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The attorneys general in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania joined Florida in filing complaints against MV Realty, alleging that the company misled consumers over the terms of the brokerage's “Homeowner Benefit Program.” ALTA released a statement applauding the attorneys general in these states for their efforts to combat unfair and deceptive practices in the real estate market.
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Building a culture of ownership with your employees can drive results. Employees will feel empowered to do great work and be invested in your organization’s success. Developing this type of culture is even more important now as the market continues to contract and the environment for purchase orders becomes more competitive. Register for this free ALTA Insights webinar to learn how to assess your “go-to” managerial or leadership style and reflect on how you can more effectively build an employee-forward culture in 2023.
This certifies that Sekady maintains and conforms to a globally recognized standard in its storage and handling of sensitive client information.
With its new office in Bozeman, TitleOne now has 27 locations in Idaho, Washington, Utah and Montana.
Idaho-based company contributed more than 14,000 pounds of non-perishable food items and raised nearly $32,000 in donations through its 11th annual Closing the Hunger Gap Food Drive.
Through the integration, Flueid lender and title customers can check e-closing and e-recording availability within Flueid Decision thanks to Notarize’s acceptance data.
Covered nonbanks are the only entities subject to the reporting requirement. This includes businesses that provide a consumer financial product. Read on to find out which nonbank entities are excluded.
The title insurance industry generated $5.4 billion in title insurance premiums during the third quarter of 2022, according to ALTA’s latest Market Share Analysis.
Five people were indicted for their involvement in a deed theft ring for allegedly stealing three homes worth more than $1 million in total from elderly, vulnerable homeowners in New York.
The integration of the DataTrace TaxSource report and the SoftPro 360 business exchange portal provides users with automated access to national tax status reporting. SoftPro users also have access to DataTrace’s fully managed Title Production Services (TPS) and regional tax information and certificate services.
Are you shopping on Amazon for the holidays? If so, please consider shopping through the AmazonSmile website or via the Amazon mobile app and choosing the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation as your desired charity. AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.
During his keynote address at the ABA/ABA Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference, FinCEN Acting Director Himamauli Das said the agency is considering comments to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) issued last December and hopes to issue new anti-money laundering rulemakings in in 2023.
The November edition of TitleNews highlights the risk the use of alternative title insurance products—such as certain attorney opinion letters—pose to lenders and consumers. Other feature articles include a look at a brokerage firm placing 40-year right-to-list contracts on properties; an ALTA survey shows that companies expect RON use to increase in 2022; today’s tech questions title companies should be asking; a member profile of a Taylor Swift fan who blends passion for HR with title.
The investment from growth equity firm Plymouth Growth will enable CloseSimple to hire top-tier talent, accelerate product development and broaden its outreach to companies in the title industry seeking a modern platform to provide a cohesive digital closing experience.
Racial and discriminatory covenants can be found in the property records of American communities across the country. While no longer enforceable, the remnants of these discriminatory policies remain. Listen to this webinar recording to learn about the organizations tracking and mapping discriminatory covenants. Find out how the title and records industries can collaborate in identifying discriminatory covenants and help property owners address them.
It’s not hard to find a title business operating with a modern title production system and/or other platforms designed to take keying data and manual tasks out of the workflow. Instead, the questions for this new generation of the title industry fall more into the category of “Where do we go from here?” Or, perhaps more appropriately, “How do we get the most from our new tech stacks?”
Florida’s attorney general has filed a complaint against MV Realty for engaging “in a complex and deceptive scheme that attempts to skirt existing Florida law with the goal of swindling consumers out of their home equity.” ALTA supports efforts to protect consumers by prohibiting the filing of unfair real estate fee agreements in property records, a practice that creates impediments and increases the cost and complexity of selling, refinancing or transferring real estate. ALTA advocates for state laws and regulations preventing enforcement of Non-Title Recorded Agreements for Personal Services (NTRAPS). A subgroup of ALTA’s State Legislative/Regulatory Action Committee developed a model bill prohibiting unfair service agreements.
Primary and secondary contacts for ALTA members and policy forms licensee holders can now download their licenses online.
In the letter, ALTA highlighted how the title insurance industry is crucial to the safety and soundness of the mortgage market. Specifically, ALTA highlighted the critical role title professionals play in assisting consumers during a mortgage refinance, as well as how innovation over the past decade has made the process of refinancing easier and faster than ever. Additionally, ALTA informed the bureau of increased risk alternative title insurance products pose to lenders and consumers.
Of the 49.5 million rental housing units in the U.S., nearly 46% are located in rental properties of one-to-four units, according to the latest Rental Housing Finance Survey (RHFS) data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Mike Marconi previously served as chief operating officer for Orange Coast Title, Orange Coast Title Company of Southern California, Orange Coast Title Company of Northern California, Equity Title of Washington, EZDoc, Laureltree Investments, Laureltree Promotions and JLM Corp since 2018.
Hear from Inside Elections Editor and Publisher Nathan Gonzalez on how results of the 2022 Midterm Election will impact Washington’s policy priorities in 2023. You’ll hear analysis of what drove the results and what issues Congress and the White House are likely to focus on in the 118th Congress. In addition, find out the latest on important policies that impact the title and settlement industry, including remote online notarization, wire fraud and cannabis, among others.
The new year is fast approaching, and wrapping up your annual budgets is a top priority. Now is a great time to earmark any leftover funds for on-the-job training! All members of your team can benefit from an online course through ALTA’s Elevate Learning Center.
Fannie Mae’s latest survey from Q1 2022 found that 36% of 2021 homebuyers received only one mortgage quote. This is consistent with survey findings from Q1 2014 and Q1 2019. Additionally, the survey found that 91% of homebuyers did not shop around for title and settlement services after receiving the Loan Estimate.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced the conforming loan limit values (CLLs) for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2023. In most of the United States, the 2023 CLL value for one-unit properties will be $726,200, an increase of $79,000 from $647,200 in 2022.
Title Resources Group (TRG) added Virginia Suliman, Ilene Topper and Ajay Waghray to its Board of Directors.
Old Republic Title announced that Jesse Oman, the company’s chief information officer (CIO), once again received the Info-Tech CIO Award from the Info-Tech Research Group, a leading IT research and advisory firm.
Cyberattacks targeting title and settlement companies remained the same or increased over the past year, according to a recent ALTA survey. Read on for tools ALTA has developed to help protect your organization and to learn about industry efforts to thwart fraud.
First National Title Insurance Company (FNTI) recently promoted Devin Storms to Western region manager.
If you are looking for professional growth opportunities, look no more: The Title Insurance Law Newsletter, sponsored by Softpro, provides monthly insightful and practical analysis of the latest cases, court decisions and developments affecting the title insurance industry. Additionally, we now have an extensive searchable library of enewsletter content going back to 2013. Just the knowledge you need to get ahead of the curve!
Any professional responsible for closing a real estate transaction must file Form 1099-S to the Internal Revenue Service. In the Open Forum of the ALTA Connection, a question was posed on advice on how to handle an elderly seller who refuses to provide her Social Security number.
TitlePoint enables searches for detailed property information, images of documents and maps from hundreds of counties across the United States.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the California Attorney General alleged that Ygrene Energy Fund Inc. and its contractors falsely told consumers that the financing for its Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program wouldn’t interfere with the sale or refinancing of their homes.
CertifID Inc. and Stewart Information Services Corp. reported a significant reduction in wire fraud risk for the title company, consumers and lenders as a result of their partnership. This is in the face of the 64% year-on-year rise in overall cybercrime losses most recently available from the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
Texas-based Republic Title was named the No. 2 Best Midsize Company to work for, according to The Dallas Morning News’ Top 100 Places to Work program.
The certification confirms paymints.io maintains and conforms to a globally recognized standard in its storage and handling of client data.
Title and settlement companies report that the volume of cyber attacks have either increased or remained the same last year when compared to 2020. Because of this, you and your staff need the skills and tools to respond to an ever-changing cyber landscape. Listen to this FNF Family of Companies-sponsored webinar recording to learn what considerations you may want to put into place for your company’s cyber safety and risk management in 2023. Presenters include Andy White, CEO of ClosingLock, and Brian Freedman, global manager of QOMPLX Inc.
The digital transformation has improved many aspects of the title industry. However, now more than ever, these key functions will require a human touch.
While lenders rely on all their origination partners to deal with many processes, there is no stronger partnership than the one that exists between the lender and the title/closing agent. More information must flow seamlessly between these partners than between any others. Read on for tips on how title companies can help their lender partners prepare for the future of mortgage lending.
The number of companies that began outsourcing their HOA research for their closings since the pandemic has increased 68%, according to a recent survey from PropLogix.
State regulators are looking into right-to-list contracts Florida-based MV Realty is recording on properties in various counties. Called the Homeowner Benefit Program, the brokerage offers to pay up front money to homeowners whether or not they have plans to sell their home. ALTA supports efforts to protect consumers by prohibiting the filing of unfair real estate fee agreements in property records, a practice that creates impediments and increases the cost and complexity of selling, refinancing or transferring real estate.
The FBI released a report that summaries its efforts to combat business email compromise (BEC) scams and real estate wire fraud by working with partners to identify perpetrators and dismantle their organizations. The report was spurred by ALTA’s efforts the past two years to get language included in various House and Senate appropriations reports directing respective agencies to report on efforts to combat and raise awareness of BEC and wire fraud, and collaborate with industry partners to address threats.
For the second consecutive year, Emily Tryon, ALTA's senior director of public policy and government affairs, was named one of the top 100 lobbyists across the country by the National Institute for Lobbying & Ethics (NILE).
Fidelity National Financial Inc. announced the acquisition of St. Louis Title, Security Title Insurance Agency and Accurate Disbursing of St. Louis, Mo., and Benchmark Title of Southern Illinois.
CATIC announced that Katherine Vyas has joined its Illinois team in the role of vice president and state counsel.
Title Resources Group (TRG) announced the addition of Peter Prygelski as chief financial officer and Lisa Clarke-Wilson as chief of staff.
Punctual Abstract said the new brand is a pictorial expression of the company's journey from an analog firm that began in 1993 with in-person searches to a land data research firm.
Social media marketing is one of the most direct and cost-effective ways companies can reach consumers and customers. With the market tightening, take advantage of a full year of marketing content ALTA has created for members to use on social media. The calendar provides a month-by-month plan or can be used à la carte.
The new features and enhancements will consist of automated document prep and templating, long-term storage of document and videos, security verification feature such as facial recognition, and external APIs to work with from small to enterprise clients to customize their offering to their clients.
Mortgage interest rates have increased at the fastest rate since the early 1980s, Freddie Mac reported. In 1980 and 1981, rates averaged 16% and 18%, respectively. Just one year ago, rates were under 3%. This means that while mortgage rates are not as high as they were in the ’80s, they have more than doubled in the past year. Read on for housing market analysis from Freddie Mac.
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title segment generated $335 million in pre-tax income during the third quarter of 2022.
Agents of Texan Title who are also SoftPro users can now order closing protection letters (CPLs) and policy jackets directly through their SoftPro software.
The ALTA-MISMO Liaison Work Group monitors and reports on the activities of the Mortgage Industry Standards Management Organization (MISMO). This work group meets quarterly and is co-chaired by ALTA members Steve Acker of Escrow Tab and Matt Johnson of Mainspring Services. Read on to view a summary of projects and activities that impact businesses in the title and settlement industry, including title and closing data standards, standardized Closing Instructions, fee collaboration, ALTA Registry data mapping and API, and the e-Eligibility Exchange.
In 2021, ALTA member Aaron Davis became dubbed the “chainsaw man” for his efforts to come to the aid of those impacted by winter storms that created a power crisis in Harper, Texas, leaving more than 4.5 million homes and businesses without power. A year later after a chance interaction with an old friend from his hometown, Davis heard about people helping fellow Floridians following the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. Davis and his brother jumped in to purchase 30 chainsaws and help with the cleanup effort.
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 2022, TIPAC raised $518,060 from 825 donors. In addition, $151,000 from 20 companies has been pledged to the TIPAC Education Fund. ALTA thanks all the individuals and companies that supported the industry.
Stephen Gregory, underwriting counsel for WFG National Title Insurance Co., provided today’s review of a decision by the Circuit Court of Fairfax County in Virginia that held the eaves of a new roof that extended over a fence did not disrupt the exclusivity required for adverse possession. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.
With housing inventory at a low point and interest rates on the rise, some in the title industry think this is a time to wait and see, to accept the fact that home sales are down and to pump the brakes on growing internally. The true leaders among us are doing the exact opposite. Read on for eight tips to generate business even when revenue tightens and volume slows.
In this role, Anne McCauley is responsible for overseeing Stewart Title's direct operations in California and Arizona.
LodeStar Discovery is a closing fee calculator for mortgage loan originators using LendingPad’s loan origination platform.
Freddie Mac said it wanted to provide consistency within the industry and allow additional time to transition to the new ALTA Policy Forms. Freddie Mac will now require the use of the 2021 ALTA Policy Forms on Jan. 1, 2024.
Nearly 1,200 title and settlement professionals attended the 2020 ALTA ONE in San Diego. From the education sessions and Market One with the exhibitors to the receptions and and evening activities, check out some photos to see what attendees experienced.
ALTA announced the winners of the 2022 Title Webbies, an awards program recognizing member companies that have created or redesigned the best industry consumer-facing website within the past year.
The Solidifi 2022 Consumer Mortgage Experience Survey showed that 59% of borrowers want to review documents digitally prior to closing. This is up from 50% in 2021.
In her role, NolaAnn Waggoner will provide underwriting guidance and support to title agents of Doma Title Insurance Inc. across Texas.
FinCEN received 1,489 ransomware-related filings worth nearly $1.2 billion in 2021, according to latest analysis of Bank Secrecy Act filings. Read on for detection and mitigation recommendations and how to report suspicious cyber activity.
ZOCCAM Technologies Inc. will receive its seventh patent for payments and payment data.
For the past two years, 7-year-old girl who lives in Massachusetts has undergone a treatment plan for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of blood and bone cancer. Ellie is now in remission. She also has a new personalized bedroom, partially thanks to the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation (AGDF). Donations from companies and individuals have pushed total giving to the foundation to more than $1 million since it was created in 2020. Read on to find out why ALTA members support AGDF.
Bill Burding NTP was recognized for his dedication to advocating for the title industry during the 2022 ALTA ONE in San Diego when he received The John Voso Jr. Advocacy Award.
Managing payments for creditor and revolving debts that must be paid off at closing can often be a cumbersome task. Some companies struggle with returned checks, not being cashed in a timely manner or the consumer using the money instead of paying the bill. Read on to learn processes several title and settlement companies follow to limit liability.
Knight Barry Title continued to grow its presence in Central Florida with the purchase of LP Title Services in Clermont.
Kansas-based Continental Title Co. recently named long-time team member and industry veteran Elizabeth Daniel as its new president.
ALTA’s gift to you this season is an exclusive sale on ALTA’s 2022 Title and Escrow Claims Guide! Available for the digital edition, the 15 percent discount is accessible through Nov. 10. Use code Gift15 during purchase.
Old Republic International reported that its title insurance segment generated pre-tax income of $73.3 million during the third quarter of 2022.
Stewart Information Services Corp. reported that its title insurance segment generated $51.8 million in pre-tax income during the third quarter of 2022.
First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance and services segment generated $186 million in pre-tax income during the third quarter of 2022.
On Oct. 26, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) renewed and once again expanded its Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) that require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used in non-financed purchases of residential real estate. The terms of the GTOs are effective through April 24, 2023. The expanded geographic coverage of the GTOs now includes counties encompassing the Texas cities of Houston and Laredo. The effective period of the GTOs for purchases in these newly added areas begins on Nov. 25, 2022.
Payload unveiled its Enhanced Verification Service (EVS) for its real estate platform following a successful pilot phase with financial institutions.
ALTA announced the winners of the 2022 ALTA Our Values Awards during ALTA ONE, which was held Oct. 11-14 in San Diego. The awards program showcases the title insurance industry’s Our Values initiative, which serves as a cultural compass and highlights core ideals ALTA members embrace.
During the 2022 ALTA ONE in San Diego, ALTA honored individuals and entities for their effort in helping to raise donations in 2021 for the Title Industry Political Action Committee (TIPAC).
Stewart said the Enterchange platform eases the title and closing process by asking the borrower to answer only those questions that are applicable to the nuances of their transaction.
Tennessee-based Foundation Title & Escrow recently opened its 18th office in the Volunteer State.
On a semi-regular basis, it’s important to analyze current banking relationships to uncover solutions you may otherwise be unaware of that could be beneficial for your business. Your banker should understand and assist in fiscally managing your business with a proactive rather than reactive approach.
Since 2020, the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation has given more than $550,000 in grants to 97 community nonprofits in 36 states—plus Washington, D.C.
Stewart Information Services Corp. announced Elizabeth Giddens will succeed John Killea as chief legal officer.
The CATIC Family of Companies recently released results of its first Inclusion Report, which outlines how the company initiated its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) journey across the organization in 2020 and the initial impact it has had on the company's overall workplace culture since its inception.
The Ohio Land Title Association (OLTA) recently unveiled a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Toolkit to help member companies implement DEI goals, initiatives and strategies within their own organizations.
The Good Documentation and Enforcement of Estate Deeds (Good DEED) Act, introduced by U.S. Reps. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) and Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), would establish the first federal definition of deed fraud, create a federal grant program to assist in prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of deed fraud; strengthen protections for homeowners against fraudulent notarizations; and require the FBI to include data on deed fraud in the Uniform Crime Reporting program.
A panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) funding structure violated the Constitution’s doctrine of separation of powers, which sets the authority of the three branches of government.
ALTA recently submitted a letter in response to a request for information (RFI) issued by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is focused on the use of technology in the housing finance space. ALTA recommended the FHFA put particular emphasis on innovation initiatives that address the needs of all homebuyers and protect the privacy of consumers. Innovation that evades established regulatory frameworks or compromises security or privacy should not be considered, according to ALTA. Promotion of using attorney opinion letters in lieu of title insurance in certain circumstances is one area that draws particular concern.
ALTA marked a new all-time high of record membership with more than 6,500 member companies.
First National Title Insurance Co. has partnered with TitleCapture to provide access to a new custom technology program for its nationwide network of title agencies.
Because many Sanibel Island, Fla., title agencies were one-office shops, Knight Barry Title is offering the use of its Ft. Myers location to any title company in that area needing assistance.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now accepting written attorney opinion letters (AOLs) in lieu of a title insurance policy under limited circumstances. ALTA continues to take the lead in engaging with state regulators, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and lenders about the risks certain AOLs present to lenders and consumers who need it the most. It’s important for all ALTA members to be informed and understand the risk involved with AOL alternatives, so they can clearly communicate this to lender customers. Check out ALTA's website to learn about and access the resources ALTA has developed to help with this effort.
ALTA installed Jack Rattikin III as president as well as its Board of Governors for the 2022-2023 year, during ALTA ONE in San Diego. Read on to learn who else serves on ALTA's Board and what priorities the association's leadership will focus on over the next year.
In its update, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) revised Subsection D to include attorney opinion letters. The handbook now notes that the VA does not require a lender making a VA loan or the Veteran-borrower to obtain title insurance or, where appropriate for the jurisdiction, an attorney opinion letter.
Payload announced a partnership with Premier Data Services (PDS) to launch an integration with SoftPro that allows users to electronically send closing disbursements within their title production software platform.
Flueid reported it has been adopted by top lenders, real estate brokerages, real estate marketplaces, lending and title platform providers, title agents and title underwriters and servicing platforms to power workflow decisions.
Agents National Title Appoints Pacific Northwest Agency Manager, Central States Underwriting Counsel
The company hired of Paul C. Hammann as Pacific Northwest agency manager and Kara Elgin as Central States underwriting counsel.
ALTA sent a letter on to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Sandra Thompson outlining concerns about the gaps and inadequacies with title insurance alternatives currently under consideration as part of the Equitable Housing Finance Plans, especially as they relate to consumer protection risks.
U.S. Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), sent a letter to the Federal Housing Financial Agency (FHFA) outlining questions and concerns on the potential harmful impact of attorney opinion letter alternatives on consumers, lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. ALTA commended the lawmakers for sharing their concerns about broadening the use of attorney opinion letter alternatives in lieu of title insurance.
Attorney opinions, in providing more limited coverage of title risks, represent a shifting of risk to the lender because they are responsible for representations and warranties for the life of the loan that pertain to clear title and first-lien enforceability. Title insurance protects a lender’s security interest in a property by ensuring that its lien has priority over others and is enforceable. Title insurance policies can insure against lien impairment caused by diversion of funds and similar risks while alternative products cannot.
Old Republic Title acquired the operating assets of Houston-based Veritas Title Partners LP.
Stewart Information Services Corp. acquired FNC Title Services LLC (FNC). Stewart also signed an agreement to acquire FNC Title of California pending approval of the California Department of Insurance.
Bank Shot, a provider of mobile real estate payment solutions and earnest money transfers, successfully completed an audit process and received its Service Organizational Control (SOC) 2 compliance certification.
The ALTA Good Deeds Foundation awarded a $10,000 emergency grant to the Collier Comes Together Hurricane Recovery Fund. CoreLogic estimated that wind losses for residential and commercial properties in Florida are expected to be between $22 billion and $32 billion. Insured storm surge losses in the state are expected to be an additional $6 billion to $15 billion.
The solution leverages Doma’s Intelligence platform to accelerate the title search for home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOC).
Earning a professional designation demonstrates commitment to superior expertise, upholding industry standards and continued learning. These merits can help boost professional credibility and prestige within someone’s network, with current customers and when pursuing new business opportunities.
To help thwart deed fraud, the Department of Records for the City of Philadelphia has improved an email alert service available to notaries public to help them determine if their signature and notary stamp were used fraudulently on a document recorded in our office.
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.
The AEGIS Land Title Group recently acquired Capital Title of Washington, a boutique independent title and escrow provider in the greater Seattle area.
Elizabeth Blosser, ALTA’s vice president of government affairs, was among six directors elected to serve two-year terms on the Property Records Industry Association’s (PRIA) Board of Directors.
The new integration allows users of LodeStar’s closing fee calculator to access the title and settlement fees of any Stewart-related company, including those of independent title agencies issuing Stewart policies.
ALTA continues to take the lead in engaging with state regulators, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and lenders about the risks alternative title insurance products including certain attorney opinion letters (AOLs) present to lenders and consumers who need it the most.
The new integrated solution employs machine learning to automate and streamline the borrower's closing document review and signature steps.
Stewart Information Services Corp. recently hired John Hamm as chief information officer for its global technology operations, overseeing and leading the company’s technology development and strategy.
Old Republic Title promoted Bob Wallin to Oregon agency manager and senior underwriter.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on Sept. 29 issued a final rule implementing its new beneficial ownership information (BOI) reporting requirements. This is the first of three rules that FinCEN is putting out to implement the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). ALTA has been actively engaged with FinCEN as a part of this process and submitted two comment letters as a part of the rulemaking.
Melissa Circelli assumes responsibilities related to human resources, benefits, talent acquisition, employee onboarding and relations, diversity and inclusion, and community engagement.
Companies currently offering remote online notarizations (RON) expect these types of closings to increase in 2022, according to ALTA’s latest 2022 Digital Closing Survey. The survey of 390 title professionals showed that 62% of companies offering RON believe this offering will increase over the next year, while a third reported they don’t anticipate any change. Read on for more survey results.
A federal jury sitting in Houston has convicted a 61-year-old Dallas man for his role in a deed fraud scheme in the Houston area. Some title insurance companies were forced to pay buyer claims who had acquired the title when purchasing the real property Clarence Roland III sold to them, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Texas.
The ALTA Good Deeds Foundation helps nonprofit organizations by awarding grants for a range of causes, including building affordable housing, creating programs to end homelessness and providing emergency shelter for women who have been victims of domestic abuse. To continue these good deeds, donate to the Foundation at altagooddeeds.org/donate.
South Oak Title opened its fifth office in Florida with a new location in Destin.
Visionet Systems unveiled a new portal for its AtClose title production system to help title companies improve their client experience by reducing closing times.
The title insurance industry generated $6.21 billion in title insurance premiums during the second quarter of 2022 compared to $6.54 billion during the same period a year ago, according to ALTA’s latest Market Share Analysis.
Digital payment solution provider DirecFunds has named real estate services veteran Ed McDonnell to its board of directors.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is seeking information on ways to facilitate refinances and ways to reduce risk for consumers who experience disruptions in their financial situation that could interfere with their ability to remain current on their mortgage payments. Deadline to submit comments is 60 days after the Request for Information appears in the Federal Register.
More than 100 title professionals have earned ALTA's National Title Professional designation, which was created in June 2012. Read on to learn who helped drive the creation of the program and hear from a few professionals from the inaugural class who received the designation.
PropLogix announced it hired industry veteran Brent Scheer as chief financial officer.
AccuTitle, home of title management platforms TitleFusion, Landtech, Closers’ Choice and TrackerPro, has named Alice Bell as chief strategy officer.
The new PayoffProtect solution uses machine learning to automate and standardize the mortgage payoff demand letter verification process. In more than 95% of cases, the company’s validation engine software authenticates loan payoff wiring instructions.
The integration allows SoftPro users to order and receive title abstract services from Traditional Title Services directly via the SoftPro 360 business exchange portal.
CATIC named Shonda Thurman as senior agency advisor to drive growth in the Volunteer State and expand its agency footprint across the Southeast.
Economic growth is projected to resume in the second half of 2022, but the combination of high inflation, monetary policy tightening and a slowing housing market is likely to tip the economy into a modest recession in the new year, according to the latest Fannie Mae economic forecast.
Learning about claims trends and hearing stories that lead to claims are important to title professional as they are a valuable teaching tool. While not all claims are covered, they are claims nonetheless and need to be resolved.
According to data from Notarize and The Bridgespan Group, digitizing the entire notarization market across all industries by 2031is expected to reduce nearly four million metric tons of GHG emissions, or the equivalent of over 800,000 cars a year.
The housing market is starting to normalize. But you don’t have to let conditions dictate your company’s growth. By taking action now, your operation will be primed to get ahead. Your team is ready, willing and able. The only question now is, how? Listen to this SoftPro-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar to learn clear strategies to empower you and your team to grow your business—even in this changing market.
The paymints.io integration with the PRISM platform enables both title and real estate agents to request and receive earnest money and cash-to-close funds from homebuyers once a buyer estimate is prepared.
WFG National Title Insurance Co. recently named Shaun Gonzales as president of its newly formed National Builder Services division, which will provide escrow, title, and underwriting services to both regional and national homebuilders in all 50 states.
Professional National Title Network, Inc. (PNTN) and CATIC have teamed up to provide attorney-delivered title services in Illinois.
In addition to creating policy jackets, agents of Fidelity National Financial's family of underwriters that use SoftPro can now take advantage of new Patriot Search capabilities as well as new automation of agentTRAX’s Starter Search feature.
In this role, Jeff Benson will lead the North Carolina residential and commercial market development teams, and collaborate with operations teams, to identify and implement strategies that maximize profitable revenue and market-share growth.
There is no better time to reinvest in your business! Get access to the most comprehensive collection of regulatory information and practices available in the title industry. The TIRS State Compliance Guides will save you valuable time while providing you with the support you need to be compliant.
In this role, Joe Grealish will assume management responsibility for all of Fidelity National Financial's (FNF) direct commercial, residential and ancillary operations in the Eastern United States, and for FNF's direct title operations throughout Canada.
Shaddock National Holdings acquired Santa Fe Title Company, which was founded in 2014 and is based in Santa Fe, N.M. Steve Riemann will remain as president and continue to run the company after the purchase along with all current staff.
The Docket: Utah Supreme Court Holds HOA Restrictive Covenants Not Signed by Property Owners are Not Void Ab Initio
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 Utah Supreme Court that denied the appeal of a group of landowners who sought to invalidate restrictive covenants imposed on them by a homeowners’ association.
ALTA’s Nominating Committee is pleased to present the list of nominations for the 2022-23 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. 11-14 in San Diego.
Good news for the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation! CertifID, a wire fraud recovery and prevention company and ALTA Elite Provider, will be donating $25 to the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation for every person who attends a special webinar with ALTA CEO Diane Tomb. Register for this free session today.
The Michigan-based title company provided access to its title plant—with redacted documents—to help Justice InDeed and the Civil Rights Litigation Initiative (CRLI) eliminate or reform racially restrictive covenants. Thanks to the plant access, Justice InDeed and CRLI led an effort with homeowners in the Hannah subdivision west of Ann Arbor to repeal the racist covenants that have been on file on their properties for over 70 years.
The cover article of this edition highlights how fraud risk is poised to increase as the mortgage market shifts away from traditionally low-risk refinances. Other features discuss Utah passing data privacy legislation; 2022 first-quarter title premium up 4.6%; Pennsylvania court addressing statute of frauds; the Biden administration's housing supply action plan; and an update on Fannie Mae's requirements for virtual currencies.
John Voso Jr. has served on ALTA's and the Ohio Land Title Association's political action committees for over 20 years. This has given him a first-hand opportunity to be engaged in the title industry at the grass-roots level and also afforded him introductions to executive leaders in the title, mortgage and real estate communities across the United States. Read on to learn why your involvement matters.
SoftPro released integrations to its platform for managing wire transfers with First American Trust FSB and First American Title.
Get ready for the new school year with a discount on ALTA’s Title Insurance Law Newsletter. Through Sept. 2, use code “Back2School” for a 15 percent discount. Your subscription also provides access to current and past issues of the Title Insurance Law Newsletter going back to 2013.
Between the economy, rising mortgage rates and the end of the historic refinance era, you might fear your future won’t reflect your past. However, the Omni Session speakers at ALTA ONE: New Horizons will engage, energize and inspire you to sail past the obstacles along your journey. Change can bring disruption, but it also can unveil a new dawn and fresh possibilities. Register today and join us in San Diego, Oct. 11-14!
A $6,000 grant from ALTA’s Good Deeds Foundation (AGDF) helped make a new bedroom for a young girl in Massachusetts a reality.
ALTA membership is comprised of various business models. It has title agencies, law firms, underwriters, affiliated businesses, escrow companies and many other types. Read on to learn about a program ALTA launched to help fund participation of small agents and abstracters at ALTA ONE this year in San Diego.
The integration allows Doma agents to electronically order closing protection letters (CPLs) and policy jackets without duplicating data entry and without leaving their SoftPro environment.
Heirs’ Property Relending Program intermediary lenders will reloan funds to eligible heirs to resolve title issues by financing the purchase or consolidation of property interests and financing costs associated with a succession plan. This may also include costs and fees associated with buying out fractional interests of other heirs in jointly owned property to clear the title, as well as closing costs, appraisals, title searches, surveys, preparing documents, mediation and legal services.
The PRISM platform combines automation and marketing tools, allowing First American's policy-issuing title agents to offer valuable products and services directly to their customers via any computer or mobile device.
As executive vice president of national commercial title services division, David Sallean will lead the growth and expansion efforts for WFG National Title Insurance Company's national commercial business.
With Qualia API, businesses can automatically place and track title orders, as well as access comprehensive order, accounting, and contact data on their files in order to build custom notifications and executive-level performance dashboards.
The new quality control feature that analyzes all title reports for specific phrases, exception types and customized clearance scores. The service can also target sub-sections such as legal descriptions, notes or requirements, according to titleLOOK.
Fannie Mae updated its Seller Guide in July to include a requirement that sellers and servicers must comply with all applicable statutes in states that offer an Address Confidentiality Program, also called Safe at Home laws. ALTA and the Property Records Industry Association published several documents to aid members facing redaction legislation statutes in their states.
As the mortgage market shifts away from traditionally low-risk refinances and moves further toward a purchase mortgage driven market, fraud risk is poised to increase. Read on for five important steps title agents can follow to help mitigate fraud risk as market conditions transition.
In this role, Julie Cwik will assume the responsibilities of Proper Title’s Charity Murow, who has been promoted to senior underwriting manager and counsel.
The company said it has completed nearly 1,000 RON closings in Texas since entering that market in April.
SoftPro released a new integration with Real Res for municipal lien searches and HOA estoppel letters.
Foundation Title & Escrow recently added its fourth office in the Sunshine State with the opening of a location in Panama City Beach, Fla.
Stewart Title recently hired Wilhelmina Kightlinger as deputy chief underwriting counsel for its national commercial services group.
In this role, Brian Webster will lead NotaryCam’s strategic growth and focus on expanding the company’s remote online notarization (RON) products and services, with an emphasis on increasing mortgage and real estate adoption.
Lance Pomerantz reviews a recent Nevada case of first impression that addressed whether an incarcerated prisoner could claim a homestead exemption in a property that was the target of a civil forfeiture proceeding. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
This AccuTitle-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar provides an overview of the basics of RESPA Sections 8(a) and (b), explain the difference between a referral fee and a fee split and discuss what compensation is permissible under the law.
Closinglock recently closed a $4 million seed round led by LiveOak Venture Partners with participation from RWT Horizons and GTMfund. The funds will be used to expand its teams across sales, customer success and product development.
AllFirst and its portfolio of brands, including FirsTitle, Excel Title Group, Allegiance Title Company, Guaranty Title, Smith Brothers Abstract, Aggieland Title Company and Guaranty Title New Mexico, provide services in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas.
The SoftPro 360 vendor portal is now linked to Conestoga Title’s online system (Agent Extranet) for generating CPLs and policy jackets. In addition to the title document production, the integration provides access to state specific rate tables for Conestoga’s approved attorneys in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Delaware and Virginia.
Due to ALTA’s strong advocacy alongside a coalition of partners, 1031 real estate like-kind exchanges were not used as a revenue source to pay for any new spending in this bill.
With the acquisition, Columbus-based Omni Title now has 15 team members throughout Ohio.
Boston National Title Agency (BN) unveiled a new second mortgage and HELOC solution that helps lenders optimize their home equity processing for speed and cost-efficiency.
With locations in the Roanoke Valley and surrounding area, First Choice Title becomes the first Virginia location affiliated with Foundation Title & Escrow.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Turk and Company served as the investment banker to Lenders Title.
WFG National Title Insurance Co. (WFG) promoted Suzanne Tinsley to senior vice president of the company’s Southwest, Western and Rocky Mountain regions.
To enable the scheme, the husband and wife created fake title companies, including one named Excel Title Co., to validate the fraudulent contracts to the advance commission companies so they would in turn authorize commission payments to the couple.
This day was established in recognition of Chicago Title’s role in rebuilding the city after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Attract and retain the best and brightest talent within your organization by incorporating 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, sponsored by Qualia.
Revisions to the ALTA Best Practices Framework proposed by the ALTA Best Practices Executive Committee and Best Practices Work Group are now available for comment. Deadline to submit comments is Sept. 1. Revisions to the ALTA Best Practices Framework were made to help title agents and direct operations optimize practices and procedures to ensure data security and financial and operational stability.
CATIC has received an upgraded rating of “A-” from the Kroll Bond Rating Agency.
Lenders are searching for “RON Ready” title professionals! If you offer RON, let lenders know with a FREE listing in the ALTA Registry. We’ll place a special RON Ready icon next to your company name in your ALTA Registry listing. Get your FREE RON ready ALTA Registry listing today!
Glen Stout wasn’t relaxing this past Father’s Day. Doma’s assistant vice president and regional agency manager walked 33 miles in support of fathers and families of ill and injured children, and raise awareness for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Ohio.
The partnership allow Title iO’s signature GreenFolders office management product to integrate with RBJ’s Evolution Escrow Processing software.
As vice president of client results, Kristin Sidman will be responsible for the assurance of all The Darryl Turner Corp. (DTC) client deliverables nationwide. She also will provide additional leadership to the DTC business coaches across the country assisting in quality assurance measures and consistent measurable results.
AccuTitle, the home of title management platforms TitleFusion, Landtech, Closers' Choice and TrackerPro, has announced expanded integrations with Stewart Title and CATIC.
Cyber attacks targeting title and settlement companies remained the same or increased over the past year, according to a recent ALTA survey.
ALTA created a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan template to help member companies develop a structured strategy to prepare for, identify, respond and recover from cybersecurity incidents. Read on to access the template.
Three weeks is the upper limit of how long many consumers feel a mortgage transaction should take, according to results of a survey conducted by Arizent. Nearly three fourths said they think the process should take no more than 21 days from initiation of the application to closing, with 64% indicating one to three weeks is a sufficient amount of time, and 10% saying it should occur in even less time. Meanwhile, the average time to close a purchase was 51 days, while it took 49 days to close a refinance, according to ICE Mortgage Technology.
ClosingLock is a vetted vendor of Old Republic and offers preferred pricing to the underwriter’s agents.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB’s) more aggressive approach to protecting consumers in the area of financial services means it is time to get back up to speed on the basics of RESPA Section 8(c) exceptions to the 8(a) and (b) prohibitions. Listen to this RamQuest-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar to learn how exceptions to this regulations work in real life as well as their relationship to RESPA’s anti-kickback prohibition.
The integration connects Landtech users with Notarize's network of live, commissioned notaries, available via video from any device.
PropLogix recently hired Terri Hanson as vice president of marketplace initiatives.
This committee will study the need for and feasibility of updating the Model Marketable Title Act.
Along with the new website and streamlined order process, the company added Brenda Flatter to the executive team as the vice president of national sales.
Old Republic International reported that its title insurance segment generated $109.5 million in pre-tax income during the second quarter of 2022.
First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance segment generated $240.0 million in pre-tax income during the second quarter of 2022.
Endpoint launched new proprietary solutions tailored for proptech companies and investors looking for a scalable digital closing platform to support their growth across the nation.
Fidelity National Financial Inc. reported that its title insurance segment generated pre-tax earnings of $529.0 million during the second quarter of 2022.
Stewart Information Services Corp. reported that its title segment generated $93.6 million in pre-tax income during the second quarter of 2022.
ATTOM, which curates land and property data, recently sold its RealtyTrac and Homefacts websites to Nations Info.
Title professionals have raised concerns about right-to-list contracts Florida-based MV Realty is recording on properties in various counties across the country. For insuring purposes, underwriters are treating them like other liens or mortgages, and calling for release or termination in the commitment. If a release or termination is not obtained, an exception is made in any title policies for the MVR agreement and/or covenant, and also includes any pending or future litigation that may be filed to enforce MVR’s contract.
Elsie Rodriguez joined the firm to work directly with candidates to help match them with the right employers.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday night by a vote of 336-90 passed a series of bills rolled into a package that included the ALTA-supported Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act (H.R. 3962). The bipartisan SECURE Notarization Act was introduced in the House by Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) and Kelly Armstrong (R-ND). It has 128 cosponsors in the House. Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Mark Warner (D-VA) have introduced a companion bill in the Senate. The bill has 11 cosponsors in the Senate.
Mike Smith previously served as chief accounting officer and acting chief financial officer for Doma Holdings.
The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a series of bills including the ALTA-supported Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act of 2021 (H.R. 3962).
AmTrust Title Insurance Co. and First Nationwide Title Agency LLC agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle allegations it entered into no-poach agreements with competitors in New York, according to the state’s attorney general (OAG). The title companies, which cooperated with the attorney general’s office, didn’t admit or deny the findings.
Funds will be allocated across platform development, sales, marketing and customer success to accelerate market penetration and expand deployments within existing accounts.
The new integration allows all SoftPro 360 business exchange platform users to order title abstracts from Punctual Abstract.
Anywhere Real Estate Inc.—formerly known as Realogy Holdings Corp.—announced new naming conventions for its business units as part of its recent corporate rebrand.
By a 56-0 vote, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the ALTA-supported Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act of 2021 (H.R. 3962).
The bill, which was supported by the D.C. Land Title Association (DCLTA) and awaits the mayor's signature, adopts the Uniform Law Commission’s Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts.
The Department of Treasury on July 8 announced it is requesting public input on a report that will cover the pros and cons of digital asset adoption. The Treasury invites input, data and recommendations pertaining to the implications and development and adoption of digital assets and changes in financial markets and payment infrastructures. Comments must be received on or before Aug. 8, 2022.
It's been a long road for the sequel to the 1986 box office hit "Top Gun." The new film, “Top Gun: Maverick” hit the theaters at the end of May. While the title industry isn’t flying into the “danger zone,” we’re once again confronted with pressure to reduce cost and closing times.
The new integration allows SoftPro users to order services such as title opinions, attorney table closers, document preparation services and settlement services from BC Law.
In this role, Alan Shumate supports Doma Title’s existing independent title agent and attorney customers and will add to the company’s growing network across key areas of Virginia.
In her new role, Maria Moskver will lead Cloudvirga’s strategic growth in building digital mortgage automation in the point-of-sale (POS) space and be responsible for technology investments, new products, brand awareness and enhancing the Stewart customer experience with end-to-end mortgage services and solutions.
In this role, Marilyn Cunningham provides underwriting guidance and support to Doma Title Insurance Inc. title agents and attorneys in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., where she holds title producer licenses. She also supports Doma agents on residential and commercial transactions impacting multiple jurisdictions.
MBH Settlement Group recently acquired District Title, which serves Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas.
Florida-based PropLogix has acquired TFG Property Reports, including its mobile notary network.
JM Family Enterprises Inc., a privately held company with over $18 billion in revenue and more than 4,700 associates, acquired Futura Title & Escrow LLC, which operates 72 branches through four brands.
The system updates include integrations with escrow software vendors, allowing managers to view every transaction in their system to allow for increased internal visibility and transparency surrounding the document and transaction.
American Digital Title Insurance Co. received its license to underwrite in California and is now licensed in 47 states.
Arkansas-based Waco Title Co. recently expanded with the opening of an office in Siloam Springs.
SoftPro Sign can be used exclusively for eSigning or for eSigning paired with remote online notarization (RON).
North Carolina passed a bill that permits the use of remote online notarization (RON). The statute will go into effect July 1, 2023. One wrinkle in the statute that is causing concern requires notaries to verify the geolocation via communication technology of the remotely located principal. In addition, the ability to provide the geolocation of the remotely located principal is a requirement for a RON platform provider to get licensed by the Secretary of State.
The way money is sent and received is changing. Listen to this SoftPro sponsored ALTA Insights webinar recording to learn about real-time payments, how they are being used in real estate transactions and the impact on good funds laws. Speakers include Chris Hultzman, vice president of corporate underwriting at First American Title Insurance Co.; Jason Nadeau, chief digital officer at Fidelity National Financial Inc.; and Rick Bruhn, head of commercial deposit and payment solutions at U.S. Bank.
Qualia released an update to its Connect platform that integrates with a mortgage lender's loan origination system (LOS) that provides lenders with control over how they collaborate securely with any title, settlement or escrow partner.
In this role, Jan Kailey-Boyle oversees all joint ventures in the states and ensures consistency of the TA Way Processes and Procedures and have ultimate accountability for profit and loss within the states.
Fannie Mae on July 6 updated its Selling Guide revising the required forms of the ALTA Policy Forms.
Like title and settlement companies, email from ALTA staff can be spoofed. In the latest scheme, a phishing email appears to come from Whitney Larman, asking recipients to fill out the attached form, sign it and send it back. Do not open the attachment or click any links in the email. It's recommended to use extra precaution when reviewing email on smart phones as it can be difficult to see the actual email address behind the sender's name.
This language directs the respective agencies to report on efforts to combat and raise awareness of business email compromise (BEC) schemes and collaborate with industry partners to address threats.
A Maryland judge has certified a class of plaintiffs seeking to recover from another bank that did business with All Star Title in Baltimore.
Almost all serious security events start with the exploitation of a vulnerability. This Old Republic Title-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar discusses the increasing importance of vulnerability management to avoid being the victim of ransomware. Hear about the latest ransomware trends, the threat actors who perpetrate criminal activities and get some tips to protect your organization.
Delaware and Rhode Island became the latest states to pass bills that allows for remote online notarization (RON).
As underwriting counsel, Rebecca Adams will serve agents of Agents National Title in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
With the integration, customers can order title search products and create commitments directly within the SnapClose platform, the companies announced.
With revenue tightening and volume slowing, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to adjust costs. As a result, lenders and title companies are seeking ways to invest in and implement solutions that will further streamline operations and grow market share, helping them remain competitive and improve the borrower experience while providing increased ROI.
FraudGuard Home Equity is a single-source solution for fraud risk management designed and configured specifically to help home equity lenders streamline their use of third-party vendors.
AmTrust Title Insurance Co. hired James W. Tarlton as regional underwriting counsel.
Doma Holdings Inc. released its inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Impact Report highlighting the initiatives and activities executed during the first full year of launching an official DEI function and its commitment to building an inclusive culture.
The May edition of TitleNews highlights efforts by ALTA members to help provide more affordable housing options for underserved people and communities, especially minorities and low-to-moderate-income Americans. Read on to learn more about what ALTA members are doing in their markets, as well as several other articles that impact the title and settlement industry.
Statutory capital will remain very strong for U.S. title insurers even as macroeconomic pressures mount in the coming months, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings.
The real estate industry is rapidly changing as new technologies and services influence the way deals are funded and transacted. One of the emerging technologies of the last decade is cryptocurrency. With about 46 million Americans owning a share of Bitcoin, title and settlement agents will increasingly be asked to facilitate real estate transactions involving some type of cryptocurrency. Listen to this ALTA Insights webinar, held in conjunction with the New York State Land Title Association, to learn what policies and procedures your company will need to develop to meet the evolving demands of your clients.
Managing payments for creditor and revolving debts that must be paid off at closing can often be a cumbersome task. Some companies struggle with returned checks, not being cashed in a timely manner or the consumer using the money instead of paying the bill. Read on to learn processes several title and settlement companies follow to limit liability.
ALTA and the Mortgage Bankers Association worked with the Mortgage Industry’s Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) for several years to create uniform closing instructions. Data specifications are currently being mapped to MISMO standards.
In this role, Natalie Moranda is responsible for designing the title and escrow process flows and implementing best practices and compliance for the title company's title and escrow platform.
Agents National Title Insurance Co. promoted Candi Slobodnik to Central States regional manager.
PropLogix general counsel Kathrine Miller has been recognized by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as among the top general counsel in the Tampa Bay region for 2022.
A security incident and cyberattack can cost an organization time, money, its reputation and its customers. Having an effective incident response plan can help minimize the negative impacts. It’s also important to implement a communication strategy on how to inform customers about a security incident when developing a response plan. Read on for communication dos and don’ts on how to inform customers about a cybersecurity incident and how it could affect them.
Businesses are dealing with increasing customer expectations, shrinking turnaround times, expanding compliance/security requirements and fluctuating demand. To help meet customer demand, Morreale Real Estate Services recently implemented a routing solution for payoff documents.
HomeServices of America has acquired New Jersey-based Associated Title Agency.
SoftPro Protect powered by QOMPLX includes managed detection and response (MDR) services that provide firms with real-time threat detection, investigation, response, prevention and reporting from both cybersecurity tools and security operations experts.
A third-generation title professional, Herschel Beard will be remembered as a great friend and mentor, but more importantly as a person dedicated to serving his family and community. Beard, who served on ALTA’s Board of Governors from 2009 to 2013, passed away peacefully in his garden on June 18 at the age of 71.
RamQuest’s Closing Market digital network is now integrated with AREAL.ai, which incorporates artificial intelligence to provide real-time document automation, including data extraction and processing.
WFG National Title Insurance Co.’s Default Title Services division has expanded its default management offerings to include foreclosure information reports on a nationwide basis.
An ALTA State Legislative and Regulatory Action Committee Work Group meets regularly to discuss the various ways industry and government can address the issue of heirs’ property. The group is discussing questions like how to quantify heirs’ property, how to better leverage estate planning tools and resources, as well as expanding access to programs and services for those with heirs’ property.
More Americans are likely to own a home now than during any year following the Great Recession. (The homeownership rate in 2010 was 65.4%.) Black Americans, however, continue to face significant obstacles along the path to homeownership.
The share of closed-end home purchase loans for first lien, one- to four-family, site-built, owner-occupied properties made to Black or African American borrowers rose from 7.3 percent in 2020 to 7.9 percent in 2021, according to data released by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC).
The title insurance industry generated $5.89 billion in title insurance premiums during the first quarter of 2022 compared to $5.68 billion during the same period a year ago, according to ALTA’s latest Market Share Analysis.
Recently, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took actions against various Russian industries, government officials and certain high-net-worth individuals and their families. Because of this, title and settlement agents should be reminded they need to comply with requirements against doing business with targeted foreign countries, designated nationals and other actors singled out by OFAC and the U.S. government. Additionally, money laundering remains a significant threat, particularly in connection with potential sanctions evasion. Listen to this CertifID-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar, "Red Flags to Detect Sanctions Risk and Money Laundering Event," to learn how to spot the red flags of money laundering when at the closing table.
ALTA’s Engagement Groups are now open to volunteers for the 2022-2023 association year. If you are currently a volunteer and would like to continue to participate, please submit yourreappointments. If you didn’t join a committee, council or work group this year, take a look at what we have to offer! The deadline to submit appointments is July 8. Sign up today!
The Federal Housing Finance Agency on June 8 offered details of the government-sponsored enterprises’ (GSEs) Equitable Housing Finance Plans for 2022-2024. In their individual plans, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac address title insurance and closing costs. ALTA staff and several Board members have met with both GSEs and the FHFA. ALTA shared the industry’s perspective on the plans and asked several questions about their closing cost analysis. ALTA also highlighted the various risks, particularly to lenders, associated with attorney opinion letters in lieu of title insurance, even in limited circumstances.
Brian Phillips, vice president and Rocky Mountain area manager, will head operations for the Rocky Mountain Region. He will share responsibility for growing the new region’s title agent base with Agency Sales Representative Kristen Jorgensen. Randy Williams will serve as underwriting counsel for the new region.
The partnership allows servicers to further increase efficiency by automating requests and responses for property reports, mortgage modification policies and similar documentation from Boston National Title.
Meridian Title recently acquired Moore Title & Escrow, which was established in 1899 and serves Howard, Clinton and Tipton counties in Indiana.
Six years ago, Scarlett First managed a bar and grill. With her children wanting her to find more of an 8-5 job, she applied for a job with Kansas-based Frontier Secured Title. First hasn't looked back since.
DocMagic attained MISMO’s eClosing System and remote online notarization (RON) certifications for its Total eClose solution.
With the new integration, SoftPro users can order title searches from Texan Title directly from their SoftPro software.
Vermont became the final state to allow electronic recording as it passed HR 512, which enacted the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts and the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act. ALTA submitted testimony in support of the bill as a way to improve the consumer experience through the use of technology and a more digital real estate transfer process.
Several members of Congress have published a discussion draft of a bipartisan federal privacy bill. In 2020, ALTA developed a set of data privacy principles that recommend the development of a single, national standard. Key aspects of principles include exemptions for entities already subject to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, personal information that is already publicly available and business-to-business relationships. In addition, the standards say data privacy laws should recognize the need for businesses to share personal information needed complete a transaction. Consideration also should be given to the impact on small business, with respect to the cost of compliance relative to the risk of consumer harm, the principles say.
The award was presented for ALTA’s fundraising video for the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation. The video details how the Foundation was founded based on the idea that good deeds grow communities and how the Foundation’s grants to local nonprofits are making a real difference in communities across the country.
Miami-based Propy recently launched title and escrow services on blockchain for residential real estate transactions in Florida, Arizona and Colorado.
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.
AmTrust Title Insurance Co. introduced “MidPoint,” a new title closing solution that enables agents to work outside their geographic areas to service clients nationwide.
Effective for mortgages with note dates on or after Jan. 1, 2023, Freddie Mac will only accept the 2021 versions of the ALTA Loan Policy, ALTA Short Form Residential Loan Policy One-to-Four-Family and the ALTA Expanded Coverage Residential Loan Policy One- to Four-Family.
SIGNiX announced the integration of its remote online notarization (RON) platform with RamQuest Inc.
The Title Team expanded its market reach with the acquisition of Minnesota-based DCA Title.
The unique confluence of a tightening labor pool and increasingly competitive market could well accelerate the title industry’s drive toward automation and increase emphasis on employee retention.
During the month of June, ALTA is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the TIRS State Compliance Guides with a $100 discount and a contest! To take advantage of our anniversary sale, purchase a TIRS single state subscription and save $100 when you use the coupon code “TIRS100” during checkout.
While it's believed the direct effect the Russia-Ukraine War will have on the U.S. housing market will likely be marginal, title and settlement agents must remember to perform due diligence to ensure that they do not engage in transactions with blocked companies and persons, as the list of such has expanded.
Limited English Proficiency (LEP) technology provider Talk’uments now offers digital language services to mortgage lenders in English, Spanish and Mandarin (Chinese).
Remote online notarization benefits and protects consumers by offering them safe and convenient options for executing legal documents online, ALTA member Michael O’Neal said during a virtual legislative hearing May 26 before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce.
In this newly created position, Robert Callaghan will be responsible for the company's new agent initiatives and business development strategy and oversee finance for its title entities.
Title Alliance Ltd. recently formed a joint venture with Keller Williams to serve the Las Vegas market.
Are you a "boss" or are you a "leader"? Historically, command-and-control leadership styles have been the name of the game for title agency managers—bosses who gave top-down orders. Not all, but many. Today's employees want a manager who is invested in their personal and professional development. Modern employees also want a voice in how work is done. Read on to learn about core communication skills that can help create a positive employee experience. This includes setting expectations, giving feedback, offering praise and coaching.
ALTA has greatly improved the value of the Title Insurance Law Newsletter by providing increased access to content and new functionality. The enewsletter provides monthly updates with informative and quality articles on the important developments relevant to title insurance.
Shaddock National Holdings has hired Matt McBride as vice president of risk management and compliance. McBride had served as president of Continental Title Co. (CTC), a Shaddock National Holdings company. Elizabeth Daniel, current COO of CTC, will take over as president effective June 1.
In his expanded role, Brian Maughan will analyze trends and market disruptions, search for emerging market and technology opportunities, and direct investments into new and existing initiatives.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce on May 26 will consider the ALTA-supported SECURE Notarization Act as a part of a legislative hearing on various bills. ALTA member Michael O’Neal, vice president of corporate underwriting at First American Title Insurance Co., will testify during the hearing about the SECURE Notarization Act and the importance of RON.
For the third consecutive month, existing-home sales fell, but buyers are still eager. Higher mortgage rates and prices and low inventory continue to chip away at affordability. Some regions of the U.S., however, continue to see gains, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Fannie Mae reported it expects a meaningful slowdown in home sales during the second and third quarters of 2022, followed by a softening in construction activity and, ultimately, a large deceleration in home price growth.
The company intends to use the funds to expand its financial services presence to leverage property data intelligence, partners and technology to enable lenders to compete for and close consumer loans.
ALTA announced that on May 12 a technical correction was issued for the 2021 ALTA 23.1-06 (Co-Insurance – Multiple Policies) Endorsement.
Brent Scheer will replace Raymond Reece, who served as chief financial officer since First National Title Insurance Co. was created in 2012. Reece will step down effective May 31.
Called Socialite, the service curates content from customer-selected local or industry specific news sources, generates summary blog articles on their TitleTap website, then shares as a Facebook post automatically driving website traffic and supporting higher SEO rankings.
The Biden administration on May 16 announced legislative and administrative actions to address the U.S. housing supply shortage. This plan includes reforming zoning and land-use policies, as well as expanding federally backed financing for affordable housing and directing grants to localities that encourage construction.
Called RynohEscheat, the cloud-based software integrates with a user’s bank account (read-only access) to make it easier to stay informed about outstanding checks and notify the appropriate parties.
Fannie Mae issued an update on May 4 to its Selling Guide with new requirements for virtual and cryptocurrencies. The new policies went into effect immediately.
CertifID, a Texas-based wire fraud technology solution, recently closed on a $12.5 million Series A round of financing from Arthur Ventures.
The MISMO e-Eligibility Exchange powered by Snapdocs helps real estate and finance professionals understand how digital individual closings can be. ALTA is the sole provider of title and settlement data for the MISMO e-Eligibility Exchange. Help ensure you don’t miss out on lender business. Get your free listing in the ALTA Registry so your company is part of the MISMO e-Eligibility Exchange.
Compared to a year earlier, a rise in originations for hotel, industrial, and retail properties led the overall increase in commercial/multifamily lending volumes. By property type, hotels increased by 359 percent, industrial increased by 145 percent, retail increased by 88 percent, health care properties increased by 81 percent, multifamily increase by 57 percent and office increased 30 percent.
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title segment generated $437 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2022. This compared to $512 million in pre-tax income during the same period a year ago.
The new brand, Parker89, pays homage to First American’s roots, which can be traced to the year 1889. Parker89 is a blend of 1889 and C.E. Parker, the name of the founder of the company that decades later would become First American Title Insurance Co.
Download this new hire checklist to help your organization ensure everything is in place in time for an employee's start date, as well as items that should be completed upon arrival.
Title and settlement companies continue to operate in hybrid and remote work environments as business shifts to a purchase-dominated market, Organizations need to ensure they have the proper procedures in place to successfully conduct remote interviews and onboard employees after making the hire. Read on for info about having strong job descriptions and how to post job openings, as well as timelines and checklists to help with the onboarding process.
As vice president of title operations in Colorado and Texas for Ascendant National, David Kennedy will be responsible for supporting the company’s continued growth in these states.
Compass recently signed a definitive agreement to acquire Consumer's Title Company of California Inc., which is licensed in all 58 counties in the Golden State.
This is the first year CATIC received national recognition from Top Workplaces USA.
First American Financial Corp. earned a bronze Stevie award in the category for companies with more than 2,500 employees.
Driven by historic mortgage origination activity and substantial increase in home values, ALTA reported title insurance premium volume increased 35.9% during 2021 when compared to 2020.
Berkshire Hathaway-affiliate HomeServices of America is joining Title Resources Group's other major shareholders, Centerbridge Partners LP and Realogy Holdings Corp., in participating in the joint venture.
Louisiana-based Punctual Abstract has achieved its SOC 2 Type1 (Service Organization Control) certification in an independent audit of the firm’s internal data and security control systems.
Maine joined 39 other states to allow remote online notarization (RON) after Gov. Janet Mills signed into law LD 2023. The legislation will go into effect July 1, 2023.
PropLogix took over operating City Lien Search back in June of 2019, but the acquisition is now final.
First American Mortgage Solutions LLC has integrated with ICE Mortgage Technology to offer automated service ordering through the Encompass platform.
Notarize’s On-Demand Notary service connects SoftPro users with a nationwide network of commissioned Notarize notaries.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2023, following regulatory approvals, Black Knight stockholder approval and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. The definitive agreement has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.
Utah became the fourth state—joining California, Virginia, and Colorado—to enact a comprehensive privacy law after Gov. Spencer Cox signed the Utah Consumer Privacy Act (UCPA) on March 24.
It’s one thing to invest in new technology to streamline production and cut time and cost. But too many owners and agents are overlooking some of the manual processes that could most easily be automated.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) expanded and renewed its Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) that require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used in all-cash purchases of residential real estate. The new order ends Oct. 26. In the announcement, FinCEN said it appreciates the continued assistance and cooperation of title insurance companies and ALTA in protecting real estate markets from abuse by illicit actors. Read on to see which jurisdictions are now included.
First American Financial Corp. completed its acquisition of Mother Lode Holding Company, a California-based provider of title insurance, underwriting and escrow services with 17 operating subsidiaries.
Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. and ClosingLock are partnering to help combat wire fraud for the underwriter’s agents. The partnership will allow Westcor to offer ClosingLock to their agents, protecting them from wire fraud in addition to improving the closing experience.
SoftPro recently was named the winner of a Gold Stevie Award in the Company of the Year – Real Estate Large category in the 20th Annual American Business Awards.
Minneapolis- based Guaranty Commercial Title Inc. in 2004. Read on to learn more about Ethen and her experience in the title industry.
First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance segment generated $200 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2022. This compared to $280 million in pre-tax income during same period a year ago.
Old Republic International Corp. reported that its title insurance segment generated $80.9 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2022. This compared to $103.7 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2021.
Stewart Information Services reported its title segment generated $82.8 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2022. This was up from $77.1 million in pre-tax income during the same period a year ago.
Cybersecurity authorities from the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom released a joint cybersecurity advisory (CSA) warning that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could expose organizations to increased malicious cyber activity.
The County of Riverside Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder’s office selected First American Data & Analytics CovenantGuard solution to help identify and redact unlawful discriminatory restrictive covenants in county recorded real estate documents.
Private equity firm Knox Capital Holdings LLC recently acquired the law firm Rosenberg LPA., which operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Shawn Briner of the law firm Briner Law Group LLC provided today’s review of decision by Pennsylvania’s Superior Court that held the statute of frauds was satisfied because the grantor could not have signed the deeds because she was dead. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
Seven of ALTA’s TIRS State Compliance Guides have been updated! Our editors have updated the guides for Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee and Wyoming to reflect the latest regulations and statutes on their respective legislative sessions. The TIRS State Compliance Guides are the most comprehensive collection of title industry regulatory information and practices available. Subscribe Today
When a business experiences a cybersecurity incident, it’s easy to forget that responding to the technical issue is only part of the response effort. A major component of a cybersecurity issue is how to let people know what’s going on and how it could affect them. Read on for some communication dos and don’ts developed by attorneys with the law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.
Technology-based search solution Action Title Research recently acquired Eastland Title Services, which provides title services throughout New England.
As executive vice president and chief development officer, Neil Gulley will be responsible for strategic business growth and forging new alliances across the real estate, lending and developer spectrums.
It’s been two months since Russia invaded Ukraine. While aggression continues to escalate, so do cybersecurity threats as well. Genady Vishnevetsky, chief information security officer for Stewart Title and chair of ALTA’s Information Security Work Group., explains the most common threats spreading out of this conflict that you need to know about.
According to Freddie Mac, a lender’s average closing time is one of the most important factors influencing a consumer’s decision to do business with them. In the rapidly accelerating world of digital mortgage, title companies should be thinking of ways to remove friction in transactions. Title companies and mortgage lenders must communicate better if they hope to win business in a purchase-dominated market, according to a white paper from Visionet Systems’ AtClose division.
Imagine the power and potential of your staff connecting, collaborating and celebrating all that creativity inspires and invites. This approach can be applied to many aspects of an organization.
Kartik Ramachandran will be responsible for guiding the company’s investments to further accelerate high-growth, innovative initiatives across the business.
The Clearing House (TCH) announced it increased the general transaction value limit from $100,000 to $1 million on its real-time platform network (RTP network). The increase for the RTP transaction limit follows a similar increase to the Same-Day ACH transaction limit, which took place on March 18. Read on to learn how title companies can benefit and potentially grow their business using this payment method.
In this role, Thomas Imperiale oversees all aspects of Agents National Title’s growth and operations in the Western U.S. This includes everything from expanding staff and agency appointments, to building new joint ventures/alliances with other title insurers, Realtors and attorneys.
Title agents can save up to $100 per transaction and lenders up to $444 per loan when electronically closed with Remote Online Notarization (RON), according to a study by MarketWise Advisors.
AmTrust Title Holding Co. recently appointed Ronald Frederick as chief operating officer.
One of the title company's initiatives supports the Arizona Housing Fund and Northern Arizona Housing Fund.
While one title company may consider certain fees “junk,” others may have legitimate reasons to charge them. At the end of the day, the fees should be transparent to the consumer. They shouldn’t be left to trying play Wordle or Mastermind, trying to puzzle out what’s important and what’s not.
Several issues that will affect housing and mortgage finance are being discussed at the federal level. Among the topics are initiatives to increase housing affordability, which has policymakers, regulators and other entities looking at a variety of financial services industries and how they are serving consumers. This includes Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Industry-specific legislation, such as the SECURE Notarization Act, also could impact your operation. Register for this free AccuTitle-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar to get a snapshot of what’s coming up on Capitol Hill, while learning more about this year’s ALTA Advocacy Summit and the opportunity to tell our industry’s story. You'll walk away understanding the importance of advocacy and why you need to register for ALTA Advocacy Summit, May 16-18 in Washington, D.C.
We are redesigning ALTA.org and want to hear from you. Your answers to these key questions will help us create a better user experience for you. Please take this 5-minute survey to help us improve our site and serve you better.
In an update to its Selling Guide, Fannie Mae aligned its policy with Freddie Mac and now will accept written attorney opinion letters in lieu of a title insurance policy “in limited circumstances.” ALTA continues to engage with the Government Sponsored Entities and lending partners on the vital role the title industry’s products and services play in a well-functioning housing finance market.
As chief marketing officer, Brian Nachlas will be responsible for developing and executing strategies that build the Truly Title brand and help drive growth.
ALTA announced that it will be the sole provider of title and settlement data for the MISMO e-Eligibility Exchange, powered by Snapdocs. The e-Eligibility Exchange features information on trading partner requirements, e-notarization regulations, county recording requirements, settlement agent readiness and title underwriter restrictions. The platform helps real estate and finance professionals navigate these factors so each closing can be as digital as possible. Get your free listing in the ALTA Registry so your company is part of the e-Eligibility Exchange.
The United States experienced an unprecedented increase in cyberattacks and malicious cyber activity as consumers lost $6.9 billion to internet crime in 2021, according to the FBI. Because of this, ALTA would like to know your company’s experience with wire transfer fraud or cybersecurity? Please take ALTA's Wire Fraud & Cyber Crime Survey to share your experience. The goal of the survey is to learn more about wire fraud incidents in the industry. Your participation and results of the survey will help ALTA continue to raise awareness and encourage federal agencies to focus more on the threat of wire transfer fraud. Survey results will help title and settlement agents benchmark wire fraud experiences and practices.
This marks the seventh consecutive year that First American has earned a place on the 100 Best Companies to Work For list, which is compiled by global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and Fortune magazine.
Since 2012, NotaryCam has performed RON transactions for customers in all 50 states and 150 countries.
eRecording Partners Network (ePN) partnered with 90 additional counties in the first quarter of 2022.
Paymints.io announced an integration with online notarization provider Notarize that will allow users to see if a transaction is eligible for a digital closing, including online notarization.
An Ohio court refused to dismiss a class action brought against a real estate broker that allegedly promised bonuses to its own agents and others for the placement of orders with a title company.
If a title or settlement company is looking to enter into a marketing services agreement (MSA) with another company involved in the mortgage or real estate transaction, it’s important to know what is acceptable and what’s illegal under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). There are a lot of questions about what you can do to market your business. Read on for the 411 on the dos and don’ts to driving business.
ALTA recently submitted a comment letter in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) request for information (RFI) on fees imposed by providers of consumer financial product or services. The letter highlights the value the title insurance industry provides and the robust nature of the current regulatory framework. While ALTA shares the CFPB’s desire to root out companies and practices that mislead consumers about their charges, the bureau would benefit from conducting a full Administrative Procedures Act rulemaking before taking action on any area of concern, including so-called “junk fees.”
ALTA’s Policy Forms Committee announced that several new and updated policy forms became available effective April 2.
The Washington Supreme Court held the state’s discriminatory covenants law strikes a balance between removing racial covenants from a home’s chain of title while keeping them part of the public record. 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.
Title insurance rates will decrease 6% in New Mexico on July 1, the state’s Office of Superintendent of Insurance reported. Considering the facts and circumstances involved in the rate case, the New Mexico Land Title Association believes the rate decrease is acceptable to the title industry.
Guaranteed Rate Companies completed its acquisition of Chicago-based underwriter Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund Inc.
Utah-based US Title Insurance Agency has acquired American Secure Title Insurance Agency, a title and escrow company with seven offices in Utah.
With SoftPro Banking, users can manage wire transfers from a network of integrated banks from across the U.S.
Pavaso released a new, optimized signing experience that the company says will help expedite digital closings for closing agents.
Social media is an absolute goldmine for brand recognition and driving conversations that could lead to new business opportunities. Watch this ALTA Insights webinar recording and learn how to build a recipe for social media success.
First National Title Insurance Co. announced it named Sarah Hasch as the company’s Florida agency manager and sales & marketing trainer.
As general counsel and chief compliance officer, Brooke Adams oversee the the Boston-based fintech company's legal, governance, risk and compliance programs.
The Title Team's office in Minot, N.D. “Tie With Title” campaign recently celebrated its fifth year of making blankets for those in need.
Why this decision matters: The decision creates an additional risk for parties when buying real estate with cryptocurrency. Additionally, the ruling that the cryptocurrency Troptions is a security under Georgia law is in alignment with guidance from federal agencies including the SEC’s "Framework for 'Investment Contract' Analysis of Digital Assets" and IRS Notice 2014-21 that treats the sale of crypto as property subject to capital gains taxation.
As agency manager for Minnesota, Brian Johnson will support Doma’s existing independent title agent customers and will add to the company’s growing network across the state.
Using Alanna Forms Processing, a title agency can now send customers a link to an online form via SMS text or email. Once completed by the customer, the form is reviewed for data conflicts or errors against any previously collected data. After approval, the data is digitally populated into the title agency’s production platform, without the need for manual input.
In this role, Theresa Root will focus on managing the operations, process and workflow for the company’s title and closing operations.
Title Resources Guaranty Company (TRG) received approval from the Texas Department of Insurance to form and fund its previously announced title underwriting joint venture with Centerbridge Partners and Realogy Holdings Corp.
Businesses can’t ignore the need for digitization, and humanity can’t ignore the need for purpose and meaning. The best and ultimately most successful approach to digital transformation strategy is one that starts with strategic purpose, uses ongoing data and results to improve, and achieves sustainable business success. During the Westcor-sponsored Idea Festival at the 2022 ALTA SPRINGBOARD in Tampa, Fla., tech humanist Kate O’Neill shared insight to help attendees better understand the human impact of emerging technologies.
Qualia unveiled new features to help make it easier for title companies to complete fully remote signings and closings. Additionally, the company now offers Qualia RON in Texas, Tennessee, Washington, Maryland, Utah and Nevada.
The transaction involved multiple residential buildings on or around Green Street, the heart of Champaign's "Campustown." The properties were amassed over a 60-year period by the late Leon Bankier in his long career as a real estate investor. The transaction included 35 properties, 580 residential units, more than 80,000 square feet of retail, and four assemblage sites for future development.
America experienced an unprecedented increase in cyberattacks and malicious cyber activity as U.S. consumers lost $6.9 billion to internet crime in 2021, according to the latest report from theFBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Real estate/rental cybercrime losses reached $350 million in 2021, up from $213 million in losses in 2020. The number of victims, however, decreased to 11,578 from 13,638 in 2020.
The ALTA Good Deeds Foundation awarded a $10,000 emergency grant to the World Central Kitchen (WCK), a not-for-profit organization devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters. Founded in 2010 by celebrity Chef José Andrés, WCK currently is serving thousands of fresh meals to Ukrainian families fleeing the devastation as well as those who remain in their country.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law Senate Bill 7780, which makes significant updates to the prior remote online notarization (RON) bill that was signed in late 2021. New York became the 39th state to allow RON. Among other things, the amendment moves the effective date the state's notaries can conduct RONs to Jan. 31, 2023, and starting Feb. 24, 2022, the bill temporarily authorizes notaries to perform notarial acts using a video conference notarization process, known as remote ink-signed notarization (RIN), until the full RON law goes into effect.
During the 2022 ALTA SPRINGBOARD in Tampa, Fla., author, entrepreneur and life coach Simon Bailey shared tips on how people can find their brilliance. In the pursuit of brilliance and grow their careers, he encouraged attendees to take advantage of the various resources provided by ALTA. "ALTA will work if you work it,” Bailey said.
Kevin Sinclair, a partner with the law firm Sinclair Braun LLP, provided today’s review of by a California Court of Appeal that held the doctrine of unilateral mistake does not apply to an “error in judgment” as to the value of the property. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
With 36 years of title and escrow experience, Diane Day has been a member of Arizona-based Fidelity National Title’s leadership team for 14 years.
New York-based Core Title Services recently added title industry veteran Mike Slive to its leadership team as senior vice president and underwriting counsel.
In this role, Lisa Scott will be responsible for ensuring the proper processes and procedures are implemented and will be accountable for profitability metrics set forth for each individual Title Alliance company in Ohio and Florida.
Are you curious why people make the decisions they make and how to affect them? The world scientific community has amassed astounding research on human behavior but virtually none of it is applied. During an Idea Festival at the 2022 ALTA SPRINGBOARD, behavioral scientist Jon Levy helped more than 300 attendees learn how to apply cutting-edge science to help them influence their customers.
Improving Operational Performance: Engagement Surveys Used to Strategize Growth Plans, Get Staff Feedback
Roselyn Langianese, president of Summit Title Services in Bedford, N.H., has first-hand experience of the benefits of understanding the level of her employees’ engagement. Her company recently participated in a program ALTA offers through a relationship with the employee engagement firm DecisionWise. Read on to learn how other title companies have benefitted from the program.
The new Marketplace feature allows title and escrow companies to automatically order closing services from participating vendors in order to eliminate hours off of their workload and materially reduce the time it takes to complete closings.
Doma Title Insurance Inc. expanded its underwriting footprint with two new hires in the New England adding Laurie Barrett as agency manager and Lony-Ann Sheehan as regional underwriting counsel.
The underwriter, which generated about $144 million in title premiums last year, said the results were driven by technological innovation, new vertical markets and joint ventures.
The ALTA Good Deeds Foundation announced it awarded $130,000 in grants to 20 charities during the 2022 ALTA SPRINGBOARD event in Tampa, Fla.
The ALTA Good Deeds Foundation won the award for working with corporate partners to raise more than $800,000 in the organization’s first year of operation.
Proper Title LLC announced the opening of its 13th location with a new office in Crystal Lake, Ill.
First American Financial Corp. appointed Paul Hurst as chief innovation officer and will be responsible for identifying opportunities to innovate through strategic venture investments, partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions.
You need a strong foundation to build something lasting. That is why a title company’s technology stack is so important—it is the underlying foundation that enables the team to build with confidence. Multiple technologies with overlapping capabilities or poor compatibility can have a negative impact on your bottom line as well as your customer’s experience and satisfaction. This Qualia-sponsored webinar discusses practical elements necessary to build a strong tech stack, including user interface, connectivity, ability to co-exist with other technologies and cost. Speakers include Jason Doshi, CEO and co-founder of paymints.io; Hoyt Mann, president and co-founder of alanna.ai; and Kevin Nincehelser, COO of Premier One.
Creating a listing in the ALTA Registry is free and membership in ALTA isn’t required. Currently, more than 9,000 title agents, settlement companies and real estate attorneys appear in the database. Closing companies that offer RON are designated with a small icon, making them easy to identify in the ALTA Registry. Click here to get listed today.
Cyberattacks on businesses and government agencies have increased following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the risk of spillover cyberattacks against non-primary targets becoming much more widespread. Experts also expect an increase in sophisticated social engineering schemes centered around the war. Read on for some red flags to help protect yourself and your company.
The study, which was conducted by MarketWise Advisors LLC, found that lenders saved $134 per loan and could save more than $500 per loan with a full e-closing.
Women comprise more than 70% of the title industry workforce. That equates to more than 100,000 women working in the industry. It’s a significant percentage and important to be recognized as the country celebrates Women’s History Month in March. Read on for a stories from several women who have found successful careers in the title industry. Share your story in the comments section.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, growing numbers of women, specifically single women, have become homeowners, achieving one of the main tenets of the American Dream.
It’s no secret by now. The title industry has changed gears for its first competitive purchase market in years. With that pivot comes the change of marketing focus from lender to real estate professional—agents and brokers alike. Read on for some direct tips from real estate professionals to title agents who’d like to win their business.
The company’s new availability near Sacramento reaches El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter and Yolo counties. Offerpad is now available in over 1,700 cities.
Underwriters will likely report modest reductions in margins and overall profits in 2022, but that profitability will continue to exceed historical averages, according to Fitch Insurance Ratings Director Gerry Glombicki.
In her role as chief operating officer (COO), Melissa McSherry will focus on driving product, technology, enterprise marketing and customer experience.
Denver-based First Integrity Title Company announced that Tom Konkel has joined the company as a partner to lead strategic growth efforts locally and nationally.
SoftPro was awarded Stevie Awards in the categories of Inbound Marketing Program of the Year and Sales Distinction of the Year for Computer Software.
The cover article of the January edition of TitleNews highlights the 2022 housing market and how title companies will need to employ new tactics to capture business and close deals as order mix shifts to purchase. Check out another feature that provides tips for winning Realtor business in a purchase market.
Summit Title Services and Stavvy collaborated to help complete the first remote online notarization (RON) closing in New Hampshire.
InspectHOA recently received $3.1 million during a seed funding round led by SVQUAD, with additional investment from Inventus Capital Partners, DevRev CEO and co-founder Dheeraj Pandey, as well as other prominent angel investors.
ALTA’s Board of Governors approved the creation of a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Council compromised of ALTA members who have been critical in developing initiatives at their organizations.
With builders continuing to report supply chain problems that are causing construction delays, overall housing starts decreased 4.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.64 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title insurance segment generated $2.1 billion in pretax earnings in 2021. This compared to $1.9 billion in 2020.
Stewart Information Services Corp. reported its title insurance segment generated $440.2 million in pretax income in 2021. This compared to $246.9 million in pretax income in 2020.
ALTA SPRINGBOARD is a forum for fresh thinking and new insights, and help accelerate your career and differentiate your business from the pack. Register today and learn the latest on the changing work place, operations and workflow, and improving customer connections, all while taking advantage of many networking opportunities.
In this role, Christina Johnson will provide underwriting counsel to the company's agents in Texas, ensuring transactions close seamlessly, while effectively managing risk for all parties involved.
ALTA submitted a letter to FinCEN in response to the agency’s potential rule that would address the vulnerability of the U.S. real estate market to money laundering and other illicit activity. ALTA recommended FinCEN develop tailored and specific transaction reporting requirements for the all-cash real estate transactions involving corporate entities and should finalize regulations for the development of a beneficial ownership database required under the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA).
With DataTrace Digital Gateway, title companies can access and directly integrate the full suite of DataTrace title and tax products, including title reports and searches, legal and vesting data, tax reporting, property and ownership data, and recorded document images, with their commercial or proprietary title production system though an API connection.
Lance Pomerantz reviews a recent New York case that addressed the jurisdictional nuances of in rem tax foreclosure when the assessed owner has died, or in the case of a corporation, has been dissolved prior to commencement of the foreclosure action. He is a New York-based sole practitioner who provides expert testimony, litigation consulting and strategic advice in land title disputes. Pomerantz is also the author of the chapter on “Tax Titles” in the most recent edition of the treatise Real Estate Titles, published by the New York State Bar Association in 2020.
Financial security software provider Rynoh and paymints.io, a digital funds transfer solution, announced an integration that enables title agencies to accept funds and reconcile bank transactions.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) forecasts a record year for purchase volume in 2022, driven by millennials reaching peak first-time homebuyer age and a strong job market. Purchases present different challenges and opportunities for title and settlement agents, reinforcing the need to maintain strong relationships with real estate agents, builders and others in the housing market. Read on for tips and tactics to capture business and close deals as the market shifts.
In this week's Advocacy Update, ALTA CEO Diane Tomb discusses what CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said during a Q&A discussing the bureau's larger plans and recent request for public comment on "junk fees." Tomb also shares that ALTA will submit comments to FinCEN regarding the agency's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on Anti-Money Laundering Regulations for Real Estate Transactions. This week's Advocacy Update also touches on FEMA's plans to move into the final stages of overhauling the National Flood Insurance Program and a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on stablecoins.
In their roles, Joe Salmons and Rob Dace will be responsible for driving continued growth of the SitusAMC's title production offering.
The new marketing automation features add customization options and enhances the way users share, follow and interact with digital title reports.
The housing market continues to churn along at historic levels. Maybe you need to add to your staff but don't have time to develop job descriptions and summaries. ALTA has you covered and provides information for more than 30 positions in its Human Resources Library. The descriptions include job summaries, as well as suggested duties and responsibilities, knowledge and skills, and other information for each position. Check out what’s available in the library.
You know you deserve more! But deciding what “more” looks like to you—and figuring out how to get it—can be difficult. Dr. Meg Myers Morgan will teach us how to negotiate more from life during a special Women in Title Breakfast at ALTA SPRINGBOARD. Join Morgan for “How to Negotiate: From Higher Salary to Life Satisfaction” on Wednesday, March 16, from 7:30-8:30 a.m. in Tampa. Register Today!
Texas title agents can now leverage the integration to route an order directly from their RamQuest solution to Title Data. Title Data’s Auto Order system automatically opens the order in Title Data’s TIMS platform using the party information entered into RamQuest system.
Ron Damashek, a partner at Dickinson Wright PLLC, provided today’s review of decision by the Illinois Supreme Court that addressed a challenge to an alleged foreclosure judgment. While part of the decision may be unique to Illinois, the laches defense has broad implications to the title industry. Read on to learn how the decision could impact title and non-title litigation.
First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance and services segment generated pretax income of $1.36 billion during 2021. This compared to pretax income of $1.03 billion during 2020.
Corcoran Global Living has announced it has acquired an ownership interest in Gradus Capital, Inc., the parent company of Innovative Title Company and HomeData Disclosure Services Inc.
The 2022 Title and Escrow Claims Guide is now available in print and digital versions! Packed full of practical analysis, the 1,754-page volume adds more than 100 court decisions not found in the 2021 edition. An ALTA membership pays off yet again, providing you with $120 off the non-member price.
Private equity firm KeyCity Capital recently acquired a 50% stake of Texas-based Hudson Title Group LLC.
ALTA’s Board of Governors approved a recommendation to adopt several revised ALTA Policy Forms and a new American Lands Waivers and Consents Endorsement during its winter meeting Feb. 1.
OceanFirst Financial Corp. is the holding company for OceanFirst Bank NA, which was founded in 1902 and is a $11.7 billion regional bank providing financial services throughout New Jersey and in the major metropolitan markets of Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Boston. Established in 1975, Trident is a family owned business located in Wall Township, N.J.
The transaction significantly expands Truist Insurance Holdings’ presence in the title insurance market. Truist’s existing title operation, BridgeTrust Title, will be integrated into the Kensington Vanguard platform.
Are you a "boss" or are you a "leader"? Historically, command-and-control leadership styles have been the name of the game for title agency managers—bosses who gave top-down orders. Not all, but many. Today's employees want a manager who is invested in their personal and professional development; modern employees also want a voice in how work is done. In other words, they want more leading and coaching, less managing. Listen to this ALTA Insights webinar and learn core communication skills that create a positive employee experience, including setting expectations, feedback, coaching and conflict resolution.
Title agents can save up to $100 per transaction and lenders up to $444 per loan when electronically closed with Remote Online Notarization (RON), according to a study by MarketWise Advisors.
First American Financial Corp. announced that Kenneth DeGiorgio was appointed chief executive officer, while Dennis Gilmore, the company’s CEO since 2010, will transition to become chairman of the board of directors. Parker Kennedy, who has chaired First American’s board since 2010, will serve as its lead independent director.
Theresa Kane-Mackenzie, a 20-year industry veteran, will primarily be responsible for the support and growth for the company in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
In this role, Scott Callender is responsible for managing all associates and branch operations in California.
AmTrust Title Insurance Co. appointed Richard Yankowski to head up its agency sales operations in Florida.
Washington-based Whatcom Land Title Co. promoted Bill Ronhaar to CEO and Mark Dethlefs to president.
Old Republic Title Tech Companies, part of the Old Republic Title Insurance Group, is being restructured to more closely align the vision, leadership and strategy of its commercial software companies. The software companies include eRecording Partners Network (ePN), iMarc, Inc. (dba E-Closing), Pavaso, RamQuest Software Inc. and SMKT.
TitleTap has partnered with Alanna.ai to now include a chatbot named “Anna” on TitleTap’s website solutions.
When you need insightful analysis on new laws affecting the title insurance industry, turn to the Title Insurance Law Newsletter. This monthly newsletter reports on cases and decisions addressing title insurance coverage, class action and regulatory enforcement, escrow and settlement duties, agent/underwriter disputes, conveyance laws and RESPA/TILA compliance and violations.
From networking opportunities and learning title agents and underwriters across the country share how their ALTA membership helps them excel in the market. Not a member? Click here to join.
Title Alliance recently named Michelle Ellis as general manager of the company’s operations in Pennsylvania. She will be accountable for profitability metrics set forth for each individual company.
Old Republic International reported that its title insurance segment generated pretax income of $515.7 million during 2021. This was up from $344 million in pretax income in 2020.
Iain Bryant will provide support for title agents in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Eastern Wyoming. He will be responsible for managing the existing agency team in these areas, and identifying and onboarding new agents, while fostering existing agent relationships.
DepositLink, a provider of digital payments technology, reported a 212% growth in new client contracts, 376% growth in payment transactions and 483% growth in the dollar amount of funds transferred through the platform in 2021.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched an initiative to collect information on alleged junk fees that will help shape the agency’s rulemaking, guidance and enforcement priorities. Within the eight-page request for information, the CFPB specifically mentions title insurance and closing costs in the section focused on mortgages. Help advocate for the title and settlement industry by joining ALTA's Title Action Network.
The proposed pilot program would permit a financial institution with an obligation to file suspicious activity reports to share the SARs and related information with the institution’s foreign branches, subsidiaries and affiliates for the purpose of combating illicit finance risks, subject to approval and conditions set by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
Founded in 2019, Expetitle operates in Florida, Georgia and Texas, offering fully digital and hybrid closings.
The Pennsylvania Land Title Association (PLTA) received a special citation from the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania commemorating the association’s 100 years of advocating for its members.
For a limited time, enjoy a $100 discount on the TIRS State Compliance Guides! The guides are the most comprehensive collection of title industry regulatory information and practices available. The discount is available through Monday, Feb. 7.
According to Ubitquity, the solution will allow title and escrow professionals to disburse funds to all counterparties to a real estate transaction securely, instantly, and in an immutable fashion with complete transparency.
Attackers leverage a variety of tactics to execute phishing attacks against their targets including emails, fake social media pages and personas (known as social engineering), instant messaging, texts and compromised websites. Read on for a list of typical phishing attack techniques.
The acquisition of Mountain View Title & Escrow Inc. adds nine office locations and 86 employees to Old Republic Title's existing network of direct operations that includes more than 270 branch and subsidiary office locations nationwide.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it increased the maximum of each civil penalty under its jurisdiction, including the section of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) that addresses advance deposits in escrow accounts.
Snapdocs’ e-closing offering has been certified as compliant with the MISMO eClosing System Certification Requirements. Snapdocs is the first e-closing provider to achieve this certification from MISMO.
This gives the company title plants covering more than 80% of the U.S. population.
In this role, Michelle Hebert will assist with underwriting questions for First National Title Insurance Company's agents in Texas.
The flurry of mergers and acquisitions continued through the end of 2021 and into 2022 as the title insurance industry continued to ride the tide of an extremely active mortgage and real estate market. Read on for commentary from Gerry Glombicki, director of insurance at Fitch Ratings, on how these deals could impact market share and the types of companies making the purchases, as well as a roundup of some of the recent acquisitions.
Happy employees create more profitable businesses, right? Based on more than 50 years of employee engagement research, Gallup reports that engaged employees produce better business outcomes than other employees—across industry, company size and nationality, and in good economic times and bad. However, according to Gallup, just 35 percent of American workers are engaged in their jobs. Measuring employee engagement is essential to higher productivity and profitability, but you must be ready for the results. Listen to this ALTA Insights webinar recording to learn how you can use results from employee engagement surveys to improve operational results.
The cover article of the December 2021 edition of TitleNews featured new ALTA President Dan Wold and how he looks to strengthen engagement and participation with ALTA, and also highlighted the association's 2022 strategic priorities. Other features focused on why ALTA membership is worth ‘every penny’; 20 for 21: A few things we hope made you feel good about being an ALTA member in 2021; A recap of 2021 ALTA ONE; ALTA Good Deeds Foundation awarded $143,000 in grants; ALTA’s ‘Godfather of Advocacy’ honored for advancing the title industry; ALTA bestowed an honorary membership; Placer Title, First American win 2021 Title Webbie Awards; the winner of the ALTA Our Values Award; and when it comes to wire fraud, are we asking enough questions.
Advocacy efforts are the most successful when more title professionals get involved and mobilize on issues that impact our business. It’s the community—our grassroots advocacy—that resonates with government officials. But ALTA needs more people across the industry advocating for our business.
As vice president, Darci Davis will expand her role to provide support and leadership to an escrow team of over 50 members in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Alanna can engage in conversations with clients via SMS text or web chat, often for customer service or information gathering.
Traditions bring a sense of security. Certain practices and events can help create unity. They keep us connected to the past, build memories of the present and pave the way to new traditions. Deeply rooted to his Scandinavian heritage, Dan Wold holds in high regard the importance of family, community and faith. Read on to learn more about ALTA's president plans to utilize his nearly four decades of experience to help guide the industry through current and anticipated challenges and increase engagement through advocacy—all while sprinkling in some of his well-known, special brand of Scandinavian humor.
According to the latest report from LexisNexis Risk Solutions, the cost of fraud for U.S. financial services and lending firms is between 6.7% and 9.9% higher than before the pandemic. This is driven by mortgage lending (up 23.5% since pre-COVID-19). The report found that for every $1 of fraud loss, the total cost for a mortgage lender is $4.40.
First American Financial Corp. has signed an agreement to acquire California-based Mother Lode Holding Co., which operates 17 subsidiaries that primarily conducts business in California, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Texas, Arizona, Washington and New Mexico.
Title companies continued to implement procedures to help facilitate transactions after Bernalillo County, N.M., took all of its systems offline following a ransomware attack on Jan. 5. Bernalillo County commissioners have approved $2 million in recovery funding for the county’s recent ransomware issue. To date, the county has incurred costs of about $191,000 for the replacement of laptops affected by the malware.
ALTA and five other trade groups responded to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposed rule to implement the small business lending reporting requirements established under Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act. The proposal would allow the CFPB to collect information on applications for credit for small businesses, including those that are owned by women or minorities.
DJ Horn, who has been with First National Title Insurance Co. for nearly 10 years, was promoted to southwest region agency manager.
The Board of the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation (AGDF) decided to award the grant, which is one of the foundation’s largest individual charitable contributions to date, to the Community Foundation of Boulder County because the wildfire was determined to be the most destructive in Colorado’s history.
University Title Co. (UTC) recently acquired Homeland Title Company’s Houston division, which includes offices in Clear Lake, Hempstead, Sugar Land and Spring.
Stewart Information Services Corp. acquired a majority interest in Houston-based Great American Title Co., which operates in 38 counties across Texas.
Sally Tyler, executive vice president and division president for First American Title Insurance Co., is a new member of the organization's Board of Directors.
Illinois-based Proper Title LLC has expanded into Northwest Indiana with a new office in Schererville.
Whether a title agency intends to enter as a buyer or seller, the M&A market can be incredibly complex for unique, privately held businesses. There is no universal market for title agents, and the value of a title business can be affected by a wide number of disparate factors.
For the title company 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. For many, the real work begins once multiple offices and firms become one in name. A lot of thought, work and, yes, capital will still have to be injected into the process of integrating the new entity and positioning it to operate efficiently and profitably. Read on for a few of the things some acquiring businesses don’t always fully consider before they’ve received the proverbial keys to their new offices.
Federal Title kicked off the Holiday Giving Campaign just after Thanksgiving, working with 11 local real estate agents to identify non-profit organizations that held special meaning to them. Then, just before the Christmas holiday, Federal Title gave a $500 donation in honor of each agent and donated to 10 organizations for a total of $5,500.
TitleWave Real Estate Solutions has named Jennifer Barnes as vice president of sales for the Northeast region and appointed Lisa Hinton to the same position for the Southeast region.
Mike Nolan, who served as president of Fidelity National Financial for the past six years, will assume the role of chief executive officer as Randy Quirk transitions to executive vice chairman on the company's Board of Directors. The changes go into effect Feb. 1.
In this role, Stephanie Silcott will lead product innovation and development efforts for Stewart's direct channel technology.
In December, Stewart Information Services Corporation acquired Devon Title Agency, which has operated in Michigan for more than 30 years.
New York became the 39th state to pass legislation allowing the use of remote online notarization (RON). The law is supported by the New York State Land Title Association (NYSLTA) and ALTA.
AmeriTitle recently announced that Eric Templeton and Richard Hajek Jr. both have been promoted to senior vice president.
Chicago Title Co., a member of the Fidelity National Financial Family of Companies, recently acquired Ohio-based Enterprise Title Agency Inc.
The underwriter's online learning platform will provide its agents with training programs comprised of national and state-specific content.