ALTA Amends Best Practices Assessment Procedures for Pillar Three

November 13, 2014

During a meeting earlier this year, ALTA’s Board of Governors approved a motion to amend an assessment procedure for the third pillar of its “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices.”

The Best Practices Task Force and Internal Auditing Committee proposed the clarification following outreach to members of the industry that have conducted assessments. The principal change is an amendment of Assessment Procedure 3.09(a) to focus on encryption of data in transmission. The amendment removes the reference to encryption of data at rest.

Most state laws and the federal Gramm Leach Bliley Act require reasonable steps be taken to protect data from a breach, according to ALTA’s Board of Governors. There are number of data-loss prevention measures that a company could take to protect data at rest, such as firewalls and password protection.

The Assessment Procedures can be downloaded here.

The Board of Governors developed the Best Practices to help the industry illustrate to consumers and clients the industry’s professionalism and best practices to ensure a positive and compliant real estate settlement experience.

As part of its purpose, ALTA’s Best Practices Task Force is tasked with:

  • reviewing from time to time, the Best Practices
  • studying the real estate settlement, escrow accounting and information security process and provide the ALTA membership with timely information and advice
  • monitoring lender and title industry compliance trends related to the safety and soundness of the settlement process
  • develop, solicit, review and publish standards and procedures for complying with the Best Practices

Additionally, the Internal Auditing Committee’s purpose is to “report on any recommended changes in internal auditing practices and procedures related to the business interests of the Association members.” As part of this purpose, the Committee is tasked with development and maintenance of the standard Assessment Procedures that are part of the Best Practices framework.


Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or