Advocating for You

May 11, 2021

Advocacy is important no matter the political party of the president or which side controls Congress. Whether you’re Republican or Democrat or none of the above, ALTA strives to promote your interests as well as the interests of the industry.

To this end, ALTA sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in February congratulating them on the quick start to their administration. We also took the opportunity to highlight how the title and settlement industry responded during the COVID-19 crisis and the importance of expanding housing opportunities and affordability.

We support the administration’s efforts to tackle the COVID crisis, restart the economy by getting small businesses back on their feet with important investments like the Paycheck Protection Program, and confront the unfortunate legacy of discrimination and injustice that still stains our nation.

We informed President Biden that ALTA and its members are committed to working collaboratively to help tackle some of the significant challenges facing homebuyers, the housing market and the broader economy, including the growing need for more affordable housing nationwide.

In the letter, we outlined the many measures title and settlement companies across the country implemented to ensure safe transactions since the onset of the pandemic. On the innovation front, the letter detailed how COVID-19 helped drive a 547-percent increase in the use of remote online notarization (RON) during 2020 compared to 2019. This increase was spurred by the demand for socially distanced closings due to the heath crisis, and facilitated by 29 states that passed permanent laws authorizing the use of RON.

The push to provide digital closings on a broader scale will continue to grow. This is why our industry continues to champion national bipartisan legislation that provides safe rules of the road for this technology.

Regarding the economy, we explained that the lack of housing inventory continues to drive up home prices, shutting out younger and lower-income Americans from homeownership. ALTA is eager to work with the administration and the 117th Congress to find effective ways to address this problem, including through proposals such as a first-time homebuyer tax credit, as well as a strong housing finance system.

The letter also emphasized the importance of protecting consumers from wire transfer fraud. Additionally, it touched on cannabis legislation, the impact of commercial real estate on the economy, consumer privacy, and the need for effective and balanced regulation.

We welcome the opportunity to develop bipartisan policy solutions that provide even more housing opportunities for all Americans, while ensuring the property rights of every consumer remain protected. We hope you all join us virtually for the 2021 ALTA Advocacy Summit (May 18-20).

Bill Burding NTP Jr., executive vice president and general counsel for Orange Coast Title Co., is ALTA's 2020-21 president.

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or [email protected].