, said the company has saved an average of $200,000 annually since implementing intelligent content management and business process automation provided by Laserfiche.
David Boss, a partner with the law firm Dillon Miller Ahuja & Boss LLP, provided today’s review of a decision by a California appeals court that held a purchaser of real estate does not have constructive notice of a seller’s alias that does not appear in the chain of title.
Old Republic International reported that its title insurance segment generated pre-tax income of $344 million during 2020. This was up from $230.8 million in pre-tax income during 2019.
Illinois-based H. B. Wilkinson Title Co. (HBW) has acquired Access Title Agency LLC in Naples, Fla.
Feb. 17, 2021 | 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST | Register Today
From books to movies to water-cooler chat, what do people like better than a good story? Join us Feb. 17 from 1-2 p.m. EST for this Westcor-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar as we discuss how telling your story can help grow business, showcase your culture and attract new talent.
The Ballston, Va., location is Federal Title’s fourth, joining two offices in Washington, D.C. and one in Rockville, Md.
The FBI has seen a spike in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims complaints related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic involving the use of stolen personally identifiable information. Because of this, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has reminded employers of their obligations related to unemployment insurance. Companies may be committing fraud if they take certain actions to avoid tax liability or enable fraudulent claims against their accounts. Each state has different requirements and time frames for reporting.
ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight CertifiID, which is a wire fraud prevention solution that protects title companies and their customers from wire fraud losses.
The new funding through the Paycheck Protection Program is available to both first-time applicants and returning borrowers. The rules are more strict for those seeking a second loan.
Data Privacy Day is today. Now is a good time to do something to protect yourself, your customers and your business. According to a Pew Research Center study, 79 percent of U.S. adults report being concerned about the way their data is being used by companies. The National Cyber Security Alliance says respecting consumers’ privacy is a smart strategy for inspiring trust and enhancing reputation and growth in your business.
New Jersey-based National Integrity Title Agency announced it has acquired Acro Settlement Co.
Agents National Title Insurance Company announced that Wil Townsend has joined the company as Florida underwriter and agency services manager.
Notarize appointed Larry D’Angelo as the company’s first president and chief commercial officer. He served on the company's board for the past two years.
Qualia and Realtor.com have partnered to give real estate agents and their clients the ability to collaborate online with their title provider of choice as part of a fully integrated digital closing experience. The service will first launch in February as a pilot test in Florida, Maryland, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.
The ALTA SPRINGBOARD Flash Sale is almost over! Your ALTA membership is paying off once again as members can register for our first virtual ALTA SPRINGBOARD for an unbelievably low $99!* But you need to hurry—after Jan. 31, the regular member rate will go up to $299. Register today and save $200!
Jennifer Briner of the Briner Law Group provided today’s review of a decision by a U.S. district court in South Carolina that held an underwriter no duty to defend its insureds in a lawsuit claiming that the insureds failed to honor a term in their purchase contract requiring them to grant an easement to the neighboring parcel. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.
According to the company, Close inHere provides presents closing information in an interactive format with on-demand explanations, tips and definitions.
March 16-18, 2021 | Register Today
Cultivating creativity and innovation is extremely difficult when your staff is working remotely or behind closed doors because of a worldwide pandemic. During ALTA SPRINGBOARD, former Disney executive Duncan Wardle will share the exact steps and strategies you need to encourage an innovative culture and ensure everyone on your team is able to let their inner ingenuity run wild.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the housing market surpassed expectations in 2020. Will the strong real estate market carry over into 2021? Listen to this ALTA Insights webinar recording, “The Big Short? 2021 Housing Market Forecast,” as First American Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi addresses the pandemic, mortgage rates, potential for existing-home sales, new construction, housing supply and price appreciation.
Guided by evolving federal recommendations and limited vaccine supplies, states continue to refine distribution plans that prioritize when specific workforce members and populations receive the COVID-19 vaccine. States are choosing who gets the vaccine and in what order based on various phases. Considered essential workers by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, title and settlement professionals fall into the last tier of phase one in most states. Read on for more information.
The new underwriter will operate in Malta under the name Stewart Title Europe Limited and will handle all transactions in the European Union.
If you support a non-profit organization that could use a little extra help this year, apply for a grant from the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation today! The grant application process closes Jan. 31, and applicants will be notified of all decisions in March. Apply Today
With the world turned upside down, take time to conduct a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis. Your strengths may have kept you afloat this year, or your weaknesses might have been more obviously exposed. There are new opportunities for those willing to innovate.
Comprehensive data privacy laws have become hot topics in state legislatures across the country, as well as in the halls of Congress. Laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which establishes consumer rights related to personal information, are expected to be widely enacted across the country over the next few years. Read on for tips on how to start preparing and get your compliance ducks in a row.
Regulations are always changing. ALTA wants you to have everything you need to stay on top of state laws that relate to your business’ licensing and operating requirements.
2021 got off to a rough start. But with your help, the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation wants to make it a little bit brighter for the charitable organizations you and your colleagues support.
Stewart Title expanded its reach in Ohio with the acquisition of Cleveland-based NorthStar Title Services LLC.
The FNF Family of Companies is a founding donor of the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation, a nonprofit ALTA established last year to bolster the charitable efforts of title and settlement professionals and help with housing needs as well as those adversely impacted by national emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Long Companies, which is a subsidiary of HomeServices of America, announced the appointment of Reneé Gonzales as chief executive officer.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the email claims to come from the “Small Business Administration Office of Disaster Assistance,” indicating the recipient is eligible for a loan of up to $250,000 and asks for personal information like birth date and Social Security number.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has unveiled an interactive digital platform packed with resources women business owners need to set and achieve their business goals.
Gregory Riley is a licensed attorney in Georgia and Florida with nearly two decades of experience in real estate closings, title insurance, national and state underwriting, estate planning, business, bankruptcy and related legal matters.
Bill Burding’s work ethic on the tennis court easily transferred to the principles he has followed during his career in the title industry. Serving as general counsel for California-based Orange Coast Title Co., Burding was installed in October as ALTA’s 2020-21 president. Read on to learn more about Burding and his areas of focus for this year.
You are tired—tired of pandemic life, tired of the winter doldrums and tired of the daily grind. Don’t worry, ALTA is here to help! ALTA SPRINGBOARD has lined up three Idea Festivals sure to challenge the way you see a problem or motivate you to tackle a new opportunity. Join us March 16-18 from wherever you are! Register Today
American Notary USA, a network of over 1,500 notaries, selected SIGNiX as its recommended remote online notarization (RON) platform provider.
Expedite Close now offers detailed, document-by-document guidance to help borrowers through the closing package, allowing for a more efficient, contactless process, up to and including the remote online notarization (RON) of all necessary paperwork.
The document, which is under a 30-day comment period, includes definitions pertinent to the process of papering-out, applicable background information and, by reference to PRIA’s website, state statutory citations. A sample certification page is also included.
First American Title Insurance Co. and DataTrace Information Services LLC announced the companies are founding donors of the non-profit ALTA Good Deeds Foundation.
Greater Illinois Title Company (GIT) named Gina Llanas as chief underwriting counsel. The company also promoted Ladislaus (Wally) Zbilut to senior underwriting counsel.
In December, ALTA implemented a new database to manage membership information and purchases. For security purposes, you need to create a new password if you have not done so already.
A few years ago, Erika Meinhardt gave a presentation during an ALTA conference about women in leadership. At the time, she had her plate full leading the national agency operations for FNF Family of Companies, but the discussion was a springboard to expand the conversation within Fidelity and other organizations across the country. Now in a scaled back role after “retiring” three years ago, Meinhardt is focused on helping women feel more empowered to take on leadership roles. While more than 70 percent of the title industry’s overall workforce is female, the percentage of women among the executive ranks is much smaller. Read on to learn more about efforts Meinhardt is leading to foster a culture of female empowerment, as well as addressing diversity, equity and inclusion.
“The insurrection and violence we saw Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol leaves a heartbreaking stain on our country’s history," said ALTA Chief Executive Officer Diane Tomb. "The rioters’ intolerable actions were an attack on the rule of law, our traditions and our institutions."
Capital Title of Texas LLC recently acquired GPS Title Inc., which is based in Granbury, Texas, and does business as Porter Title Co.
The SYNRGO PostClosing+ application consolidates quality-control tracking information relevant to all stages of the post-closing process, from scanning and separating packages to identifying recordables and integrating all shipping phases.
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 decision by a U.S. district court in Maryland that held there is no coverage under a title insurance policy when the insured’s neighbor brings a claim due to water runoff from the insured property. Find out why this decision is important to the title industry.
In this role, Matt Hood is responsible for growing the company's regional presence by establishing an expanded network of title insurance agents and agency representatives.
Disagree and commit is a management principle that states individuals can disagree while a decision is being made, but once a direction has been chosen, everybody must commit to it.
On a rare New Year's Day session, Congress voted to override President Trump's veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). With the move, the law creates a new beneficial ownership registry for shell companies. ALTA members asked members of Congress to co-sponsor the bill during the 2019 ALTA Advocacy Summit.
If you haven’t been able to attend ALTA SPRINGBOARD in the past, 2021 is your year! For the first time, ALTA SPRINGBOARD will be virtual March 16-18, which means you can attend from the comfort of your office or couch without paying for airfare or a hotel. As an added bonus, ALTA members can register for an unbelievably low $99! Register Today
Foundation Title & Escrow Series LLC is expanding into Alabama following a merger with Paulus Title LLC.
Florida Agency Network (FAN) has released a new electronic Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) program aimed at streamlining the closing process and keeping everyone safe and secure.
The deal gives Wisconsin-based Knight Barry Title 13 offices throughout Minnesota.
The company provided 13,600 meals to Feeding America after holding an online fundraiser during November.