Proposed Revisions to ALTA Best Practices Open for Public Comment

August 11, 2022

Revisions to the ALTA Best Practices proposed by the ALTA Best Practices Executive Committee and Best Practices Work Group are now available for comment. Click here to access the proposed revisions and associated redlines.

Deadline to submit comments is Sept. 1. Send comments to [email protected].

Below is a recap of significant revisions.

Pillar 2 (Escrow Accounting)

  • Updates to the treatment of non-settled funds and outstanding file balances
  • Use and treatment of fintech applications
  • Escrow funds training
  • Use of the ALTA Outgoing Wire Preparation Checklist as a model
  • Use of wire verification services

Pillar 3 (Privacy and Information Security Programs to protect Non-public Personal Information (NPI)

  • Updates to the physical protection of NPI
  • inclusion of network and cloud security of NPI
  • Additional details on coverage of business continuity and disaster recovery plans
  • Additional details on the required oversight of service providers and third-party systems
  • Use of the ALTA Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan Template as a reference document for the written incident response plan
  • Requiring processes for addressing breaches or unauthorized access to NPI.

Pillar 4 (Settlement)

  • Establishing “consumer objectives” for the training of staff
  • Disclosure of Affiliated Business Arrangements
  • Establishment and implementation of procedures related to closing documents
  • Requirements for internal and external signing professionals
  • Selection of Remote Notarization Platforms
  • Standards for recording procedures
  • Compliance with Pillar 2 for procedures and controls for recording fees and any applicable taxes

Revisions to the ALTA Best Practices Framework were made to help title agents and direct operations optimize practices and procedures,ensure data security and financial and operational stability. They also were made to provide lenders with the assurances that their needs are being fulfilled by improved operations.

Additional documents will be revised later in the process after the completion of the ALTA Best Practice Framework, including revisions to the Best Practices Assessment Procedures reflecting changes to the framework and the expanded objectives of this revision to assist with optimizing and improving business operations. 

It’s expected ALTA’s Board of Governors will review the proposed changes in October. Final release of the complete Best Practices Framework is expected to be early 2023.

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