ALTA Response to COVID-19
March 16, 2020
Dear ALTA Members and Industry Professionals,
ALTA is closely following the growing concerns relating to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the impact on our members, their customers and on our staff. This is a very fluid situation and ALTA continues to monitor updates from national and local public health officials regarding this pandemic.
We are receiving many calls about the 1) the impact of county office closures or staffing level changes on transactions; 2) safe closing practices and potential for digital closings; and 3) status of future ALTA meetings, among other questions. To help provide information, we have created a webpage to host ALTA/title industry related updates. It can be viewed at: alta.org/coronavirus.
This page will allow you to find the latest information we have about county closures and other actions that might impact your business. Key documents and resources include:
- List of County Office Closures
- Title, Settlement Companies Develop Safe Closing Protocols
- Visitor Health Screening Questionnaires for Signing Agents and Borrowers
- Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan
- Common Issues Your Business May Encounter
- Keep Your Workplace Safe
- Keep Commercial Establishments Safe
With reports of county office closures and staffing reductions, we have been in contact with a number of policy makers including the Treasury Department, Federal Housing Finance Agency, HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We will have the latest information about the impact of these closures and how title companies can conduct transactions.
We are hearing title and settlement companies across the country have developed or are working on protocols to ensure healthy and safe closings in the wake of this uncertainty. We want to know what precautions your company has developed to help keep your staff and clients safe? How are you accessing property data and recording documents? You can share information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, ALTA is working with other trade groups and regulatory agencies to develop policies and procedures that will allow the industry to continue assisting homebuyers and sellers. ALTA is working with other trade associations and industry partners to support an effort to pass the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020 (SECURE Notarization Act). This legislation takes a two-prong approach to continue and expand access to remote online notary (RON). First, it permits immediate nationwide use of RON, with minimum standards. Second, it provides certainty for the interstate recognition of RON. The SECURE Notarization Act builds on ongoing efforts of lawmakers to promote remote transaction options for consumers. More information about the SECURE Notarization Act will be available at alta.org/RON.
As has been requested by the CDC, we will not hold the Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camp, HOP Leader Training or the ALTA Advocacy Summit on their originally scheduled dates. We are working to find alternative dates for these and will be adding this information to this page when it becomes available.
Please contact me if there is something we can do to be of assistance, suggestions we should be considering or information regarding our clients you would like to share.
We will update our webpage as more information become available. Everyone here at ALTA remains committed to working on your behalf. We are at our best when we are here for each other. We will continue to lead the industry and protect our customers and their property rights during these uncertain times.
Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or email@example.com.