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ALTA Insights: 2020 Election Roundup
October 28, 2020

November 18, 2020 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST | Register Today

The dust will just have settled on the 2020 election, so register for the next ALTA Insights webinar as we address the key takeaways. Join us for the presentation as elections analyst Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections, will provide an election review and discuss the new balance of the House and Senate, the results of the presidential election and what that means for 2021. You won’t want to miss this exclusive opportunity to hear from Gonzales, who works with CQ Roll Call and appears regularly on CNN.

 Old Republic Reports Third-quarter Results
October 27, 2020

Old Republic International Corp. reported that its title insurance segment generated $103.1 million in pretax income. This is up from $72.8 million in pretax income during Q3 2019.

 Stewart Reports Q3 Earnings Results
October 27, 2020

Stewart Information Services reported that its title insurance segment generated $82.4 million in pretax income. This is up from $49.5 million in pretax income during Q3 2019.

 First American Reports Q3 Earnings
October 27, 2020

First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance and services segment generated pretax income of $337.5 million during the third quarter of 2020. This is up from $253.6 million during the same period in 2019.

Shaddock National Holdings Adds CFO
October 27, 2020

Shaddock National Holdings named Brent Scheer as its chief financial officer.

Pavaso Integrates With Ellie Mae
October 27, 2020

The integration enables lenders to access Pavaso’s digital real estate closing technology through Ellie Mae’s lending platform.

First American to Acquire Mortgage Subservicing Company
October 27, 2020

First American said the pending acquisition will position it to support the entire mortgage life cycle, while enhancing product innovation efforts.

Webinar: Introduction to the Uniform Closing Instructions
October 26, 2020

November 12, 2020 | 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST | Register Today

For the past few years, ALTA and the Mortgage Bankers Association have worked with the Mortgage Industry's Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) to create uniform closing instructions. Due to this collaborative effort, the title and mortgage industries now have standardized templates. This means title and settlement agents will no longer have to search through pages of instructions for information they need. This webinar, sponsored by the Fidelity Family of Companies, will review the new format and organization of the closing instructions.

Survey: Most Borrowers Satisfied With Closing Process During COVID
October 22, 2020

Most borrowers were satisfied with their closings (90 percent) during the COVID-19 pandemic even though most of the transactions involved e-signing and remote closings, according to a survey conducted by ClosingCorp. The survey did not denote whether closings were conducted using remote online notarization or some digital closing variation such as remote ink-signed notarization.

ALTA Honors Texas Member with National Title Professional Recognition 
October 22, 2020

Randy Pearson CTIP, NTP  is one of 94 leaders across the United States who have earned the National Title Professional designation.

Realogy Title Group Upgrades Mobile App
October 22, 2020

Realogy Title Groupreleased a new version of its Title!Snap mobile application, which offers real-time title transaction information to real estate agents.

Join ALTA and Get Your Business Noticed
October 22, 2020

You’re not an ALTA Associate Member yet, but here are two BIG reasons why you need to jump on board today. When you join ALTA for 2021, you can start your membership right now. Sign up today and get your 2020 membership for free!

Get Your Business Noticed—for Free
October 21, 2020

If you’re not in the ALTA Marketplace, now is the time. We took a look at the stats, and it turns out the Marketplace receives an average of 1,200 pageviews per month!

 Minnesota Passes Temporary RIN Bill While Michigan S.C. Rejects Governor’s Order Easing Notarial Requirements
October 20, 2020

Minnesota passed legislation that would temporarily allow for remote ink-signed notarizations, while the Michigan Supreme Court ruled the state’s governor lacks the authority to extend or declare states of emergency in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order had eased existing requirements for remote online notarizations.

Beware of Cybersecurity Risks When Teleworking from Hotels
October 20, 2020

Teleworking from a hotel could increase the potential of criminals stealing sensitive information. Hotels, predominantly in major U.S. cities, have begun to advertise daytime room reservations for guests seeking a quiet, distraction-free work environment. While this option may be appealing, the FBI warns that accessing sensitive information from hotel Wi-Fi poses an increased security risk over home networks. Read on for tips to minimize some of the risks associated with using hotel Wi-Fi.

Tips for Secure Video Conferencing
October 20, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements, organizations pivoted to widescale remote work and online collaboration. Video conferencing emerged as a tool for business continuity and sustained social connection. However, these tools opened the door to increased cyberattacks. Amid the unanticipated exponential growth and unprecedented popularity of these platforms, many video conferencing users have not implemented necessary security precautions—or might be unaware of the latent risks and vulnerabilities. Read on for principles and practices established by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) that individuals and organizations can follow to enhance video conference security.

Do You Know the State Laws in Your Market?
October 20, 2020

Looking to expand your operation into a new state? Unsure of changes to licensing or operating requirements, or special requirements and exemptions for attorneys? ALTA’s Title Insurance Regulatory Surveys (TIRS) provides a comprehensive collection of title industry regulatory information and practices. The surveys, developed by industry regulatory counsel, have been recently updated for 27 states.

Grab Your Claims Guide Discount Today
October 19, 2020

When you need advice on how to handle claims on title insurance policies, closing protection letters and closing mistakes, turn to the 2020 edition of the Title and Escrow Claims Guide. For a limited time, you can get a 15% discount on the print or electronic version with promo code DISCOVER15!

 Grow Your Business Through Diversity
October 15, 2020

The consumer market continues to grow in its diversity, and it is critical title and settlement companies establish real connections with multicultural audiences—including staff—to be relevant today and in the future. Read on for tips from Teresa Palacios Smith, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for HomeServices of America, on how title companies can successfully attract business from different minority groups.

 Neither Recorder nor Closer Liable for Altered Deed
October 15, 2020

When a deed was altered to change the parking space conveyed with the condominium unit and then rerecorded, the recorder was not liable for accepting the rerecorded instrument, and the closer was not liable because it did not alter the deed. Read on for more about this case.

ALTA Welcomes 2020-21 Board of Governors and Exec Committees
October 15, 2020

Check out who will serve on ALTA's Board of Governors during the 2020-21 year, as well as the executive committees for the Abstracters and Title Insurance Section and the Title Insurance Underwriters Section.

Real Estate Tech Firm Enters Title, Escrow Market
October 15, 2020

Real estate technology company Compass recently announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire title and escrow software startup Modus.

E-mortgage Volume Spikes During Covid
October 14, 2020

In a white paper, the FHFA reported that e-mortgages comprised 4.25 percent of all single-family mortgage purchases made by the Government Sponsored Entities (GSE) during the first half of the year. This accounted for $38.8 billion in mortgages. As a comparison, e-mortgages comprised 2.8 percent ($29.3 billion) of all single-family mortgage purchased made by the GSEs in 2018.

Save the Date!
October 14, 2020

The way 2020 is going, you don’t know what you’re going to be doing next week, let alone next year. That’s why we want you to get out your calendar right now and block off the date for ALTA ONE 2021, Oct. 12-15 in New Orleans!

 Video: How to Report Wire Fraud to FBI
October 13, 2020

ALTA has created a two-minute video explaining how to submit a wire transfer fraud complaint with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Filing a complaint allows the FBI to process a case more effectively than calling a local field office. The video details the eight sections of the online form that needs filled out. Submitting complaints helps inform the FBI that wire fraud is a significant problem. 

Westcor Hires Florida Agency Rep
October 13, 2020

Christian Rava is a licensed title agent with nearly 20 years of industry experience in both residential and commercial as an examiner and a sales representative.

North American Title Adds State Manager for Colorado and Utah
October 13, 2020

Joining NATIC with more than 20 years of experience in business-to-business roles, Mary Santos Schoolmeester brings a unique blend of customer relationship management, title insurance agency sales, business consulting and recruitment skills to her position.

SoftPro Enhances Integration with CATIC
October 13, 2020

With the added capability of the TOPS integration, CATIC agents in certain jurisdictions can order and receive title search results directly in their SoftPro file.

First National Title Appoints EVP of Business Development
October 13, 2020

First National Title Insurance Co. announced the addition of Kyle Rank to its leadership team as executive vice president of business development.

Agents National Title Names Southwest Agency Operations Manager
October 13, 2020

In this role, Susan Simmons will support Agents National Title Insurance Co. underwriters and sales associates in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas, as well as contributing to projects at the national level.

Mr. Wonderful: The New GDP
October 9, 2020

Entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary is best known as one of the investors featured on the TV series “Shark Tank.” Mr. Wonderful brought his investment prowess to the virtual ALTA ONE and shared with attendees how the new GDP—the great digital pivot—will transform the United States.

Industry Thriving in Face of Adversity
October 9, 2020

During the 2020 ALTA ONE, ALTA CEO Diane Tomb told the more than 1,100 virtual attendees how proud she was of how the industry responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. "In the face of tremendous uncertainty and change, our industry has innovated and harnessed the power of technology to better serve our clients and our communities. We didn’t just survive, our industry thrived," Tomb said. 

New ALTA President Urges Industry to ‘Attack the Fear’
October 9, 2020

During his induction speech as ALTA president, Bill Burding NTP told attendees of the virtual ALTA ONE that the title industry has adapted amazingly to the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. From handling drive-thru and hybrid closings to fulfill commitments to customers, he said the industry should be proud for how it responded. During the height of the health crisis, ALTA members were working around the clock to make closings convenient, safe and secure, which in turn kept the real estate industry firmly in the black. Read on for more on Burding's speech.

ALTA Announces Winners of 2020 Title Webbies
October 9, 2020

The Title Webbie award winners were honored during ALTA ONE, the largest annual event for the land title insurance industry. Nominees in two categories—Best Website-Title Agents and Best Website-Underwriters—were judged on mobile friendliness, overall user experience, social-media integration, image/video use and content quality. New this year, ALTA awarded a third Title Webbie—the #GoodDeeds Award—recognizing a company’s connection to its community through a social media campaign.

Pearls of Wisdom: How to be an Influential Leader
October 8, 2020

During the closing Omni Session of the 2020 ALTA ONE, Wall Street and investment guru Carla Harris shared some of her “Pearls of Wisdom” and what it takes to be an effective leader in today’s workforce. Read on to learn what Harris had to say about authenticity, trust, clarity, creating other leaders, diversity, innovation, inclusivity and voice.

WFG Marks 10-year Anniversary
October 8, 2020

In 2010, still in the shadow of another financial crisis, WFG Executive Chairman Patrick Stone saw great opportunities for a client-centric, tech-focused family of companies in the title insurance and real estate settlement services industry. 

CFPB Rescinds MSA Bulletin, Releases RESPA FAQs
October 7, 2020

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it has rescinded the 2015 marketing services agreements (MSA) compliance bulletin citing lack of regulatory clarity on how to comply with RESPA Section 8. While it is withdrawing the bulletin, the bureau said it does not mean MSAs are presumptively legal. The bureau also issued some FAQs addressing MSAs, the distinction between referrals and marketing services, how provisions of RESPA Section 8 apply when analyzing legality and examples of MSAs prohibited by RESPA Section 8.

ALTA, Coalition Raises Awareness of Wire Fraud During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
October 7, 2020

ALTA and several other associations that are part of the the Real Estate Fraud Prevention Coalition are leading efforts to recognize National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Joining ALTA in this effort is the National Association of Realtors, Mortgage Bankers Association, American Escrow Association and the Real Estate Services Providers Council.

 AM Best: Title Insurance Market Perseveres Amid Upheaval and Economic Uncertainty
October 7, 2020

Lockdown measures, business closures, and travel stoppages following the onset of COVID-19 pandemic at the end of the first quarter brought the global economy to a near halt. In the second quarter, the U.S. economy, in its first economic recession since the global financial crisis, registered its worst quarterly contraction—almost 32 percent—since World War II, following a contraction of 5 percent in first quarter. The title insurance industry has persevered, however, thanks in large part to persistent low interest rates propelling refinance volume, while sales of both existing and newly built homes have increased. Read on as AM Best provides analysis about the industry's performance in its latest market segment report.

ALTA Announces Winners of ALTA Our Values Awards
October 7, 2020

ALTA announced the winners of the 2020 ALTA Our Values Awards. The awards program showcases the title insurance industry’s Our Values initiative, which serves as the industry’s cultural compass and highlights the core ideals ALTA members embrace. In addition to three individual awards representing the three values of We Lead, We Deliver and We Protect, a fourth accolade recognized an entire ALTA member office that works as a cohesive team. Find out who won this year's Our Values Awards.

ALTA Awards Five New National Title Professional Designations
October 7, 2020

The National Title Professional designation recognizes land title professionals who demonstrate the knowledge, experience and dedication essential to the safe and efficient transfer of real property.

ALTA Honors Kosin With Honorary Membership
October 7, 2020

Greg Kosin, president of Greater Illinois Title Company Group of Companies, joins 65 other title professionals to receive the honor, which recognizes the performance of distinguished and meritorious service to the association or to the land title industry.

ALTA Sets Membership Milestone for 11th Consecutive Year
October 7, 2020

With 6,427 member companies, ALTA has already surpassed its 2019 membership record by 14 companies. Over the past 11 years, ALTA’s membership has increased by almost 120 percent.

 Recipe for a Better Tomorrow
October 6, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us learned what “giving back” to our communities truly means. Whether we’ve donated time or money or even been on the receiving end of some good deeds, the title industry has come together to lift up our neighborhoods. To hear about philanthropic efforts on a larger scale, ALTA President Mary O’Donnell had a conversation with chef and humanitarian José Andrés during an ALTA ONE session sponsored by Old Republic.

 A Year of Good Deeds
October 6, 2020

During her induction speech at last year’s ALTA ONE, ALTA President Mary O’Donnell referenced a quote from Freddie Mercury’s father in the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody, “good thoughts good words and good deeds. It’s a reference to one of the core Zoroaster religious maxims, which reinforces the idea of doing the right thing, and worldly rewards will follow. Little did O’Donnell know how prophetic her words “good deeds” would be as the COVID-19 pandemic changed the course of the entire world—including her ALTA presidency. Read on as O'Donnell reflects on her past year as president during a speech on Tuesday during the virtual ALTA ONE.

ALTA Launches Good Deeds Foundation
October 6, 2020

The ALTA Good Deeds Foundation will bolster charitable efforts of its members in their communities and help those adversely impacted by national emergencies such as the current COVID-19 pandemic or with housing needs. New York-based Tunnel to Towers Foundation received the first donation. Read on to see which companies and individuals have already supported the Foundation as founding donors.

TitleVest Voted Best Title Agency by Law Journal for Eighth Consecutive Year
October 6, 2020

New York City-based TitleVest has earned first place in the New York Law Journal’s reader survey for the eighth consecutive year.

Adeptive Partners With Pythonic to Provide Intelligent Document Routing
October 6, 2020

The AI solution extracts the valuable information in documents, reads the content and routes the documents to the correct ResWare file without manual interaction.  

ALTA ONE Now Offering Single-Day Passes
October 5, 2020

We know you’re busier than ever right now, but we want you to be a part of the ALTA ONE experience. To ensure you have the opportunity to learn and be inspired, no matter how packed your calendar is, we now are offering single-day passes to ALTA ONE!

 CFPB Releases Findings From TRID Assessment Report
October 1, 2020

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a 316-page report analyzing the effectiveness of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule (TRID). Read on to learn what the bureau concluded on various items such as implementation cost, the disclosure of title premiums and the effect on consumers, including selection of closing and settlement companies when shopping for services.

 What Is Networking Roulette?
October 1, 2020

ALTA Board of Governor Maureen Pfaff NTP, president and CEO of Olympic Peninsula Title Co., explains the many networking opportunities available during the virtual ALTA ONE (Oct. 6-8). Watch this video and learn how you could make your next business connection via the Networking Roulette--think speed dating for title professionals.

 Exit Strategies: Creating a Tailored Succession Plan
October 1, 2020

Are you prepared to transition your title company? Planning a custom solution now will help ensure a successful shift to new leadership by addressing key aspects such as: What is the value?, How will you remain involved, if at all?, What happens to your staff and brand? Find out how to build a succession plan at the virtual ALTA ONE (Oct. 6-8).

Qualia Integrates with Agents National Title
October 1, 2020

The integration gives title agents that work with Agents National Title Insurance Co. direct access to their jackets, CPLs, rates and forms through Qualia.

ALTA Launches Wire Transfer Fraud Education Campaign
October 1, 2020

The campaign coincides with National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. Specific to the title and settlement industry, the goal is to help educate both homebuyers and policymakers about the dangers of wire transfer fraud when closing on a new home or refinancing a mortgage.

Discover Your ALTA ONE Headliners
September 29, 2020

In a year full of firsts and false starts, you and your team need a little motivation. Your team needs a boost, a rallying cry to close the year out strong, so make sure they get the chance to see ABC Shark Tank star Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary as well as Carla Harris, vice chairman, wealth management, managing director and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley, and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup José Andrés during virtual ALTA ONE, Oct. 6-8.

 Working Remotely: Avoid the Pitfalls and Get Tips for Success
September 29, 2020

Working remotely was gaining popularity even before the pandemic, so it’s time to embrace it and make sure it’s done correctly. During this Engagement Lab at ALTA ONE, attendees will learn the pitfalls to avoid. Employees and employers will get tips to make working remotely productive and pleasant for all parties.

 2020 Election Preview and Potential Impact on the Title Industry
September 29, 2020

The 2020 Presidential Election is just over a month away. Fiscal and tax policy as well as the economy will likely play a prominent role in the upcoming presidential debates, but issues such as COVID-19, social equality, the environment and the Supreme Court nomination will all be issues looming large as Americans vote. This has made for a divisive political climate as President Donald Trump seeks re-election against former Vice President Joe Biden and Democrats seek to regain control of the Senate. Read on for analysis on how key issues that affect the title industry may play out, depending on the election results.

Shaddock National Holdings acquires US Title
September 29, 2020

Shaddock National Holdings recently acquired Utah-based US Title Insurance Agency, which was founded in 1980 and has 14 branches.

Washington State Supreme Court Reappoints ALTA Member to Board
September 29, 2020

Bill Ronhaar WTP NTP, has been reappointed by the Washington State Supreme Court to continue serving on the Limited Practice Board LPB) for an additional three-year term.

CATIC Named to Top Workplace for the Third Consecutive Year
September 29, 2020

CATIC has been named a Top Workplace for the third year in a row in the small business category by the Hartford Courant.

Agents National Title Expands Texas Presence
September 29, 2020

Agents National Title Insurance Company (ANTIC) announced that Steve Ortega and Diana Reese have joined the company as agency representatives and will be responsible for developing new agency relationships and providing ongoing support to the underwriter's independent agent partners.

Emmy-winning Comedian John Mulaney to Close ALTA ONE
September 29, 2020

ALTA ONE | Online! | This Week | Register Today
Need a break from the world of work, COVID-19, politics and social unrest? ALTA has the cure for you! Emmy-winning comedian John Mulaney will close out the virtual 2020 ALTA ONE (Oct. 6-8) with an entertaining moderated discussion by Qualia co-founder Joel Gottesgen during ALTA Unplugged (6:30-7:30 p.m. ET, Oct. 8). The headline sponsor of the session is Qualia, with CoreLogic and Agents National Title Insurance Co. as contributing sponsors.

ALTA Insights: 2020 Congressional Race Review
September 28, 2020

October 12, 2020 | 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT | Register Today
With the 2020 election just around the corner, join us for our next ALTA Insights webinar as experts from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) share analysis on key races and which seats they think will get flipped. Register for this webinar to get the inside scoop and learn how the battle for control of Congress could affect you and your business.

 Discover What You Don’t Know at ALTA ONE
September 28, 2020

ALTA Board of Governor Sylvia Smith-Turk, president of Western Title Co., discusses the many opportunities ALTA ONE provides to meet all the vendors and how the virtual event allows more of your staff to participate. She also shares discount code to save 25 percent off registration. Register today!

Webinar: Title Industry Market Performance Review and Outlook
September 28, 2020

Register for this FNF Family of Companies sponsored webinar as analysts from AM Best provide commentary and market observations for the remainder of this year and 2021 and share views on industry innovation.

 Learn How to Build and Leading a Sales Team in a COVID World
September 24, 2020

It has never been more important than right now, in these challenging times, to take steps to assure your organization’s continued growth. The market is hot, your people are stretched and stressed. These are the leading indicators that cause title agencies to make the massive mistake of slowing down in the area of proactive selling. Find out how to build a successful sales team at the virtual ALTA ONE (Oct. 6-8).

First American Launches Mortgage Forbearance Indicator
September 24, 2020

The new product monitors a consumer’s credit from application to closing to identify mortgage forbearance and alerts the processor and underwriter when new activity is found.

AmTrust Title Integrates With AccuTitle
September 24, 2020

AmTrust Title announced a new integration with AccuTitle to offer TitleFusion, Closers’ Choice and Landtech to its agents. The integration includes closing protection letters, policy jackets and title search orders.

Stewart Title Launches New Brand Campaign
September 24, 2020

Stewart Title recently launched a new brand campaign “Stewart Reframed,” an initiative communicating how the company is changing the way it does business, focusing on its financial strength, customer experience and shared expertise.

Fidelity Reports Delivery of 800,000 Digital Opening Packages to Consumers
September 23, 2020

Fidelity National Financial reported that hundreds of thousands of consumers have used its secure, online portal for real estate transactions since being launched in February. In addition, the company's  startSafe platform is expanding to allow consumers to make earnest money deposits using mobile devices.

Get Your CE/CLE at the Virtual ALTA ONE
September 23, 2020

ALTA ONE offers CE credit in more than 20 states and CLE credit in more than 30 states. Register now for the virtual 2020 ALTA ONE and get the education credits you need.

Network Your Way into New Biz Relationships at ALTA ONE
September 23, 2020

ALTA ONE | Online! | October 6-8, 2020 | Register Today
One of the best things about ALTA in-person events is seeing your old friends and meeting new ones! When we started planning our first virtual ALTA ONE, we knew we needed to bring you that personal networking experience. This year, ALTA ONE presents Networking Roulette, an innovative tool designed to recreate those serendipitous moments that are so important at a live event.

Realogy Title Group Reports 200 Percent Growth in Digital Closings Using RON
September 23, 2020

Realogy Title Group partners with Notarize, which provides the RON software platform, to make the closing process fully digital and smoother for its approximately 400 closing and escrow officers and their customers. 

ALTA Develops Sample Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement for Members
September 22, 2020

Developed by ALTA’s Talent Committee, the sample statement can be used by ALTA members to help develop their own policy.

Orogen to Obtain Majority Stake of Westcor
September 22, 2020

TheOrogen Group has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake inWestcor Land Title Insurance Co. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals. Wesctor grabbed 5.9 percent of title premium volume during the second quarter of 2020, according to ALTA’s latest market-share report. This is up from 3.4 percent of market share during the same period a year ago.

 The Docket: No Title Policy or Closing Protection Coverage for Borrower as to Mechanic’s Liens
September 22, 2020

Michael J. Sikora III, managing partner of the law firm Sikora Law LLC, provided today’s review of a decision by Ohio’s Eighth District Court of Appeals involving title insurance and closing protection coverage for mechanic’s liens that were recorded after the issuance of an owner’s policy. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.

 Aligning People, Process and Technology to Prevent Cyber Attacks
September 22, 2020

Do you wonder how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting cyber security?  Are you curious why cybercrime complaints have more than doubled so far this year?  Would you like to learn how to align your people, internal processes and technologies to enhance your security and lower risk? During a Notable education session at ALTA ONE, Tom Cronkright,  co-founder and CEO of CertifID, will provide an update on new fraud techniques, recent fraud scams and actionable steps to keep you and your customers safe from data breach and money transfer loss.

Stewart Title Acquires Title Company in Alaska
September 22, 2020

Stewart Title recently acquired Yukon Title Company Inc. This deal follows Stewart's $105 million purchase of 57 title offices in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada from ET Investments.

WFG Direct Operations to Adopt Zoccam Virtual Courier App
September 22, 2020

ZOCCAM’s virtual courier mobile app is designed to alleviate the industry's reliance on in-person, web-based and ACH transactions by depositing earnest money right from any smart device.

First American Ranked Among the Best Workplaces for Women
September 22, 2020

First American Financial Corp. was recognized by Fortune and Great Place to Work as one of the 2020 Best Workplaces for Women for the fifth year in a row.

ALTA Announces CertifID as an Elite Provider
September 22, 2020

ALTA’s Elite Provider Program features distinguished service providers committed to furnishing extensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members’ critical needs.

 Digital Closings: 2020 Vision
September 17, 2020

Danielle Kaiser NTP, vice president and regional underwriting counsel with North American Title Insurance Company, will lead an Engagement Lab during the 2020 ALTA ONE titled "Digital Closings: 2020 Vision. Kaiser will explore what we have learned in 2020 about digital closings and how we can adapt and implement digital closing technology.

 ICYMI: August Edition of TitleNews
September 17, 2020

The cover article of this edition features a national campaign ALTA launched over the summer called "Our Title Is Protection." The campaign highlights the industry as the guardians of the American Dream. Other articles in this edition include a look at the U.S. Supreme Court decision holding the CFPB single director model is unconstitutional, Q1 2020 title premium volume, ALTA helps create model emergency notarization order and an ALTA member profile of Deborah Bailey.

Insuring Native American Land Webinar Series
September 17, 2020

ALTA and its Native American Lands Committee is producing a four-part webinar series titled "Insuring Native American Land: Special Issues and Consideration. Read on to access recordings and materials from the first two presentations.

ALTA Urges Congress to Help Small Biz and Streamline PPP Forgiveness Process
September 17, 2020

ALTA joined a broad coalition of over 100 financial service, business and non-profit trades encouraging Congress to pass legislation that would streamline the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness process.

Supporting Agents in a Time of Unprecedented Change Under a New FNF Name
September 17, 2020

Steve Day, president of National Agency Operations for the FNF Family of Companies, discusses why the company changed its name earlier this year from Fidelity National Title Group to the FNF Family of Companies.

States Title Uses Machine Intelligence to Eliminate Human Review of Closing Documents
September 17, 2020

Rather than relying on escrow employees to manually review closing disclosure documents and “stare and compare” to verify data and fees, the company said Instant Closing Disclosure uses data science to automatically deliver accurate settlement statements. 

First American Appoints VP of Data and Analytics
September 17, 2020

Jon Wierks will be responsible for further enhancing existing automated valuation and collateral risk analytics initiatives and products.

Title Partners Expands Business Development Team
September 17, 2020

Title Partners has expanded its business development team with the additions of Daniel Lorimer and Michael Haas as senior vice presidents.

Big Announcement Coming During ALTA ONE
September 17, 2020

We have an announcement. A big announcement. But we can’t tell you just yet. The only way to discover the unveiling is to attend ALTA ONE! (As if you needed another reason to register.)

ALTA ONE to Host Chef and Humanitarian José Andrés
September 16, 2020

At ALTA ONE, ALTA President Mary O’Donnell will with sit down with author, humanitarian and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup José Andrés for a Q&A sponsored by Old Republic. Known for his groundbreaking avant-garde cuisine, Andrés also founded World Central Kitchen, a non-profit that specializes in delivering food relief in the wake of natural and humanitarian disasters. Hear from Andrés what your #GoodDeeds would look like on a larger scale.

 Webinar Recording: Part I of Webinar Series on Insuring Native American Land
September 15, 2020

This is part one of a four-part ALTA Native American land webinar series that discusses special issues and considerations when searching and insuring property involving Native American land. This presentation focuses on vesting and ownership of land, the Indian Non-Intercourse Act and Section 17 Corporations. 

ALTA Pushes Congress to Extend National Flood Insurance Program
September 15, 2020

ALTA and a coalition of 17 other groups encouraged Congressional leaders to extend the program, which expires Sept. 30,  in order to provide some continuity and certainty to the millions of policyholders who rely on a functioning National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). For the past several years, ALTA has encouraged Congress to pass a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP, while also supporting reforming and modernizing the program.

FNF to Launch Agency Operation for National Title Insurance of New York in Georgia
September 15, 2020

Fidelity National Financial has hired Rachel Hollinger Chapman to spearhead the launch of National Title Insurance of New York’s agency operation in Georgia.

PRIA Elects Officers and Directors
September 15, 2020

Elizabeth Blosser, ALTA’s senior director of government affairs, was re-elected to a second two-year term on the Property Records Industry Association's board of directors representing the business sector.

CFPB Releases Latest Supervisory Highlights Report
September 15, 2020

In its latest Supervisory Highlights, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported examination findings in the areas of consumer reporting, debt collection, deposits, fair lending, mortgage servicing and payday lending.

AmTrust Title Expands Energy Division
September 15, 2020

The additions to AmTrust Title's energy division will facilitate title insurance transactions for renewable and conventional energy projects, including refineries, liquefied natural gas facilities, and wind and solar farms, along with various other energy related deals. 

iBuyer Activity Plummets in the Second Quarter Due to COVID-19
September 15, 2020

Redfin reported that the nation’s top iBuyers bought 880 homes in the second quarter, or 0.1 percent of homes that sold across the 418 U.S. metros tracked by the brokerage. That’s down 88 percent from 7,410 homes, or 0.6 percent market share, a year earlier and represents the smallest number of properties purchased by iBuyers since the first quarter of 2017.

Join ALTA for a 2020 Congressional Race Review
September 9, 2020

Many Congressional races are hot and heavy this year, but ALTA has the inside track! Join us Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET for the ALTA Insights webinar, "2020 Congressional Race Review with the NRSC and NRCC," and find out which districts are likely to flip, which races are very competitive, and, most importantly, how the battle for control of Congress could affect you and your business.

Final Days for ALTA ONE Early Bird Discount
September 9, 2020

There are only a few days left to take advantage of the Early Bird discount for virtual ALTA ONE! Save $100 on your ALTA member registration when you sign up by Monday, Sept. 14. And we’re not leaving non-members out: Get a free ALTA membership for the rest of 2020 when you register for ALTA ONE. Don’t wait until the last minute: The sooner you sign up, the greater your benefits!

2020-21 Nominations for ALTA Board and Executive Committees
September 8, 2020

ALTA’s Nominating Committee is pleased to present the list of nomina­tions for the 2020-21 ALTA Board of Governors, as well as the Abstracters and Title Insurance Agents Executive Committee and the Title Insurance Underwriters Executive Committee. Nominations will be voted on during the virutal ALTA ONE, which will be held Oct. 6-8, 2020.

Don’t Let Your Guard Down Against Wire Fraud
September 3, 2020

While the housing and mortgage market continues along historic levels in 2020, title and settlement professionals are reminded to remain vigilant against wire transfer fraud as criminals look to take advantage of the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on for wire fraud tools and resources, as well as tips to protect your business. 

 WFG Prioritizes Physical, Mental Safety of Employees
September 3, 2020

The company hired a mindset coach and also expanded employee protection and education programs in an effort to provide emotional support, mental health care and a safety net against loss of income should an employee become sick or need time off to care for a family member.

Use Digital Ads to Market Your Business
September 3, 2020

ALTA provides members several digital advertising options that can be used on social media to promote how an operation is working remotely during the COVID-19 health crisis and showcase how closings will be handled. This is also a great time to help customers understand the benefits of title insurance and how it protects property rights. Through the Homeowner Outreach Program, ALTA provides several resources to help ALTA members educate consumers about the benefits of title insurance.

 ALTA Reports Q2 Title Industry Premium Volume and Market Share Data
September 3, 2020

The title insurance industry generated $4.18 billion in title insurance premiums during the second quarter of 2020, according to ALTA’s latest Market Share Analysis. Title premium volume is up 8.0 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

Discover a Recipe for Success at ALTA ONE
September 3, 2020

David Townsend MTP, NTP talks about some recipes to success title and settlement professionals will discover at the virtual 2020 ALTA ONE. Stick to the end of the video as he shares an important ingredient that's needed to get a registration discount. For more info, go to www.alta.org/one.

Meet the Guardians of the American Dream
September 3, 2020

Earlier this year, ALTA launched a campaign with the theme Our Title Is Protection to showcase the hardworking members of the title insurance and settlement services industry who move behind the scenes to facilitate the transfer of property and protect property rights. At the centerpiece of this campaign, this video highlights the defenders, private investigators, guardians and bodyguards of the American Dream. The video ends by saying the industry's number one title is protection. Help ALTA tell our story by linking to this video on your website and email, and by sharing on social media.

See Where Your Business Ranks for Free
September 2, 2020

Whether you’ve had to make adjustments to your employees’ compensation during the pandemic or you’re hiring new faces because your business is booming, be sure to complete the survey for ALTA’s Title & Settlement Services Industry Compensation Index. Filling out the Compensation Index allows you to easily examine the full value of your compensation packages and compare your business to the competition. And when you complete it, you can access the national results for free!

Native American Land Webinar Series: Leasing
September 2, 2020

Part two of the webinar series “Insuring Native American Land: Special Issues and Considerations” will explore the statutory and regulatory authority and processes for leasing restricted Native American lands, including 25 U.S.C. § 415, 29 CFR Part 169, and the HEARTH Act, which created a voluntary, alternative land leasing process available to tribes who enact leasing regulations, that permits tribal leasing without having to obtain further approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Attendees will learn key items to consider when handling transactions involving leases on Native American land.

 How U.S. Supreme Court Tribal Ruling in Oklahoma Impacts Title Industry, Property Rights
September 1, 2020

In a 5-4 decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the reservation for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in eastern Oklahoma was never abolished by Congress. While the holding of the McGirt v. Oklahoma case is narrow in scope to address criminal jurisdiction of the Muscogee under the Major Crimes Act (MCA), the ruling means Muscogee (Creek) Nation may now assert civil and administrative jurisdiction over all land contained within the boundaries of the reservation. If a large amount of land in Oklahoma is technically still a Native American reservation, even though many non-tribal members own land within the reservation boundaries, whose laws apply to which actions, people and parcels of land? Read on for analysis of how this case affects the the industry and property rights.

Wonderful News: Watch Shark Tank Star at ALTA ONE
September 1, 2020

It’s a wonderful time to attend ALTA ONE! Thank goodness we’re virtual this year, because this announcement would have you scrambling to get a seat at an in-person event: Businessman, author and ABC Shark Tank star Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary will be featured at ALTA ONE in October. We would tell you what he will be talking about at ALTA ONE, but the star himself can do it so much better!

Black Knight Acquires DocVerify
September 1, 2020

Black Knight said the acquisition helps accelerate its goal of digitizing the entire real estate and mortgage transaction.

NextAce Launches Platform to Expedite Title Company Adoption of Automation
September 1, 2020

NextAce unveiled a Virtual Title Assistant (VTA) allowing title companies to fully adopt title automation in just days. In the past, a title company wanting to adopt automation needed a custom software build, had to change their workflows around a new process, and had to provide training for their examiners to transition using a new interface and process.

Stewart Acquires Several Western Agencies from ET Investments
September 1, 2020

Stewart Information Services Corporation acquired 57 title offices in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada from ET Investments for $105 million.

Title Midwest Names President of Texas Division
September 1, 2020

Title Midwest Inc. recently appointed Marc Miller as president of Secured Title of Texas.

WEST Develops Cybersecurity Service to Protect Against Email Fraud
September 1, 2020

WEST, a Williston Financial Group Co., has launched a new cybersecurity service for real estate agents, lenders, title agents and other settlement service providers to protect them against email fraud and provide real-time updates regarding potential risks.

2021 ALTA Policies and Commitment Open for Public Comment
August 27, 2020

Recently adopted changes to the 2021 ALTA Commitment, Loan Policy and Owner’s Policy are now open to public comment through Dec. 31, 2020.

Digital Closing Boot Camp Recordings Available
August 27, 2020

If you’ve heard all of the great things attendees had to say about the ALTA & MBA Digital Closing Boot Camp—and we know you have—you’re not too late! We planned ahead and recorded the entire virtual event, just in case it was as amazing as we thought it would be. All of our dreams came true, so now we’re offering you this special opportunity.

What's a Big Deal at ALTA?
August 27, 2020

ALTA Board of Governor Jack Rattikin III, CEO of Rattikin Title Co., has a secret about the upcoming 2020 ALTA Conference. Find out what it is and watch to the end to get a discount code for the virtual event. Register for ALTA ONE before the Early Bird rate is gone!

ALTA Welcomes New Members
August 27, 2020

ALTA is pleased to announce new and associate members, as well as real estate attorneys, who have recently joined ALTA. Over the past month, ALTA gained 51new members, 14 attorney members and eight associate members. ALTA now has more than 6,400 member companies so far in 2020. Read on to view the entire list of new members. Not a member? Click here to join today. 

Alliant National Names Southwest Region Manager
August 27, 2020

Alliant National Title Insurance Co. promoted KC West to senior vice president and southwest region manager, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico.

Stewart Hires Group SVP for Southwest Direct Operations
August 27, 2020

As group senior vice president for the Southwest, Ryan Swed will be responsible for overseeing direct operations in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado.

Florida Agency Network Launces Virtual Closing Assistant
August 27, 2020

The free service called Alanna.ai answers closing transaction questions and is composed of artificial intelligence that integrates with FAN’s title production software.

CATIC Appoints National Commercial Sales Manager
August 27, 2020

CATIC announced it recently appointed Nicole Pratt as vice president and national commercial sales manager.

Webinar Recording: Penetration Testing & Network Security in the Title Industry
August 27, 2020
How secure is your computer network? Do you know for sure that the sensitive data you collect about your customers is safe from prying eyes? The best way to find out is to get hacked, on purpose, through a Penetration Test. Listen to this webinar, sponsored by the FNF Family of Companies, as industry experts share information and explain why and how title and settlement companies should examine their computer system security by running penetration tests.
ALTA Elite Provider Spotlight: Qualia
August 26, 2020

ALTA's Elite Provider program comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members' critical needs. Today, we highlight Qualia, which provides the infrastructure to streamline the home closing experience and offers a suite of products that brings together homebuyers and sellers, lenders, title and escrow agents, and real estate agents onto one secure shared platform.

Get a (Free) Sneak Peek of the ALTA ONE Experience!
August 26, 2020

We know you might be a little nervous about registering for ALTA ONE when you don’t know if you’ll get your money’s worth from an online experience. Well, we are prepared to put our money where our mouth is. Get ready for the first-ever ALTA ONE Open House on Sept. 9!

ALTA Helps Convince FHFA to Delay Refinance Fee
August 25, 2020

Following input from ALTA and a broad coalition of organizations ranging from consumer groups to policymakers, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to delay the implementation date of an adverse market refinance fee until Dec. 1, 2020. The 50 basis-point fee on most refinance mortgages was previously scheduled to take effect Sept. 1, 2020.

First National Title Hires Agency Rep for Western Region
August 25, 2020

First National Title Insurance Co. (FNTI) announced it has named Susan Stewart as agency representative for its western region

WFG National Title Appoints Texas Underwriting Counsel
August 25, 2020

The addition of Megan Piechowiak to the WFG team adds another dimension to the company’s structural capability to handle large and complex commercial and agricultural projects.

MISMO Announces Call for Participants for Workgroup to Enable Digitization of Closing Instructions
August 25, 2020

The Mortgage Industry Standard Maintenance Organization (MISMO) announced a call for industry experts to participate in a working group to enable the digitization of closing instructions.

 Tell Our Story: Don't Be Taken for Granted
August 25, 2020

In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, economist Hernando de Soto shared how the many roles of the land title industry may be taken for granted, but consistently proves its value to the bedrock of the American economy. ALTA encourages members to share the article on social media, tell your story and explain the essential role you play in protecting the American dream.

 The Docket: Calif. Supreme Court Addresses Community or Separate Property Debate
August 25, 2020

Zi C. Lin, a partner with the law firm Garrett & Tully PC, reviews a recent decision by the California Supreme Court that addressed form of title, community property and bankruptcy. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.

Stewart Names EVP of Enterprise Operations
August 25, 2020

In this role, Louis Pontani will be responsible for driving the company’s strategic operational priorities and digital strategy for enterprise operations, specifically agency services.

Pavaso Receives RON Compliance Certification from MISMO
August 25, 2020

Pavaso has been granted remote online notarization (RON) compliance certification through the Mortgage Industry Standard Maintenance Organization (MISMO).

RamQuest Integrates With Title Data
August 25, 2020

Through Title Data’s starter share program, Texas title agents can contribute their starter title insurance commitments and policies to Title Data’s online image library and generate monthly income.

Strategies for Title and Settlement Companies to Keep Staff and Customers Safe
August 20, 2020

Across the country, nearly a quarter of all employees have returned to the office in 10 of the largest metropolitan areas. And as more employees return back to the office, companies must ensure they have the proper policies and procedures in place to remain compliant despite a lack of uniformity and inconsistent guidance. The landscape can be confusing enough for an employer with a single location, but for those operating across multiple states, or even across county lines, monitoring what is required can be quite the endeavor. Business owners and managers must consider an assortment of employment issues affecting health and operations policies as employees transition back to the office. Liability is a major concern, beginning with what to do if an employee or customer gets sick and how to screen people entering the office.

Webinar Recording: Cybersecurity Trends and COVID 19
August 20, 2020

Listen to a recording of this SoftPro-sponsored webinar to learn the latest wire fraud statistics, recent COVID-19 phishing scams, top fraud strategies and tips on how to recover stolen funds. 

DataTrace Unveils Market Insights Report
August 20, 2020

MarketView provides title companies with access to industry data such as market share to help them evaluate growth opportunities and gain a competitive edge.

Qualia Integrates With CATIC Search Application
August 20, 2020

Qualia announced that title and escrow agents can now access CATIC’s title search application (TOPS) directly through Qualia Marketplace.

PropLogix Named to Inc. 5000 for Fourth Consecutive Year
August 20, 2020

For the fourth year in a row, PropLogix has made Inc. magazine’s list of the top 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America. This year the company comes in at No. 1,590 with a 272 percent growth rate.

Hillsboro Title Expands Presence in Missouri
August 20, 2020

The opening of an escrow closing and construction disbursing office in South County, Mo., gives Hillsboro Title Company its 10th location in the St. Louis area.

GAO Says FinCEN Should Enhance Procedures for Implementing and Evaluating GTOs
August 18, 2020

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended in a 41-page report that FinCEN develop additional guidelines to help with oversight, outreach and evaluation when issuing real estate geographic targeting orders (GTO).

Register for ALTA ONE and See Who Will Win This Year's Our Values Awards
August 18, 2020

ALTA Past President Cynthia Durham Blair NTP explains why you need to cast Zoom-fatigue to the side and register for the virtual ALTA ONE, which will be held Oct. 6-8. You won't want to miss this event as we hand out the annual Our Values Awards. Cynthia also has a discount code good for 25 percent off registration.

Westcor Expands Into UK, Ireland
August 18, 2020

Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. has expanded its footprint with Titlesolv UK and Ireland. Westcor International, a subsidiary of Westcor, set up base in the UK three years ago and received Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2018.

CATIC Begins Operations in Georgia
August 18, 2020

In addition to operating in Georgia, CATIC has offices throughout New England and in Florida.

Qualia Launches Remote Online Notary Platform
August 18, 2020

Qualia RON is built into the company’s cloud-based title and escrow software platform.

Money Transfer Policy Guide Made Available for all Companies Holding Escrow
August 18, 2020

CertifID’s Money Transfer Policy Guide provides a comprehensive review of the types of funds that are processed through escrow and interest on lawyers trust accounts and suggested internal policies designed to keep all funds safe considering the ever-growing threat of wire and check fraud. 

Final Regulations for California Consumer Privacy Act Approved
August 18, 2020

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced approval by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) of final regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). 

Attend ALTA ONE to Hear One of the Most Influential Women in Finance
August 17, 2020

What does it take to be an outstanding leader? At ALTA ONE, Omni Session speaker Carla Harris will discuss one of her most relevant Pearls of Wisdom: Anyone choosing to take on a leadership position must be intentional to be a powerful, impactful and influential leader in today’s environment. Join us online for ALTA ONE Oct. 6-8.

 5 Key Steps to Counter Claim Trends and Stay in Business
August 13, 2020

A strong real estate market the past several years led to a rather stable loss rate, but the current COVID-19 crisis may challenge that claims stability. Certain claims always tend to percolate and cause issues for the industry during financial downturns and underwriters are starting to raise loss provision rates in anticipation of a spike in claims spurred by current economic conditions. Read on for five safeguards title agencies can follow to help mitigate potential claims and counter the trends.

No Time? No Problem! Drop in on Digital Closing Boot Camp
August 13, 2020

Between work, stay-cation and planning for school—in whatever form it may take—your schedule is packed! Maybe webinars and virtual events just don’t seem like they fit on your calendar. But hold on—one of the fabulous things about the virtual ALTA & MBA Digital Closing Boot Camp is you can make it fit your agenda!

Get Exclusive Access to Legal Developments in the Title Industry
August 13, 2020

When the most experienced land title professionals and counsel around the United States need research and advice, they turn to ALTA’s legal publications. With author and industry veteran J. Bushnell Nielsen’s practical analysis, these publications are the ultimate resource for claims administrators, coverage counsel, underwriters, agency managers, title examiners, regulators, escrow officers and more.

Washington-based Title Agency to Develop Tokenized Title Platform
August 13, 2020

Washington-based Rainier Title is partnering with Ubitquity LLC to develop a platform for creating tokenized property titles as well as parallel records of conveyances on a blockchain.

Alliant National Title Names State Manager for Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah
August 13, 2020

Alliant National Title Insurance Co. announced the hiring of Tyrone Johnson as assistant vice president and state agency manager for Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah.

Real Data Consulting Unveils Business Texting Product
August 13, 2020

MessageLeap integrates SMS text messaging with existing business phone number and email applications.

100 Associations That Will Save the World
Associations Now  |  August 13, 2020

This year has proven that we can’t always predict what problems may arise. The latest issue of Associations Now commemorating American Society of Association Executives' (ASAE) 100th anniversary, features 100 associations that  have risen to the challenge. Among the organizations is ALTA, which was recognized for protecting consumers from wire fraud.

Discover the Educational Experience at ALTA ONE
August 12, 2020

Who is ready to crtl+alt+delete 2020 and move on to 2021?! We all know this year has been, well, challenging to say the least. But ALTA ONE is here to prepare you for the next year and beyond with our slate of educational opportunities taught by the best minds in the business. Check out this sample of what you’ll learn at ALTA ONE!

Intercontinental Exchange to Acquire Ellie Mae for $11 Billion
August 12, 2020

Including past acquisitions of both MERSCORP Holdings and Simplifile and, upon completion of the deal for Ellie Mae, ICE will have invested roughly $11.5 billion in its strategy to build out its end-to-end electronic mortgage workflow solution. The transaction, which is not subject to a financing condition, is expected to close in the third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2020.

 Ask the Digital Boot Camp Experts: The 411 on MISMO’s RON Certification
August 11, 2020

During this latest installment of Ask the Digital Boot Camp Experts (sponsored by the FNF Family of Companies), Lisa Steele of Mother Lode Holding Co. and Eddie Oddo of First American Title Insurance Co. talk with Rick Hill, vice president of industry technology at the Mortgage Bankers Association, about MISMO's Remote Online Notarization (RON) certification program.

Digital Closing Boot Camp Has the Education You Need Now
August 11, 2020

The virtual ALTA & MBA Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camp won’t have you simply staring passively at a screen. In fact, we have created nine roundtable sessions where you can share your insights and pose questions to other real estate professionals going through the same issues you’re facing. Up to 20 participants can share their video and audio in each roundtable session. Register today and join us online Aug. 18-20! 

Knight Barry Title Acquires Title Agency in South Florida
August 11, 2020

Knight Barry Title Group added its seventh location in Florida with the acquisition of Bailey Woodruff Title Company Inc. in Deerfield Beach.

 Discover Why ALTA ONE will be a 'Whopper'
August 11, 2020

ALTA President-elect Bill Burding NTP explains why this year's virtual ALTA ONE will be a whopper of an event where attendees will discover new opportunities to grow their business. Register for ALTA ONE before the Early Bird rate is gone! Watch to the end to get a discount to the virtual event.

TitleVest Hires Strategic Sales Advisor
August 11, 2020

Prior to joining New York-based TitleVest, Rafael Castellanos served as the founding partner, majority principal and managing director of Expert Title Insurance Agency.

SoftPro Integrates With CertSimple
August 11, 2020

With the availability of the new integration, SoftPro customers can directly order CertSimple property tax and homeowners’ association certification services through their SoftPro platform.

Incenter Names President of Enterprise Business Development
August 11, 2020

Incenter, which owns Agents National Title Insurance Co. and Boston National Title, recently appointed Tom Piercy as president of enterprise business development.

 Fidelity Reports Q2 Earnings
August 6, 2020

Fidelity National Financial reported that its title insurance segment generated $528 million in pre-tax earnings during the second quarter of 2020. This is up from $387 million in pre-tax earnings during the same period a year ago. This was Fidelity’s best third-quarter since 2003.

ALTA Registry Helps Prevent Risk of Wire, Title Fraud
August 6, 2020

Two recent reports highlight the benefits of utilizing ALTA’s Title and Settlement Agent Registry. According to FundingShield, increases in closing protection letter (CPL) and agent validation errors with title insurers rose by 530 percent over the past quarter. Meanwhile, a former title company owner in North Carolina was sentenced for selling fake title policies for over a year. Read on to learn how a free listing in the ALTA Registry can help solve these problems.

 ICYMI: Download the July 2020 Edition of TitleNews
August 6, 2020

The July 2020 digital edition of TitleNews is available for download. The cover article of this edition highlights strategies title and settlement companies can follow to help keep staff and customers safe in their offices during theCOVID-19 crisis. Other articles in this edition a survey showing that 30 percent of title agencies are offering a version of digital closings;MISMO has issued ALTA-supported Uniform Closing Instructions; Title companies raising millions to improve closings; and theRhode Island Supreme Court ruling non-attorneys can conduct closings. Starting in August, TitleNews will be delivered in a new digital, web-based format. ALTA decided to move to a new platform with Adobe Systems planning to stop supporting Adobe Flash on Dec. 31, 2020, due to security issues.

Fidelity Hires SVP of National Agency Division
August 6, 2020

In this role, Chuck Cain will focus on relationships and providing agents of FNF Family of Companies with educational programs and information on industry and regulatory trends to enable them to grow their businesses.

 Webinar Recording: Learn Why Communication Is Key During Any Crisis
August 6, 2020

Communicating during an emergency or crisis is one of the most important elements of a workplace disaster preparedness plan. This is important for your staff, but also your customers. Register for this FNF Family of Companies-sponsored webinar to learn details of key online communication elements title agents and attorneys should consider during any crisis. You'll learn a step-by-step strategy on how to get it done.

Watch a Preview of What’s to Come at ALTA ONE
August 6, 2020

ALTA President Mary O’Donnell (aka The Queen) wants to tell you something special you’ll hear about at ALTA ONE that can help you boost your business! Check out this short video, in which Mary gives you a preview of why you and your story are important to your community. Register for ALTA ONE before the Early Bird rate is gone!

ALTA 2020 TIPAC Donors
August 4, 2020

The Title Industry Political Action Committee (TIPAC) is ALTA’s voluntary, non-partisan political action committee (PAC). TIPAC raises money to help elect and re-elect candidates to Congress who understand and support the issues affecting the title industry. So far in 2020, TIPAC has received more than $213,000 from 263 donors. Check out who has supported the industry.

 The Docket: Policy Exception for Easements Does not Apply to Clam Profits
August 4, 2020

Sean Holland, an underwriting counsel for Fidelity National Title Group, reviews a recent decision by the Washington Supreme Court holding that a title insurer breached its duty to defend when it denied the insureds’ claim arising from a profit, a Native American tribe’s treaty right to harvest shellfish. The profit was outside the scope of a policy exception for easements. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.

Westcor Names Midwest Agency Representative
August 4, 2020

Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. announced the hiring of Daniel Mennenoh as Midwest agency representative.

Avoid Being Hacked: Perform a Network Penetration Test
August 4, 2020

The the FBI has warned that fraudsters continue to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to steal money through business email compromise schemes. Want to protect your computer network from being hacked? Experts say companies should perform what’s called a “Penetration Test” to find any vulnerabilities in your network. Register for an upcoming webinar "Why You Need to Get Hacked," sponsored by FNF Family of Companies, to learn how a penetration test works and how to act on the results.

SYNRGO Attains E-closing Certifications from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
August 4, 2020

The company's LiveSign platform allows lenders, title companies and attorneys to conduct electronic, contactless closings by utilizing two-way audio-visual communication and a notary.

JetClosing Raises $9 Million to Expand Digital Platform
August 4, 2020

JetClosing utilizes fully encrypted workflows for secure document transfers, wire transactions, remote online notarizations (RON) and e-signatures. User information is further guarded using multi-factor authentication, which introduces safe, transparent and remote digital home closings and refinancings for the first time.

ALTA Supports House Bill to Help Small Businesses
August 4, 2020

ALTA joined a coalition of more than 140 trade groups representing small business borrowers and lenders asking Congress to streamline Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness for the smallest borrowers.

Explore Digital Closing Boot Camp’s New Virtual Platform
August 3, 2020

If you’ve been wondering exactly how this whole “virtual event” thing is going to work, now is your chance to find out! Register for the ALTA & MBA Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camp today, and you will get to create your personal account and check out the platform before the event goes live! (Don’t tell anyone, but this is also the platform we’re using for this year’s virtual ALTA ONE—so you can discover all of the tips and tricks ahead of your peers.)

 Tips to Cultivate a Successful Remote Team
July 30, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic forced title and settlement companies across the country to modify staffing practices and processes. Five months in, most professionals have learned that working from home can bring new challenges such as juggling work while watching (or teaching) kids, learning new software and conferencing programs, and managing files from a couch. Read on for some tips on how to develop a work-from-home action plan.  

 ALTA Joins Coalition Push to Simplify Forgiveness for PPP Loans Under $150,000
July 30, 2020

ALTA joined a collation of more than 130 trade groups representing small business borrowers and lenders asking Congress to streamline Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness for the smallest borrowers.

Find Out How 2020 Election Could Affect Housing, Title Industry
July 30, 2020

August 6, 2020 | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. ET | Register Today
The 2020 presidential election is sure to be a rollercoaster ride, and we want to give you a front-row seat! Join us Thursday, Aug. 6, from 1-2 p.m. ET for our next ALTA Insights webinar and get the inside scoop on how a changing of the guard could affect the housing and title insurance industry. Register for this webinar to learn about different policies that are being considered on both sides of the aisle. ALTA is coordinating additional webinars focused on the November election and key Congressional races. This webinar is closed to press. Register today!

Westcor Appoints SVP of Strategic Development
July 30, 2020

In this role, Roy Wittig will be responsible for new product developments, business development, and expanding data assets and automation capabilities for Westcor Land Title Insurance Co.

 Former Title Company Owner in N.C. Sentenced for Selling Fake Title Policies
July 30, 2020

A former title company owner of Blue Ridge Title Co. in North Carolina was sentenced to 14 months in prison for selling fake title insurance policies for more than a year and a half.

Last Chance to Grab Digital Closing Boot Camp’s Early Bird Rate!
July 29, 2020

No matter where you’re located in the U.S., you are dealing with digital closings. Some of you are encountering not only a new way of living but also a whole new way of doing business. Fortunately, you can still register for the ALTA & MBA Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camp at the Early Bird rate through July 31! Join us online Aug. 18-20 and ensure your operation can deliver digital closings from RON to RIN and everything in between. 

 The Docket: ‘Dueling Dinosaurs’ Ends With Fifth-Round Split Decision
July 28, 2020

Lance Pomerantz, a New York-based sole practitioner who provides expert testimony, litigation consulting and strategic advice in land title disputes, reviews a recent Montana case that determined whether dinosaur fossils are part of the surface estate or the mineral estate. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.

North American Title Names Managing Director for Florida Region
July 28, 2020

In this role, Richard Yankowski will be responsible managing all associates and branch operations in Florida for North American Title Co.

Indecomm Releases Automation Software
July 28, 2020

In the title and settlement services industry, Indecomm's solution addresses the life cycle from order intake through commitment and report preparation.

DataTrace Launches Nationwide Title Automation Solution
July 28, 2020

According to DataTrace, TitleIQ Enterprise is powered by a network of real estate title plants, tax data and recorded property data, including seven billion land record images that unifies multiple processes for expedited nationwide title report production.

 Ask the Digital Boot Camp Experts Bonus Video: E&O
July 28, 2020
Check out this bonus Ask the Digital Boot Camp Experts video as Lisa Steele of Mother Lode Holding Co. and Eddie Oddo of First American Title Insurance Co. talk with Celia Flowers of East Texas Title and Dennis Pospisil of Republic Title of Texas about how remote online notarizations have affected E&O coverage. If you want to learn more, register for the upcoming virtual Digital Closing and eMortgage Boot Camp (Aug. 18-20). 
 First American Calls Cybersecurity Charges by N.Y. Regulator ‘Unreasonable’
July 28, 2020

First American Title Insurance Co. said it will defend itself “vigorously” against charges by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) alleging the company exposed documents with consumer non-public personal information.

ALTA Promotes Industry in USA Today America Responds Special Edition
July 23, 2020

In the midst of all the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 health crisis, one thing is certain. The land title insurance industry has truly stepped up. To promote the industry during this trying time, ALTA was included in the USA Today America Responds special edition that recognizes businesses and industries that have remained resilient during this pandemic to deliver for its customers and keep the nation moving forward. It’s the publication’s salute to those Americans making a real difference. The title and settlement services industry has responded.

Ask the Digital Boot Camp Experts!
July 23, 2020

August 18-20, 2020 | Register Today
Whether you want to hear more on this topic or learn about digital transactions, technology, implementation or market trends, the virtual ALTA & MBA Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camp is the event you need to attend. (Make sure you register today before prices go up after July 31!) CE/CLE credits will be available for many states. To earn CE/CLE credits, attendees must attend the live sessions.

 Old Republic Reports Second-quarter Results
July 23, 2020

Old Republic International Corp. reported that its title insurance segment generated pre-tax income of $65.4 million during the second quarter of 2020. This compares to $60.2 million in pre-tax income during the same period a year ago.

 Stewart Releases Second-quarter Financials
July 23, 2020

Stewart Information Services reported that its title segment posted pre-tax earnings of $54.8 million during the second quarter of 2020. This is up from $39.0 million in pre-tax earnings during the same period a year ago.

Simplifile, DocMagic Partner to Advance Digital Closings
July 23, 2020

Through the partnership, loan closings done through DocMagic’s Total eClose platform can now be automatically routed to the settlement agent thorough Simplifile for electronic closing coordination.

SoftPro Integrates with Safe Escrow
July 23, 2020

The partnership allows title agents using SoftPro to utilize Safe Escrow’s underwriter-approved collaborative disbursement system from the time of opening a new order through post-closing.

 First American Reports Q2 Earnings
July 23, 2020

First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance segment generated $237.8 million in pre-tax earnings during the second quarter of 2020. This is up from $232.8 million during the same period a year ago.

Cybersecurity, Wire Fraud and Scams: Oh My!
July 22, 2020

Cybersecurity and wire fraud are frightening topics, especially if you find your company has been the victim of a scam. Whether you’re wondering how to keep your business from becoming a casualty or you want to know what to do if a customer falls into a scammer’s trap, ALTA is here to help. Join us for a webinar, “Cybersecurity Trends and COVID-19,” on Aug. 12 from 1-2 p.m. ET.

State Laws Authorizing Remote E-notarization
July 22, 2020

Emergency orders and guidance issued by states on remote online notarization (RON) do not necessarily conform with the ALTA-MBA model or RULONA standards for consumer protections and anti-fraud safeguards. The powers of entities to issue such orders should to be reviewed on a state-by-state basis. Prior to relying on any emergency order or guidance, title and settlement agents are encouraged to contact their underwriter. So far, 48 states and the District of Columbia have either passed a RON law or issued an executive order pertaining to remotely notarizing documents. Some have done both. Check out ALTA’s Digital Closings resource page for a complete state-by-state list of laws that have passed or orders that have been issued and renewed.

Infographics: A Look at Two Digital Closing Scenarios
July 22, 2020

To date, 27 states have passed RON legislation, while another 20 states and Washington, D.C., have passed issued executive orders allowing for the remote notarization of documents. Fannie Mae has provided graphics that examine two digital closing scenarios using RON.

ALTA Registry Connects Lenders With RON-capable Closing Companies
July 21, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of mortgages are being closed online in order to comply with federal and state social distancing guidelines. To help meet this need, ALTA recently updated the ALTA Title & Settlement Agent Registry (ALTA Registry) to identify title and settlement companies that can perform RON closings. If you offer RON closings, make sure you update your ALTA Registry listing to let lenders know you offer this service.

ALTA Partners With U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Equality of Opportunity Initiative
July 21, 2020

ALTA is proud to announce it has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Equality of Opportunity Initiative, which outlines a broad policy agenda in the areas of education, employment, entrepreneurship and criminal justice. 

ALTA Members Help Close First Remote Online Notarization in North Carolina
July 21, 2020

Amrock partnered with North Carolina-based law firm Brady & Kosofsky to help complete the first remote online notarization (RON) mortgage closing in the state.

Fannie Mae Updates Refi Volume Forecast as Housing Demonstrates Resilience
July 21, 2020

The continued decline in mortgage rates has resulted in Fannie Mae raising its refinance origination volume for 2020 by $100 billion. Fannie now expects refinance volume to total $1.88 trillion in 2020 and account for 60 percent of all origination volume.

Florida Agency Network Appoints Chief Administrative Officer
July 21, 2020

Florida Agency Network (FAN) recently appointed Amy Gregory as chief administrative officer.

Discover What ALTA ONE Can Do for Your Business
July 21, 2020

This year's virtual ALTA ONE brings the largest industry event to the front lines of your office, providing every employee the opportunity to flourish. ALTA ONE is the best place to be inspired, hear the most accurate industry updates and forecasts and discover the education you and your employees need to prosper. Join us Oct. 6-8 from wherever you are!

PropLogix Names Chief Marketing Officer
July 21, 2020

PropLogix announced it has promoted Becky Tassell to the newly created position of chief marketing officer.

ALTA Talent Committee Develops 13 New Job Descriptions
July 16, 2020

ALTA’s Talent Committee has developed 13 new job descriptions that are now available to ALTA members in the Human Resources Library. The updates include job summaries, as well as suggested duties and responsibilities, knowledge and skills, and other information for each position. 

Webinar Recording: How to Successfully Interview & Onboard Employees Remotely
July 16, 2020

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, title and settlement companies quickly had to make a lot of adjustments. Whether you or some of your employees are working remotely or you’re simply trying to reduce contact, interviewing and onboarding new employees can be tricky. This Qualia-sponsored webinar provides tips and tricks to conduct remote interviews and how to successfully onboard employees once you make a hire.

Get Your Free ALTA Membership Today
July 16, 2020

You may not be an ALTA member (yet), but this year we have a little something special just for you. Register for our virtual ALTA ONE, and you will receive a free ALTA membership for the rest of 2020!

Hawaii Passes Remote Online Notarization Bill
July 16, 2020

Hawaii becomes the 27th state to allow remote online notarizations following the passage of SB 275. The legislation, which awaits the governor's signature, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

#GoodDeeds: ALTA Members Continue to Support Customers, Communities
July 16, 2020

Find out what title companies in Texas and Alaska are doing to give back to their communities in our latest roundup of #GoodDeeds. Have a #GoodDeeds example to share? Send your story and photo to communications@alta.org.

Language Addressing Wire Fraud, Business Email Compromise Added to Appropriations Bills
July 16, 2020

ALTA has successfully worked with the House Committee on Appropriations to push several federal agencies to focus more on real estate wire fraud as part of Congress’s annual appropriations process.

California Attorney General Releases Consumer FAQs for Privacy Law
July 16, 2020

The California attorney general issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help consumers understand their rights under the state’s California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

FinCEN Releases COVID-19 Advisory on Imposter Scams and Money Mule Schemes
July 16, 2020

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) recently issued an advisory warning financial institutions of imposter scams and money mule schemes, which are two kinds of consumer fraud that U.S. authorities have observed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s Time to Create Your Digital Closing Playlist
July 14, 2020

Whether your state is open, closed or somewhere in between, we are all dealing with digital closings on some level, and we won’t be turning down the volume anytime soon. Social distancing has only amplified the need for digital closings. That’s why ALTA and MBA are offering a three-day duet: The virtual ALTA &amp MBA Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camp will be held online Aug. 18-20. 

FHFA Extends Temporary Loan Measures
July 14, 2020

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) extended a series of temporary loan flexibilities offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through Aug. 31. These changes include the expanded use of power of attorney and remote online notarizations to assist with loan closings.

U.S. Secret Service Creates Cyber Fraud Task Force
July 14, 2020

In recognition of the growing convergence of cyber and traditional financial crimes, the U.S. Secret Service has merged two electronic and financial crimes unites into a single unified network that will focus on investigating cyber-enabled financial crimes, such as business email compromise schemes and ransomware attacks.

 Ask the Digital Boot Camp Experts: Boots on the Ground, The Real Story
July 14, 2020
During this third Ask the Digital Boot Camp Experts video series, Lisa Steele of Mother Lode Holding Co. and Eddie Oddo of First American Title Insurance Co. discuss how title companies are handling remote online notarizations with Celia Flowers of East Texas Title and Dennis Pospisil of Republic Title of Texas. Click here to learn more and register for the upcoming virtual Digital Closing and eMortgage Boot Camp (Aug. 18-20).
Westcor Appoints Michigan Underwriting Counsel
July 14, 2020

In this role, Brian Kasiborski will provide underwriting support to Westcor Land Title Insurance Company's agents in Michigan.

PropLogix Launches RON Software
July 14, 2020

ProperSign features video conferencing, knowledge-based authentication, tamper-evident document sealing and long-term storage. Beyond meeting the Florida requirements to facilitate RON and remote ink-signed notarization (RIN) signings, PropLogix said its software can be used to facilitate fully digital or hybrid real estate closings.

Proper Title Adds to Exec Team
July 14, 2020

As executive vice president of operations and counse, Kathy Kwakwill be responsible for managing the Illinois-based company’s processing, closing and overall operations.

WAULT Offers Digital Signature Solution
July 14, 2020

Connecticut-based WAULT has released a digital signature capability, making it more secure to sign documents online.

Global Closing Expands Coverage in Florida
July 14, 2020

Florida-based Global Closing Co. has expanded coverage with four new offices in Brevard County.

ALTA Insights: Increase Your Advocacy IQ
July 13, 2020

ALTA Insights | 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT | Register Today

Some people believe that the only place where change happens is within D.C.’s Beltway. It also occurs outside of Washington, D.C., at the state level and in local communities. Register for this Qualia-sponsored ALTA Insights Webinar and learn how to be an effective advocate for the title and settlement community. Industry experts will share real-life examples of how involvement from title professionals significantly impacted the outcome of legislative and regulatory changes. You’ll learn easy ways to get involved and take action.

MISMO Certifies First Two Remote Online Notary Products
July 9, 2020

Notarize and eNotaryLog became the first two companies to complete MISMO's new remote online notarization (RON) certification program. RON certification provides assurance that products fulfill the requirements of the MISMO RON standards. Earlier this year, ALTA announced its Title & Settlement Agent Registry (ALTA Registry) can now identify title and settlement companies that can perform RON closings. Closing companies that offer RON will be designated with a small graphic icon, making them easy to identify in the ALTA Registry, which is also fully searchable.

From Caribbean Roots and a Random Convo With Warren Buffet to a Career in the Title Industry
July 9, 2020

Deborah Bailey, managing member of the law firm Bailey Helms Legal LLC in Georgia, started in the title industry in 1998 helping the Superior Court of Fulton County in Georgia clear a significant recording backlog. After that, Bailey was asked to help implement a new recording system. What was supposed to be a temporary gig, turned into a lifetime career. Read on to learn more about Bailey, including a conversation with Warren Buffet.

ALTA Names New Director of Grassroots and Political Affairs
July 9, 2020

In this role, Leah Shimp Vass will be responsible for two components of ALTA’s advocacy efforts: developing political action committee (PAC) strategy and mobilizing grassroots activities.

Celebrate Creativity with ALTA’s Title Webbie Awards
July 7, 2020

Get in on the 2020 awards action! Submit your company’s website or social media campaign for a Title Webbie Award and be recognized for your creativity! For the third year, ALTA will bestow Title Webbies on member companies that have built or redesigned the best title industry consumer-facing website or launched an original social media campaign within the past year.

 PPP Helps 5,100 Title and Settlement Companies
July 7, 2020

More than 5,100 title and settlement companies received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to data released July 6 by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Treasury Department. Read on for more details, including the average loan amount, which states had the most borrowers and how many jobs the funds saved.

ALTA ONE Flash Sale: Time Is Almost Up
July 7, 2020

ALTA ONE is having its biggest FLASH SALE ever—and just in time, we’ve extended it through Friday, July 17! Registration is open to everyone, but only ALTA members can discover all the event has to offer for just $199.

Agents National Title Names Florida Agency Service Manager
July 7, 2020

Agents National Title Insurance Co. announced that Sarah Leventhal has joined the company as Florida agency service manager. 

Westcor Hires Regional Underwriting Counsel
July 7, 2020

Shannon Skurner joins the Texas region underwriting team covering Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. 

Independence Day Holiday Increases Risk for Wire Fraud, CertifID Warns
July 2, 2020

CertifID warned that because the observance of the July 4th holiday falls on a Friday, there’s an increased risk for wire fraud because the Federal Reserve will remain open allowing fraudsters to move funds between accounts.

ALTA Helps Develop Model Emergency Notarization Order Language
July 2, 2020

ALTA, along with the Mortgage Bankers Association and National Association of Realtors, developed draft model emergency notarization order to help create uniformity and provide legal certainty for use of remote notarizations in states promoting social distancing measures.

Indiana Now Requires Separate ‘Proof’ to Record Due to Unintentional Error in Bill
July 2, 2020

Indiana now requires a second “proof” in order to record a document due to an unintentional drafting error when making a last-minute change to a bill. When modifying Senate Enrolled Act 340, an “or” was deleted and an “and” was added in its place. The Indiana Land Title Association is considering a potential lawsuit to prevent the legislation from being enforced.

 The Docket: N.M. Court Holds Underwriter Not Liable for Title Agent’s Alleged Negligence
July 2, 2020

Michael R. O’Donnell and Michael P. Crowley, both of the law firm Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti LLP, provided today’s review of a decision by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Mexico that found that a title insurance company was not liable for the alleged negligent acts of the title agent in failing to discharge a mortgage.

Transnation Title Agency Names Chief Legal Officer
July 2, 2020

Michigan-based Transnation Title Agency announced the hiring of Lavinia Biasell to serve as the company’s first chief legal officer.

PropLogix Integrates with E-Closing Title Production Platforms
July 2, 2020

Users of the E-Closing and E-Closing DT title production platforms can now order municipal lien searches from PropLogix without leaving the software.

Knight Barry Title to Expand Into Texas
June 30, 2020

Knight Barry Title Group is now licensed in Texas and will open its first office near Houston next month. Read on to find out who will lead the company's new office.

Ask The Digital Boot Camp Experts: Agent Spotlight Boots on the Ground
June 30, 2020

Listen to the second installment of the Qualia-sponsored Ask the Digital Boot Camp Experts video series as we spotlight what agents are doing in regard to digital closings. Eddie Oddo, vice president of First American Title's corporate business solutions, speaks with Web Raulston, CEO of Team Title Services in Tennessee, and Kelli Flores, vice president of First American's direct operations in Colorado. Learn how these title agents are approaching remote online notarizations and remote ink-signed notarizations.

CATIC Hires Sales Manager for Florida Market
June 30, 2020

As vice president and sales manager for the company’s Florida office in Orlando, Brian Osburn will be responsible for agency business development and service, including the recruitment of new agents and all related tasks and duties.

U.S. Supreme Court Holds CFPB Single Director Model Unconstitutional, Upholds Agency's Powers
June 30, 2020

The Supreme Court on June 29 ruled the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is constitutional, but that its director could be removed by the president of the United States "at will." The court's ruling leaves open the possibility (and potentially the invitation) to convert the CFPB to a multi-member bipartisan commission like the Federal Trade Commission. ALTA has supported this commission proposal for years.  ALTA strongly supports S. 3990, the Financial Product Safety Commission Act of 2020. This legislation, sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer, would ensure the bureau’s political independence by replacing the single director structure with a five-person, bipartisan commission.

Tips and Tricks to Hiring During COVID-19
June 29, 2020

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM EDT | Register
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down, and your business has needed to be flexible to survive. As Americans are able to go back to work, interviewing and onboarding new employees can be tricky. A new ALTA Insights webinar, “How to Successfully Interview and Onboard Employees Remotely,” will discuss tips and tricks to conduct remote interviews and successfully onboard employees after you make that all-important hire.

Westcor Promotes Western States Area Manager
June 25, 2020

In this role, Steve Black will provide leadership and oversight of day-to-day business operations in the 17 states that make up Westcor’s western area. He will be responsible for increasing Westcor’s presence in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Utah and Alaska (when licensed), in addition to the states he already oversees.

DataTrace Launches Nationwide Solution for Property Tax Reporting
June 25, 2020

TaxSource provides access to tax records across the country in standardized format from any jurisdiction through a centralized platform.

First National Title Adds Staff to Western Regional Division
June 25, 2020

Dallas-based First National Title Insurance Co. (FNTI) added three industry experts to its growing footprint in the western United States.

 The Docket: U.S. District Court Holds Voluntary Parting Exclusion Bars Coverage for Social Engineering Scheme
June 25, 2020

Stephen Gregory, underwriting counsel for WFG National Title Insurance Co., provided today’s review of a decision by the U.S. District Court in Virginia that held a “voluntary parting” exclusion provision in a crime policy should exclude coverage for a fraudulent transfer social engineering scheme. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.

ALTA Registry Fully Mapped to MISMO Schema
June 25, 2020

Leveraging MISMO’s API Toolkit will make it even easier for mortgage lenders to integrate Registry data into their own oversight systems. Once integrated, a lender will have automatic reconciliation of the ALTA ID, speeding up the process of reconciling title and settlement agents in production pipelines to internal scorecards.

 Ask the Digital Boot Camp Experts: That Darn Promissory Note
June 24, 2020
Listen to the first installment of the Qualia-sponsored Ask the Digital Boot Camp Experts video series as we discuss "That Darn Promissory Note." Joining Lisa Steele of Mother Lode Holding Co. and Eddie Oddo of First American Title Insurance Co. is Camilia Martin with Falcon Capital Advisors.
Docutech Completes More Than 100,000 EClosings
June 24, 2020

Docutech’s Solex eClosing platform is an end-to-end integrated solution enabling each closing to be as “e” as it can be, in accordance with state and county regulations and investor preferences, through an e-eligibility evaluation.

40% Increase in RON Usage, Qualia Finds
June 24, 2020

To support contactless business operations, respondents report that they are conducting more e-recordings, remote online notarizations (RON) and hybrid remote ink-signed notarizations (RIN).

ALTA Develops Principles for Remote Notarization
June 24, 2020

The principles outline guidelines to give consumers digital technology options for notarizations that incorporate safeguards to reduce fraud and protect property rights of consumers. In addition, the principles say any remote notarization must meet certain criteria to provide confidence in the transfer of real estate.

 Important Announcement and FLASH SALE!
June 24, 2020

We snuck in on a conversation between ALTA CEO Diane Tomb and ALTA President Mary O’Donnell and found out some big news! Take a peek at what they had to say.

Kensington Vanguard Expands Arizona Presence
June 23, 2020

Kensington Vanguard National Land Services hired of Carol Rieger and Nicole Marucci to grow the company’s commercial business in Arizona.

Pango Group Launches New Escrow Company
June 23, 2020

California-based Pango Group opened a new independent escrow operation called AV Escrow.

Westcor Promotes Texas Region Manager
June 23, 2020

In this role, Angela Fling will be responsible for increasing market share and brand presence in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas. 

 Q1 2020 Title Premium Volume Jumps 27.5 Percent
June 23, 2020

The title insurance industry generated $3.92 billion in title insurance premiums during the first quarter of 2020 compared to $3.07 billion during the same period a year ago, according to ALTA’s latest Market Share Analysis.

EEOC: Employers Can't Require COVID-19 Antibody Tests
June 18, 2020

Businesses can't make workers take tests that detect COVID-19 antibodies without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said in new guidance. While employers are allowed to require viral tests, which test for active infections, an antibody test is not considered job-related and is prohibited under the ADA.

ALTA Supports Bill to Modify CFPB Leadership Structure
June 18, 2020

ALTA joined 16 other trade groups supporting a bill introduced by Sen. Deb Fischer that would replace the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) single director structure with a five-person, bipartisan commission.

ALTA Applauds U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman for Leadership on Internet Fraud Prevention Act
June 18, 2020

ALTA applauded U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman for his discussion draft, the Internet Fraud Prevention Act, which would require the Federal Reserve, Federal Trade Commission and FBI to study and report on business email compromise (BEC) scams and provide Congress with suggestions for potential solutions. 

 Webinar Recording: Claims Trends in the Title Industry
June 18, 2020

A strong real estate market the past several years led to a rather stable loss rate, but the current COVID-19 crisis is already challenging that claims stability. Certain claims always tend to percolate and cause issues for the industry during financial downturns and underwriters are starting to raise loss provision rates in anticipation of a spike in claims spurred by current economic conditions. This webinar recording discusses the latest claims trends and details potential claims that could challenge title companies. 

Fitch Says Title Insurers Well Capitalized Against Coronavirus Fallout
June 18, 2020

U.S. title insurer revenues will likely decrease in 2020 from pressure on both the residential and commercial real estate markets as they continue to grapple with the fallout from the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, according to Fitch Ratings. However, after a strong 2019, capitalization levels will likely be adequate.

ALTA Launches Campaign Introducing the Guardians of the American Dream
June 16, 2020

ALTA announced a campaign showcasing the hardworking members who move behind the scenes throughout a homebuyer’s journey to homeownership. Meet the defenders, private investigators, guardians and bodyguards of the American Dream. There are more than 120,000 title insurance professionals who make sure the home you buy can’t be claimed by someone else. Hear how they’re strengthening families, neighborhoods and communities by protecting the biggest investment of your life. Share this video with your customers, family and friends.

How to Determine PPP Forgiveness Eligibility
June 16, 2020

Loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for certain business costs. At least 60 percent of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll (This includes health care, retirement, etc.). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Read on for info about eligible spending, things the money can't be used for, reductions to loan forgiveness and how to repair reductions in payroll.

#GoodDeeds: Check Out These Acts of Kindness
June 16, 2020

Find out what title companies in Wisconsin and Louisiana are doing to give back to their communities in our latest roundup of #GoodDeeds.

FBI Warns of Increased Fraud Risk
June 16, 2020

With more people using mobile banking applications during theCOVID-19 pandemic to transfer funds and cash checks, theFBI issued a warning thatcyber actors will exploit these platforms. These types of techniques an often lead to wire transfer fraud, so it’s important for title and settlement companies to educate customers about the dangers when buying a home or refinancing. Click here to access tools and resources developed by ALTA.

ANTIC Launches Automated Title Search Engine
June 16, 2020

REalSearch utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning combined with sound underwriting guidelines to search both traditional and non-traditional property data sources, the company said in a release. 

ALTA Supports U.S. Supreme Court Decision Protecting LGBTQ Workers from Discrimination
June 16, 2020

“The American Land Title Association applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision to protect workers no matter their sexual orientation or gender identification,” said Diane Tomb, ALTA’s chief executive officer, about the ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia. “Just as we believe in protecting property rights, we support inclusivity and defending everyone’s ability to work without fear of discrimination."

ALTA Wants YOU
June 15, 2020

If you’ve never thought about volunteering on an ALTA Committee, now is the time to find your perfect match. With 40 committees available, there is a group for every title industry interest. Whether you’ve been missing stimulating conversations with peers because of stay-at-home orders or you’re looking for a way to become more involved in the title insurance community, ALTA Committees can help you fill that void. ALTA is now accepting volunteers for its committees. The deadline to submit your name is Wednesday, July 15.

ALTA Insights: How COVID Impacted the Housing Market
June 15, 2020

We may not be mind readers, but we bet we can guess one of the biggest questions on your mind right now: What will the housing market look like post-COVID-19? Register for this Qualia-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar, "2020 Housing in the Time of COVID-19," as Realtor.com Senior Economist George Ratiu discusses how the pandemic has impacted the housing market and what new trends are on the horizon. The webinar starts today at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

Are You RON Capable? Lenders Need Your Help
June 15, 2020

Lenders are searching the ALTA Registry for closing agencies that provide remote online notarization (RON). If you do, update your ALTA Registry listing now.

Colorado Passes RON Bill
June 11, 2020

SB 20-096, which was supported by the Land Title Association of Colorado, Colorado Association of Realtors, Colorado Mortgage Bankers and Colorado Bar Association, awaits the governor's signature. The bill goes into effect Dec. 31, 2020. Colorado becomes the 26th state to pass RON legislation. The bill also extends the use of remote ink notarization in the state through Dec. 31, 2020.

Operation Healthy Office: 10 Tips to Protect Your Employees' Health
June 11, 2020

The process of states reopening is taking place gradually and non-uniformly across the country. ALTA has developed and collected various resources to help title and settlement professionals develop a plan. Read on for 10 tips to protect your employees' health. Also, check out the resource from the Chamber of Commerce to find guidelines, timelines and other reopening information for employers, as well as this Workplace Decision Tree to assist in making re-opening decisions, especially to protect vulnerable workers.

 Celebrate National Homeownership Month
June 11, 2020

June is National Homeownership Month, a time to celebrate the benefits that homeownership brings to families, neighborhoods and communities across America. It’s also a time to help your customers understand the benefits of title insurance and how it protects their property rights. Through the Homeowner Outreach Program, ALTA provides exclusive resources to help ALTA members explain title insurance and the closing process.

Near North Title Acquires Lawyers Advantage Title Group 
June 11, 2020

In a move to compliment current operations in Florida, Chicago-based Near North Title Group announced the acquisition of Lawyers Advantage Title Group.

 ALTA Insights Recording: How to Plan for PPP Loan Forgiveness
June 10, 2020

If you company received a loan under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program, you’ll likely be applying for loan forgiveness, which was a central pillar of the federal governments’ economic response to COVID-19. This webinar recording provides the inside scoop on the SBA’s new forgiveness rules, the application process and the required documents necessary to apply for PPP loan forgiveness. Our expert panel walks through how to build an effective plan and document spending to ensure you receive the full loan forgiveness you are entitled to receive.

CFPB Issues TRID Factsheet on Disclosure of Title Insurance
June 9, 2020

The nine-page fact sheet provides examples of when an owner’s policy is not purchased, when both a lender’s and owner’s policy are purchased and when simultaneous rate is offered. The Bureau also addresses when the calculation results in a negative number for title insurance.

ALTA Registry Adds RON Capability Indicator to Company Listings
June 9, 2020

The ALTA Title & Settlement Agent Registry (ALTA Registry) can now identify title and settlement companies that can perform Remote Online Notarization (RON) closings. This will help mortgage companies identify closing companies that offer this increasingly in-demand service, which allows homeowners to review, sign and notarize documents online to complete mortgage transactions.

 Rhode Island Supreme Court Rules Non-attorneys Can Conduct Closings
June 9, 2020

The Rhode Island Supreme Court on May 29 held that non-attorneys working for title insurance companies may conduct closings in the state if certain notice protocols are followed. The court also held that title insurance companies and their agents do not engage in the unauthorized practice of law when they draft a residency affidavit and a limited durable power of attorney, as long as those activities are carried out in connection with the issuance of title insurance. Read on for what steps the court said non-attorney should follow when giving buyers and sellers notice.

Stewart Acquires Appraisal Firm
June 9, 2020

Stewart Information Services Corp. acquired United States Appraisals to help strengthen its digital real estate services offering in appraisal and valuation management.

Shaddock National Holdings Acquires Major Equity Interest in Landmark Title
June 9, 2020

Shaddock National Holdings also operates Capital Title of Texas, Southwest Title Company, which serves Texarkana and the surrounding areas in Arkansas, and Ascendant Title, which operates on a national platform in 36 states including three offices in the Denver area.

#GoodDeeds: Proper Giving
June 9, 2020

In March, Illinois-based Proper Title donated $25,000 to Ann & Robert H. Lurie’s Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Meanwhile, Title Houston provided 235 pounds of food and $2,000 to benefit the East Spring Branch Food Pantry. Read on for more about these #GoodDeeds. Have a #GoodDeed example to share? Send your story and photo to communications@alta.org.

 IRS Extends Deadline for Opportunity Zone Investments
June 9, 2020

In Notice 2020-39, the IRS extended the 180-day deadline for investors to roll their gain into an opportunity fund to Dec. 31, 2020. Previously, the 180-day period for investors would have expired between April and December of this year. Find out what other changes were made, as well as how title professionals can take advantage of Opportunity Zones.

PPP Changes: New Timelines and Forgiveness Measures
June 9, 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) was signed into law on June 5 extending the time allowed for businesses to spend Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan proceeds and providing new forgiveness measures. Read on to learn about the key changes.

Rank Your Business Against the Competition
June 8, 2020

Whether you’re a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan recipient, you’ve had to make adjustments to your employees’ compensation during the COVID-19 pandemic or you’re simply evaluating benefit packages, be sure you complete the survey for ALTA's Title & Settlement Services Industry Compensation Index. Filling out the Compensation Index allows you to easily examine the full value of your compensation packages and compare your business to the competition. It can compare salary rates for existing positions and assist you in analyzing the current market for new roles.

What Do You Want to Learn at ALTA ONE?
June 5, 2020

ALTA is focused on bringing you the professional development and continuing education opportunities you need, especially in these unprecedented times. Please take this short, three-question survey to let us know what want to learn at ALTA ONE.

Operation Healthy Office: Strategy to Keep Staff, Customers Safe
June 4, 2020

As states continue to enter different phases of reopening, employers are confronted with a lack of uniformity and inconsistent guidance. The landscape can be confusing enough for an employer with a single location, but for those operating across states, or even across county lines, keeping track of what is required will be quite the endeavor. Read on for advice from two labor and employment experts who share thoughts on what title and settlement companies should consider regarding policies and protocols, liability, testing and screening, masks and how to deal with the potential for sick employees or customers.

Texas Extends Emergency Use of Remote Ink-Signed Notarization
June 4, 2020

The Texas Land Title Association (TLTA) reported that the state’s governor extended the emergency use of remote ink-signed notarizations (RIN) through June 30. Following TLTA's request in April, Gov. Greg Abbott temporarily suspended traditional notary regulations to allow for temporary use of RIN under COVID-19 public health protocols. Read on to access information about other emergency notarization orders and guidance from other states.

#GoodDeeds: Indescribable Smiles
June 4, 2020

Regina DiNapoli, an agency advisor for CATIC in Massachusetts, says she provides cooked meals for three elderly men because of the indescribable smiles when making the delivery. Her desire to provide nutritious meals has proved to be even more important during the health crisis. Have your own #GoodDeeds example to share? Send us an email along with a photo at communications@alta.org.

Louisiana Passes NAIC Model Data Security Bill
June 4, 2020

Louisiana became the latest state to pass legislation based off the model data security bill developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). In February, ALTA released its data privacy principles. The principles recommend the development of a single, national standard to help protect consumer private information uniformly and consistently while maintaining an efficient homebuying and selling experience.

String Surpasses Pre-Pandemic Volumes
June 4, 2020

String Real Estate Information Services announced that operational capacities have exceeded pre-pandemic volumes by 15 percent.

SoftPro Honored With Grand Stevie Award Distinction
June 4, 2020

SoftPro earned the Grand Stevie Award distinction by placing in the top 10 overall in the 2020 American Business Awards.

#GoodDeeds: Stocking the Shelves
June 2, 2020

Check out this #GoodDeeds story as Missouri-based Security Title Insurance Agency hosted a Virtual Food Drive throughout May for the St. Louis Area Foodbank. Have your own #GoodDeeds example to share? Send us an email along with a photo at communications@alta.org.

Get Answers to Your Small Business Questions
June 2, 2020

Powered By Old Republic Title
Have you missed one of our webinars? Don’t worry, we know you’re busy, so our webinars are available on-demand. Be sure to check out our last webinar and hear from someone in the middle of key discussions about reopening the economy and helping small businesses: Congressman Brad Schneider of Illinois' 10th District.

Westcor Names Michigan Manager
June 2, 2020

Wesley Parkinson has 22 years of experience in the title insurance industry as both an agent and underwriter. 

WFG Lender Services Names VP of National Business Development
June 2, 2020

In this role, Jodi Bell will be responsible for building and maintaining client relationships among the nation’s top financial institutions and mortgage lenders.

SAFE Banking Act Included in Proposed Fourth COVID Stimulus Package
June 2, 2020

The SAFE Banking Act (HR 1595) provides a legal safe harbor for financial institutions doing business with state-legal cannabis businesses. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and Denny Heck (D-Wash.), passed the House 321-103 in September 2019. Read on to take action and encourage your members of Congress to support inclusion of the SAFE Banking Act in the next COVID-19 relief package.

 Louisiana Passes Brick and Mortar Bill
June 2, 2020

Louisiana passed a bill requiring any title insurance entity to have a least one employee and a physical brick-and-mortar location in the state.

Zoccam Partners With Fifth Third Bank
June 2, 2020

Fifth Third Bank announced a collaboration with ZOCCAM to offer its title/escrow clients the ability to receive earnest money through secure, electronic third-party delivery.

ClosingLock Launches Instant Payoff Verification System
June 2, 2020

ClosingLock announced it now offers an Instant Payoff Verification system that can identify potentially fraudulent statements.

Notarization Types and Terminology
May 28, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry has implemented various procedures to get documents notarized in order to get transactions closed and meet the needs of its customers. Download this infographic to get definitions on the different notarization methods including remote online notarization (RON), paper remote online notarization (PRON), remote ink notarization (RIN), traditional wet ink notarization (TWIN) and in person electronic notarization (IPEN). The chart includes information on whether each option requires multi-factor authentication, retains a video-audio recording, has eNote capability, and if it's in person or remote.  

DataTrace Wins Gold Stevie Award for TitleFlex Solution
May 28, 2020

TitleFlex was nominated in the Business Information Solution category for supporting the real estate industry by integrating disparate data sets, harnessing machine learning and driving workflow efficiencies.

#GoodDeeds: Food It Forward
May 28, 2020

Chicago-based Near North Title Group recently sponsored a “Food it Forward” initiative through its charitable foundation to infuse much needed revenue into it local small business communities while honoring healthcare workers and first responders. Read on to learn about this #GoodDeed and how you can share your company's giving campaign.

CoreLogic Partners With ALTA Registry
May 28, 2020

Michael Marino, principal of industry solutions for CoreLogic, said CoreLogic understands the importance of lenders having easy access to necessary and accurate provider information. Connecting CoreLogic's Title and Closing Solution connecting to the ALTA Title & Settlement Agent Registry, lenders can quickly access robust verified vendor information that leads to more accurate and faster order assignment, and reduce potential fraud. 

N.J.-based Investment Title Expands Operations
May 28, 2020

Investment Title LLC announced it recently merged with New Jersey-based Prestige New Jersey Title Agency Inc.

WFG Integrates With TrackerPro to Provide E-jackets
May 28, 2020

The partnership allows WFG agents to request and receive policy jackets and policy numbers, agent authorization letters in New York and Closing Protection Letters (CPLs) outside New York directly through TrackerPro. 

ALTA has Solutions for Your Business
May 27, 2020

Are you missing ALTA’s live events? We are, too. Fortunately, we have solutions to continue to provide you with the education, resources and vendor solutions you need to keep your business running smoothly – even if we can’t meet in person.

Find Vendors to Help Your Business at ALTA Marketplace
May 27, 2020

The ALTA Marketplace provides members a user-friendly search interface where you can look for vendors, products and services by name, location and relevance. The Marketplace is your one-stop shop for a wide range of services such as production software and solutions to help you prevent wire fraud, including anti-phishing, email filters, firewalls and intrusion software.

Qualia Accelerates Move to a Remote Homebuying Experience
May 27, 2020

Connect Video Chat can be used for remote ink-signed notarizations (RIN) during home closings in accordance with state emergency mandates and requirements, as well as RIN guidelines established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Spruce Raises $29 Million to Power Online Real Estate Transactions
May 27, 2020

Title and settlement company Spruce has raised $29 million in Series B funding led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from Zigg Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Gramercy Ventures.

Watch the Webinar: What's Next for Federal Aid to Help Small Businesses?
May 27, 2020

As Congress discusses next steps in reopening the economy and helping small businesses, hear from someone in the middle of those key discussions. Watch this one-on-one conversation, powered by Old Republic Title, between Congressman Brad Schneider of Illinois' 10th District and ALTA SVP of Public Affairs Chris Morton.

 The Docket: Insured’s Intent + Insurer’s Knowledge = Liability
May 26, 2020

Ron Damashek, an attorney with the Illinois law firm of Stahl Cowen Crowley Addis LLC provided this review of a decision that reflects the importance of careful underwriting concerning, and the difficulty of avoiding the risks associated with, a recorded covenant that expressly states that it runs with the land. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.

Simplifile Adds E-recording in 55 Eastern and Southern U.S. Jurisdictions
May 26, 2020

Intercontinental Exchange Inc. announced that 55 recording jurisdictions in the eastern and southern U.S. have joined Simplifile’s e-recording network. 

TrustLink Becomes ALTA Elite Provider
May 26, 2020

ALTA’s Elite Provider Program features distinguished service providers committed to furnishing extensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. Elite Providers promote the highest industry standards and provide effective solutions for ALTA members’ critical needs.

Two Rivers Title Expands Exec Team
May 26, 2020

New Jersey-based Two Rivers Title announced it has hired Sharon Sluder-Risch as senior vice president and director of marketing and business development.

#GoodDeeds: Acts of Kindness from Pennsylvania and New York
May 21, 2020

ALTA continues to highlight how members are serving and helping their customers and communities during this uncertain and unprecedented time. Read on to find out what an employee for Trident Land Transfer is doing in Pennsylvania and how employees of Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. are contributing in New York and the New England area. 

SoftPro Wins Dual Gold Stevie Awards
May 21, 2020

SoftPro was named the winner of two Gold Stevie Awards for the “Support Team of the Year” and “Company of the Year – Real Estate” categories in the 18th Annual American Business Awards.

Missouri Passes Remote Online Notarization Bill
May 21, 2020

After a three-year process, Missouri passed a bill that allows for remote online notarization (RON) in the state. HB 1655, which was supported by the Missouri Land Title Association (MLTA), passed both legislative chambers and awaits the signature of Gov. Mike Parson. Missouri became the 25th state to pass RON legislation.

Webinar Recording: Resuming Work Back in the Office
May 21, 2020
As governors release new executive orders and plans for reopening businesses, employers are confronted with a lack of uniformity and inconsistent guidance. The landscape can be confusing enough for an employer with a single location, but for those operating across states, or even across county lines, keeping track of what is required will be quite the endeavor. Curious what to do or if you have liability if an employee or customer gets sick? What about risks if you’re screening and testing employees and others entering the office? This webinar recording addresses employment, health policy and operation issues title and settlement companies will face as staff return to the office.
L.A. County Says It Accepts E-signed, Notarized Documents
May 21, 2020

While California does not allow for remote online notarization (RON), the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder issued a memo indicating the office accepts electronically signed and notarized documents.

States Title Raises $123 Million to Improve Closings
May 21, 2020

States Title announced it has raised $123 million in Series C financing, led by venture capital investment firm Greenspring Associates.

Redfin: Quarter of Remote Employees Expect Work-from-Home to Continue
May 21, 2020

The sudden shift to remote work, brought on by the COVID-19 crisis will likely accelerate a major migration away from expensive coastal cities. According to a new survey of homebuyers and sellers featured in Redfin's latest report, 1 in 4 newly remote workers expect to continue to work remotely once shutdowns end, and over half of respondents would move if they never had to go into an office.

Agents National Title Launches Qualified Intermediary Services
May 20, 2020

Agents National Title Insurance Co. (ANTIC) announced that it now offers qualified intermediary services through the launch of Agents Exchange LLC.

PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Available
May 19, 2020

The Small Business Administration and U.S. Treasury Department have released an application for business owners to have their Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiven. Title and settlement professional who received a PPP loan should complete and submit the application to their PPP lender.

Apply for a PRIA Scholarship
May 19, 2020

The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA), through the generosity of a grant from Ernst Publishing, offers the opportunity for a one-year scholarship that includes a PRIA membership for 2020-21. Application deadline is June 15.

ALTA Survey: Nearly 30 Percent of Title Agencies Offering Versions of Digital Closings During COVID-19 Pandemic
May 19, 2020

Title and settlement companies across the country have implemented new processes including digital closings to help consumers complete their real estate and mortgage transactions, according to a survey conducted by the American Land Title Association (ALTA).

 The Future of Mortgage Lending: A Conversation With FHFA Director Mark Calabria
May 19, 2020

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has taken a lead in the economic response to the COVID-19 crisis. With oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the FHFA has rolled out forbearance plans to provide assistance to homeowners and modified guidance to help closings and refinances continue despite stay-at-home orders and social distancing. Listen to this recording as FHFA Director Mark Calabria provides remarks and is interviewed by ALTA CEO Diane Tomb. The conversation addressed topics such as demand for digital closings, 2020 mortgage market outlook, GSE conservatorship and the importance of protecting property rights.

ALTA Donates to D.C. Nonprofit Supply Love
May 18, 2020

In recognition of D.C.-based Supply Love’s critical work, ALTA supported the organization’s #GivingTuesdayNow campaign as a corporate donor. Supply Love provides masks and other necessary supplies to hospitals, first responders and community organizations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis.

#GoodDeeds: Post-closing Family Reunion and Birthday Party
May 15, 2020

Our latest #GoodDeeds story highlights a recent closing in Mobile, Ala., that brought together three siblings who were selling a property. While all three live close to each other, the 70 year olds had not interacted much due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on to learn how the closing at Surety Land Title turned into a small reunion and birthday party.

Checklist to Help Cultivate a Successful Remote Team
May 14, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic forced title and settlement companies across the country to modify staffing practices and processes. Because this happened rather quickly, many companies may not have a teleworking policy. While working from home can help slow the spread of the virus, it brings new challenges such juggling work while kids are home from school, learning new software and conferencing programs, and managing files at home. Download this checklist to help develop an action plan to create and maintain high-performing teams in a virtual workplace.

#GoodDeeds: Investors Title Feeds the Need, While Futura Title Gives Back
May 14, 2020

North Carolina-based Investors Title Insurance Co. raised more than $26,000 through its FEED the NEED food drive to support food banks in North Carolina and South Carolina, while Idaho-based Futura Title and Escrow donated $67,400 to various local charities. Read on for the latest ALTA member  #GoodDeeds.

What Information Should Be Included on a Website During a Crisis?
May 14, 2020

During a pandemic, there are some specific things your title company, law firm or any consumer-facing business should have on their website. Being proactive and addressing customer questions directly is key in easing clients’ minds and making sure the business operates as usual.

Meridian Title Expands Sales Team
May 14, 2020

Meridian Title Corp. recently expanded its sales team with the additions of Shirley Meyer, Heather King and Billy Quan as account managers.

WFG Appoints Production Manager for Southeast Agency Area
May 12, 2020

WFG National Title Insurance Co. announced that Justin Tate-Johnson has joined its Florida production operations as Southeast Agency area production manager.

 What Is Your Purple Cow?
May 12, 2020

Title companies often find it difficult to differentiate themselves based on policies and coverage in a highly regulated industry. One area where you can stand out is at the closing table. New technologies give companies—whether they are large or small—an arsenal of cool tools to help keep customers informed about the transaction and to make completing deals easier. Title and settlement professionals can control the conversation by creating a closing process that attracts real estate agents and is unforgettable for consumers and staying in touch during post-closing to remain top of mind for future referrals and deals.

Find Your Color
May 12, 2020

You need to be remarkable in a way that’s meaningful to your customers. Talk to your clients. Learn what they want from you. Also, look at your operation. Understand what you can deliver.

#GoodDeeds: ‘A Box of Sunshine’
May 12, 2020

ALTA members continue to share wonderful stories of the good deeds they are doing in their communities. Read on for the latest collection, which include "A Box of Sunshine" care packages and nearly $75,000 donated to support food banks in various communities.

Register for Webinar on Operation Healthy Office
May 12, 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 | 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET | Register Today
As governors release new executive orders and plans for reopening businesses, employers are confronted with a lack of uniformity and inconsistent guidance. The landscape can be confusing enough for an employer with a single location, but for those operating across states, or even across county lines, keeping track of what is required will be quite the endeavor. Curious what to do or if you have liability if an employee or customer gets sick? What about risks if you’re screening and testing employees and others entering the office? Register for our upcoming webinar as we address employment, health policy and operation issues title and settlement companies will face as staff return to the office. In addition, title industry veterans will share how they are approaching new workforce protocols brought on by COVID-19.

CATIC, CATIC Financial Announce Board Leadership Roles
May 12, 2020

Several attorneys were recently named to leadership roles on the boards for CATIC and CATIC Financial.

FinCEN Renews Geographic Targeting Orders
May 12, 2020

FinCEN appreciates the continued assistance and cooperation of the title insurance companies and ALTA in protecting the real estate markets from abuse by illicit actors. The order is effective through Nov. 5, 2020

Pavaso’s Launches Alternative for In-Person Notarization
May 8, 2020

Providing safe access to notary services during the COVID-19 pandemic, Essential Notary is a remote ink-signed notarization (RIN) solution that allows a signer and notary in different locations to complete the signing and notarization of real estate closing documents on paper.

Now is Your Chance to Grab the Title Insurance Law Newsletter
May 7, 2020

If you’re not a subscriber of the Title Insurance Law Newsletter (TILN), now you can check out a recent edition and see the kind of case law summaries you’re missing out on.

#GoodDeeds: Something Amazing Happened
May 7, 2020

In effort to support individuals and families suffering during the COVID-19 crisis, Washington-based Whatcom Land Title donated $1,500 to the Whatcom County Food Banks. But the giving didn’t stop there. Want to share your company's #GoodDeeds? Email us your story at communications@alta.org.

Westcor Hires Regional Manager for Pacific Northwest – Southwest
May 7, 2020

Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. recently hired John Hall as vice president and regional manager for its Pacific Northwest – Southwest region.

Webinar Recording: How to Cultivate a High-performing Remote Team During a Crisis
May 7, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic forced title and settlement companies across the country to modify staffing practices and processes. Because this happened rather quickly, many companies may not have a teleworking policy. While working from home can help slow the spread of the virus, it brings new challenges such as juggling work while kids are home from school, learning new software and conferencing programs, and managing files at home. Listen to this webinar recording as industry experts offer tips on how to create and maintain high-performing teams in a virtual workplace. The webinar will help you develop an action plan for success; stay connected/motivated; plan and manage results; master communication and transparency; and understand the benefits/limitations of technology.

WFG Prioritizes Employee Physical, Mental Safety
May 7, 2020

The company has hired a mindset coach and expanded its PTO policy and Employee Assistance Program to help ease employee concerns during COVID-19.

COVID-19 Highlights Importance of Emergency Plans and Crisis Communication
May 7, 2020

A question coming for the title industry after COVID-19 is how this pandemic will affect future customer and employee expectations.

Stewart Title Partners with SIGNiX to Expand RON Services
May 5, 2020

Stewart Title has entered into an agreement to offer SIGNiX digital signature products to its internal notaries and Stewart Trusted Provider network.

WFG Appoints National Escrow Advisor
May 5, 2020

As vice president and national escrow advisor, Natalie Koonce will provide guidance to her division’s escrow managers and staff regarding best practices as well as company escrow policies and procedures applicable to escrow operations across the country. 

 Title Industry Responds to COVID-19: Our Title Is Protection
May 5, 2020
Title insurance professionals take pride in protecting their customers by ensuring that their home is theirs when they make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the title insurance industry has stepped up even more to help their communities. Whether its volunteerism or innovation to get deals closed during this time of social distancing, the title industry is here to provide protection, today, tomorrow and forever. Watch this video to see how ALTA members across the country have been delivering for people and organizations in their local communities.
CFPB Seeks Input on Federal Consumer Financial Protection Law
May 5, 2020

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a request for information (RFI) to assist with recommendations on harmonizing, modernizing and updating the federal consumer financial laws. ALTA's Data Privacy Executive Committee is reviewing the RFI. ALTA plans to submit comments. Earlier this year, ALTA released data privacy principles that recommend the development of a single, national standard to help protect consumer private information uniformly and consistently while maintaining an efficient homebuying and selling experience.

MISMO Issues ALTA-supported Uniform Closing Instructions
May 5, 2020

For the past few years, ALTA and the Mortgage Bankers Association have been working with the Mortgage Industry’s Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) to create uniform closing instructions. Due to this collaborative effort, the title and mortgage industries now have standardized templates. On May 4, MISMO released closing instruction templates to help ensure that information pertinent to the closing can be found in the same place in the instructions—regardless of the lender.

NATIC Hires Texas State Agency Manager
May 5, 2020

In this role, Ryan Sabel will support independent title agents of North American Title Insurance Co. in Texas.

#GoodDeeds, Indeed
May 1, 2020

ALTA members continue to share wonderful stories of the good deeds they are doing in their communities. Read on for the latest collection, which include supporting local businesses, helping first responders and providing for those in need.

Join us for a Conversation With FHFA Director Mark Calabria
May 1, 2020

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 | 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT | Register Today
Register for the third webinar in our virtual ALTA Advocacy Summit series, “The Future of Mortgage Lending: A Conversation With FHFA Director Mark Calabria,” to learn more as ALTA CEO Diane Tomb interviews FHFA Director Mark Calabria. Thanks to our featured sponsor, Qualia, the webinar is free for everyone. 

Want to Speak at 2020 ALTA ONE?
April 30, 2020

The Call for Faculty for ALTA ONE is now open. Applications must be submitted by May 31. ALTA remains hopeful about the future and continues to plan for ALTA ONE, whatever form that may take. ALTA continuously monitors COVID-19 developments while simultaneously working to create the education and networking opportunities only available at ALTA ONE. The association is  committed to the safety of its members and will provide updates as new information becomes available.

CFPB Relaxes TRID Rule in Wake of COVID-19
April 30, 2020

To help, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued an interpretive rule clarifying that consumers can exercise their rights to modify or waive certain required waiting periods under the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule and Regulation Z rescission rules. Specifically, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bureau will permit the use of revised estimates of settlement charges and allow for consumers to waive the waiting period to help closings get done faster.

Webinar Recording: Conducting Closings in a COVID-19 World
April 30, 2020

Title and settlement companies across the country have modified their closing processes to serve their customers and keep everyone safe in a world of social distancing and the COVID-19 pandemic. Modified methods range from drive-through or curbside closings to remote online notarizations and a new method coined RIN, or remote ink notarization. Listen to a recording of this webinar, which was sponsored by Old Republic, as professionals share how they’ve handled this new way of doing business. This holistic view of how agents are getting deals done will give you a blueprint of what’s working and what’s not.

NATIC Appoints Regional Underwriting Counsel
April 30, 2020

As vice president and regional underwriting counsel for North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi, Justin Tanner will work with agents of North American Title Insurance Co. throughout those states providing underwriting support as well as training and education.

PropLogix Launches Payoff Letter Service for Closing Agents
April 30, 2020

The company reported title agents can get to the closing table faster by having PropLogix retrieve payoff letters for mortgages and home equity lines of credit from the lenders on their behalf.

TitleOne Continues Expansion in Idaho
April 30, 2020

TitleOne now serves 18 counties in Idaho following the purchase of Payette County Title and Escrow.

Orange Coast Title Develops App to Increase Wire Transfer Security
April 30, 2020

Called ClosingWires, the company said the application provides safe communication regarding wire and banking information.

The Future of Mortgage Lending: A Conversation With FHFA Director Mark Calabria
April 29, 2020

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 | 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT | Register Today
From RON, RIN and eNotes, new guidelines from Fannie and Freddie are driving a new normal with closings. Come hear from the person at the center of these changes and how Fannie and Freddie are responding to the COVID-19 crisis as ALTA CEO Diane Tomb interviews Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mark Calabria. Hosted by ALTA President Mary O’Donnell, the third presentation in our virtual ALTA Advocacy Summit series will address topics such as demand for digital closings, 2020 mortgage market outlook, GSE conservatorship and the importance of protecting property rights. Thanks to our featured sponsor, Qualia, the webinar is free for everyone. Register today!

 Old Republic Reports Q1 Financial Results
April 28, 2020

Old Republic International Corp. reported that its title insurance segment generated $43.3 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2020. Carolyn Monroe, president of Old Republic’s title insurance group, said the company ended the first quarter with some of the highest open order counts in its history. Read on to learn how Old Republic's closing platform adapted its technology to meet new demand spurred by the COVID-19 crisis.

 Stewart Shares First-quarter 2020 Results
April 28, 2020

Stewart Information Services Corp. reported that its title insurance segment generated pre-tax income of $14.8 million during the first quarter of 2020. By the second week of March, Stewart reported that 70 percent of its 5,500 employees were working remotely.

 Fidelity Reports First-quarter Earnings
April 28, 2020

Fidelity National Financial reported that its title segment generated adjusted pre-tax income of $279 million during the first quarter of 2020. The company reported that about 80 percent of its 25,000 employees are working remotely.

 First American Reports Q1 Earnings
April 28, 2020

First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance and services segment generated $73.0 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2020. Dennis Gilmore, chief executive officer at First American Financial, said the company quickly enacted its business continuity plan in response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

 Title Insurance Premium Volume Up 6.5 Percent in 2019
April 28, 2020

The title insurance industry generated $15.81 billion in title insurance premiums during 2019 compared with $14.84 billion during 2018, according to ALTA’s Market Share Analysis“While we are not sure how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last, our member companies have quickly modified business practices and implemented business continuity plans to ensure safe real estate and mortgage closings,” said Diane Tomb, ALTA’s chief executive officer. “Many companies also are using digital and technology solutions to make it possible for families to close on a home or refinance their mortgage. The title insurance industry will continue to serve the needs of its customers and protect property rights.”

 

What's Next? Guidance to Help Reopen Your Business
April 28, 2020

While the COVID-19 health crisis persists, the country is starting to shift from survival mode to thinking about what’s next. As states and cities begin to lift their stay-at-home orders, questions swirl about when and how will people return to work. The new normal may be a half-speed economy with masks, wipes, testing, temporary quarantines, significant process changes and regional variations. Read on for guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to help with planning purposes.

County Recorder Office Closures Due to COVID-19 Increase Risk for Title Fraud
April 28, 2020

The closure of many county recorder offices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and various stay-at-home orders is leading to a backlog of recordation and delays in finalizing property records. Lisa Roessler, Black Knight’s vice president of Title Strategy and Business Development, explained that the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 have increased opportunities for those looking to commit real estate fraud. ALTA has created an online resource that tracks the operating status of recording jurisdictions across the country.

Greater Illinois Title Introduces Suite of E-closing Solutions
April 28, 2020

Greater Illinois Title Company announced that the company and its subsidiaries are now offering GIT Home Close to simplify virtual closings.

Suspicious Business Emails Increase, Survey Shows
April 28, 2020

U.S. small businesses report an increase in suspicious emails over the past year, and employees are taking the bait as they fall for phishing schemes and transfer tens of thousands of dollars in company funds into fraudulent accounts, a cyber survey by HSB shows. These scams often lead to wire transfer fraud. According to the FBI, there were 11,677 victims in 2019 with $221 million in losses due to wire transfer fraud. Read on for resources ALTA has developed to educate your customers about wire transfer fraud.

MISMO Releases RON Certification Program
April 23, 2020

MISMO said it designed the remote online notarization (RON) software compliance certification program to scale the adoption of RON-enabled digital mortgage closings. Additionally, the program provides RON technology providers with a common set of standards and streamlines the approval processes of RON providers. MISMO's RON standards support model legislation that was developed by ALTA and the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Check Out These Photos: In Case You Forgot What a Live Meeting Looks Like
April 23, 2020

It seems a lifetime ago that ALTA was in Denver for the 2020 SPRINGBOARD meeting, where more than 300 title professionals discussed topics such as talent and diversity, what’s happening in local markets and technology that’s helping increase efficiency. Check out some photos from the event. While ALTA continues to evaluate options for upcoming live events, we are offering several virtual and webinar opportunities. ALTA also offers online courses that provide CE.

2019 Year-end Title Insurance Industry Market Share Executive Summary
April 23, 2020
Punctual Abstract Promotes Chief Technology Officer
April 23, 2020
In this new leadership position, Nick Sagona oversees the company’s technologically advanced systems that allow the firm to deliver a fully examined title product that integrates with most of the industry’s title closing platforms.
Ensuring Data Integrity: The Risk of Email
April 23, 2020
Because hackers have moved beyond system intrusion and on to social engineering in search of intrusion opportunities, it is now impossible to secure company email. This is a problem because this tool is one of the oldest and most used technologies in any enterprise.
NATIC Appoints Regional Underwriting Counsel
April 23, 2020
In this role, Chad Hansen will provide underwriting support to agents of North American Title Insurance Co. throughout Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Idaho and beyond with his broad local and national experience.
String Expands Client Offering With Key Promotions
April 23, 2020
String Real Estate Information Services has promoted Gokul Krishnan to director of operations, Prakash Rajagopalan to senior vice president of finance, Kris Gurumoorthy to vice president of title operations and Bhaskar Reddy to vice president of training and quality.
AmTrust Title Search Products Available in Qualia Marketplace
April 23, 2020
Title and escrow agents in New Jersey and Pennsylvania can now order AmTrust Title Insurance Company’s title search products directly within the Qualia Marketplace.
Webinar Recording: Learn How New GSE Guidance Impacts the Title Industry
April 22, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently modified their Seller Guides and provided temporary guidance on several policy areas to support mortgage originations, including limited powers of attorney, acceptance of remote online notarization and remote ink notarization, and requirements for gap coverage. Watch this recording to hear from leadership from the Government Sponsored Entities and learn how these changes will affect closings and title insurance policies.

Why Can’t I Just Slap an E-signature on a PDF Note?
April 22, 2020
With the industry ramping up their use of remote online notarization, emergency video notarization and remote ink-signed notarization for security instruments, the natural question is when will we see new legal authority to make it easier to electronically sign mortgage notes? The answer is not likely anytime soon.
Free Webinar Highlights Closings During the COVID-19 Pandemic
April 22, 2020
The bottom line is you need to close deals to keep your business running, no matter what is going on in the world. Whether you’ve been doing curbside closings for a couple of months or you’re unsure about what to do next, the second webinar in the virtual ALTA Advocacy Summit series can help. “Conducting Closings in a COVID-19 World,” is scheduled for Tuesday, April 28, from 1-2 p.m. ET. Thanks to our featured sponsor, Old Republic, the webinar is free for everyone. And if you can’t make it, no problem: Register now and watch the webinar on demand!
ICYMI: Download the March Digital Edition of TitleNews
April 21, 2020
The cover article of this edition discusses the Purple Cow concept and how companies can make themselves remarkable by giving a great closing experience. Other highlights include the FBI’s latest fraud report; impact of California’s consumer privacy law on contractual agreements between covered businesses and service providers; a survey about how millennial demand for efficiency and security is driving fintech innovation; how the U.S. economy is resilient against coronavirus concerns; Q4 financial results from the Big 4; a New York federal court ruling a title agent is entitled to professional liability coverage despite pre-policy subpoena; and a RESPA AfBA claim dismissed in South Carolina.
#GoodDeeds Keep Rolling In
April 21, 2020
The response to our #GoodDeeds campaign highlighting the creative processes ALTA members have developed to help get deals closed, as well as the ways members are helping their communities during the COVID-19 crisis, has been inspiring. Check out some of the latest #GoodDeeds.
Former ALTA President John Cathey Passes Away
April 21, 2020
John Cathey served as the 1986-87 president. One of Cathey’s biggest passions was advocating for the industry, logging many hours on the phone and in person with politicians and lobbyists at the Oklahoma State Capitol and in Washington, D.C. He called helping solve the affordability and availability problem of obtaining E&O insurance with the creation of TIAC one of his proudest accomplishments.
Pennsylvania to Temporarily Allow RON
April 21, 2020
The authorization expires 60 days after termination or expiration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency issued by Gov. Tom Wolf. The Pennsylvania Land Title Association (PLTA) sent a letter to the governor urging for the temporary allowance of remote ink notarization (RIN) in the state. The PLTA said remote ink notarization is a more practicable, secure solution that all settlement agents can use.
AccuTitle Acquires Title Software Platform Closers' Choice
April 21, 2020
AccuTitle, a cloud-based title management and real estate closing platform, recently acquired the title software company Closers' Choice.
WAULT to Release Software Update to Aid Verification for Audio/Visual Notarizations
April 21, 2020
To assist the real estate industry conducting remote audio/video notarizations, WAULT will release a free updated version of its patented technology to help users participating in these closings during the COVID-19 crisis.
NATIC Names Underwriting Counsel for Southern States
April 21, 2020
In this role, Kelly Love will provide underwriting support to agents of North American Title Insurance Co. in Texas, Louisiana and Alabama. Love
How Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Works
April 16, 2020

The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) authorizes another $310 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. Read on to learn about what expenses can be forgiven.

Fannie, Freddie Issue Guidance on Temporary Flexibilities for Closings
April 16, 2020
Due to disruption related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have issued temporary guidelines for getting documents signed remotely to help get mortgage transactions closed. Both government sponsored entities will now allow the use of services such as Zoom, Skype or FaceTime to help facilitate what would otherwise be a traditional, in-person paper-based closing.
Final Call to Nominate Someone for an ALTA Our Values Award
April 16, 2020

Don’t let the extraordinary ALTA members in your life go unnoticed: Nominate someone for the ALTA Our Values Awards. Celebrate your friends and colleagues who showcase what it means to lead, deliver and protect in the best possible ways. Deadline to submit nominations is June 5.

FHA Issues New Q&A for Single Family Housing
April 16, 2020
In response to the health crisis, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) released an updated FHA Single Family Housing COVID-19 Q&A. The revised document addresses the acceptance of title policies with gap insurance, and the use of remote online notarization and powers of attorney.
TitleOne Acquires Two Title Agencies
April 16, 2020
Idaho-based TitleOne, a subsidiary of Realogy Title Group, recently acquired Columbia Title Co. in Washington and Sandpoint Title Insurance in northern Idaho.
SYNRGO Names President
April 16, 2020
In this role, Ben Sherman is responsible for all daily operations as well as setting measurable goals for SYNRGO's growth and performance.
IRS Agrees to ALTA Request to Extend 1031 Deadlines
April 16, 2020
On April 9, 2020, the internal Revenue Services (IRS) issued Notice 2020-23 Providing Additional Relief for Taxpayers Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which extends deadlines for 1031 like-kind exchanges. The deadline for taxpayers to identify replacement property and/or acquire replacement property is now July 15, 2020. In March, ALTA and 19 other groups requested the Treasury extend the deadlines to identify replacement property and/or complete 1031 exchanges.
Kroll Predicts Title Industry to Remain Stable Despite COVID-19 Headwinds
April 16, 2020
Despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) says in a new report the overall financial strength of the U.S. title insurance sector in 2020 remains stable.
Title and Escrow Resource Available Now
April 15, 2020
When you need advice on how to handle claims on title insurance policies, closing protection letters and closing mistakes, turn to the 2020 edition of the Title and Escrow Claims Guide! A 1,662-page volume, the Claims Guide is the ultimate resource not only for attorneys but also claim handlers, underwriting personnel, title examiners, escrow officers and regulators. New for 2020: The latest edition of the book highlights more than 150 new court decisions.
Check Out These #GoodDeeds
April 14, 2020
ALTA members across the country are stepping up and helping deliver for people and organizations in their local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on for stories about making masks, purchasing readers for children, donating money to local restaurants and helping the homeless.
RamQuest Introduces ready2close
April 14, 2020
Called ready2close, title companies that use RamQuest can offer a secure, easy-to-access place to see at-a-glance order progress and other important file information.
ClosingLock Integrates With Notarize
April 14, 2020
ClosingLock is now integrated with Notarize to provide ordering of remote online notarization.
National Investors Title Adds to Executive Team
April 14, 2020
As executive vice president of market development. Tom Berry will focus on business development activities in Texas and on strategic growth opportunities in other key markets.
Simplifile Processes 100 Millionth Document for E-recording
April 14, 2020
Simplifile processed its 100 millionth document on April 1 and added more than 2,400 new submitters in March 2020.
Register for Webinar to Learn About GSEs’ New Closing Guidance
April 14, 2020
Tuesday, April 21, 2020 | 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET | Register Today
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have modified their Seller Guides and provided temporary guidance on several policy areas to support mortgage originations, including limited powers of attorney, acceptance of remote online notarization and requirements for gap coverage. Register for this The FNF Family of Companies, sponsored webinar to hear from leadership from the government sponsored entities (GSEs) and learn how these changes will affect closings and title insurance policies.
ALTA Names SVP of Public Affairs
April 14, 2020
In this role, Chris Morton will lead ALTA’s policy development, political engagement and lobbying strategy, and be a member of the Executive Team. He will work closely with senior leaders across the association and industry who engage in coalitions, campaigns and strategic communications to promote and enhance the title industry’s role in protecting consumers in the efficient and secure transfer of real estate.
Title Alliance Facilitates Closing for COVID-19 Survivor
April 13, 2020
Despite executive orders in Pennsylvania causing confusion about the types business functions that can continue during the health pandemic, Title Alliance completed its first closing for a COVID-19 survivor last week.
How to Apply for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan
April 10, 2020

Another $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program,has been approved. Just like the first round, there are limited funds, so it’s important to speak to an SBA lender as soon as possible if there are concerns about retaining staff and paying other expenses. Read on for more details on the process.

 The Docket: Lien Priorities in a Title Company Escrow Account
April 9, 2020
Lance Pomerantz, a New York-based sole practitioner who provides expert testimony, litigation consulting and strategic advice in land title disputes, reviews a recent New Jersey case that determined the competing priorities of lien creditors to sale proceeds held in a title company escrow account. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
Payroll Costs That Qualify for SBA Paycheck Protection Program
April 9, 2020

Any business that was in operation before Feb. 15, 2020 with 500 or less employees OR $12 million or less in gross revenue for title companies ($41.5 million for title underwriters) are eligible to apply for financial assistance provided through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Read on for analysis of the expenses you can and can't include in the calculation.

Pennsylvania Issues Order Affecting Title Work
April 9, 2020
A memorandum issued April 8 by the state’s Secretary of the Commonwealth could inhibit title insurance activities on residential real estate contracts signed after March 6.
Florida Agency Network CEO Joins Alanna.ai Board
April 9, 2020
Aaron Davis, CEO of the Florida Agency Network (FAN) recently joined the Board of Directors of Alanna.ai, which provides an artificial intelligence-powered virtual closing assistant.
WFG Names Southwest Regional Manager
April 9, 2020
In this role, Suzanne Tinsley is responsible for daily agency operations in Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, focusing on the company's current agent base and expansion.
First National Title Announces Several New Hires
April 9, 2020
First National Title Insurance Company (FNTI) continues to grow and is now operating in eight states. To accommodate the expansion into Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Tennessee, new staff has been added to service the business in currently licensed and the newly added states.
Fannie, Freddie Provide New Temporary Guidance for Use of RON, POA
April 8, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have provided temporary guidance on several policy areas to support mortgage originations, including power of attorney and acceptance of remote online notarization. New guidance also addresses closing protection letters. The Government Sponsored Entities will add more FAQs and encourage industry professionals to check for updates, which will include “NEW” or “UPDATED” notations after the question.
Stewart Title Integrates With Mortgage Cadence
April 8, 2020
With the integration, Mortgage Cadence customers can place title orders, receive automatic status updates and make changes to orders from Stewart Title.
Remote Online Notarization Taking Hold in Florida, NotaryCam Reports
April 8, 2020
NotaryCam reported it has observed a significant increase in remote online notarization (RON) adoption and utilization for real estate transactions in Florida over the past three months. Since Jan. 1, which is the date Florida’s RON law went into effect, the company has experienced a 100 percent month-over-month increase in RON closings.
#GoodDeeds: Delivering Happiness Through Virtual Dog Therapy Visits
April 7, 2020
Glen Stout, the state agency manager in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for North American Title Insurance Co., focuses on providing agents the latest tools, techniques and services that can assist them in growing their business. You could say providing support is one of his passion’s. Stout has been able to utilize his gift by giving back to his community and bringing smiles to children. Read on to learn about Stout's #GoodDeed and how you can share your story.
How Your Business Can Access Financial Assistance Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
April 7, 2020
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated almost $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. Listen to a recording of this Qualia-sponsored webinar to learn how your company can access these emergency loans and take advantage of deferring this year’s Social Security payroll taxes until next year and 2022. The presentation also details additional financial assistance options, such as the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Grants, as well as the Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund.
ALTA Urges Congress to Provide Emergency Aid to Associations
April 7, 2020
ALTA joined 3,000 other organizations to urge Congress and the Trump Administration to provide emergency aid for associations in critical need of support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bank Shot Secures Patent for Earnest Money Transfer App
April 7, 2020
Technology company Bank Shot recently received a patent for its digitized mobile application that facilitates earnest money transfers and other mobile payments.
WFG National Title Names Great Lakes Division Manager
April 7, 2020
In her new role, Jacquie Brink will work with independent title agencies in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Business Continuity Plan Helps Company Transition to Remote Workforce
April 7, 2020
Headquartered in a hurricane-prone region, Louisiana-based Punctual Abstract had the ability to quickly move staff to a remote environment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Punctual Abstract CEO Ted Woloszyk said the transition was relatively easy, read on to learn one thing that surprised him.
Title Industry Delivers With Curbside, Drive-through Closing Options
April 2, 2020
Title and settlement companies across the country have modified their closing processes to serve their customers and keep everyone safe in a world of social distancing and the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to safe closing protocols, companies have developed drive-through or curbside closings as a signing option to keep the pipeline going and handle the near historic levels of business.
Adeptive Partners With Beyond Computer Solutions for IT Services for Customers
April 2, 2020
Adeptive Software, developers of the title and escrow production software ResWare, has partnered with Beyond Computer Solutions (BCS) as an IT solutions provider option for its customers.
Tips for Communicating with Clients During a Crisis
American Land Title Association  |  April 2, 2020

Powered by ALTA's Homeowner Outreach Program, this webpage features resources to let consumers know you are open and operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, ideas on how to advertise your business appropriately and solutions on safely interacting with coworkers and clients while maintaining all social distancing, shelter-in-place and stay-at-home guidelines.

What Building 1,000 Homes Means to the U.S. Economy
April 2, 2020
Building 1,000 average single-family homes creates 2,900 full-time jobs and generates $110.96 million in taxes and fees, according to a new study from the National Association of Home Builders.
Three Tips to Cope With Evolving Technology, Remote Workers  
April 2, 2020
Real estate title and closing companies have quickly modified staffing and processes due to issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic while still delivering essential services to their customers and communities. Jeffrey Bates, chief executive officer of D. Bello provides three recommendations as title agents look toward the future and assess how all the recent evolution in real estate technology and working remotely has affected their business.
ClosingCorp: Closing Costs Averaged $5,779 in 2019
April 2, 2020
Closing costs for a single-family property averaged $5,749 including taxes—$3,339 excluding taxes—according to data released by ClosingCorp. Closing costs remained nearly flat compared to 2018.
Introduction to Digital Closings
March 31, 2020
watch this three-minute video to get a quick overview of the various types of digital closings, as well as the benefits and operational efficiencies they can provide.
Share Your #GoodDeeds
March 31, 2020

ALTA has received many heart-warming and inspirational examples of good deeds and how members continue to serve their customers and communities during this uncertain and unprecedented time. Whether it's with new creative closing processes or charitable work, let us know your #GoodDeeds!

GSEs Issue New Guidance on RON, Powers of Attorney
March 31, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac modified their single-family seller guides including temporary requirements for remote online notarizations (RON) and powers of attorney.
Eight Details About SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program
March 31, 2020
One of the central pillars of the $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package known as the CARES Act is nearly $350 billion for forgivable loans to help small businesses with payroll costs and avoid layoffs. The program called the Paycheck Protection Program is run by the federal Small Business Administration. Because there is limited funds, title and settlement companies are encouraged to speak to an SBA lender as soon as possible if there are concerns about retaining staff and paying other expenses. Guidelines for the program will be released this week. Read on for details.
Comparison of Various SBA Financial Relief Programs
March 31, 2020
The Small Business Administration offers various financial relief programs. This chart compares the Paycheck Protection Program, SBA Economic Injury Disaster loans and EIDL Emergency Grants.
 Finding Diamonds in the Rough
March 31, 2020
While in high school, Amy Gregory joined a job-training program. Students who landed a business job got the perk of leaving school early. The Brandon, Fla., native answered an advertisement from a local title company. The interview went well, and she started as a part-time receptionist during her junior year of high school. From the receptionist position, she worked her way through post-closing, processing, closing and management. Now, she’s chief administrative officer/president for the Florida Agency Network. For several years, the title industry has grappled with “attracting the next generation." Read on for tips and strategies to improve your recruiting and hiring process.
WFG National Title Names Chief HR Officer
March 31, 2020
In this role, Heather Krablin will be responsible for ensuring that WFG National Title's human resources policies, objectives and initiatives support the company's overall goals and objectives.
Getting our Security Terminology Right
March 31, 2020
Data privacy is quite different than information security and is best handled by a different department in the company. The distinction is subtle and often missed even by industry veterans.
ALTA Discusses How COVID-19 Pandemic is Impacting the Industry
March 30, 2020
With so much uncertainty and information being shared about the impact of the health crisis, ALTA held a townhall/webinar to discuss several important issues and provide reliable information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Sponsored by SoftPro, the discussion provided information on the federal stimulus packages; remote online notarization; recording jurisdiction closures; essential vs. non-essential businesses; ALTA events; and resources.
CISA: County Recorders ‘Essential’ in Updated Guidance
March 30, 2020
The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated its guidance to include government offices that assist title searches and recording services as essential and should remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trade Groups Plead for 'Essential Services' Consideration
March 27, 2020
On Thursday, the American Land Title Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of REALTORS and National Association of Home Builders signed an open letter to six organizations working with government leaders requesting they take steps to ensure that financial services and housing sectors can support the critical needs of homeowners and borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They asked that businesses and government agencies supporting the financial services and housing industries as well as home construction, home sales and renovation services be deemed essential services. The organizations also noted that necessary services related to housing include title searches, appraisals, permitting, inspections, housing materials and improvement retailers, moving, as well as the recording, legal, financial and other services needed to complete the sale or construction of housing. With interest rates at or near all time lows, the volume of mortgage refinancing has increased sharply, allowing families to reduce monthly payments and providing billions of dollars of additional disposable income to families in need. Many families also recently have taken advantage of low rates to purchase a home. According to the trade groups, housing and finance are critical infrastructure for these families.
Technology Is Like a Puzzle
March 26, 2020
During ALTA SPRINGBOARD in Denver, Web Raulston of Team Title Services and Samantha Budzyn of Nexsys Technologies led a discussion on ways title professionals can embrace technology and use it to solve business problems and improve operations. Read on for several technology ideals that were discussed to drive efficiency.
ALTA Marketplace: Find Companies to Help With Digital Closing Solutions
March 26, 2020
Search ALTA's Marketplace to help find companies that offer electronic and digital closing solutions, including remote online notarization capabilities.
Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund Names CFO
March 26, 2020
In this role, John Francoeur is responsible for all areas of finance, including accounting, financial reporting, budgeting, cash management, profitability reporting, and the implementation and monitoring of controls across the organization.
Pavaso, Evolve Mortgage Services Partner to Offer E-closing Solution
March 26, 2020
Pavaso recently partnered with Evolve Mortgage Services, a provider of outsourced mortgage solutions, to offer a digital mortgage experience that supports remote online notarization.
Demotech Affirms Financial Stability of Title Insurance Industry
March 26, 2020
Demotech Inc. recently concluded that the nation's title underwriters are financially healthy and possess the means to address time gaps in coverage associated with the closing or limited hours of recording jurisdictions.
PRIA Issues Best Practices for Recording Queue Management
March 26, 2020
Recognizing that the title and mortgage finance industries depend heavily on the recording jurisdictions’ documentation as essential functions for their businesses and for the consumer, the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) issued best practices to help recording jurisdictions manage the volume of documents they are receiving.
Fidelity Urges FHFA to Help Keep Recording Jurisdictions Open
March 26, 2020
Fidelity National Financial has requested assistance from the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to help keep recording jurisdictions open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fidelity also asked the FHFA to encourage financial institutions require that all electronic closings and remote online notarizations follow standards set by Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization.
What Every Title Agent Needs to Know About the Latest COVID-19 Stimulus Package
March 26, 2020
The House on March 27 passed the historic $2 trillion stimulus package the Senate passed earlier this week to help companies and workers affected by the shutdown of business due to COVID-19. The bill is designed to offer relief to individuals, the health-care system and businesses that saw their revenue dramatically decline since the pandemic hit the United States. Read on for five things every title professional needs to know about the stimulus and how it can help them and their employees.
Security Tips, Free Tools for Working Remotely
March 25, 2020
While working from home can help slow the spread of COVID-19, it brings new challenges: juggling work while kids are home from school; learning new software and conferencing programs; and managing paper files at home. As you’re getting your work-at-home systems set up, here are some tips for protecting your devices and personal information, as well as a list of free tools to help.
Washington Governor Orders RON to go Into Effect March 27
March 25, 2020
Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington’s governor issued a proclamation allowing the state’s remote online notarization legislation to go in effect March 27. The order suspends the effective date of the legislation through April 26. The legislation had specified the legislation would go into effect Oct. 1. 2020.
Many Businesses Must Offer Paid Leave Under Coronavirus Relief Law
March 24, 2020
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), which goes into effect no later than April 2 and will continue through Dec. 31, 2020, provides paid emergency family leave in limited circumstances, as well as paid sick leave for people affected by COVID-19. In general, the emergency paid-leave provisions in the legislation apply to businesses with fewer than 500 employees, but there may be some exceptions available for small businesses. Roughly two-thirds of ALTA’s membership is considered small business.
Companion of ALTA-supported RON Bill Introduced in House
March 24, 2020
Less than a week after being introduced in the Senate, a companion of the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020 has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) and Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.).
WFG National Title Names TWO Area Sales Managers
March 24, 2020
In their roles, Chris Peugeot will work with agents in Tennessee, while Janelle Rosenbaum will oversee agency work in upstate New York, Connecticut and New England.
Fannie Mae Guidance on Acceptance of Remote Online Notarization
March 24, 2020
To address several industry questions and concerns, Fannie Mae has issued a lender letter that provides information on various topics including electronic signature requirements and title insurance. The letter refers lenders to Fannie Mae’s Seller Guide, which specifies that it accepts loans where documents have been electronically notarized, either in person or remotely using real-time, two-way audio/video communication. ALTA is working with the government sponsored entities to get more guidance about the types remote online notarization transactions that will be accepted.
FaceTime, Skype Options Unsecure for Digital Closings
March 24, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, several states have issued executive orders allowing for the immediate use of remote online notarization. However, some orders allow the use of public-facing options such as FaceTime and Skype to facilitate the transaction. ALTA has identified several issues--including the lack of security to protect against fraud--with using these types of platforms.
How UPS is Responding to the Coronavirus
March 23, 2020
UPS is closely monitoring the impact of the Coronavirus and we want to make sure you are kept up-to-date on what they are doing to keep members and customers like you safe while continuing to deliver around the world. Read on for info on what to expect.
Title and Settlement Considered ‘Essential’ Under Shelter-in-place Orders
March 23, 2020
The stay-at-home orders several states have issued follow guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and only permit “essential businesses” to remain open. According to the guidance, businesses in the title and settlement industry are considered “essential.” United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin also issued a memo on March 22 that reinforces the fact that settlement and insurance services are considered "essential." ALTA and several state land title associations have requested that county recorders and register of deeds be considered "essential."
 ALTA Asks Treasury to Delay Deadlines for 1031 Exchanges
March 23, 2020
In a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, ALTA and 19 other groups requested that deadlines to identify replacement property and/or complete 1031 exchanges be extended for 120 days or to the last day of the general disaster extension period authorized by the IRS.
N.Y. Governor Allows Immediate Use of Remote Online Notarizations Following Statewide Lockdown
March 20, 2020
As the country continues to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered a statewide lockdown in response to the national crisis. Following the announcement, the governor issued an executive order allowing the immediate use of remote online notarization. Read on for some of the industry's concerns about what New York will allow.
County Closures Causing Gap Coverage Issue as Industry Asks Offices to Remain Open
March 19, 2020
Title underwriters are taking different approaches to the closures or limited hours of county offices due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the inability to record and process documents in some counties in increasing the gap period. Read on to learn how the industry is reacting and going on the offensive to convince recorders and register of deeds to remain open to allow for searched and recording.
 Hardware and Software Needs to Offer Remote Online Closings
March 19, 2020
In the ever-changing world of technology, title and escrow companies often ask what software they should purchase and what hardware is best to conduct remote online closings. While some prefer form over function, you do need to ensure you have the right tools to accomplish the task at hand. Read on for advice to help you implement the proper infrastructure.
Phishing Prevention Webinar: Don’t Take the Bait
March 19, 2020
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 | 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET | Register Today
Scammers are using phishing emails to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic. With more people working remotely, now is the time to learn how to help avoid getting scammed by fake email. Because phishing attacks look like legitimate emails from your trusted vendors’ and customers’ domains, traditional defenses often don't work against them. These phishing schemes often lead to wire transfer fraud, which can be devastating to your business and customers. Your top defense is a strong human firewall—and that means having an educated staff. Register for this webinar and learn how to spot the latest phishing techniques and what defenses do and don't work against them so you can better protect your business and your customers.
How Does Your Company Compare?
March 19, 2020
Compensation surveys provide important data to businesses looking to set wages and attract and retain top talent. Trying to determine numbers such as salary and benefits can be difficult. Creating and advertising a position that will attract talent is half the equation. Knowing how much you’ll need to pay them to keep them is another factor. Read on to learn more about ALTA's Compensation Index.
Family or Not, Opportunity for Youth in Title Industry Shouldn’t Be Ignored
March 19, 2020
Craig Haskins, the chief operating officer of Knight Barry Title, has a deal with his three sons when it comes to future employment with his Wisconsin company. An industry veteran, Haskins isn’t pressuring his children to join him in the business, but they know it could be an option down the road if they eventually want it.
Senators Introduce ALTA-supported Federal RON Bill
March 19, 2020
U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) introduced on Wednesday the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020, which permits immediate nationwide use of remote online notarization (RON) with minimum standards and provide certainty for the interstate recognition of RON. While RON won’t be available for every transaction, it does provide another closing option in some circumstances. “With the need for social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus, we want to provide options to consumers to close their transaction remotely nationwide,” said Diane Tomb, ALTA’s chief executive officer. “The strong standards in this bill are important to prevent fraud and offer consumers a more secure alternative rather than FaceTime or Skype when buying property or refinancing a mortgage.”
ALTA COVID-19 Update
March 18, 2020
ALTA, Industry Partners Develop Draft Bill to Permit RON Nationwide
March 17, 2020
ALTA—along with the MBA, NAR, vendors and notarial experts—have developed The Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020 (SECURE Notarization Act), which would permit immediate nationwide use of remote online notary (RON) with minimum standards and provide certainty for the interstate recognition of RON.
Congress Working on Paid Leave Bill for Those Affected by COVID-19
March 17, 2020
Congress is working on a bill to create emergency paid sick leave, as well as paid family leave in the case of school closures, for working families impacted by COVID-19.
Treasury Extends Tax Filing Season by 3 Months
March 17, 2020
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced today that taxpayers will get a three-month reprieve pay 2019 income taxes. As part of its coronavirus response, the federal government will give filers until July 15 to pay income taxes due on up to $1 million in tax owed, Mnuchin said. The reprieve on that amount would cover many pass-through entities and small businesses. Corporate filers would get the same length of time to pay amounts due on up to $10 million in taxes owed, Mnuchin said.
Title, Settlement Companies Develop Safe Closing Protocols
March 17, 2020
Recent concerns relating to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) has generated significant public attention and changes in guidelines prescribed by health officials such as the CDC and the WHO. Title and settlement companies across the country have developed protocols to ensure healthy and safe closings in the wake of this uncertainty.
Track County Office Closures
March 17, 2020
ALTA is tracking the operating status of recording jurisdictions, as well as projected reopen dates, if online access is available and if counties accepts e-recording.
NNA Develops Health Disclosures for Signers, Borrowers
March 17, 2020
Keeping everyone safe during the closing process is vital amid growing concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19). Among the developments is a new recommended best practice from the National Notary Association (NNA) that both Notaries and signers/borrowers complete a disclosure prior to each individual signing. The disclosures, which will have questions about recent travel and if there’s been contact with any people diagnosed with the coronavirus, should be completed if requested.
Common Issues Your Business May Encounter
March 17, 2020
The U.S. Small Business Administration says companies may have to contend with several issues during the crisis, ranging from facility remediation to insurance coverage issues.
Help for Businesses
March 17, 2020
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said U.S. officials are committed to ensuring that financial firms and businesses facing disruptions related to the coronavirus have access to liquidity. The Fed has said it would make vast sums of short-term loans available. In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it will offer disaster assistance loans of up to $2 million to small businesses that have been severely impacted by the spread of the coronavirus.
Graphic: Keeping Your Workplace Safe
March 17, 2020
Read on for a graphic from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that provides tips to keep the workplace safe.
WFG Names Arizona Division President
March 17, 2020
WFG National Title Insurance Company announced the appointment of Brian Hughes as president of its Arizona Division.
ALTA Response to COVID-19
March 16, 2020
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 asking about county office closures, information on how to handle closings and updates on meetings, among other questions. To help provide answers, we have created a webpage to host ALTA/title industry related updates.
Fannie Mae: Lender Expectations of Consumer Demand Mortgages Hits High
March 12, 2020
Mortgage lenders’ profit margin outlook for the next three months reached a new survey high based on data collected in the first half of February, according to Fannie Mae’s Q1 2020 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey. Although uncertainty around coronavirus may have a dampening effect on housing market sentiment, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Doug Duncan expects the continued low interest rate environment will help bolster mortgage volume.
Survey: Nearly 1 in 4 Homesellers Changed How Their Home is Viewed on the Market Due to Coronavirus Outbreak
March 12, 2020
Nearly 1 in 4 home sellers nationwide are changing how their home is viewed while the home remains on the market due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors.
What’s Your Spice?
March 12, 2020
Lisa Steele of Mother Lode Holding Co. and ALTA Board member David Townsend MTP, NTP of Agents National Title Insurance Co. led the discussion in front of roughly 325 attendees during an Ideas Festival at ALTA SPRINGBOARD in Denver.
Protect Email by Disabling Auto-forward
March 12, 2020
There are legitimate reasons why a company may allow auto-forwarding of business email. However, most of the time the best course of action is to simply disable this functionality because hackers can gain access to a user’s mailbox though phishing emails and can forward messages to an outside address. Read on for methods to turn off the off the auto-forward function in Microsoft 365 and Gmail.
PropertySync Launches National Title Plant Platform
March 11, 2020
PropertySync, a cloud-based SaaS title plant platform, is now available nationwide to companies looking for data management and searching capabilities.
Fill Out ALTA’s Compensation Index and WIN
March 6, 2020
Will you be the lucky winner? If you complete the survey for ALTA’s Title & Settlement Services Industry Compensation Index, you could be the Grand Prize Winner of a flight, hotel and registration to ALTA ONE in New York City!
A Vision for Our Story 
March 5, 2020
Stories can change our mood, outlook and perceptions. The right story at the right time can have a dramatic impact. Stories have power because they make sense of difficult topics and connect us with others.
Agents National Title Names Florida Agency Service Manager
March 5, 2020
In this role, Ben Sommers will continue the company’s expansion throughout the west coast of Florida and assist with growth and recruiting independent title agencies.
WFG National Title Expands Colorado Footprint
March 5, 2020
WFG National Title Insurance Co. has expanded its footprint in Colorado by acquiring access to title plant records in 11 counties and also acquired a title office in Colorado Springs.
Alert: Spoofed Email Appears to Come From ALTA
March 5, 2020
ALTA is alerting its members to delete a phishing email that includes an attachment letter that needs to be certified. Do not open the PDF.
CFPB Publishes TRID FAQs on Treatment of Lender Credits
March 5, 2020
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Feb. 26 published 10 new FAQs for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule related to lender credits.
Play Member March Madness
March 5, 2020
ALTA members now can go toe-to-toe in the ultimate battle royale: Member March Madness! Compete with your fellow ALTA members to see who can recruit the most new companies for ALTA membership. You can win up to $1,500 in prizes!
Breaking News: Mark Calabria to Headline ALTA Advocacy Summit
March 4, 2020
If you’ve been thinking about attending ALTA Advocacy Summit, let us give you a little extra incentive: FHFA Director Mark Calabria will headline the event, scheduled for May 11-13 in Washington, D.C. The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac watchdog will get you excited to meet with legislators on Capitol Hill. And don’t forget: Register by March 23 to grab your Early Bird discount and save $100!
 Washington State Senate Passes Data Privacy Bill
March 3, 2020
Senate Bill 6281 would apply to legal entities that conduct business in Washington or produce products or services that are targeted to residents of the state. Read on for details.
Foundation Title & Escrow Expands Footprint in Tennessee 
March 3, 2020
Foundation Title & Escrow Series LLC has expanded into the Knoxville, Tenn., area after joining forces with East Tennessee Title Insurance Agency Inc.
First American Completes Deal for Docutech
March 3, 2020
First American Financial has completed its $350 million acquisition of Docutech, a provider of document, e-closing and fulfillment technology.
Workflow Automation Provider Acquires GreenFolders
March 3, 2020
Title iO Inc., which provides workflow automation software solutions, announced the acquisition of GreenFolders Inc., a wholly owned entity of First American Financial Corp.
Missouri-based Security Title Insurance Agency Adds Another Office 
March 3, 2020
Security Title Insurance Agency has added another location in the St. Louis market.
Punctual Abstract Integrates with RamQuest
March 3, 2020
From their RamQuest solution, title agencies may place orders from Punctual Abstract’s nationwide team of digital and local abstracting experts, exchange notes and receive fully examined evidence back without leaving the platform.
Webinar: What an Agent Should Do During a Claims Investigation
March 3, 2020
While we wish we lived in a world with no claims, it’s a part of doing business. When a claim does arise, it’s important for your operation to have policies and procedures in place to know how to respond to claims that could challenge your business. This presentation will provide a brief overview of key terms and conditions in a policy that often affect coverage and investigations into coverage, what to do when a claim is made and during the pendency of the claim, and how coverage on a claim is afforded and on what terms. Register for this webinar and get insights and tips on how to resolve these challenging situations. Registration closed today. The webinar will be held from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET, Thursday, March 19.
Member March Madness Starts Today!
February 28, 2020
ALTA members now can go toe-to-toe in the ultimate battle royale: Member March Madness! Compete with your fellow ALTA members to see who can recruit the most new companies for ALTA membership. You can win up to $1,500 in prizes!
Social Media Strategies
February 27, 2020

Included in ALTA's Homeowner Outreach Program is presentation that outlines social media strategies for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google Ads and Yelp. ALTA member companies can develop their social media strategy using these 12 methods to reach the consumer in a variety of social media channels. Read on and check out the Features Resource box to access the content.

Access ALTA's Leadership & Volunteer Directory
February 27, 2020
ALTA members have exclusive access to ALTA's online Leadership & Volunteer Directory, which compiles information about all committee members and their contact information. The directory also includes information for all state association leaders. You must be logged in to access the directory.
 The Docket: Idaho Supreme Court Says Montana Anti-deficiency Statute Prohibits Lenders From Seeking Deficiency After Non-Judicial Foreclosure
February 27, 2020
Justin M. Scorza, vice president in First American Title’s corporate underwriting department, provided today’s review of a ruling by the Idaho Supreme Court that affirmed the dismissal of a lender’s claim against a title company because the lender’s full-credit bid at a non-judicial foreclosure extinguished the underlying debt. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
What You Need to Know About Coronavirus
February 27, 2020
The Centers for Disease and Prevention is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which has now been detected in 37 locations internationally, including cases in the United States. ALTA continues to monitor the updates from national and local public health officials regarding the virus.
Riebling Insurance Provides Enhanced Wire Fraud Protection With CertifID
February 27, 2020
In an effort to combat the growing threat of wire fraud in real estate transactions, Riebling Insurance announced a new endorsement to its FNF-Pak insurance program that provide up to $500,000 for all inbound and outbound wire funds transfers with the use of CertifID.
Fidelity Expands Consumer Wire Fraud Protection Program
February 27, 2020
Fidelity National Financial has expanded its WireSafe homebuyer and seller program to include startSafe, a new digital opening package for consumers engaged in a home purchase with any one of the FNF family of title companies.
Look Who’s Attending ALTA SPRINGBOARD
February 26, 2020
March 10-11, 2020 | Denver, CO | Grand Hyatt Denver | Register Today
It’s much easier—and more fun—to check out an event when you have a friend or two to hang out with. If you’re contemplating ALTA SPRINGBOARD, make sure you take a look at the attendees already registered on ALTA’s website. You may see an old buddy you’d like to catch up with or a potential customer you’ve been hoping to meet.
Webinar Recording: Learn How to Protect Your Business With Multifactor Authentication
February 26, 2020
The FBI reported that losses due to real estate wire fraud increased to $221 million in 2019. What can be done to help limit potential losses at your company? According to Google, experts say using multifactor authentication is one of the top three things that can be implemented to enhance online security. In addition, an update to ALTA’s Best Practices requires the use of multifactor authentication for all remotely hosted or remotely accessible systems storing, transmitting or transferring non-public personal information. But where do you start? Watch this webinar recording to learn how to implement multifactor authentication across your organization and how it can improve the customer experience without compromising security.
2020 Claims Guide Features 150 New Court Decisions
February 26, 2020
When you need advice on how to handle claims on title insurance policies, closing protection letters and closing mistakes, turn to the 2020 edition of the Title and Escrow Claims Guide! A 1,662-page volume, the Claims Guide is the ultimate resource not only for attorneys but also claim handlers, underwriting personnel, title examiners, escrow officers and regulators.
Get the Latest on State Digital Closing Statutes
February 25, 2020
ALTA members have access to this state-by-state list of digital closing statutes. This document provides general information on notary statutes and what states have passed Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, as well as what states have passed the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, and e-notary, remote online notarization, e-recording and curative statutes.
RamQuest Integrates With SIGNiX
February 25, 2020
The integration enables mutual customers to take a step closer to a fully electronic closing by providing a secure digital signature and remote e-notary solution.
Learn How to Take CFPB's TRID Survey
February 25, 2020
To ensure the CFPB’s assessment of TRID is comprehensive and reflects the diversity of the industry, it’s important for as many title and settlement companies as possible to take the survey. To help prepare for the survey, watch this webinar recording as CFPB staff and ALTA members go through each question and provide an explanation of what the bureau is trying to learn. The webinar also addresses the type of data agents should gather before starting the survey.
Alliant Names National Agency Manager
February 25, 2020
Rodney Anderson will expand his current responsibilities for developing, marketing and managing Alliant National’s southwest region agency operations to include national market expansion and oversight of the company’s 32 licensed state agency operations.
 Fidelity Reports Q4, Full-year 2019 Results
February 20, 2020
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title insurance division generated $355 million in pre-tax income during the fourth quarter of 2019. This is up from $102 million in pre-tax income during the same period in 2019.
Wisconsin Passes Remote Online Notarization Bill
February 20, 2020
Wisconsin became the 23rd state to pass legislation that allows for remote online notarization (RON).
Digital Closing Readiness Checklist
February 20, 2020
Implementing a digital closing solution may seem daunting. To help your operation prepare, download ALTA's Digital Closing Readiness Checklist. The document outlines the initial steps a company should take and provides a path to getting started and being ready to offer your first digital closing.
 Member Exclusive: Download the February Digital Edition of TitleNews
February 20, 2020
The February 2020 digital edition of TitleNews is available for download. The cover article of this edition details strategies to recruit and retain employees. Other highlights include a new partner with the Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud; Mortgage Cadence’s integration with the ALTA Registry; how the industry has adapted to TRID; Why you need to take the CFPB’s TRID survey; Matthew Morris stepping down as Stewart’s president; The difference between HTTPS and HTTP; Expansion of RON regulations; and the CFPB’s TRID guides on construction loans.
ProcessFast Deploys RamQuest-specific Version of Ops Insights Platform
February 20, 2020
The platform allows title agents to monitor new and old client order counts, provides improved vendor manager scorecards and direct communication with JV partners.
Get Ready for Some Serious Growth
February 19, 2020
March 10-11, 2020 | Denver, CO | Grand Hyatt Denver | Register Today
Shake off the dust! Whether you are stuck in a rut at work or just want to see how far you can take your career, ALTA SPRINGBOARD can give you a hand. Our 30-minute Career Advancement Talks are all focused on your professional growth. Whether you’re new to the industry or a title lifer, these six educational sessions will help point you in the right direction. Let’s take a look:
WTF: $221M Lost to Wire Transfer Fraud in 2019
February 18, 2020
Incidents and losses due to real estate wire fraud continue to increase, according to the FBI’s 2019 Internet Crime Report. The report shows there were 11,677 victims in 2019 with $221 million in losses. This compares to 11,300 reported victims and $150 million in losses in 2018.
 Old Republic Reports 2019 and Q4 Results
February 18, 2020
Old Republic International reported that its title insurance segment generated $230.8 million in pre-tax income during 2019. This is up from $219.3 million in pre-tax income during 2018.
Stewart Title Enhances National Agents Team
February 18, 2020
Stewart Information Services Corp. has enhanced its national agents team by naming Scott Gillen as senior vice president and Kimberly Prete and as manager.
First American Named to the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For
February 18, 2020
For the fifth consecutive year, First American Financial Corp. has been named as one of the 2020 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For.
Knight Barry Title Expands Florida Footprint
February 18, 2020
Wisconsin-based Knight Barry Title (KBT) is growing again in the Sunshine State with its latest acquisition of Island Title in St. Augustine, Fla.
RecordsOnline Bolsters Sales Team
February 18, 2020
RecordsOnline, a Texas-based SaaS platform, recently hired Mark Holley as executive sales director. In this role, he is responsible for the coordination, management and direction of sales operations for all RecordsOnline product groups.
Free Training Available for New Employees
February 14, 2020
Sometimes all you need are the basics—no more, no less. That’s exactly what you’ll get with our new, FREE Nuts and Bolts educational videos: the information your new hires require to get started in the land title insurance industry—no more, no less.
 Stewart Reports Fourth Quarter, Full-year 2019 Results
February 13, 2020
Stewart Information Services Corp. reported its title segment generated pre-tax income of $20.3 million during the fourth quarter of 2019. This was down from $29.5 million in pre-tax income during the same period a year ago.
 First American Reports Q4, Complete 2019 Financials
February 13, 2020
First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance and services segment generated pre-tax income of $283.8 million during the fourth quarter of 2019. This compared to $136.4 of pre-tax income during the fourth quarter of 2019.
Become an Active Congressional Liaison and WIN
February 13, 2020
If you have a relationship with a Member of Congress or their staffs, we need your help. (And, hey, there’s something in it for you, too.) As a special “thank you” this year, we’ll be awarding the three most active Congressional Liaisons with a personalized trip to Washington, D.C.! The prize includes airfare, accommodations and a personalized tour and itinerary, not to mention—ahem—bragging rights.
First American to Acquire Docutech
February 13, 2020
First American reported that the $350 million acquisition positions the company to further improve the consumer experience in real estate transactions and accelerate the evolution of real estate closings.
Stewart Insurance Partners with CertifID for Additional Wire Fraud Protection
February 13, 2020
In response to the wire fraud epidemic facing the title and real estate industry, Stewart Insurance, a subsidiary of Stewart Title Co., announced a new endorsement for select title professionals offering coverage up to $500,000 for all inbound and outbound wire funds transfers when CertifID is used to send and receive wiring instructions.
Do You Know You Are NOT in the ALTA Registry?
February 12, 2020
The ALTA Registry has hit critical mass, and lenders are looking for you! More than 8,000 of your competitors’ locations are already confirmed in the ALTA Registry—what are you waiting for? Listings in the ALTA Registry are FREE, and ALTA membership is not required. Each year, the ALTA Registry is searched more than 12,000 times, and the number continues to grow. In January alone, the Registry was searched 1,000 times.
Early Bird Rate is Almost Gone for Digital Boot Camp
February 12, 2020
April 8-9, 2020 | Atlanta, GA | Register Today
The ALTA & MBA Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camps are here to help you go digital now. Don’t wait to learn how to go digital and start from the back of the pack—put your business in the best possible position to succeed today! Hurry: Our Early Bird Rate for the Boot Camp in Atlanta ends Tuesday, Feb. 25!
Millennial Demand for Efficiency, Security Fuels Fintech Innovation
February 11, 2020
Title agents and real estate professionals believe demand for greater security and efficiency will be key drivers for greater fintech adoption in 2020, according to First American’s latest Real Estate Sentiment Index.
Rep. Sherman Presses Fed Chair on Wire Transfer Fraud Solution
February 11, 2020
With Fed Chair Jerome Powell testifying Feb. 11 before the House Financial Services Committee about monetary policy and the economy, U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif) took the opportunity to ask why the Fed doesn’t institute payee matching requirements for banks to help thwart wire transfer fraud.
Don’t Get Shut Out
February 11, 2020
March 10-11, 2020 | Denver, CO | Grand Hyatt Denver | Register Today
Do you like to save money? (That’s rhetorical. Of course you do!) Then get moving and secure your hotel room for ALTA SPRINGBOARD before our room block closes this Friday, Feb. 14! Compare our rate with the standard rate at the Grand Hyatt Denver:
SnapClose Expands Integration With First American
February 11, 2020
The updated integration allows agents of First American Title to electronically remit and upload policies.
SingleSource Launches Deed in Lieu Title Product
February 11, 2020
SingleSource now offers a deed in lieu title product that provides full, state-driven searches at 20, 40 and 60 years.
ALTA Develops Data Privacy Principles
February 6, 2020
ALTA announced the release of its data privacy principles that recommend the development of a single, national standard to help protect consumer private information uniformly and consistently while maintaining an efficient homebuying and selling experience.
RynohLive Names VP of Sales
February 6, 2020
Shane Palladino will primarily focus on new customer acquisition with a secondary focus on expanding Rynoh into new verticals to bolster the company’s strategic growth.
 Stewart Title Promotes Chief Human Resources Officer
February 6, 2020
Emily Kain will be responsible for overseeing the people side of the business, focusing on attracting, retaining and engaging associates worldwide.
Financial Technology Start-up Introduces Cloud-based Title Search Software
February 6, 2020
The cloud-based technology platform provides automated ordering of title searches for any residential or commercial property in the United States and streamlines the title search management process.
Want to Win a Trip to ALTA ONE in NYC?
February 6, 2020
It’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to pack when you win a flight, hotel and registration to ALTA ONE in New York City!* Now that the 2019 data collection is open for ALTA’s Title & Settlement Services Industry Compensation Index, all you have to do is complete the index questions for 2018 and 2019 by May 1 and automatically be entered into a drawing to walk away with one of the biggest prizes in ALTA history.
Win Big During Member March Madness!
February 5, 2020
For the first time ever, ALTA members can go toe-to-toe in what will become the biggest, baddest battle royale the title insurance industry has ever seen. The great minds who brought you the no-holds-barred “Title Triumph” board game now present: Member March Madness! Compete with your fellow ALTA members to see who can recruit the most new companies for ALTA membership. Get in on the mayhem, and you can win up to $1,500 in prizes!
Share This Wire Fraud Tips Video
February 5, 2020
When buying a home, consumers must be on alert for email or phone scams that will try to steal their money. Criminals can pose as the real estate agent, settlement agent or other trusted professional and provide false instructions for wiring mortgage closing funds. This video provides tips to avoid these scams. By being careful and taking a few important steps ahead of the closing, you can help protect your customer's money. For more information about closing scams, go to stopwirefraud.org.
Announcing ALTA SPRINGBOARD Speakers
February 4, 2020
March 10-11, 2020 | Denver, CO | Grand Hyatt Denver | Register Today
Speakers can make or break an event! At ALTA, we only invite the crème de la crème to inform, entertain and inspire you. (Seriously, we have a lot of meetings to narrow down our list of favorite presenters. A LOT.) This year, we have been combing the title industry to bring you a slate of next-level speakers for ALTA SPRINGBOARD Ideas Festivals. Check them out:
ALTA Releases Discussion Draft for Policy Forms Revisions
February 4, 2020
ALTA’s Title Insurance Forms Committee has released the third set of discussion drafts of the proposed revisions to the standard ALTA 2006 Loan and Owner’s Title Insurance Policies. Deadline to submit comments is Feb. 20.
WFG Names COO for National Title Support Division
February 4, 2020
WFG National Title Insurance Co. has named Kevin Beach as chief operating officer for the company’s national title support division. Beach comes to WFG from Title Information Associates, the management and business-consulting firm he founded in 2010.
O’Kelley & Sorohan Bolsters Commercial Expertise With Addition of Law Firm
February 4, 2020
Georgia-based O’Kelley & Sorohan, Attorneys at Law LLC announced that it recently added the law firm, R.E. Hodges Jr. LLC to bolster its existing expertise in handling commercial real estate transactions.
Webinar: Take the CFPB’s TRID Survey
February 3, 2020
To ensure the CFPB’s assessment of TRID is comprehensive and reflects the diversity of the industry, it’s important for as many title and settlement companies as possible to take the survey. To help prepare you for the survey, CFPB staff and ALTA members will go through each question and provide an explanation of what the bureau is trying to learn. The webinar will also address the type of data agents should gather before starting the survey.
 The Docket: Calif. Appeals Court Affirms Deed of Trust Void in Fraud Case
January 30, 2020
David G. Boss of Boss Law Firm provided today’s review of a ruling by a California appeals court that affirmed an order declaring a deed of trust void in a case where a woman pleaded guilty to grand theft for encumbering a married couple's real property with a fraudulent deed of trust. read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
Cloudphish Unveils New Phishing Defense Solution
January 30, 2020
Cloudphish uses the Ethereum blockchain ledger to create an externalized verification framework for emails trusted users send and receive between one another.
Spruce Expands Into California
January 30, 2020
Spruce announced the opening of its West Coast headquarters in Sacramento after receiving its license to operate as an underwriter in California from the state’s Department of Insurance.
Fidelity Hires Exec to Lead National Expansion of Alamo Title
January 30, 2020
John Magness will lead the operational expansion and growth of Alamo Title Company in Texas and across the United States.
First American Launches Marketing List Solution for Customer Acquisition
January 30, 2020
First American DataTree launched a new solution that provides targeted, direct marketing lists built from a database of U.S. property and homeownership information.
Having Trouble Finding – and Keeping – Good Employees?
January 29, 2020
March 10-11, 2020 | Denver, CO | Grand Hyatt Denver | Register Today
“Company culture” is officially a thing. Ten years ago, maybe even five, most people were simply happy to have a job. But now with a growing economy and younger generations searching for more than just a paycheck, it’s time to take a step back and examine what your business has to offer new recruits. The ALTA SPRINGBOARD Ideas Festival “Talent and Diversity: Does Your Company Reflect Your Community?” will challenge the way you think about workplace diversity.
 2020 Vision: The Housing Market Forecast
January 28, 2020
Today’s housing market looks very different from the past. No longer can you rely on falling mortgage rates to financially encourage refinancing and moving. Millennials now represent the largest cohort of homebuyers, older homeowners are staying in place longer, and digital closings and ibuyers continue to gain traction in markets across the country. Read on to learn how title companies across the country are approaching 2020 and find out how economists expect the market to perform over the next year.
ALTA Members: Get Free Online Industry Training for New Hires
January 28, 2020
ALTA recently launched free online training to help companies train new employees become familiar with industry terminology and concepts. Titled “Nuts and Bolts of the Land Title Industry,” the training includes three videos covering the what, who and how of title insurance. The training is free to members and $75 for non-members.
Stewart Promotes Group SVP for Pacific Northwest and Mountain States
January 28, 2020
Stewart Information Services Corp. recently promoted Wyomia Clifton to group senior vice president for the Pacific Northwest and Mountain States. She will be responsible for overseeing direct operations in Montana, Idaho, Colorado and Utah markets, on top of her existing markets of Alaska, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
SYNRGO Names Director of Product Management
January 28, 2020
SYNRGO Inc. recently named Chris Dufault to the newly formed role of director of product management.
CFPB Issues Policy on Using ‘Compliance Aids’
January 28, 2020
In an effort to clarify the role of guidance, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a statement in the Federal Register establishing outlining how regulated businesses may use new “Compliance Aids” issued by the bureau. The policy statement becomes applicable Feb. 1.
Title Insurance is Confusing. We Make it Easy
January 28, 2020
April 8, 2020 | Atlanta, GA | Register Today
Title insurance can be difficult to explain. Try describing it to your friends and neighbors, and their eyes glaze over. We’ve all been there. But the bigger problem is that title insurance is hard for people in the real estate transaction to understand, too! How can you get a homebuyer to purchase an owner’s policy when half the people in the room don’t grasp the benefits of the product? That’s where ALTA comes in.
ALTA Members Get the Best Discounts
January 23, 2020
It’s a new year, and ALTA membership benefits just keep getting better! Some of the lesser known but incredibly useful benefits include discounts through various vendors as well as our Elite Providers. Let’s check out a few:
Why You Need to Take the CFPB’s TRID Survey
January 23, 2020
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is asking companies that conduct closings covered by the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID) to take a survey to help the bureau assess the effectiveness of the regulation. It's important for as many title and settlement companies to take the survey by March 6 to help ALTA's efforts to fix the title fee disclosure and remove the optional tag for owner's title insurance.
Contractual Requirements Between Covered Businesses and Service Providers Under California’s Consumer Privacy Law
January 23, 2020
It is common for title and settlement companies to share data in the process of closing a real estate transaction. However, some key definitions in the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) that went into effect at the beginning of the year are causing the companies to reassess practices and agreements as they figure out how to comply with the new privacy law.
Passport Title Expands Into Kentucky
January 23, 2020
Passport Title Services recently expanded into Kentucky to provide its title agency partnership solutions to attorneys, title agents and title agency owners in the Bluegrass State.
Kentucky Goes Live With E-recording Using Simplifile
January 23, 2020
Kentucky joins 48 other U.S. states that have authorized e-recording of deeds, mortgages and other documents to enable faster and more cost-effective land record transactions. Only Vermont has yet to begin e-recording.
Grab Your Discount for ALTA SPRINGBOARD
January 21, 2020
March 10-11, 2020 | Denver, CO | Grand Hyatt Denver | Register Today
"You can spend your entire career trying to figure out where to go to meet the people that you need to be able to meet. Here at ALTA SPRINGBOARD, whatever you would want to get out of it, you will get out of it." ALTA SPRINGBOARD is an attendee favorite every year because it's unique.
Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud Announces RynohLive as New Partner
January 21, 2020
RynohLive recently became the latest partner of the Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud to help raise awareness about mortgage closing scams and real estate wire fraud.
FDIC, OCC Warn Against ‘Heightened Cybersecurity Risk’
January 21, 2020
The FDIC and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a joint statement last week in response to the heightened cybersecurity risk facing the financial services industry and other critical business sectors.
 The Docket: Washington Appeals Court Rules Underwriter Not Liable for Survey Exception
January 21, 2020
Yosi (Joe) Benlevi, vice president and senior underwriting counsel for Chicago Title Insurance Co., provided today’s review of a ruling by a Washington appellate court that held a title company is not liable under a survey exception. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
AmTrust Bolsters Commercial Team
January 21, 2020
Michael Bebon has joined AmTrust Title's commercial real estate division as senior executive vice president of direct operations.
 Member Exclusive: Download the January 2020 Digital Edition of TitleNews
January 16, 2020
The January 2020 digital edition of TitleNews is available for download. The cover article of this edition analyzes the 2020 housing and mortgage market. Other highlights include Fidelity partnering with the ALTA-led Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud; an article on how one title company found success using ALTA-provided consumer-focused marketing material; the opportunity for youth in the title industry; the hardware and software needs to offer remote online closings; and FinCEN renewing its Geographic Targeting Order through May 9.
Lenders Complete More Than 38,000 Digital Closings With Docutech Platform
January 16, 2020
Kicking off the 2020 mortgage lending year, Docutech announced that lenders have now utilized the company’s Solex eClosing platform to digitally close more than 38,000 loans since late 2017.
Notarize, Stewart Title Partner to Offer Hybrid and Fully Online Closings
January 16, 2020
Notarize announced a partnership that will give Stewart Title and its direct offices and independent agents the ability to offer fully online and hybrid closings.
Qualia Expands Closing Platform to Serve Mortgage Industry
January 16, 2020
Qualia Post empowers lenders to collect digital and physical trailing documents across all their title company partners. Title companies receive automated email reminders to share documents and lenders can review the status of all their requests without leaving their normal LOS workflow.
Matthew Morris Steps Down as Stewart President
January 16, 2020
Matthew Morris announced that he stepped down as president of Stewart Information Services Corp. on Jan. 15. He will continue to serve as a member of Stewart’s Board of Directors. In addition, Morris will provide advisory services to the company and to new CEO Fred Eppinger for the next six months.
Technology is Hard. Get Schooled at ALTA SPRINGBOARD
January 14, 2020
Are you afraid of technology or eager to see what’s next? Do you hesitate at the thought of change or celebrate “out with the old, in with the new?” Whether you’re on either end of the spectrum or somewhere in between, the Ideas Festival “Tech Talk – Solving for a Business Problem” at ALTA Springboard will help you explore industry technology in a brighter light. In this Ideas Festival, we’ll discuss:
ATG Joins American Title Reinsurance Alliance
January 14, 2020
The American Title Reinsurance Alliance was formed in January 2012 to provide a secure source of reinsurance for large transactions for regional title insurers.
Agencies Issue Alerts on Iranian Cyber Activity
January 14, 2020
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued guidance to companies on securing their computer networks.
Webinar Recording: 2020 Housing and Mortgage Market Forcast
January 14, 2020
Today’s housing market looks very different from the past. No longer can you rely on falling mortgage rates to financially encourage refinancing and moving. Millennials now represent the largest cohort of homebuyers, older homeowners are staying in place longer and ibuyers continue to gain traction in markets across the country. How will this affect your business? Listen to this webinar recording to get a better understanding of the types of title orders that will come in your door over the next year.
Adeptive to Offer AI Customer Service for ResWare Platform
January 14, 2020
With the Alanna customer service resource, title agencies using ResWare can communicate with their customers via text or web chat, using everyday conversational language.
The Evolution of TitleNews
January 14, 2020
For more than a century, TitleNews has been the go-to source of information about the land title insurance industry. Since the first edition in 1918, iterations have evolved from an extremely text-heavy publication to a magazine filled with useful charts and graphics that attempts to meet the needs of today’s readers.
PropLogix Purchases Building for New Headquarters
January 14, 2020
PropLogix CEO Jesse Biter and his partners, Evan Berlin and Jamie Ebling, spent $10.5 million on a building to house the growing real estate research and tech company.
States Title Receives Patent for Predictive Machine Learning Models
January 14, 2020
The patent for invention number 10,510,009 allows States Title to optimize the value-maximizing point in the instant underwriting model by modifying the Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique with unique title-specific mathematical components.
Know Your Business
January 9, 2020
Nobel Prize winning physicist and chemist Marie Curie once said, “Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.” That point of view can apply to businesses today. Understanding your company’s susceptibility to disruption will help you make momentous strategic choices.
NotaryCam Approved to Provide eNotary, RON Services for Michigan Notaries
January 9, 2020
NotaryCam has been approved by the Michigan Department of State to provide both eNotary and remote online notarization (RON) services to the more than 113,000 notaries public registered in the state.
Pavaso Supports Remote Online Notarization in Florida and Idaho
January 9, 2020
State commissioned remote electronic notaries in these states can select the Pavaso platform to complete RON closings, which gives homebuyers and sellers the option to close real estate transactions remotely, from almost anywhere in the world.
SoftPro Integrates With ZOCCAM
January 9, 2020
The integration allows SoftPro users to connect with ZOCCAM for such submissions as well as authenticating the borrower’s identification.
ePN adds 13 Jurisdictions to E-recording Network
January 9, 2020
eRecording Partners Network (ePN) announces the addition of 13 jurisdictions across the United States to its e-recording network in the fourth quarter of 2019.
CATIC Launches New Website
January 9, 2020
CATIC said the new website is focused on ensuring a positive user experience by giving agents a more consistent workflow and better navigation.
Track State Data Privacy Legislation
January 8, 2020
Utilize ALTA’s State Legislation Tracking Map to follow any data privacy bills that have been introduced or passed in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Listen to Podcasts About CCPA
January 8, 2020
ALTA, in partnership with the law firm Carlton Fields, has developed a four-part podcast series to help you un-derstand the California Consumer Privacy Act. The segments are titled Who Does CCPA Apply To?; Service Providers and Sale of Data Under CCPA; CCPA Resources and Compliance Tips; and Practical Compliance With CCPA and New Privacy Laws. Read on to access the podcasts on ALTA’s data privacy page.
What is Data Mapping?
January 8, 2020
Data mapping is discovering what data you collect, where it’s stored, with whom it’s shared, how long it’s retained and for what purposes it’s used.
ALTA Marketplace: Find Privacy Compliance Solutions
January 8, 2020
The ALTA Marketplace connects you with companies that offer data privacy and mapping solutions, as well as services to help you comply with other regulations.
Learn How to Go Digital in 2020
January 8, 2020
April 8-9, 2020 | Atlanta, GA | Register Today
It’s 2020: The future is HERE. If your business isn’t prepared to go digital, it’s time to attend a Digital Closing & eMortgage Boot Camp. The American Land Title Association and Mortgage Bankers Association are hosting two live events in 2020 to help your business navigate the digital closing process. Due to high attendee volume at the first Digital Closing Boot Camp, we encourage you to register now for your preferred date/place so you don’t get shut out.
The California Consumer Privacy Act Q&A
January 8, 2020
This document provides an overview of key questions regarding the California Consumer Privacy Act. The Q&A answers which companies are covered by the regulation; applicability to controlled entities with shared branding; who is protected; examples of personal information; exemptions; consumer right to access, disclosure and opt-out; obligations on a company; and costs of compliance.
The Next Big Thing: Consumer Data Privacy
January 8, 2020
California’s sweeping legislation that went into effect Jan. 1 is the beginning of things to come as more states look to bolster consumer privacy and enforce stricter U.S. consumer protections.
 Crowning Moment: British-born Mary O’Donnell First Woman From Underwriter Ranks to Serve as ALTA President
January 7, 2020
Margaret Thatcher served as prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century and the first woman to hold that office. Her uncompromising politics and leadership style earned her nickname “The Iron Lady.” Growing up in Liverpool, England, Mary O’Donnell dreamed of rising to similar heights. “I wanted to be the first British female prime minister, but Margaret Thatcher beat me to it,” O’Donnell joked. Instead, O’Donnell blazed her own path on this side of the pond. In October, she became the first woman out of the Underwriters’ Executive Section to be named president of ALTA. Read on to learn more about ALTA's president.
Stewart Title Adds Staff in Massachusetts
January 7, 2020
Stewart Title’s Agency Services in Massachusetts announced the addition of Tracie Kester and Christine Provost as underwriting counsels, while Tom Potito and Mary Blomerth joined the company as senior agency services representatives
First American Acquires Arizona-based Agency
January 7, 2020
First American Financial Corp. has fully acquired Title Security Agency LLC, an Arizona-based title agency that has operated for more than four decades.
Kensington Vanguard Acquires GRS Title Services
January 7, 2020
Kensington Vanguard National Land Services (KV) recently completed the acquisition of Virginia-based GRS Title Services LLC.
Futura Title & Escrow Grows in Washington
January 7, 2020
Futura Title and Escrow Corp., parent company to AmeriTitle Inc. and Alliance Title & Escrow Corp., announced the acquisition of Washington-based title companies Pacific Alliance Title and Kittitas Title & Escrow.
Agents National Names COO
January 7, 2020
In this role, Todd Mendolia will support Agents National Title Insurance Company's regional and national agents, while leading key initiatives supporting the geographic expansion of ANTIC.