Commonwealth USA Settlements Receives Best Practices Certification

February 10, 2015

Commonwealth USA Settlements LLC (CWUSA), a national title and settlement services provider based in Pittsburgh, recently became certified in accordance with the American Land Title Association’s Best Practices.

National Certified Public Accounting and consulting firm Pershing, Yoakley & Associates (PYA) provided the assessment and certification of CWUSA.

“There are a number of title and settlement services companies out there claiming to be ‘certified’ in ALTA’s Best Practices, but a number of those certifications are either self-proclaimed or provided by third parties that lack the credentials of an established accounting firm,” said Angela Murin, president of CWUSA. “We chose PYA because they are one of the first qualified firms to offer a rigorous certification process and because of their experience working with settlement services companies, ALTA’s Best Practices and CFPB regulations. Our mortgage lending clients have already provided an extremely favorable response to our work with PYA and the overall certification process.”

Regulators’ increased demand to protect consumers has forced lenders to adjust their relationships with service providers and be more sensitive to the types of companies they do business with. To help meet this need, ALTA created the Best Practices framework to help members highlight policies and procedures the industry exercises to protect lenders and consumers, while ensuring a positive and compliant real estate settlement experience.

The third pillar of ALTA's Best Practices focuses on data security and the protection of the consumer’s nonpublic information (NPI), in accordance with the mandates of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. 

“Lenders now demand more than just speed, quality and accuracy from their settlement providers,” said Shanon Lake-Catello, chief technology officer of CWUSA. “A mortgage lender is now widely liable for the actions—or mistakes—of its third party providers. The mortgage lender is already besieged with growing responsibilities and risks on all fronts. In that world, the settlement services company that makes its responsibility to maintain the highest standard of data security and privacy a priority becomes more than just a vendor. It becomes a partner in that lender’s effort to mitigate risk.” 

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or