More Title Agents Encouraged to Implement Complaint Management Process

October 30, 2014

Complaint management is a new area of compliance for everyone involved in real estate finance including lenders, title and settlement agents, and attorneys. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has made it clear that this is an essential part of an effective compliance program and has a section in their examination manual specifically on complaint management. This is not a regulatory requirement that is going away.

Unfortunately, title professionals are lagging in implementing processes to manage complaints, according to recent surveys conducted by Rizolv.

Rizolv surveyed nearly 600 title, settlement, independent escrow companies and settlement divisions of law firms from July through September. The survey found that only 20 percent have defined a complaint. Additionally, only 12 percent are using a complaint management system and another 18 percent use a spreadsheet to track and log complaints. More than half (51 percent) surveyed said they aren’t currently tracking complaints.

Implementing a complaint management system is important for title professionals because last year the CFPB issued a bulletin that advised providers of consumer financial products and services the types of “responsible business conduct” expected out of companies subject to the bureau’s enforcement investigations.

To assist title insurance agents and settlement service providers in implementing the seventh pillar of ALTA’s Best Practices and adopting and maintaining written procedures for resolving consumer complaints, Rizolv will partner with a panel of industry experts to offer a free online complaint management assessment workshop from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST, Wednesday, Nov. 5. Click here to register.

The workshop will provide attendees with a suggested industry definition for complaints, a set of model policies and procedures, and a checklist to assist in assessing complaint management readiness.

Workshop panelists include:

  • Paula-Rose Stark, senior principal, Promontory Financial Group: Stark assists Promontory clients with regulatory and compliance issues, focusing on consumer financial products and services. She was one of the first employees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), from which she joined Promontory. She worked in the bureau’s regulations office, where she helped lay the foundation for statutory rulemakings on mortgage disclosures, mortgage servicing and high-cost mortgages.
  • Richard Horn, partner, Dentons: Horn is a partner in Dentons’ Capital Markets practice. He joined the firm from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he served as senior counsel and special advisor in the Office of Regulations. At the CFPB, Richard led the final rulemaking for the integrated mortgage disclosures under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). He also led the CFPB’s design of the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures as well as the qualitative and quantitative consumer testing of the disclosures.
  • Todd Hougaard, director of operations, Rizolv: Hougaard is the director of operations for Rizolv, a service of First American Professional Real Estate Services, Inc. He has 20 years of experience in executive leadership for companies focusing on technical innovation for businesses and government agencies. Recognized as a pioneer and innovator in the mortgage, title and settlement industries, he has developed products and services for paperless office systems, automated processing, secure file delivery, electronic signatures, “SMART documents” and electronic recording. 


Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

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