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Register for Webinar: Stay Ahead of the Customer Curve
December 18, 2018
The real estate market is changing at a pace unlike anytime before. Title companies remain at the center of the real estate transaction. More than ever, sitting in this seat makes it important for companies to think strategically about how to deliver the right experience for their customers. The easiest starting point for this is to think about the transaction through your customers' eyes. This webinar will help you get inside the heads of your main customer types, lenders, real estate agents and homeowners. Come ready to hear what drives their decision making and the things you can do to elevate their experience at the closing.
EPA and Army Propose New ‘Waters of the United States’ Definition
December 11, 2018
Under the agencies’ proposal, traditional navigable waters, tributaries to those waters, certain ditches, certain lakes and ponds, impoundments of jurisdictional waters and wetlands adjacent to jurisdictional waters would be federally regulated. It also details what are not “waters of the United States,” such as features that only contain water during or in response to rainfall; groundwater; many ditches, including most roadside or farm ditches; prior converted cropland; storm water control features; and waste treatment systems.
Calling All Experts: Apply to be Faculty at 2019 ALTA SPRINGBOARD
December 11, 2018
The Call for Faculty for 2019 ALTA SPRINGBOARD is now open. We are looking for discussion facilitators to lead thoughtful and interactive round-table discussions and brainstorms on specific issues, and speakers for a limited series on career advancement. As a member of the ALTA Faculty, you’ll showcase your knowledge and expertise, and facilitate SPRINGBOARD attendees through this unique, collaborative learning experience. ALTA SPRINGBOARD will be held March 20-21 in Memphis, Tenn., at the Peabody Hotel. We are accepting faculty applications through Friday, Jan. 4. Read on to submit your application.
ALTA Encourages New CFPB Director to Fix Inaccurate Disclosure of Title Fees on Mortgage Disclosures
December 11, 2018
The U.S. Senate on Dec. 6 confirmed Kathleen Kraninger as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
States Title to Acquire Underwriter North American Title
December 11, 2018
The deal, which is expected to close in January 2019 if pending regulatory approval in California and Arizona, calls for States Title to acquire North American Title Group's underwriter, North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC), and the majority of the retail business of NATG's national title agency, North American Title Company (NATC).
SafeChain Named Outstanding Startup by Columbus Business First
December 11, 2018
SafeChain, a provider of wire fraud prevention software for title industry, was honored in the Outstanding Startup category at the 2018 BizTech Awards hosted by the business publication Columbus Business First.
TitleTap Releases Accessibility and Chatbot Widgets, Improves Page Speed
December 11, 2018
The new features include an artificially intelligent chatbot widget, improved website accessibility to help those with disabilities and website performance upgrades to improve search engine optimization (SEO) and page speed.
SoftPro Opens Registration for Annual User Group Conference
December 11, 2018
SoftPro has opened registration for its 20th Annual User Group Conference to be held April 10-12 at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Get Exclusive Access to Legal Developments Affecting the Title Industry
December 6, 2018
As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on what’s happened this year. If you’re not a subscriber of the Title Insurance Law Newsletter (TILN), here are some of the case law summaries you’re missing out on.
ICYMI: October TitleNews Digital Edition
December 6, 2018
The cover article in this edition of TitleNews features two court rulings that affect crime policy coverage for wire fraud and business email compromise. Also in the issue are articles that discuss 10 things to ask when purchasing a crime policy, a loan closer who was convicted for a borrower’s loan fraud and seven tips to enhance cybersecurity awareness in your organization.
 The Docket: Nevada Supreme Court Holds CPL Does Not Protect Loan Assignee
December 6, 2018
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 Nevada Supreme Court that held the assignee of a deed of trust was not entitled to bring a claim against the title insurance company arising out of the closing protection letter. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
ALTA Announces HDEP International as an Elite Provider
December 6, 2018
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.
Action Plan if Affected by Marriott Data Breach
December 4, 2018
If your personal information was exposed in the Marriott International data breach, the Federal Trade Commission says there are steps you can take to help guard against misuse of your information if it was exposed.
 Why Agents are Changing Their Minds About Production Costs
December 4, 2018
Title agents—driven by substantial cost pressures from multiple sources—are beginning to understand that qualified outsourcing, strategic partnerships and automation can help the bottom lines of their businesses, and that the risks of doing so have been overstated.
First American Launches Blockchain System for Prior Policies
December 4, 2018
First American reported that each policy included in the blockchain system will be coded with a unique identifier by property, which will help streamline the search process and increase the accuracy of searches for prior title insurance policies. Read on to find out which underwriter is the first to partner with First American in this endeavor.
Take Action to Prevent Wire Transfer Fraud
December 4, 2018
Because title companies have started to take preventative measures against wire transfer fraud, including in-depth education of employees, hackers have set their sights on the unassuming and innocent homebuyers.
Cyber Tip: How to Build Strong Passwords
December 4, 2018
Passwords are critical gateways to your company’s databases and networks. But they’re also potential open doors for hackers. Read on for some tips on building strong passwords.
Title Alliance Appoints Internal Auditor
December 4, 2018
In her role, Norma Eichinger will audit files to maintain compliance with Title Alliance’s ALTA Best Practice certification and SOC attestation report ratings.
TitleTap Releases New Title Agent and Attorney Website Designs
December 4, 2018
The company now offers a video home page design feature as well as different website style options and placement order.
ALTA's Elite Provider Program Just Got Better
November 29, 2018
Visionet Integrates With Old Republic
November 29, 2018
Visionet Systems recently completed the integration of its AtClose platform with Old Republic Title’s ezJacket and Closing Protection Letter (CPL) software applications.
ALTA ONE Proceedings Now Available
November 29, 2018
Meeting proceedings including video or audio recordings and presentation handouts from ALTA ONE education sessions are now available to ALTA members and the meeting's attendees.
IRS Warns of Tax Transcript Email Scam
November 29, 2018
The scam is especially problematic for businesses whose employees might open the malware because the software can spread throughout the network and potentially take months to successfully remove.
CATIC’s Business and Compliance Counsel Named Rising Star
November 29, 2018
CATIC announced that Ashley Sadler, the company’s business and compliance counsel, was named to the inaugural class of the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association’s Rising Stars in the mortgage industry.
Stewart Title Names Underwriting Counsel for New York
November 29, 2018
Theresa Garelli, an attorney with more than 30 years of title insurance industry experience, will be responsible for supporting agency services in the New York area.
How to Assess and Evaluate Blockchain Solutions
November 29, 2018
Interest in blockchain technology has skyrocketed in the real estate and title markets in recent years. Claims that it can improve the real estate transaction and recording of land records have been followed up with companies experimenting with proof of concepts and trials. However, questions persist about the true benefits and opportunities, and how broad adoption will be. Read on to learn how to assess and measure blockchain projects.
How Criminals Can Spoof Your Phone
November 27, 2018
Ever heard of SpoofCard? It’s a scammer’s dream and a nightmare for title and settlement agents. The technology isn’t new, but the application offers the ability to change what someone sees on their caller ID display when they receive a phone call.
‘It Is Important to Me to Always be Refining My Craft’
November 27, 2018
Daryl Olsen NTP, senior vice president and region manager for Alliance Title & Escrow Corp. in Idaho Falls, Idaho, discusses why he earned his National Title Professional designation, why he believes others should obtain the designation and shares a little about himself that others may not know.
 The Docket: 150-year-old Shellfish Bites Title Insurer
November 27, 2018
Ron Damashek of the Illinois law firm Stahl Cowen Crowley Addis LLC provided today’s review of a recent ruling by the state of Washington Court of Appeals that held a title insurer had a duty under an owner’s policy to defend the insured owner against a claimed right to harvest shellfish under a treaty signed more than 150 years ago, and lost its ability to deny coverage by failing to honor that duty. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.
Senate Banking Committee to Hold Hearing on Money Laundering
November 27, 2018
The U.S. Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday titled “Combating Money Laundering and Other Forms of Illicit Finance: Regulator and Law Enforcement Perspectives on Reform.”
ALTA Announces Job Description for CEO Position
November 27, 2018
Global organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry has completed the job description for ALTA’s chief executive offer position. Korn Ferry is helping ALTA’s Board of Governors find the CEO candidate who best fits the association’s priorities and culture. Read on to read the job description on Korn Ferry’s website.
 Video: Jobs in the Title Industry
November 27, 2018
Check out this video ALTA recently created to help promote employment opportunities in the title and settlement industry.
PropLogix Names Product Director
November 27, 2018
PropLogix recently named Heather Tally as product director, overseeing the company’s expanding payoff tracking and surveys departments.
BuyerDocs Donates 10 Percent of Revenue to Local Charity
November 27, 2018
The company is donating 10 percent of all revenue to Community First! Village, a faith-based charity in Austin, Texas, dedicated to eradicating chronic homelessness.
The ALTA Registry: Helping Lenders Reduce Risk, Protect Against Wire Fraud and Other Scams
November 20, 2018
The online database eliminates the "human-error" headache and helps alleviate lender compliance burdens. With more than 6,000 title companies and settlement providers already confirmed in the ALTA Registry, its important to ensure your company is part of the ALTA Registry. Being an ALTA member or policy forms license holder does not get your company automatically confirmed in the ALTA Registry. Verify your information today.
SafeChain Adds Blockchain to Wire Fraud Prevention Software
November 20, 2018
With blockchain, the company said its SafeWire product now offers a tamper-proof storage mechanism for wiring instructions that notifies users immediately if an unauthorized party attempts to alter the instructions,
TitleWave Adds to Team
November 20, 2018
TitleWave Real Estate Solutions announced it has hired Toni Carroll as vice president of Southeast and Mid-Atlantic sales while Terri Smith joined the company as supply chain manager.
 The Docket: How Specific do References Need to be to Survive a Marketable Title Act?
November 20, 2018
Michael J. Sikora III, managing partner of the law firm Sikora Law LLC, provided today’s review of a decision by Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals that addressed the specificity required for an interest to survive when it is beyond the statutory 40-year period under Ohio’s Marketable Title Act. Read on to learn how a decision by the Ohio Supreme Court will significantly affect how Ohio courts view the state's Marketable Title Act.
FinCEN Renews Money Laundering GTOs
November 15, 2018
The purchase amount threshold, which previously varied by city, is now set at $300,000 for each covered metropolitan area. Covered purchases now also include transactions involving virtual currencies while removing GTO coverage for purchases by trusts. The revised Geographic Targeting Orders are in effect from Nov. 17 through May 15, 2019.
Congressman Asks Fed to Consider Payee Matching Requirements on Wire Transfers
November 15, 2018
During a hearing before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) asked a Federal Reserve board member if the Fed has considered requiring banks and other financial institutions to apply payee matching when initiating a wire transfer. Last year during a Congressional hearing on data security, ALTA Past President Dan Mennenoh ITP, NTP offered the same solution about payee matching requirements to help thwart wire transfer fraud.
ValuAmerica Rebrands as Radian Settlement Services
November 15, 2018
Radian acquired ValuAmerica in 2015, and followed that deal up earlier this year with the purchase of Entitle Direct, which is licensed as a title insurance underwriter in 40 states.
Tridster Launches Title Insurance Comparison Service in California
November 15, 2018
Tridster also offers its service to compare title insurance and settlement providers and fees in Pennsylvania and Virginia.
FHFA to Maintain Multifamily Loan Caps for GSEs
November 15, 2018
The caps are based on Federal Housing Finance Agency's projections of the overall size of the 2019 multifamily originations market, which is expected to be relatively flat compared to the market in 2018.
Redfin to Offer Digital Closings Through Its Title Company
November 15, 2018
According to Redfin, the partnership with Notarize will allow buyers to close on their mortgages when they use Redfin’s title company, Title Forward, and settlement company, Redfin Mortgage.
Old Republic Announces Several Senior Management Moves
November 15, 2018
The senior management appointments affect Rande Yeager, Mark Bilbrey, Carolyn Monroe and Ivy Anderson.
Stewart Appoints Agency Services Manager for Oklahoma
November 15, 2018
As the new agency services manager for Oklahoma, Mitzi Combs will support the growing needs of independent agencies in Oklahoma.
Snag Your Discount for the Latest Claims Guide
November 14, 2018
Just in time for the holidays, ALTA is offering a one-time-only 15 percent discount on the 2018 printed edition of the Title and Escrow Claims Guide while supplies last! If you've been thinking about picking up a copy, now is the time.
Washington State Resident Earns ALTA National Title Professional Recognition
November 13, 2018
Maureen Pfaff, president and chief executive officer of Olympic Peninsula Title in Port Angeles, Wash., joins 95 other leaders from across the United States who also have earned the designation.
ALTA President Urges Congress to Pass Regulatory Guidance Bill
November 13, 2018
An editorial by ALTA President Cynthia Durham Blair NTP urging Congress to pass the Giving Useful Information to Define Effective Compliance Act (GUIDE Act) appeared Nov. 2 in Morning Consult. The bill would require the CFPB to issue guidance that can be relied upon in good faith by business and consumers.
ALTA Board Approves Revisions to Closing Protection Letters
November 13, 2018
The ALTA Board of Governors approved a recommendation from the Forms Committee to revise the ALTA Closing Protection Letters (CPLs) and adopt four new endorsements. The revised CPLs provide more complete information and clearer coverage details for insureds as the industry faces the challenges of wire fraud. The deadline for comment is Nov. 30.
Compliance Webinar Recording: Marijuana Money
November 13, 2018
The interplay between the growing number of states legalizing cannabis and its continued criminalization at the federal level is creating stress on title and escrow companies across the nation. The title and escrow industry must carefully navigate the waters between meeting the growing demand caused by cannabis earnings coming into play in real estate transactions, and the increased costs and risks associated with complying with federal regulations implemented to try and reconcile the polarized federal and state cannabis positions. Purchase this webinar recording as Dennis R. Baranowski of Geraci Law Firm will help you learn how the conflicting treatment between federal and state law makes the closing of these transactions more complex and prone to pitfalls.
Simplifile Adds More Jurisdictions to E-recording Network
November 13, 2018
Simplifile announced that 30 additional recording jurisdictions located in nine states throughout the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic U.S. have joined Simplifile’s e-recording network.
ALTA Members Call to Action: The ALTA Registry Needs You
November 13, 2018
 SEC Warns Companies to Review Controls to Prevent Wire Fraud Attempts
November 8, 2018
On Oct. 16, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a report cautioning that public companies should consider cyber threats when implementing internal accounting controls. The report is based on the SEC Enforcement Division's investigations of nine public companies that fell victim to cyber fraud, losing millions of dollars in the process.
Tips to Protect Against Business Email Compromise Schemes
November 8, 2018
More than $675 million last year was stolen last year due to Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes, according to the FBI. That number jumps to an estimated $5 billion since 2013. Because of this threat, companies should review both their internal training as well as their technical safeguards to prevent these types of hacks.
Mortgage Payoff Statements Becoming Gateways to Mortgage Fraud, White Paper Says
November 8, 2018
Fraudsters increasingly are initiating wire fraud scams by targeting the industry practice of emailing or faxing payoff requests to title and escrow companies, according to a new white paper from CertifID.
 Webinar Recording: How to Apply Automation to Your Operation
November 8, 2018
The emergence of artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation and other technologies may seem daunting, but the solutions offer opportunities to help title and settlement companies meet evolving customer needs. Listen to this webinar recording and learn how certain innovations are being used in the industry and how it can unlock valuable employee time to work on revenue-generating business. You’ll walk away with a road map to automation and knowledge on what it takes to successfully implement and adopt technology that can simplify tasks, improve quality and reduce cost. Title Agents will need to understand Automation and AI Title Agents will need to partner with Automation and AI providers
Black Knight Integrates Nationwide Tax Solutions With RamQuest
November 8, 2018
The integration with Closing Market enables title companies to order Black Knight’s property tax data directly from their RamQuest title production system.
Old Republic Bolsters National Commercial Title Services Team
November 8, 2018
Old Republic Title announced it has promoted David Sallean to associate director of the company’s National Commercial Title Services group.
ALTA, Nevada Land Title Association Comment on Nevada’s RON Legislation
November 6, 2018
ALTA and the Nevada Land Title Association, along with the Mortgage Bankers Association submitted joint comments to the Nevada Secretary of State on its proposed regulations to implement remote online notary (RON) legislation that passed in 2017.
Stewart Announces Retirement of Group President
November 6, 2018
Stewart Information Services Corp. announced the planned retirement of Group President Patrick (Pat) Beall effective Dec. 31. Tara Smith, executive vice president and agency services senior director, will be promoted and named group president of agency services.
RamQuest Gives Back to A Place Called Home
November 6, 2018
In its ongoing initiative to support local charities and nonprofit organizations, RamQuest Inc, raised more than $1,300 for A Place Called Home (APCH) as part of the company’s ALTA ONE participation in October.
CATIC Launches Municipal Guides Mobile App
November 6, 2018
The new mobile app provides municipal information for every city and town in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Alliant National, Cloudstar Partner to Provide Cybersecurity Solutions to Agents
November 6, 2018
Alliant National Title Insurance Company and Cloudstar recently partnered to provide Alliant National’s independent title agents access to Cloudstar’s cybersecurity technology platform.
Spruce Names VP of Real Estate; Expands Into Texas
November 6, 2018
In this role, Lisa Robertson will be responsible for scaling Spruce’s title and closing operations and leading the company’s new office in Dallas.
‘You Feel Alright When You Hear the Music Ring’
November 1, 2018
Tapping into her love of music, ALTA President Cynthia Durham Blair NTP quoted from one of her favorite songs, “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits during her induction speech last month at ALTA ONE. In the opening verse, the group sings “you feel alright when you hear the music ring.” Blair encouraged attendees to get involved with the association—to network and learn—and understand all the tool and resources ALTA provides to help its members.
Earning NTP Shows Commitment, Dedication to Work Ethic
November 1, 2018
Marilyn De Luna of Edwards Abstract and Title Co. in Edinburg, Texas, shares why she earned her National Title Professional designation, whey she feels others should obtain the designation and shares a little about her time in the industry.
ALTA Grows Federal Lobbying Efforts
November 1, 2018
ALTA announced that Director of Public Policy Emily Tryon will assume additional responsibilities and lobby for the industry on Capitol Hill.
ALTA Awards NTP to Nebraska Professional
November 1, 2018
Justin Rhoades, title operations manager for DRI Title & Escrow and its affiliated companies, joins 94 other leaders from across the United States who also earned ALTA's National Title Professional designation.
We like you. Like, a lot.
October 31, 2018
We like you, you like us – why don’t we get a room and make it official?
Report Wire Transfer Fraud Activity to FBI
October 30, 2018
No matter the dollar loss, title and settlement companies are encouraged to report wire transfer fraud activity to the FBI. This will help the bureau have a better understanding of the frequency of the fraudulent activity.
TitleWave Real Estate Solutions Strengthens Bench
October 30, 2018
Theresa Kane-Mackenzie has joined TitleWave as vice president of Northeast sales, while Terri Renker has joined as vice president of Midwest sales for the company.
 Old Republic Reports Latest Earnings Results
October 30, 2018
Old Republic International reported that its title insurance segment posted pre-tax income of $67.7 million during the third quarter of 2018.
 Stewart Shares Q3 2018 Results
October 30, 2018
Stewart Information Services Corp. announced that its title segment posted pre-tax income of $36 million during the third quarter of 2018.
 Fidelity Announces Q3 Earnings
October 30, 2018
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title insurance segment posted pre-tax income of $309 million during the third quarter of 2018.
 First American Reports Q3 Results
October 30, 2018
First American Financial reported that its title insurance and services division posted pre-tax income of $206.5 million during the third quarter of 2018.
The Meaning Maker: Challenge Yourself to Make a Purposeful Impact
October 30, 2018
A catalyst for transformation, Phill Nosworthy provided insight to ALTA ONE attendees on how to make work and life meaningful in times of massive change. Read on for six tips to manufacture meaning in your operation.
CATIC Named to Banker & Tradesman's Best of 2018 List
October 30, 2018
CATIC, a bar-related underwriter based in Rocky Hill, Conn., was awarded bronze in the title company category in Banker & Tradesman “Best of 2018” readers’ poll.
Date Your Customer. Don’t Fight Your Competitor.
October 25, 2018
During his Omni Session at ALTA ONE titled “The Power of Little Ideas,” innovation expert David Robertson said that innovation can happen inside, outside and around the box. He said companies should focus on making small innovations around current processes to make their central product irresistible.
S.C. Man Sentenced for Forging Deeds to Steal Homes in Washington, D.C.
October 25, 2018
According to the government’s evidence, the man and others identified vacant or seemingly abandoned residential properties in the District of Columbia, and then prepared and filed forged deeds with the Recorder of Deeds transferring the properties into fictitious names.
Fannie Mae Economist: Pessimism Grows for Housing Sector
October 25, 2018
Fannie Mae’s chief economist Doug Duncan issued a warning for the housing sector due to the face that the fund rate has been essentially zero over the past decade.
Qualia Launches E-sign Product to Accelerate the Path Toward Digital Closings
October 25, 2018
Qualia unveiled an electronic signature product enabling its customers to share closing documents that can be reviewed and signed online with homebuyers and sellers without the need for any third-party integrations.
Investors Title Names Underwriting Counsel for Southeast
October 25, 2018
In this role, Wilson W. McDonald will provide underwriting assistance to agents and approved attorneys supported by the Southeast Regional Office, while contributing to risk management, business development and educational initiatives
ResWare Integrates RPost Email Security Software
October 25, 2018
The integration provides ResWare users with access RPost’s RMail email encryption and Registered Email certified e-delivery.
North American Title Names Division Manager
October 25, 2018
North American Title Co. has promoted Kim Melberg to division manager of Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano counties in California.
ALTA Names Winners of Inaugural Our Values Awards
October 23, 2018
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.
ALTA Establishes Digital Closing Committee
October 23, 2018
ALTA’s Board of Governors approved the formation of a Digital Closing Committee, which will focus on improving and innovating the real estate closing space and collaborating with industry stakeholders on digital closings.
Splash, Splash: Create a Title Wave
October 23, 2018
“Be proud to be a ‘title’ wave,” national poetry slam champion Sekou Andrews encouraged ALTA ONE attendees. “You can’t hide behind complacency. You must face waters unafraid if you want to defy convention. Make waves. Splash, splash!”
North American Title Appoints President of Texas Division
October 23, 2018
As Texas division president for North American Title Company, Laurie Leenhouts will oversee the company’s operations throughout the state.
CertifID Raises Wire Fraud Guarantee to $1 Million
October 23, 2018
The company said the increased coverage provides CertifID customers higher protection against wire fraud for commercial transactions and higher-value residential real estate markets. Given the record price appreciation nationwide, the increase ensures that nearly all purchases are properly protected, according to CertifID.
First American Launches E-closing Solution
October 23, 2018
The solution includes a mobile-friendly interface, consumer document preview, mobile notary digital scheduling, consumer appointment confirmation, e-signatures for hybrid e-closings and remote online notarization (RON) capabilities where approved for fully digital closings.
ePN Expands E-recording Network in Ohio
October 23, 2018
The Trumbull County Recorder’s Office in Ohio has been working on the integration process with eRecording Partners Network to accept most electronically submitted documents in their office for recording.
Westcor Title Agent Closes Its First RON Transaction in Ohio
October 23, 2018
Westcor Land Title Insurance Company announced that one of its agents, T-Title Agency Wadsworth Inc., closed its first remote online notarization transaction in Ohio.
Visionet Achieves Advanced Technology Partner Status in the Amazon Web Services Network
October 23, 2018
Visionet Systems Inc. recently achieved Advanced Technology Partner status in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN). This recognition was made possible because of Visionet’s title production platform, AtClose, which is hosted on AWS.
FFIEC Redesigns Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Website
October 18, 2018
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's (FFIEC) Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) InfoBase website was redesigned to improve site navigation, enhance search capabilities, provide mobile-friendly capability and add new functionality allowing users to download various sections of the FFIEC BSA/AML Examination Manual.
ALTA Names Cynthia Durham Blair NTP as President
October 18, 2018
“Helping unite our more than 6,300 members and the land title insurance industry under the ALTA umbrella is a job I am humbled to have and one I take seriously," said Cynthia Durham Blair NTP, who is a founding member of the law firm Blair Cato Pickren Casterline LLC in South Carolina. "I am enthused to start working on our upcoming strategic priorities alongside ALTA’s Board, staff and membership over the next year.”
ALTA Welcomes 2018-19 Board of Governors and Exec Committees
October 18, 2018
We decided to have a little fun since we were in Los Angeles for the installation of ALTA's 2018-19 Board of Governors. Check out who was nominated best actress and best foreign language film, as well as several other "awards."
North American Title Teams With Pavaso to Facilitate Digital Closings
October 18, 2018
North American Title Co. has partnered with Pavaso to more efficiently embed its title insurance and settlement services with lenders who are using the company’s digital closing platform for its borrower transactions.
AmTrust Title Partners With CertifID to Help Prevent Wire Fraud for Agents
October 18, 2018
AmTrust Title announced a new partnership to cover the costs associated with the use of CertifID’s wire fraud prevention platform for its network of title agents.
Ernst Integrates ALTA Registry Data Into Search Engine
October 18, 2018
Title agents that work with Ernst will be able to effortlessly share their ALTA ID, a unique 7-digit identifier, and their settlement fees with integration partners and lenders.
Qualia Integrates With Encompass Digital Mortgage Solution
October 18, 2018
Qualia’s integration provides loan originators access to over a thousand of the nation’s title companies, further streamlining all residential, commercial and refinance closing transactions.
ALTA Asks Bureau to Use Sandbox to Test Disclosure of Title Fees
October 18, 2018
ALTA has requested that the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection allow lenders and title companies to test the disclosure of title insurance fees to consumers under its TILA-RESPA Integrated Mortgage Disclosure rule (TRID) under the bureau’s Trial Disclosure Program.
Title Insurance is Efficacious
October 18, 2018
The title industry tends to forget that not everyone in the world experiences the value of our product and the protections provided by a title insurance policy.
ALTA Announces Title Webby Winners
October 12, 2018
The two Title Webbies were presented during ALTA ONE, the largest annual event for the land title insurance industry, currently being held Oct. 9-12 in Los Angeles. Nominees in the 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.
ALTA Engages Recruitment Consulting Firm for CEO Search
October 12, 2018
ALTA announced it has contracted with Korn Ferry, a global organizational consulting firm, to explore candidates for the association’s chief executive officer position.
NextAce Processes 10 Millionth Automated Title Report
October 12, 2018
This is a milestone for both the company and the title industry and shows how increased pressure on the industry to deliver faster title reports has driven the widespread adoption of automation solutions like NextAce.
The Closing Exchange Launches New Integrated Signing Services Platform
October 12, 2018
The Closing Exchange announced the launch of a new signing services platform, CXChoice, which provides the title and mortgage industry a flexible, highly-integrated system.
Intercontinental Exchange Completes Acquisition of MERS
October 12, 2018
Intercontinental Exchange Inc. ICE, an operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, announced it has acquired the remaining equity of MERSCORP Holding Inc., owner of Mortgage Electronic Registrations Systems, Inc. (MERS).
Simplifile Helps Complete West Virginia’s First E-recording Transaction
October 11, 2018
Simplifile recently helped facilitate the first e-recording transaction in West Virginia. The transaction was completed Aug. 24 in Monongalia County, W.Va., which is the first recording jurisdiction in the state to begin e-recording land documents.
Alliant National Announces Partnership with Qualia
October 11, 2018
Through this integration, Alliant National’s independent agents can issue policies, generate closing protection letters and calculate rates within Qualia.
Rynoh Launches User Interface Redesign
October 11, 2018
The redesigned user interface provides an updated look and feel coupled with select system enhancements.
Taylor Morrison Home Funding Integrates With LodeStar
October 11, 2018
The integration enables Taylor Morrison Home Funding to accurately quote Loan Estimate fees on new construction properties through Ellie Mae’s Encompass digital mortgage solution.  
ALTA ONE Education Sessions Live in 3, 2, 1...
October 9, 2018
Join us Oct. 10-12 on our Facebook page for live streaming of a specific selection of our Notable education sessions. Make sure to use our handle @ALTAonline and tag #ALTA18 to chat with us! We’re giving you free, unfettered access to exclusive ALTA ONE Notables.
Indiana Land Title Association Partners With Community College for Industry Education
October 4, 2018
Ivy Tech and Indiana Land Title Association's new Accreditation Subcommittee designed a technical certificate for 13 classes in the following areas to prepare students for a wide range of professions in the title industry: accounting, business, management, customer service, ethics, insurance, marketing, real estate, settlement service, and computer and informatics technology.
Senators Want GAO Report on Effectiveness of FinCEN’s Money Laundering GTOs
October 4, 2018
Two U.S. Senators have asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the issue of money laundering in real estate transactions and the effectiveness of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO). Since issuing the first GTO in January 2016, FinCEN has required title insurance companies—along with their subsidiaries and agents—to identify the individuals behind companies used to conduct high-end, all-cash real estate transactions in certain major jurisdictions.
AmTrust Grows Team in Carolinas
October 4, 2018
AmTrust Title Insurance Company has expanded its professional team in the Southeast by adding Mark Hungate as a regional sales representative and Jesse Cavett as underwriting counsel.
 Webinar Recording: Making Sense of Blockchain
October 4, 2018
Interest in how blockchain can improve the real estate transaction and recording of land records continues to grow with companies experimenting with proof of concepts and trials. However, questions persist about the true benefits and opportunities, and how broad adoption will be. During this webinar recording, SafeChain CEO Tony Franco provides a framework to confidently understand and measure blockchain projects in the title industry. You’ll learn the questions to ask and walk away with a scorecard to track results.
North American Title’s Western Region Counsel to Receive National Women in Law Award
October 4, 2018
Suzette Z. Torres, vice president and regional counsel for North American Title Co.’s (NATC) Western Region, received a Collaborative Leadership award as part of Corporate Counsel and Inside Counsel’s 2018 National Women in Law Awards.
WFG National Title Names SVP of National Business Development
October 4, 2018
As senior vice president of national business development, Matt Slonaker will lead the sales strategy efforts and work with company executives to drive organic revenue growth through the implementation of sales programs and strategic initiatives.
Title Industry Mentoring: Together Is Better
October 2, 2018
Title companies continuously face the challenge of retaining top talent. Establishing a mentoring program is one value-add that can extend the longevity—and loyalty—of employees. If your company does not have a mentor program, encourage your team to seek mentors to help them grow as leaders. The most effective mentoring relationships are not company assigned and they often grow out of friendships, as Betsy Russo and Elizabeth Daniel NTP can attest.
20 Benefits of Mentoring
October 2, 2018
The benefits of mentoring are many, and they’ll vary from program to program, participant to participant. Here’s a list of benefits often seen by the mentor, mentoree and organization.
CFPB Issues Request for Information on Data Collection
October 2, 2018
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) seeks comments and information to assist in assessing the overall effectiveness of the bureau’s data governance and collections efforts. Deadline to submit comments is Dec. 27, 2018.
AmTrust Grows South Florida Team
October 2, 2018
As counsel and sales representative, Monica Ferradaz Lopez will be responsible for business development, underwriting support and expanding AmTrust Title’s presence in Florida.
MBA Reports Commercial Real Estate Market Remains Strong
October 2, 2018
During the first half of 2018, commercial real estate sales volume was 3 percent higher than a year earlier, led by increases in multifamily (up 8 percent to $70 billion) and industrial (up 26 percent to $39 billion) properties, according to the MBA’s Second Quarter 2018 Commercial/Multifamily DataBook.
Old Republic Acquires E-Closing Software Provider
October 2, 2018
Old Republic Title announced it recently acquired iMarc Inc. (which does business as E-Closing), a software applications and systems development company that provides cloud-based title and closing software for small and mid-size title insurance agencies.
Agents National Title Names Texas Agency Manager
October 2, 2018
In this role, Mark Batis will establish Agents National Title Insurance Company's business operations and agency base in the state. He will also oversee agency operations, production and underwriting as well as manage all Texas personnel.
SoftPro Integrates With Attorneys Title Guaranty Fund
September 27, 2018
With this integration, SoftPro customers can request and receive underwriting approval through Attorneys Title Guaranty Fund's EPIC software. Users are also able to create CPL’s, commitments with the underwriter's predefined exception and requirement clauses, policies and endorsements.
Defy Convention at ALTA ONE
September 27, 2018
These are exciting and unprecedented times—not just in the title industry, but in all industries. Change is happening at an ever-increasing pace and unpredictability, bringing with it equal measures of risk and reward. Harnessing it early can provide you with an unassailable competitive advantage. The slightest hesitation can find you playing catch-up. Times like this call for an experience like ALTA ONE.
Catch a Glimpse of America’s Favorite Music Stars at ALTA ONE!
September 27, 2018
Attend ALTA ONE, and you might find a music celeb in your hotel elevator, spy an artist in your lobby or discover a superstar at the next table! The American Music Awards are being held on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the Microsoft Theater, right behind ALTA ONE’s home base at L.A. Live in Los Angeles.
Member of Nevada City-Based Conspiracy Sentenced for Multi-million Bank and Title Fraud Scheme
September 27, 2018
According to court documents, the conspirators caused a fake deed of reconveyance to be recorded, giving the appearance that the true mortgage loan had been discharged and that the true lienholder no longer had a security interest in the home.
Adeptive Partners with CertifID to Provide Integrated Wire Fraud Prevention
September 27, 2018
CertifID allows its customers to confirm seller wire instructions and for buyers to securely receive wire instructions, covering both sides of the transaction. With the ResWare integration, customers can leverage CertifID to confirm the validity of bank account details.
Managing By Metrics: How To Measure Your Success
September 27, 2018
In an industry fueled by people with detailed expertise and an extensive knowledge of the product and process, how do we blend that passion and knowledge with data and strategy to quickly evaluate our most profitable systems, processes and products? Andrew Acker, chief operating officer at D. Bello Associates, and Tish Bush, principle of TDB Advisors, will discuss this topic during the session “Managing By Metrics: How To Measure Your Success” at ALTA ONE.
The Ultimate Signer Experience: How Tech is Driving Change for Title Agencies
September 27, 2018
With so much riding on the home buying and seller process, it’s up to the title agent to ensure that the consumer’s experience is the best one they can have. So how are today’s mortgage technologies driving change when it comes to the signer experience? A group of industry experts will discuss this topic during the session “NextGen Closings” at ALTA ONE.
Simplifile Adds 29 Southeastern U.S. Counties To E-recording Network
September 27, 2018
Simplifile announced that 29 additional recording jurisdictions located in six southeastern states have joined Simplifile’s e-recording network.
Stewart Title Completes Its First E-closing in Minnesota
September 27, 2018
Stewart recently completed its first electronic closing in Minnesota with Fairway Independent Mortgage in Bloomington, Minn.
Last Chance to Register for Webinar: Are the Robots Coming for Your Job?
September 26, 2018
The emergence of artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation and other technologies may seem daunting, but the solutions offer opportunities to help title and settlement companies meet evolving customer needs. During this webinar, you’ll learn that no, the robots are not going to take your job. What you’ll learn is how certain innovations are being used in the industry and how it can unlock valuable employee time to work on revenue-generating business. You’ll walk away with knowledge on what it takes to successfully implement and adopt technology that can simplify tasks, improve quality and reduce cost. Register for today's free webinar, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT.
One-Day Passes Available for ALTA ONE
September 26, 2018
Summer is officially over, and you’re busier than ever. You have to get the kids to school, not to mention to all of their extra curriculars. You have meetings on the calendar that you just can’t miss. And the work piling up on your desk isn’t going to magically get done when you’re not around! That’s why ALTA ONE has One-Day Passes! Can’t get away for a week? Check out ALTA ONE for whichever day fits your schedule best.
4 Easy Steps to Establish Your ALTA Registry Listing
September 25, 2018
This guide will explain how a title agent can easily set up its own listing in the Registry Management System for confirmation by their underwriter.
ALTA Registry Q&A
September 25, 2018
Lenders want more information about the companies they do business with and need to ensure their risk-management procedures are being met. That’s where the ALTA Registry comes in. Even if you're an ALTA member, make sure you join the free ALTA Registry as well.
Let’s Talk Robots: How Will the Forces of Creative Destruction Impact the Title Industry?
September 25, 2018
We’ve all heard that artificial intelligence (AI), robots and automation will soon replace our jobs and many people feel real angst because of the perceived threat to their livelihoods. Yet, automation angst is not new. Read on to learn about the AI you're probably already using AI, but don't even know it, and how it can be applied to enhance your customer service.
CATIC Named Top Work Places in 2018 by Publication
September 25, 2018
CATIC, a Connecticut-based bar-related title insurance underwriter, has been named one of the “Top Work Places in 2018” in Connecticut by The Hartford Courant.
Stewart Names Underwriting Counsel for Southeast Region
September 25, 2018
As underwriting counsel and director of client learning to support independent agents in the Southeast region, Alan Parrish will be responsible for educating clients on underwriting essentials, monitoring regulatory changes and promoting Stewart’s educational resources across Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
364 Title Group Acquires Title Plants from CourthouseDirect.com
September 25, 2018
The companies involved in the deal include Integrity Title Company LLC, Integrity Title Records Ltd. LLP and Integrity Title Records of New Mexico LLC. Integrity has title plants in 81 counties in Texas and nine in New Mexico.
Anderson Biro Launches Ohio Staffing Division
September 25, 2018
Anderson|Biro LLC, a Cleveland-based executive search firm serving the real estate financial services sector, said the division will service clients that have a need for contract and temporary-to-permanent placements.
First American Title, TitleVest Honored by New York Law Journal
September 25, 2018
For the sixth consecutive year, First American earned the publication's Best Title Insurance Underwriter award, while TitleVest received the Best Title Agency award.
TitleSmart Expands Commercial Division
September 25, 2018
Timothy Thrush will lead the expanded commercial team for Minnesota-based TitleSmart Inc.
M&A Activity Intensifies in Title Space
September 20, 2018
In the title industry, deals have included underwriters acquiring other underwriters and title companies, private equity firms investing in the industry, title companies purchasing competitors, and insurers making deals to expand their offerings.
What’s Your Exit Strategy?
September 20, 2018
Thinking about selling your title company? Read on for a checklist of items you’ll want to gather to help the process.
Mergers & Acquisitions: Better Together
September 20, 2018
Have you ever felt the urge to sell your title agency, but you don’t know what it’s worth or where to start? Or are you on the flip side and curious about expanding by buying a title agency? Don't miss the session "Mergers & Acquisitions: Better Together" at ALTA ONE to learn how to prepare to sell your company
ALTA Director of State Government Affairs Named to PRIA Board
September 20, 2018
Elizabeth Blosser, ALTA’s director of state government affairs, joined five other professionals who were elected to serve two-year terms on the Property Records Industry Association’s (PRIA) Board of Directors.
Advocacy Gives You the Opportunity to Be a Difference Maker
September 20, 2018
There is no greater feeling than knowing you have made a difference! Imagine hearing about a recently passed piece of legislation in the news and knowing you had a voice in influencing how the bill was written. That is how many title industry professionals felt the evening of Dec. 15, 2017, when the final version of the tax reform bill was released. At During a session at ALTA ONE, industry experts will share how to build a brand that makes you an effective advocate for the title industry.
Time to Shake it Like a Polaroid
September 19, 2018
Networking is an art, but we make it easy at ALTA ONE with three chances to mingle, nibble and shake your groove thang! (Don’t worry, we’ll turn off the cameras if you want to dab, floss or get old school and break out the running man. No, really. We promise.)
 The Docket: Texas Federal Court Denies Motion for Remand On Title Dispute
September 18, 2018
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 a U.S. district court in Texas addressing a case where the title insurance company brought an action seeking declaratory relief against the plaintiffs regarding the existence of an alleged title insurance policy.
ALTA-supported Bill to Improve Guidance Issued by the CFPB Introduced in Senate
September 18, 2018
On Sept. 17, U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) introduced the ALTA-supported Give Useful Information to Define Effective Compliance Act (GUIDE Compliance Act). The GUIDE Compliance Act (S. 3443) would enhance transparency and predictability to the rulemaking process of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Fidelity Forms Alliance to Bring Blockchain to Commercial Market
September 18, 2018
Fidelity National Title announced a partnership with Building Block REIT to implement blockchain technology to multi-family, office space and mixed-use commercial real estate transactions and deliver greater value to their clients.
Stewart Acquires Tennessee-based Title Company
September 18, 2018
Stewart announced the acquisition of Southland Title and Escrow Co. in a move that bolstered its presence in the greater Nashville area.
CATIC Enters New Jersey Market
September 18, 2018
Jack Sudol will serve as New Jersey state manager, while Larry Bell has been named New Jersey state counsel for CATIC.
TIAC Marks 30 Years of Providing E&O Insurance
September 18, 2018
TIAC will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a reception for its members during ALTA ONE in Los Angeles in October.
HomePartners Expands Florida Footprint With Acquisition
September 18, 2018
Weston, Fla.-based HomePartners Title Services, the in-house title company for The Keyes Company, expanded its resources with the purchase of Title Network Inc.
Ernst Offers White-labeled Version of Smart Query
September 18, 2018
The new offering will allow settlement agents to place self-branded calculators on their websites and quote their own title premiums and settlement fees with guaranteed accuracy to any lender who requests it.
Notarize Integrates With ResWare
September 18, 2018
The integration allows ResWare customers to achieve paperless, online closings with the ability to automatically send closing documents to Notarize for e-signature and e-notarization.
Gain Iconic Status at ALTA ONE
September 13, 2018
An expert on innovation, David Robertson has dedicated his career to the art of how leading companies, such as Lego, Gatorade and Victoria’s Secret, practice genuine change. During the morning Omni Session on Oct. 11, Robertson will present the strategies big brands use to grow and evolve—and become iconic!
 Webinar Recording: Make Your Marketing Soar With Digital Advertising
September 13, 2018
The internet has changed the way that people shop for everything—including real estate. Digital marketing is the best way to engage customers in the electronic age. While terms such as “costs-per-lead” to “ad servers” may be overwhelming, getting into this space is vital for companies wanting to stay relevant. Listen to this webinar recording and learn the about the digital advertising opportunities that exist for the average title agency and how you can get started with a nominal budget. The webinar also provides a walk-through on how to create your own images and place a digital ad.
 Q2 2018 Title Premium Volume Up 2.8 Percent
September 13, 2018
The title insurance industry generated $3.8 billion in title insurance premiums during the second quarter of 2018 compared to $3.7 billion during the same period a year ago, according to ALTA’s latest Market Share Analysis.
Qualia Adds Notary Service to Software Platform
September 13, 2018
Qualia’s said its title, escrow and closing software platform now offers notary services built into its product as a native feature, streamlining the workflow and avoiding risk of lost paperwork.
Remote in Location Only
September 13, 2018
Working remotely for many individuals is one of the most important factors in deciding on a new job. It is the responsibility of the employer and managers to understand this and establish both technology and communication skills to make the relationship with remote employees work for everyone. Cheryl Cowherd of Agents National Title Insurance Co. will discuss this topic during during a session at ALTA ONE.
It’s Time to Overhaul Your Website
September 13, 2018
In today’s world, your website is your digital business card. Whether you market directly to consumers or are B2B, your website is likely to be seen far before your office. Read on for some tips on how to approach a website overhaul or update.
SafeChain to Integrate ALTA Registry into Its Real Estate Wire Fraud Prevention Platform
September 13, 2018
ALTA announced that SafeChain will integrate the national ALTA Registry into its real estate wire fraud prevention platform SafeWire. Through the integration, mortgage lenders will be able to search the Registry and verify the identity of title insurance agents and settlement companies, providing an enhanced level of efficiency and security to the real estate transaction.
ALTA ONE Adds 'Meaning Maker' to Speaker Lineup
September 12, 2018
A catalyst for transformation, Phill Nosworthy equips leaders with insights for making work and life meaningful in times of massive change. He is an executive advisor, futurist, speaker and author whose insights into personal mastery and the future of work have gained him a following among high performers in Fortune-listed companies all over the world. Come see Phill at ALTA ONE and learn how to make a difference in your life, your confidence and how you “show up!”
PropLogix Integrates With DoubleTime
September 11, 2018
The new integration enables DoubleTime clients to order PropLogix’s municipal lien searches, association estoppels, surveys and payoff tracking from within its closing software.
Ohio-based Heartland BankCorp to Purchase Title Agency
September 11, 2018
Heartland BancCorp, parent company of Heartland Bank, announced Sept. 4 that it entered into an agreement to purchase TransCounty Title Agency, which has three branch locations and two additional closing locations in central Ohio.
RamQuest Gives Back to Teachers
September 11, 2018
As part of an ongoing initiative aimed at supporting local charities and other nonprofit organizations, RamQuest Inc. and its employees provided back-to-school support for Plano ISD teachers.
ALTA Says Any Plan to Reform Housing Finance System Must Preserve Uniform Underwriting Standards
September 11, 2018
On Sept. 6, U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) unveiled a reform plan that would repeal the charters of the government sponsored entities (GSEs). In response, ALTA said that any plan to reform the U.S. housing finance system must preserve the uniform standards currently provided by the Freddie Mac and Fannie, including title insurance.
2018-19 Nominations for ALTA Board and Executive Committees
September 11, 2018
ALTA’s Nominating Committee is pleased to present the list of nominations for the 2018-19 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 ALTA ONE, which will be held Oct. 9-12 in Los Angeles.
 Don't Miss Out: Register for ALTA ONE
September 11, 2018
These are exciting and unprecedented times, not just in the title industry, but in all industries. Change is happening at an ever-increasing pace and unpredictability, bringing with it equal measures of risk and reward. Harnessing it early can provide you with an unassailable competitive advantage. The slightest hesitation can find you playing catch up. Unconventional times call for unconventional solutions. And times like this call for an experience like ALTA ONE. Here, you’ll join visionaries, thought leaders, and influencers—people like you who are willing to challenge the norm and chart a bold new course. At ALTA ONE, you’ll connect with thousands of colleagues from across the nation who are embracing change to raise the bar for their businesses, protect the property rights of American homebuyers, and solidify the title industry’s place in our nation’s economy. To register, go to https://meetings.alta.org/one/
Don’t Be a Claims Casualty
September 6, 2018
2017 was a very good year for the title industry from both a financial and claims perspective. And yet the industry incurred more than $629 million in claim losses and loss allocation expense. There are reasons to believe that claim losses will be on the rise once again.
What’s Your Culture Profile?
September 6, 2018
What’s Your Residential Number?
September 6, 2018
We all see numbers every day, but do we ever look at the numbers that affect our business?
Title Industry's Future Is Bright
September 6, 2018
As you may already know through the Advocacy Update or word of mouth, today is my last day as CEO of ALTA. The decision to move to another association was one I did not make lightly. You should feel confident that the association has never been stronger. Not only has ALTA enjoyed record membership for the ninth consecutive year, engagement among the members is robust and enthusiastic. Your ALTA team is bright, focused and connected to you. Importantly, the ALTA Board is cohesive and collaborative, but not afraid to challenge one another.
Building a Big Tent
September 6, 2018
By embracing ALTA’s mission of improving the skills and knowledge of those in the industry, advocating for member concerns and standardizing products for industry use, Michelle Korsmo tirelessly worked to serve all companies in the industry, focused on their common issues, to help prepare them to be successful in a changing marketplace.
Free Webinar: Making Sense of Blockchain
September 5, 2018
Interest in how blockchain can improve the real estate transaction and recording of land records continues to grow with companies experimenting with proof of concepts and trials. However, questions persist about the true benefits and opportunities, and how broad adoption will be. During this webinar, a blockchain thought leader will provide a framework to confidently understand and measure blockchain projects in the title industry. You’ll learn the questions to ask and walk away with a scorecard to track results.
SafeChain Facilitates Sale of Foreclosures in Ohio via Blockchain
September 5, 2018
In partnership with the auditor’s office in Franklin County, SafeChain announced it successfully facilitated the sale of 36 forfeiture properties via blockchain.
Knight Barry Title Expands Footprint in Wisconsin
September 4, 2018
Wisconsin-based Knight Barry Title Group recently acquired River Title Company, which gives the company its first office in Rock County, Wis.
Ohio-based Title First Adds Three to Team
September 4, 2018
Title First Agency Inc. announced it has hired two new employees in its commercial division and added one in its residential division.
Equity National Title Launches Transaction Management Application
September 4, 2018
Equity National Title has launched a transaction management application that allows all parties to monitor the status of a real estate transaction in real time.
Majority of BEC Emails Don't Include Phishing Links
August 30, 2018
Barracuda analyzed 3,000 randomly selected business email compromise attacks and found that 60 percent of the attacks didn’t include a link. The report found that the attacks more often than not are a plain text email intended to fool the recipient to commit a wire transfer or send sensitive information.
Agents and Underwriters: Creating a More Profitable Relationship
August 30, 2018
Despite having the same goal of getting the transaction closed and issuing the policy to the consumer, the dynamic between an agent and an underwriter can be difficult. Want to learn how to make this relationship work for you and make your business more efficient and profitable? David Townsend, president and CEO of Agents National Title Insurance Company, and Nicole Plath, CEO and owner of Fortune Title Agency Inc., will speak more in depth about this topic during the session titled “Agents and Underwriters: Creating a More Profitable Relationship” at ALTA ONE.
What’s Past Your Finish Line?
August 30, 2018
Have you ever noticed that referrals are sort of like the calories you continue to burn after a hard workout? Similarly, can you position your business up to and beyond the closing, so that you can continue to enjoy the extra benefits of repeat business as well?
 Flexibility and Education Critical to Working With Multicultural Buyers and Sellers
August 30, 2018
Title companies working with multicultural home buyers and sellers should be mindful of important cultural differences, customs and preferences.
NAR: International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate Market Declines
August 30, 2018
According to the National Association of Realtor’s 2018 Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate, foreign buyers and recent immigrants accounted for 8 percent of the $1.6 trillion existing home sales, a decrease from 10 percent during the 12-month period that ended March 2017.
Discover Your Leadership Style
August 30, 2018
To be successful as leaders you must have passion, drive and commitment. In this era of unrelenting change, it is harder than ever for our overburdened managers to be passionate about their work. Natalie I. Lancaster will speak more in depth about this topic at ALTA ONE during a session titled “Discovering Your Leadership Style.”
Security Title Guarantee Corporation of Baltimore Unveils New Website
August 30, 2018
Along with easier navigation, the underwriter said the new website includes agent and closing letter verification tools for enhanced security and information designed to educate potential customers.
Confront the Future of Technology at ALTA ONE
August 29, 2018
The Future is Here: Are you Ready?

We may not be in “Blade Runner” territory quite yet, but technology certainly is a pillar of our everyday lives: personal and business. Is your company prepared for what's coming in 2019? At ALTA ONE, our “Confront the Future” track will stimulate you to not just plan but get excited to jump into tomorrow with both feet!

Compliance Webinar Recording: Money Laundering
August 28, 2018
During this webinar recording, an anti-money laundering expert explains what money laundering is, addresses the various types of money laundering schemes, shares how to spot red flags, explains responsibilities and liabilities, and provides action items to improve your operations.
Two Courts Rule Crime Policies Cover Wire Fraud, Business Email Compromise
August 28, 2018
Whether wire transfer fraud or business email compromise attacks are covered under cyber insurance policies typically depends on what type of policy was purchased and the company's location. Two federal circuit courts recently found coverage under a crime policy’s computer fraud provision for losses from a spoofing attack. This contrasts a series of past cases that limited coverage. Read on to learn the safest course of action.
Columbia, Mo., Resident Receives ALTA National Title Professional Designation
August 28, 2018
Chuck Bowman joins more than 80 other industry leaders from around the United States who have earned the professional designation.
Title Alliance Expands Into New Mexico
August 28, 2018
A partnership with RE/MAX SELECT gives Title Alliance its first location in New Mexico.
North American Title Opens New Office in Indiana
August 28, 2018
The office in Marion, which opened its doors on Aug. 1, marks the fifth office the company has opened in Indiana since 2015.
Fortune Title Agency Launches Enhanced Website
August 28, 2018
Roseland, N.J.-based Fortune Title Agency, which serves New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, launched a new website to better connect digitally with its customers.
The Docket: Virginia Court Addresses Need for Corrective Instruments Involving Trusts
August 23, 2018
Stephen Gregory, of counsel for the law firm Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, provided today’s review of a decision by circuit court in Virginia that addressed the conveyance of an easement burdening property that had been conveyed into a trust. Read on to learn why this ruling is important to the title industry.
Is Everyone on the Hook for Wire Fraud?
August 23, 2018
According to a white paper by CertifID, a recent federal court ruling means that anyone—including title agents, underwriters, real estate agents and mortgage lenders—involved in a real estate transaction may be held liable where fraud occurs, regardless of the relationship between the parties.
California Approves State’s ‘First Insurtech’ Title Insurer
August 23, 2018
The California Department of Insurance on Aug. 21 announced that it approved the license for States Title. The department said the Silicon Valley-based startup is the first insuretech title insurer licensed and domiciled in California.
Stewart Celebrates 80-year Milestone of Stewart Morris Sr.
August 23, 2018
Stewart Morris Sr. worked his way from office boy to past president and past co-chief executive officer of Stewart Information Services Corporation. Even at 98 years old, Morris can still be found in his office, meeting, engaging with customers and motivating leaders.
Senate Banking Committee Confirms Kraninger for CFPB Director
August 23, 2018
The Senate Banking Committee on Aug. 23 voted along party lines to confirm Kathy Kraninger’s nomination to serve as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
NATIC Adds Qualia to AgentMarketplace Program
August 23, 2018
North American Title Insurance Co. has integrated with Qualia’s title, escrow and closing software platform and named technology provider to its AgentMarketplace program.
Where are Our Future Leaders?
August 23, 2018
Frank Pellegrini, president of Prairie Title Services Inc., will explore how to identify and develop the future leaders of our organizations during the session “Finding Your Company’s Future Leaders” during ALTA ONE. The discussion will focus on the attributes of great leaders and how those skills, qualities and characteristics are deployed to establish and maintain an environment of trust, mutual respect and collective development.
Death of a Salesman … Birth of a Sales Team
August 23, 2018
Cynthia McGovern, CEO and First Lady of Sales of Orange Leaf Consulting, will explore ways to bring the new era of sales to life during the session “Birth of a Sales Team” during ALTA ONE.
Why Did Your Underwriter Ask for THAT on this Commercial Deal?
August 23, 2018
Marjorie Bardwell, director of underwriting services at Fidelity National Title Group, will help you understand what to expect when dealing with commercial transactions and share a few tips on how to make the order move along more smoothly during the session “Why Did Your Underwriter Ask for THAT on this Commercial Deal?” at ALTA ONE.
Protect Your Business from Online Fraud
August 22, 2018
At ALTA ONE, we've lined up three Notable sessions to help ensure your business doesn't become another statistic.
Download ALTA's Rapid Response Plan for Wire Fraud Incidents
August 21, 2018
Wire transfer fraud is a threat to every title operation regardless of size, location or years in business. That’s why ALTA created a 10-step guide on what to do if they’ve been hit by wire fraud. Read on to download the rapid response plan.
Will Your Company’s Insurance Cover Losses Due to Phishing and Social Engineering Fraud?
August 21, 2018
If your company fell victim to a business email compromise, would your insurance cover your loss? Scott Godes of the law firm Barnes & Thornburg LLP provides six tips to evaluate and seek coverage for these scams.
How the Title Industry Can Help Puerto Rico Disaster Recovery
August 21, 2018
In Puerto Rico, thousands are struggling to access federal aid to rebuild because they cannot prove they hold title to their homes. This problem has put a spotlight on the importance of accurate and robust public land records, and sparked responses from a variety of policymakers. That's why ALTA has created a workgroup to ensure that ALTA members share their expertise in the practice, maintenance and protection of public land records with the policymakers working to address this issue. Read on for information on how to participate.
ALTA Member Companies Recognized Among Fastest-growing by Inc. Magazine
August 21, 2018
ALTA member companies to make the list include PropLogix (528), First National Title Insurance Co. (1,961), RynohLive (2,008), Capital Title of Texas (2,705), TitleSmart (3,243), Sun Title Agency (3,436), Priority Title & Escrow (3,894), Signature Closers (3,970), Alliant National Title Insurance Co. (3,989) and Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. (4,189).
ALTA Member Facilitates Sale of California Ghost Town
August 21, 2018
Inyo-Mono Title Company handled the closing of the $1.4 million purchase of Cerro Gordo, a deserted mining town near Lone Pine, Calif. The transaction closed last month on Friday, July 13.
PropLogix Appoints Vice President of Product
August 21, 2018
David Daley, who has over 20 years of industry experience, will serve as PropLogix's first vice president of product.
GRS Title Services Expands to Kansas City
August 21, 2018
The company named Tammy L. Stribling as director of the new office.
SoftPro Integrates with SafeChain
August 21, 2018
SoftPro has integrated its 360 business exchange platform with SafeChain’s fraud prevention software for title professionals.
Senate Panel Reschedules Vote on CFPB Director Nominee
August 16, 2018
The Senate Banking Committee has rescheduled an executive session for Aug. 23 to vote on Kathy Kraninger’s nomination to serve as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Yes, There’s Still RESPA Enforcement
August 16, 2018
While the PHH decision gives greater clarity to marketing service agreements and affiliated business arrangements, the decision did not rescind RESPA. The CFPB has developed clear guidelines on unacceptable activities.
Why Buying Title Insurance Isn’t like Buying Shoes Online
August 16, 2018
Let’s say you own an e-commerce shoe store. Tracking how many people purchase the shoes from your online marketing is pretty simple. A certain number of people view your online ad. Some of them click the ad. Some those people add the shoes to their shopping cart. Most of those people purchase the shoes. People don’t shop for title insurance the same way.
The Key to Innovation Is Locked Up In Your Culture
August 16, 2018
It takes an open, forward-thinking vision toward innovation to be a leader in the industry. But how the culture of a team is shaped determines how well equipped that team will be in making that vision a reality.
Planning for the Medium Term
August 16, 2018
As managers, it’s tempting to focus on the short-term profitability or long-term strategic bets on the future of the business. What gets lost is the need to successfully manage for the medium term—to navigate between decisions that will help you get the next deal and those that will get your next 100.
IRS Issues Proposed Regulations on Pass-through Business Deduction
August 16, 2018
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Aug. 8 issued proposed regulations outlining which pass-through businesses will be eligible for the 20-percent deduction enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). To the benefit of ALTA members, the IRS took a narrow reading of the law and will allow insurance agents and real estate professionals to qualify for the deduction.
Tridster Launches Title Fee Comparison Tool in Virginia
August 16, 2018
Tridster, which is backed by One Zero Capital, also offers its comparison tool in Pennsylvania.
Fannie Mae SVP and Chief Economist Joins ALTA ONE Lineup!
August 15, 2018
During an Omni Session at ALTA ONE, Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist for Fannie Mae, will discuss "What's Next After a Decade of Steady Growth?" and help you get ready to face the future.
ALTA Talks Wire Fraud With Regulators at NAIC Summer Meeting
August 9, 2018
The ALTA Registry and ALTA’s Rapid Response Plan for Wire Fraud Incidents were the main discussion topics during the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Title Insurance Task Force summer meeting in Boston.
ALTA Membership Enhances Your Online Presence
August 9, 2018
Did you know that a membership with ALTA enhances your online presence and helps you connect with consumers? ALTA members are listed on Home Closing 101, ALTA’s consumer-facing website that educates consumers about title insurance and the closing process. Consumers can also search for companies that provide title and closing services in their area.
North American Title Names Manager for Arizona
August 9, 2018
As division manager for North American Title's Arizona region, Lauri Gallagher will oversee title and escrow operations, as well as business development for the area.
Old Republic Title Acquires San Antonio Division of Trinity Title of Texas
August 9, 2018
Established in 2009 as a partnership with ET Investments LLC, the San Antonio division of Trinity Title of Texas is a long-standing agent of Old Republic National Title.
SoftPro Named Best Place to Work by Triangle Business Journal
August 9, 2018
For the seventh consecutive year, SoftPro was named one of Triangle Business Journal’s Best Places to Work. SoftPro is among 50 “Triangle” (Research Triangle Park) businesses representing the 2018 winners.
MISMO Seeks Participants for Third-Party Risk Management Groups
August 9, 2018
The first group will provide a forum for industry-wide discussion of issues associated with the use of third-party service providers, while another group is charged with adopting a standard list of questions that lenders and servicers can use to assess third parties.
Early Bird Pricing for ALTA ONE Ends August 13
August 8, 2018
If you’ve been thinking about going to ALTA ONE now is the time to act: Take advantage of our Early Bird Pricing and sign up before Monday, Aug. 13 to save $100 off your registration.
 Who Is Fifth Wall and Why You Should Care
August 7, 2018
The Los Angeles-based venture capital firm Fifth Wall Ventures is a company that’s stepped to the forefront partnering with several companies leveraging technology in the real estate, and title and settlement space.
 Old Republic Reports Q2 Earnings Results
August 7, 2018
Old Republic International reported that its title insurance segment generated pre-tax earnings of $60.9 million during the second quarter of 2018. This compared to $65 million in pre-tax earnings during the same period a year ago.
Spruce Raises $15.6M in Venture Capital
August 7, 2018
The company said it will use the funding to continue growing its team and building its proprietary technology, which allows lenders and real estate companies to manage the title and closing process via APIs and by providing a digital closing experience to homeowners to manage their closing online.
 Investors Title Announces Q2 Financial Results
August 7, 2018
Investors Title Company, a North Carolina-based underwriter, reported pre-tax earnings of $8.8 million during the second quarter of 2018. This is up from $8.3 million in pre-tax earnings during the same period a year ago.
WFG National Title Names Compliance and National Training Manager
August 7, 2018
In this role, Theresa Williamson will manage the company’s existing learning management platform, WFG Scholar, as well as overseeing the transition to a new platform in the near future. In addition, Williamson will be working closely with all WFG branch offices and affiliated companies to ensure the compliance department provides the support and training needed for growth of each operation.
Join the ALTA Registry!
August 6, 2018
Did you know that more than 6,000 of your competitors' locations are already confirmed in the ALTA Registry? As a valued customer, we want to make sure you don't miss out. The ALTA Registry is open for business, and joining the ALTA Registry is free. Even if you're an ALTA member or policy forms license holder, make sure you join the ALTA Registry as well.
Treasury Recommends Improvements to Electronic Closing and Recording Process
August 2, 2018
In a report aimed at identifying improvements to the regulatory landscape that will better support financial technology and foster innovation, the U.S. Department of the Treasury offered three key recommendations to improve the electronic closing and recording process. Treasury consulted with ALTA staff while preparing the report, which identifies existing hurdles in the market and encourages states to pursue legislation that recognizes remote online notarizations and for all counties to implement technology that accepts e-recordings.
 First American Acquires Four Companies During Q2
August 2, 2018
The most significant purchase was the acquisition of PCN, which offers a software platform known as Safe Escrow that enables a more efficient, secure closing process.
‘NTP Designation Isn’t Just Another Thing—It’s Another Level’
August 2, 2018
 The Docket:  Exclusion 3(a) and The Fortuity Doctrine
August 2, 2018
Lance Pomerantz, a New York-based sole practitioner and a member of ALTA's Title Counsel, reviews a recent Texas case that applied policy exclusion 3(a) and the fortuity doctrine to relieve an insurer of coverage. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
Tohickon Settlement Services Acquires Competitor in Pennsylvania
August 2, 2018
Tohickon Settlement Services, serving Pennsylvania and New Jersey for over 40 years, recently acquired American Land Transfer and its affiliates, Fonthill Abstract Co. and C.B. Search & Abstract.
Amrock Completes Its First E-closing in North Carolina
August 2, 2018
Amrock completed its first electronic closing in North Carolina. The mortgage was closed with the help of Pavaso’s Digital Close Platform incorporating In-Person Electronic Notarization (IPEN) technology. N.C-based law firm Brady & Kosofsky served as the signing agent.
Register for ALTA ONE for Chance to Hear National Poetry Slam Champion
August 1, 2018
Do you want to be inspired? Are you ready to be surprised? It's time to reclaim your SPARK. Let a master storyteller help you expand your possibilities at ALTA ONE, the un-convention.
 Flexibility With Customer Service
July 31, 2018
Customer service is an intangible commodity that can vary from person to person based on their perspective, perception, experience and personal life. The list can go on and on. You could equate customer service to trying to nail water to a board. What works for one location or with one client may not be the formula to have the same positive result with someone else.
 First American Reports Second Quarter Results
July 31, 2018
First American Financial Corp. reported that its title insurance segment posted pre-tax earnings of $209.6 million during the second quarter of 2018. This compared to $197.3 million in pre-tax earnings during the same period a year ago.
Thomas Title & Escrow Expands in Texas
July 31, 2018
Arizona-based Thomas Title & Escrow continued its expansion in the Texas market with the opening of its second office in House.
ALTA Announces Qualia as an Elite Provider
July 31, 2018
ALTA’s Elite Provider Program is comprised of premier service providers such as Qulia that are 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.
Simplifile Surpasses 1,800 Counties
July 26, 2018
The milestones means Simplifile now provides electronic recording to more than half of the counties in the nation.
 The Docket: Indiana Court Addresses Insured’s Negligent Misrepresentation Claim
July 26, 2018
Christopher Smart, a shareholder with the law firm Carlton Fields, provided today’s review of a ruling by an Indiana appellate court, which upheld a trial court’s decision in favor of an underwriter accused of negligent misrepresentation and bad faith. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the industry.
CATIC Names Claims Counsel
July 26, 2018
In this role, Joseph J. Taborsak will handle title claims filed under CATIC title insurance policies.
ClosingCorp: Closing Costs Average $5,651
July 26, 2018
The national average closing costs for a single-family property totaled $5,651 including taxes and $3,438 excluding taxes, according to data released by ClosingCorp.
Discover How to Confront the Future of Real Estate at ALTA ONE!
July 25, 2018
Defy Convention with 1,000+ of your title insurance colleagues at ALTA ONE, the un-convention! Join the industry's thought leaders and influencers--people just like you who are willing to challenge conventional wisdom and chart a bold new course for your business and our industry's future.
 Stewart Reports Second-quarter 2018 Results
July 24, 2018
Stewart Information Services Corp. reported that its title segment generated $37.7 million in pre-tax income during the second quarter of 2018.
 Our Values: People, Process and Then Technology
July 24, 2018
Bill Svoboda, co-founder of CloseSimple, talks about the importance of customer service, developing core values and following them. "It's people, process, and then technology," he says. "Don’t just write values on the wall. Do it. Make something that the consumer, the real estate agent, every party, can’t imagine without you in the center."
Nominate Someone for an ALTA Values Award
July 24, 2018
Do you know someone in the industry who exudes ALTA’s Our Values of leading, delivering or protecting? If so, nominate them for ALTA’s Values Award. Winners will be recognized at ALTA ONE in October.
 Fidelity Reports Q2 Results
July 24, 2018
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title division generated adjusted pre-tax earnings of $338 million during the second quarter of 2018. The pre-tax earnings and 17.1 percent adjusted pre-tax title margin was the company’s best quarterly performance in 15 years, according to Fidelity Chairman Bill Foley.
Title Company Completes Remote Online Notarization Closing in Washington
July 24, 2018
Westcor Land Title Insurance Company announced that one of its agent, Nextitle, has completed the first remote online notarization closing in Washington.
NATIC Appoints Agency Manager for Minnesota and Wisconsin
July 24, 2018
In this role, John Mac Lean will oversee agency operations throughout those two states, while securing and servicing title insurance agents to promote new and increased business activity.
Austin Data Selects Data Trace to Manage Title Plants in Central Texas
July 24, 2018
DataTrace Information Services LLC announced a 10-year agreement with Austin Data Inc. to host and manage its entire footprint of title plants in central Texas, spanning Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, Caldwell, Burnet and Llano counties.
Title Resources Partners With Notarize to Support Digital Closings
July 24, 2018
The partnership will allow agents of Title Resources to complete complete fully digital online closings utilizing Notarize platform offerings.
SoftPro Partners with Real Estate Data Shield for Cyber Security Training
July 19, 2018
SoftPro has partnered with Real Estate Data Shield (REDS) to provide its customers preferred access to cybersecurity training.
Stewart Completes Fully Digital Online Closing in Texas
July 19, 2018
Using Notarize's closing portal, Stewart electronically executed all lender and title closing documents for a real estate transaction with Georgetown Mortgage in Texas.
WFG Appoints President of Colorado Division
July 19, 2018
As president of WFG National Title Company of Colorado, Anne-Marie Kuhlman will oversee and spearhead company growth throughout the Colorado market.
Investors Title Names VP of Commercial Services Division
July 19, 2018
As vice president of commercial services and regional title counsel, Tabatha Cruden will focus on commercial and residential real estate business development and underwriting.
Accurate Group Partners With NotaryCam to Offer Remote Online Notarizations
July 19, 2018
Accurate Group has partnered with NotaryCam to provide remote online notarization services through its NotaryWorks solution.
Community Closing Network’s Title Subsidiaries Achieve Certification to ALTA’s Best Practices
July 19, 2018
Community Closing Network LLC (CCN) and its subsidiary agencies, including Community Title Network, Continental Title Group, Real Estate Title & Escrow, and Homesale Settlement Services, recently obtained certification to ALTA’s Best Practices from PYA.
Latest Claims Guide Features 200+ NEW Court Decisions
July 18, 2018
Need advice on how to handle claims on title insurance policies, closing protection letters, and closing mistakes? Subscribe to the 2018 edition of the Title and Escrow Claims Guide today!
ALTA Announces Resignation of CEO Michelle Korsmo
July 18, 2018
Michelle Korsmo joined ALTA in April 2008 and has served as CEO since August 2011. Under her leadership, ALTA has doubled its membership and revenue, in addition to nearly tripling fundraising for the Title Industry Political Action Committee. In the past few years, the association has instituted an industry-wide licensing program as well as a best-practices standard.
 California Data Privacy Law Impact on Business
July 17, 2018
California’s sweeping data privacy Law signed into law in June will apply to more than 500,000 companies in the United States when it goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020. The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 gives consumers control over their personal information including the right to know what information companies are collecting about them, how it is used and if it is sold to third parties. Consumers will also have the right to prohibit companies from sharing their personal data.
Judge Grants Stay to Delay Implementation of New Financial Interest Form in Illinois
July 17, 2018
Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund Inc. prevailed in its request for a stay of implementation of a revised disclosure of financial interest form (DS-1) developed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The judge found compelling ATG’s argument that attorneys should not be required to disclose their fees to third parties and that the IDFPR does not have the authority to regulate attorneys’ fees.
Compliance Webinar: Transitioning to Digital and Remote Online Notary Closings
July 12, 2018
Companies are implementing new technology—such as remote online notarization—to deliver efficiencies and make closings more transparent. These advances have the potential to improve the customer experience and understanding at the closing table. Purchase a recording of this compliance webinar as industry experts discuss how your company can overcome barriers to implementing a digital closing process, capture market share and comply with federal and state rules.
U.S. Representative Asks Federal Reserve to Help Prevent Wire Fraud
July 10, 2018
In a letter, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) asked Federal Reserve System Chair Jerome Powell if the Federal Reserve has considered requiring financial institutions to apply payee matching when initiating a wire transfer?
Last Chance to Register for Digital Advertising Webinar
July 10, 2018
The internet has changed the way that people shop for everything—including real estate. Digital marketing is the best way to engage customers in the electronic age. While terms such as “costs-per-lead” to “ad servers” may be overwhelming, getting into this space is vital for companies wanting to stay relevant. Register for ALTA’s next Title Topics webinar, which will be held today from 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT, as we discuss why title companies should consider digital advertising, what opportunities exist for the average title agency and how you can get started with a nominal budget. We’ll also provide a walk-through on how to place a digital ad and show you how to create your own images.
House Committee Passes Bill Exempting Charities from TRID
July 10, 2018
Introduced by Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), the Building Up Independent Lives and Dreams (BUILD) Act would roll back TRID requirements and allow charities that originate 0% interest rate mortgages to use the Good Faith Estimate, Truth-In-Lending and HUD-1 forms instead of the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure.
Webinar Recording: Changing Face of Fraud
July 10, 2018
Cyberfraud continues to explode in the title industry—and it’s evolving to become more and more effective. During this webinar recording, industry experts and regulators map out an overview of cyberfraud trends, revealing the latest official statistics as well as forecasting fraud’s impact on the title and mortgage industry this year. They also describe and analyze a number of seller-side and buyer-side fraud attacks, review the inner workings of phishing and social engineering techniques often used to launch a fraud and discuss the best practices that could effectively reduce your risk profile.
 Anatomy of a Business Email Compromise Scheme
July 10, 2018
Last month, federal officials announced a recent effort to disrupt business email compromise (BEC) schemes designed to intercept and hijack wire transfers from businesses and individuals. The operation resulted in the arrest of eight individuals for their roles in a widespread, Africa-based cyber conspiracy that allegedly defrauded U.S. companies and citizens of approximately $15 million since at least 2012. Read on to learn how the scam was carried out.
What do Cocktails have to do With Blockchain?
July 10, 2018
Blockchain, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and smart contracts are the kinds of topics that can be difficult for everybody to approach with the same level of understanding. That's why ALTA has created a workgroup to help interested ALTA members understand these various technology solutions. Read on for information on how to participate.
American Secure Title Acquires Landmark Title
July 10, 2018
Utah-based American Secure Title announced its acquisition of Landmark Title Company, a Salt Lake City-based title agency.
Pavaso Adds Remote Online Notarization to E-closing Platform
July 10, 2018
Pavaso’s development of its remote online notarization tool provides its users the ability to conduct the entire closing (including notarization) using a single electronic portal through the Digital Close Enterprise eClosing platform.
Our Values: Importance of Involving Staff
July 5, 2018
ALTA President-elect Cynthia Blair NTP offers insight into how ALTA developed the Our Values initiative and why it's important for title companies and law firms to really understand who they are. "It's important to go through this process, involve staff and get their buy-in."
 Bitcoin Bonanza Hits Real Estate
June 28, 2018
With digital currencies gaining traction, title and settlement companies must have policies and procedures in place to handle these transactions.
Remain Relevant
June 28, 2018
Staying relevant to your target market is a challenge for every business. As technology brings changes to the real estate transaction, your customers are changing as well. So, how can you remain relevant?
 Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency in Real Estate: Ready or Not, This Is the Future
June 28, 2018
What we are seeing now is just the beginning of how we’ll be doing business in the near and distant future. As the industry changes so will the traditional “middlemen.” If they don’t, they will become industry dinosaurs. Title companies can play a vital role in building the infrastructure to effectuate the transactions and still act as a consultant, repository, transaction coordinator and responsible party of electronic records and the digitization of real property assets.
Definitions of Buzzy Tech and Innovation Lingo
June 28, 2018
Keeping up with the pace of innovation in the real estate and mortgage space can be daunting. Understanding what everything means is even more of a challenge. Here's a list of 10 definitions you can use at the next office meeting or reception.
AmTrust Title Appoints Florida Counsel
June 28, 2018
With more than 30 years of experience in the title insurance industry, Deborah B. Boyd will focus on business development and creating underwriting solutions for AmTrust Title and its Florida agents.
First American Reports Loan Application Defect and Fraud Risk Drops
June 28, 2018
Even as market share of purchase originations continues to grow, First American reports that the frequency of defects, fraud and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications decreased by 2.4 percent compared with the previous month.
TLTA Elects New President, Honors Industry Leaders
June 28, 2018
John Martin, president of Lone Star Title Company of El Paso, was named TLTA president, while Roland Love was named Title Person of the Year and Steve Streiff received the James H. Garst President’s Award.
NATIC Unveils Partner Guide and Educational Resource for Agents
June 28, 2018
Called AgentMarketplace, the program’s web pages feature industry provider companies that are partnering with North American Title Insurance Co. to offer its agents products and services to help them grow their businesses and be compliant with industry standards, as well as with state and federal laws and regulations.
ALTA to Recognize Best Consumer-facing Website
June 27, 2018
Do you have a new or redesigned consumer-facing website or page? ALTA wants to see it! ALTA is hosting a brand-new awards program—the Title Webbies—to recognize member companies that have created or redesigned a consumer-facing website or page since October 2017. Deadline to submit Title Webby nominations is Friday Aug. 17.
Four Rules to Develop Core Values
June 26, 2018
When done right, strong core values can increase productivity, help guide decision making and boost employee morale. While it may be tempting to steal some core values from companies who are nailing it, they must be authentic to your culture and business. So how do you go about developing values that make a difference? Read on for tips how to develop values and four rules to help organizations build a stronger culture.
Use This Worksheet to Help Determine Your Company's Values
June 26, 2018
A company’s values are the cornerstone of its culture. They are the basis of how a business functions. They set you apart from the competition, make you unique and are essential to achieving an organization’s goals. ALTA has developed a worksheet to help gather information as you discuss with your team their thoughts, ideas and action items as they relate to your business and its values.
 Our Values: Why a Customer-service Mindset is Imperative
June 26, 2018
ALTA President Steve Day NTP discusses the development of ALTA's Our Values initiative and why it's important for title companies to provide exceptional customer service. "We need to have the mindset that we are a customer service industry that happens to be involved in title insurance," he says.
The Docket: California Court of Appeals Clearly Explains Post-conveyance Coverage Liability
June 26, 2018
Ron Damashek of the Illinois law firm of Stahl Cowen Crowley Addis LLC provided today’s review of a ruling by the California Court of Appeals, which held that coverage did not continue under a loan policy following the lender’s conveyance of title without warranty.
PLTA Honors Industry Leaders During Annual Convention
June 26, 2018
The Pennsylvania Land Title Association (PLTA) held its annual convention in historic Gettysburg, Pa., earlier this month and presented special awards to title professionals and a friend of the industry.
Title Data to Appoint New President, CEO
June 26, 2018
Kevin Gugenheim will take over as president and chief executive officer of Title Data Inc. effective Nov. 1, 2018.
Inwest Title Acquires Competitor in Utah
June 26, 2018
Utah-based Inwest Title Services Inc. announced the acquisition of Heritage Title Insurance Agency of Logan.
Large Agents Only: ALTA is Ready for You!
June 20, 2018
ALTA Invites Large Agent Executives to an Exclusive Event
 Q1 2018 Title Premium Volume Down 1.9 Percent
June 19, 2018
The title insurance industry generated $3.2 billion in title insurance premiums during the first quarter of 2018 compared to $3.3 billion during the same period a year ago, according to ALTA’s latest Market Share Analysis.
 Time to Employ a Real Sales Strategy?
June 19, 2018
A number of agents have struggled to win new business in the purchase market. But is it really the fault of the sales rep? What’s your strategy for winning new business?
Michigan Passes Remote Online Notarization Bill
June 19, 2018
If signed, Michigan would join Tennessee, Minnesota, Vermont, Indiana, Virginia, Montana, Texas and Nevada with laws allowing the use of audio visual technology and electronic methods to conduct a notarization.
Deadline to Join ALTA Committee is July 17
June 19, 2018
ALTA is only as strong as the participation of its membership. Once again, we have a fabulous opportunity to continue cultivating support for our valued committees. ALTA is now accepting volunteers for its committees. Deadline to submit your name is Tuesday, July 17. Read on to fill out an online volunteer form. Those currently serving on a committee must still fill out the volunteer form.
Waco Title Continues Expansion in Arkansas
June 19, 2018
Waco Title now has 22 offices throughout Arkansas and Missouri.
FirstClose Partners with Chicago Title
June 19, 2018
Through the integration, FirstClose can provide financial institution clients with Chicago Title’s property search, legal and vesting products and services.
Black Knight Expands HOA Certificate Service Throughout Texas
June 14, 2018
With the National TaxNet solution, Black Knight identifies whether a property is subject to an HOA or management company.
Marshall County Probate Office in Alabama Partners with ePN for E-recording
June 14, 2018
Alabama's Marshall County Probate Office has partnered with eRecording Partners Network (ePN) to accept electronically submitted documents in their office for recording.
What Do Consumers Really Want from the Mortgage Process?
June 14, 2018
Consumers are getting more comfortable with a digital mortgage process but still want someone to hold their hand and explain things to them when buying a home, according to Ellie Mae’s second annual Borrower Insights Survey. While there is untapped opportunity for lenders at the front end of the process, the same potential holds true for title and settlement agents closing transactions.
Houston-based Riverway Title Expands With Additions to Commercial Team
June 14, 2018
Riverway Title today announced the addition of industry veteran R.L. "Burr" Buckalew and his staff to its national commercial division.
Defy Convention at ALTA ONE!
June 13, 2018
Unconventional times call for unconventional solutions. Times like these call for an event like ALTA ONE, the largest and most important gathering of title insurance and settlement industry insiders in the nation.
Make the Grade With ALTA's Title 101 Online Course
June 13, 2018
With 18 revised chapters that will introduce or refresh basic title insurance concepts to anyone, Title 101 topics include Searching, Abstracting, Land Descriptions, Underwriting, Policy Forms, Closing and Escrow, Industry Regulations and more.
 The Docket: N.Y. Bankruptcy Court Addresses Property Abandonment
June 12, 2018
Cheryl Cowherd, senior underwriting counsel for Agents National Title Insurance Co., provided today’s review of a ruling by a bankruptcy court in New York that held a Chapter 7 debtor may not sell a property under section 363 of the bankruptcy code. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
Federal Sting Disrupts, Recovers $14 Million in Fraudulent Wire Transfers
June 12, 2018
Federal authorities—including the Department of Justice and the FBI—coordinated a major law enforcement effort to disrupt international Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes designed to intercept and hijack wire transfers from businesses and individuals.
North American Title Names State Agency Manager for Alabama and Mississippi
June 12, 2018
North American Title Insurance Co. (NATIC) has hired Jennifer N. Jones as state agency manager for Alabama and Mississippi.
Wire Fraud Takes Aim at Home Construction Industry
June 12, 2018
Wire fraud is growing its range of targets, with the homebuilding industry increasingly in its crosshairs, according to a new white paper published by CertifID.
AmTrust Names Underwriting Counsel in Pennsylvania
June 12, 2018
Karen G. Gutman will provide legal underwriting support and expertise to company personnel, agents and customers on real estate closings and title insurance matters.
TitleWave Appoints Three Regional Managers
June 12, 2018
TitleWave Real Estate Solutions has re-organized and appointed three new regional managers for the Midwest, Southeast Mid-Atlantic and Pennsylvania.
Survey: Title/Deed Issues Cause Delays in 11 Percent of Closings
June 7, 2018
Overall, the latest National Association of Realtors Confidence Index Survey revealed that obtaining financing (30 percent) was the main factor that delayed closings, followed by home inspection/environmental (19 percent), appraisal (18 percent) and title/deed (11 percent) issues.
‘We Need a Regulator That Helps Remove the Gray’
June 7, 2018
ALTA President Steve Day NTP testified Wednesday during a lively two-hour Congressional hearing that addressed ways to improve transparency and accountability at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (bureau). Day kicked off the testimony by saying the best step Congress can take to improve the accountability and transparency at the bureau would be to require the agency to provide the businesses it regulates with written, reliable guidance on how to comply with the law and protect consumers in real-world scenarios.
 Video: ALTA President Steve Day Testifies Before Congress
June 7, 2018
Watch a recording of ALTA President Steve Day's testimony during the Congressional hearing titled "Improving Transparency and Accountability at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection."
Title Alliance Forms New Joint Venture
June 7, 2018
Title Alliance announced the launch of Title Alliance Partners of Ohio, which is a multi-member joint ventured title and escrow agency working with and servicing real estate agents from multiple companies.
TitleWave Real Estate Solutions Names President
June 7, 2018
Leanne Zinn has been promoted to president of TitleWave Real Estate Solutions, which is the Agency Title Production Division of Fidelity National Title Group.
Survey: Half of Americans Don’t Use Antivirus Software
June 7, 2018
Nearly half of Americans haven’t installed basic Internet security software, according to a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute. The survey also found Floridians have the distinction of being the riskiest in regard to cyber hygiene. Find out what other states top the list for risky online behavior.
Email Scams Rank First in Online Losses
June 7, 2018
According to the FBI’s 2017 Internet Crime Report, the IC3 received a total of 301,580 complaints with reported losses exceeding $1.4 billion last year. More importantly to the title and settlement services industry, Business Email Compromise (BEC)/Email Account Compromise (EAC) was the top crime in 2017 with the highest reported loss at more than $675 million.
AmTrust Appoints Pennsylvania State Underwriting Counsel
June 7, 2018
Gerald Simon Jr. will be focused on helping AmTrust Title expand its agency network throughout the state and to serve as underwriting counsel to the network.
Change is on the Horizon: TILN Going Digital, Fee Rising
June 5, 2018
Save $75 by subscribing to the Title Insurance Law Newsletter today! Now is your chance to sign up for the newsletter at the current price of $125 for ALTA members and $175 for nonmembers. Starting Aug. 1, the newsletter will be available only in digital format and the new premium structure will go into effect: $200 for ALTA members and $250 for nonmembers.
ICYMI: March Digital Edition of TitleNews
June 5, 2018
The cover article of the March edition, Who is Fifth Wall and Why You Should Care, discusses how the venture capital firm is partnering with several companies to leverage technology in the title and settlement space. Also in the issue are articles on a blockchain pilot in Vermont, how one company has applied ALTA’s Our Values initiative to their operation, the CFPB memo on less regulation and a court ruling that says RESPA allows referral arrangements. Check it out and share with your staff and customers.
ALTA President to Testify Before Congress on Ways to Improve the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection
June 5, 2018
Steven Day’s testimony will support HR 5534, the Give Useful Information to Define Effective Compliance Act. The bipartisan bill would require the Bureau to provide more information and examples so businesses can make better decisions and comply with the law. Day will testify that more guidance regarding the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule and oversight of third-party service providers would have been helpful to the industry.
FNTG Names National Agency Director of Education and Marketing Strategy
June 5, 2018
In this role, Linda Grahovec NTP, ITP, IEP will lead Fidelity National Title Group's agent-facing initiatives involving communications, educational offerings, and various marketing and engagement projects.
Pavaso Names Executive Vice President of Operations
June 5, 2018
As e-closings and digital mortgages continue to become the norm in real estate transactions, Cheryl Baillis will be tasked with combining increased operational efficiencies with industry-leading innovation.
PropLogix Now Offers Tax Certificates
June 5, 2018
PropLogix announced it now offers a tax certificate service that provides information on taxing authorities and jurisdictions. This includes assessment details and a summary of current tax year amounts owed, as well as exemptions.
AmTrust Appoints Agency Rep in Pennsylvania, New Jersey
June 5, 2018
In this role, Devin Kelley will be responsible for developing and expanding agency relationships in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Bay National Title Appoints New CEO
June 5, 2018
Bay National Title announced the appointment of Tyler K. Lee as chief executive officer, while its founder, Evan Grimm, transitioned to the role of chairman.
Fraud Alert: New Scheme Asks Company to Verify Account Info Before Funding
May 31, 2018
Fraudulent bank emails indicate that the buyer's lender requires verification of account information before it will fund a transaction.
Don’t Let Confusion About Notarial Law Disrupt the Closing Process
May 31, 2018
Settlement agents who proactively communicate with their local recording office and lender closing partners about jurisdictional notary laws can avoid potential delays in the closing process and facilitate an optimal customer experience.
 Minnesota Joins States With Remote Online Notarization Legislation
May 31, 2018
Minnesota recently passed a bill that allows notarial acts using audio and video technology. The legislation goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.
 Vermont Passes Remote Online Notarization Legislation
May 31, 2018
On May 22, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill that will allow for remote online notarizations in the state beginning July 1. 2019.
Simplifile Plants 2,275 Trees to Honor Arbor Day, Earth Month
May 31, 2018
Simplifile planted 2,275 trees in the Mississippi River Valley, a location the Arbor Day Foundation has identified as the “area of greatest need,” and donated $1 per tree planted to the Arbor Day Foundation.
AmTrust Names Florida Agency Manager
May 31, 2018
In this role, Carlos M. Rodriguez will be responsible for developing, marketing and managing AmTrust Title’s Florida agency operations as well as identifying and advancing new business opportunities.
Pavaso Partners With OS National on Digital Closing Process
May 31, 2018
Pavaso's technology allows lenders and title companies to deliver a loan package to borrowers, allowing them—or their Realtors or loan officers—to access the closing documents prior to closing.
California-based Real Estate Firm Acquires 50 Percent of OnTitle
May 31, 2018
Home Bay, which offers real estate services for a flat fee in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Texas, Colorado and California, has purchased a 50 percent interest in OTC National LLC (OnTitle), a settlement services company with escrow and title insurance licenses in 31 states.
 Where Does Trump Administration Stand on Financial Regulations, Enforcement, GSE Reform?
May 29, 2018
During a question-and-answer session with ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo during the 2018 ALTA Advocacy Summit, Andrew Olmem, special assistant to the president for financial policy, shared insight on topics ranging from financial regulations and GSE reform to inconsistencies in regulatory enforcement and fintech innovation.
 Mulvaney: RESPA Enforcement Will Continue
May 29, 2018
Speaking at ALTA’s 2018 Advocacy Summit, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Acting Director Mick Mulvaney said that while the bureau is focused on changing its culture, enforcement of consumer regulations—including the Real Estate and Settlement Procedures Act—would continue.
French Hill: Your Story Matters
May 29, 2018
Speaking to more than 225 attendees during the 2018 ALTA Advocacy Summit, U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) explained why its important for members of Congress to hear stories from title professionals how they protect property rights for consumers. In addition, Hill offered thoughts on a bill that would correct the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance fees on the Closing Disclosure as well as reforming Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Check Out a Photo Animation from ALTA’s Advocacy Summit
May 29, 2018
Check out this photo animation from some of the action at the 2018 ALTA Advocacy Summit. Photos were taken during the general sessions and meetings with members of Congress and their staff. Have a photo to share? Post it on ALTA’s Facebook page.
Texas Secretary of State Proposes Remote Online Notarization Regulation
May 29, 2018
The Texas Secretary of State issued proposed regulations to implement its law on the use of remote online notarization (RON) in real estate transactions in Texas.
North Dakota Guaranty & Title President Receives Congressional Liaison of the Year Award
May 29, 2018
Nick Hacker, president of North Dakota Guaranty & Title Co., received ALTA’s Congressional Liaison of the Year Award during the 2018 Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C.
South Carolina Governor Signs Cybersecurity Bill into Law
May 29, 2018
The law creates rules for insurers, agents and other licensed entities covering data security, investigation and notification of breach. This includes maintaining an information security program based on ongoing risk assessment, overseeing third-party service providers, investigating data breaches and notifying regulators of a cybersecurity event.
Michigan-based Credit Union Adopts CertifID for Wire Fraud Prevention
May 29, 2018
Citing its ongoing commitment to protect its members and the integrity of the mortgage process, Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) has adopted CertifID as a solution to prevent wire fraud in its mortgage and retail operations.
Webinar Recording: Digital and Remote Online Closings
May 24, 2018
Companies are implementing new technology—such as remote online notarization—to deliver efficiencies and make closings more transparent. These advances have the potential to improve the customer experience and understanding at the closing table. Purchase this webinar recording and learn about e-closing types and terms, rules governing electronic signatures, the current state of remote online notarization laws, how to implement a digital work-flow process and questions to ask your underwriters, lenders and vendors. Presenters on this on-demand webinar include Dawn Lewallen, senior compliance counsel for Stewart Title Guaranty Co.; Richard Bramhall, chief underwriting counsel at Westcor Land Title Insurance Company; and Brian Hughes, president of Amrock.
BuyerDocs Unveils Service That Sends Wire Instructions Via Text
May 24, 2018
BuyerDocs recently launched a service that allows companies to send text/call notifications to alert homebuyers of their wiring instructions.
Bureau Won’t Appeal Borders & Borders RESPA Decision
May 22, 2018
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) has decided not to appeal a 2017 decision by a federal judge who ruled that Kentucky-based law firm Borders & Borders did not violate the Real Estate and Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Speaking during ALTA’s Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C., acting Director Mulvaney told attendees that, despite the decision not the appeal, he did not agree with everything in the District Court’s order.  He reaffirmed that the Bureau will still enforce RESPA, but that everyone has the right to know what the law is “before we come after you.”
Title Industry Leaders Ready for Day on Capitol Hill
May 22, 2018
Real-life examples and stories create lasting impressions, so when there’s debate about the benefit of title insurance, legislators remember what you shared and how it protects them and their constituents. The title insurance industry has a perfect opportunity to explain the benefit of the industry during the 2018 ALTA Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. More than 225 title professionals are set to canvass Capitol Hill and meet with members of Congress and their staff to tell the industry’s stories and let its voice be heard.
SoftPro Integrates With Agents National Title
May 22, 2018
SoftPro customers who are agents of Agents National Title are now able to generate closing protection letters and commitment and policy jackets without duplicating data entry.
Title Action Network Members Honored for Active Participation
May 22, 2018
Several members of the Title Action Network (TAN) were honored during the 2018 ALTA Advocacy Summit for advocating on behalf of the title insurance industry. Read on to find out who was honored for consistently responding to alerts and supporting TAN’s efforts.
ALTA Promotes Capitol Hill Day on Pandora
May 22, 2018
ALTA is advertising on Pandora to inform members of Congress and their staff about our upcoming Advocacy Summit and Capitol Hill day on May 23.
2017 ALTA TIPAC Awards
May 22, 2018
During the 2018 Advocacy Summit, ALTA honored individuals and entities for their effort in helping to raise a record amount of donations in 2017 for the Title Industry Political Action Committee.
General Counsel for Fidelity National Timeshare Honored With Industry Award
May 22, 2018
Amy Bellman, vice president and general counsel of Fidelity National Timeshare, was awarded the fifth annual WINspiration Award at the annual ARDA World Global Timeshare Event in Las Vegas.
 Why Do You Need to Provide Exceptional Customer Service?
May 17, 2018
ALTA President Steve Day NTP, discusses the development of ALTA's Our Values initiative and why it's important for title companies to provide exceptional customer service. "We need to have the mindset that we are a customer service industry that happens to be involved in title insurance."
CFPB Updates TRID Guides for Forms and Small Entity Compliance
May 17, 2018
To support implementation of the recently issued 2018 TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule on May 15, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published updates to both versions of the Small Entity Compliance Guides and Guides to Forms.
SoftPro Integrates With PropLogix
May 17, 2018
SoftPro users can now order PropLogix services, including the ordering of municipal lien searches, HOA certificates/estoppels and surveys, as well as track lien releases, directly through their SoftPro software without rekeying of data.
First National Title Adds to Florida Team
May 17, 2018
First National Title Insurance Company (FNTI) recently announced key additions to its Florida team, including Mara Alyson as underwriting counsel and south Florida agency director and Ginger Clements as head of title operations in the state.
ALTA ONE Registration is Officially Open!
May 16, 2018
ALTA ONE, the largest and most important gathering of title insurance and settlement industry professionals in the nation, is now open for registration!
Snag our Biggest Discount for ALTA’s Final Innovation Boot Camp and HOP Leader Training!
May 16, 2018
It's now or never! Register for two very special events in Minneapolis – the last ALTA Innovation Boot Camp and HOP Leader Training of 2018 – and receive a 20 percent discount! Become the double threat of a marketing maven and creative communicator for the low ALTA members-only price of $439.
Living Our Values
May 15, 2018
Eric Schneider NTP, title group manager for Lakeside Title Company, was among the group of title professionals that helped develop ALTA's Our Values initiative last year. Read on to learn how his company approached developing its own core values and getting staff involved in the process.
ALTA 2018 TIPAC Donors
May 15, 2018
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. TIPAC has received $551,964 in pledges from 950 donors so far in 2018. Check out who has supported the industry.
Advocacy Summit Update: Special Assistant to the President for Financial Policy to Speak
May 14, 2018
ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo will lead a Q&A session with Andrew Olmem, who address topics ranging from financial regulations and GSE reform to inconsistencies in regulatory enforcement and fintech innovation.
 Doing This Will Help Stop Fraud
May 10, 2018
As we all go about our day, our eyes glance over the text before us and we see what we want to see. Cyber Criminals and would be wire transfer thieves know this as well. As you'll soon learn, they take advantage of this all too often. One way to stay ahead of the criminals to to purchase web domains similar to yours.
Protect Your Company by Knowing How to Identify Valid and Suspicious Email
May 10, 2018
While companies may have spam filters and antivirus software, spam and phishing emails can still slip through employee inboxes. Email recipients are the most critical element in preventing an attack. Here are some tips on how to identify the authenticity of a questionable email. In addition, the ALTA Registry can serve as a resource to help prevent wire transfer fraud.
Simplifile Expands E-recording Network in Florida
May 10, 2018
Collier County joins 52 other Florida counties that also offer e-recording through Simplifile.
Westcor Unveils New Website
May 10, 2018
Westcor Land Title Insurance Company (Westcor) announced the release of a new redesigned website that offers quick and easy access to company information and online tools.
Introducing ALTA's First Commercial Network!
May 10, 2018
If you're looking for a networking opportunity and a forum to discuss policy and trends in commercial transactions, this is the place!
Illinois Regulator Delays Implementation of New Financial Interest Disclosure Until June 1
May 10, 2018
Due to efforts by the Illinois Land Title Association (ILTA), the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) agreed to delay implementation of a new disclosure of financial interest form until June 1.
Mick Mulvaney Headlines ALTA Advocacy Summit
May 9, 2018
This is your chance to hear directly from acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney how the Bureau's new mission and five-year strategic plan will alter the regulatory climate. Don't miss it!
FFIEC Releases 2017 Mortgage Lending Data
May 8, 2018
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released data on mortgage lending transactions at 5,852 U.S. financial institutions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). Included in the data about whether a particular loan is secured by a first or a subordinate lien, or is unsecured.
ATGF Promotes Phillips to CEO
May 8, 2018
Brian Phillips has experience representing clients in land use disputes, title claims and defense of title insurers, as well as real estate acquisitions, development and finance.
Whitepaper: ALTA Registry Helps Lenders Reduce Risk, Protect Against Wire Fraud and Other Scams
May 8, 2018
A first of its kind for the industry, the national ALTA Registry is a searchable, online database containing title insurance underwriter-confirmed information about title agents, underwriter direct offices and real estate attorneys. It assigns a unique identification number—the ALTA ID—to each one for precise credentials. Read on to access a whitepaper that you can share with lender clients to help explain how the ALTA Registry can support regulatory compliance obligations by bolstering third-party oversight and monitoring processes.
Establish Your ALTA Registry Listing in 4 Easy Steps
May 8, 2018
Mortgage lenders want more information about the companies they do business with and need to ensure their risk management procedures are being met. You can give them more confidence in working with your company by confirming your company in the national ALTA Registry. Read on to learn how you can set up your Registry listing.
Industry Experts to Share Latest Trends in Commercial Real Estate
May 8, 2018
ALTA will host its first ALTA Commercial Network June 3-5 in Chicago. If you're looking for a networking opportunity and a forum to discuss trends and policy regarding commercial transactions, this is the place. Sessions will cover blockchain and cryptocurrency in real estate, commercial trends and tax-reform impact, how to market to different types of customers, and recent commercial title court cases and claims.
Bank Shot Enables Clients to Deposit Earnest Money, Commission Payments Via Mobile App
May 8, 2018
Bank Shot has released a product to help title companies, closing attorneys and other real estate industry professionals deposit earnest money, commission payment and other types of checks.
Pavaso Partners With MBH Settlement Group For Digital Closings
May 8, 2018
Pavaso's technology digitizes the process so that lenders can provide a more complete loan package and reduce errors by eliminating undersigning and over signing of the closing documents.
 Report: Digital Solutions Help Millennial Closing Times for Home Purchases Shrink to All-time Low
May 3, 2018
According to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker, the closing time for millennial new-home purchase loans fell from 44 days in January to an all-time low of 39 days in March.
Make an Impact: Share Your Story
May 3, 2018
Stories about how we as title insurance professionals lead, deliver and protect our customers are vital to ALTA’s advocacy throughout the year. Your stories are the most effective way to leave a lasting impression with members of Congress. Read on to learn how you can tell your story in five easy steps.
 Fidelity Announces First-quarter Results
May 3, 2018
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title segment generated pre-tax earnings of $163 million during the first quarter of 2018.
Land Services USA Names VP of Business Development
May 3, 2018
In this role, Shawn Goldfaden will expand the company’s footprint in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. He has experience in title insurance claims and underwriting.
 Collaboration Tech Should Put Settlement First
May 3, 2018
Settlement agents hold a great deal of influence over one of the most memorable parts of the borrower experience: the closing transaction. Hiccups and delays caused by poor coordination between settlement agents and lenders can erode borrower confidence, delay closings, and ultimately leave borrowers with a negative impression of all parties involved. Is the time right for the settlement community to invest in automated collaboration solutions that put settlement agents in the driver’s seat?
 Stewart Reports Q1 Earnings
May 3, 2018
Stewart Information Services reported its title segment generated $5.1 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2018. This compares to pre-tax income of $12.3 million during the same period a year ago.
 ICYMI: Webinar Recording on How Values Can Improve Company Performance and Alignment
May 1, 2018
Listen to a webinar recording to learn why core values matter, how core values can amplify company performance, why ALTA created the Our Values initiative, how to develop core values authentic to your company and how to live your values so they don’t collect dust.
 Old Republic Reports Q1 Earnings
May 1, 2018
Old Republic International reported that its title insurance group generated pre-tax income of $29.5 million during the first quarter of 2018.
 The Docket: D.C. Court of Appeals Rules on Condo Association Super-lien Priority
May 1, 2018
David Cox of the law firm Jackson & Campbell PC provided today’s review of a ruling by the D.C. Court of Appeals, which held a condo association’s foreclosure would wipe out the first mortgage even if the association expressly stated that it intended for the foreclosure to be held subject to that mortgage. Read on for why this decision is important to the title industry.
ATA National Title Group Acquires Chicago-based Title Company
May 1, 2018
Farmington Hills, Mich.-based ATA National Title Group LLC (ATA) recently acquired Greater Metropolitan Title to expand its coverage in the Chicago area. Operating under the ATA umbrella, the new company will be branded GMT Title Agency.
AmTrust Names North Atlantic Regional Manager
May 1, 2018
In this role, Michael Frederick will have oversight of AmTrust Title Insurance Company's operations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Stewart Title Names Sales Director for Upper Midwest Region
May 1, 2018
As sales director for Stewart’s Eastern United Sates and Upper Midwest direct operations, Bill Alvarez will support the direct operations growth strategy in Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
International Document Services Offers Hybrid E-Closings
May 1, 2018
Mortgage document preparation vendor International Document Services Inc. (IDS) reports that its platform now supports hybrid electronic mortgage closings. The company also said that it will soon add e-notarization and remote notarization capabilities as those processes become legal in more states.
CFPB Finalizes TRID Amendment Allowing Lenders to Disclose Closing Cost Increases
April 26, 2018
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized an amendment to its TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule that addresses when mortgage lenders with a valid justification may pass on increased closing costs to consumers and disclose them on a Closing Disclosure.
Boost Your Marketing Efforts With These Ads
April 26, 2018
Do you need some new advertisements for your marketing campaign? Check out what's available through ALTA's Homeowner Outreach program. There are several advertisements for members to use as handouts to first-time homebuyers, ads for real estate clients or flyers in coffee shops. Members can customize material and download PDFs for free or order prints that can be delivered directly to your office. Check out the new ads, which include material targeting consumers and real estate agents.
 First American Reports Q1 Earnings
April 26, 2018
First American Financial reported that its title insurance and services division generated $102.4 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2018. This compares to $98.2 million in pre-tax during the same period in 2017.
Designation Serves as Constant Reminder of Dedication to Safe and Efficient Transfer of Real Estate
April 26, 2018
Philip S. Janny CLTP, NTP of the law firm Plunkett & Graver in Pennsylvania, has worked in the title insurance industry for nearly 30years. Find out why Janny obtained his National Title Professional designation from ALTA five years ago.
Fitch: Does Blockchain Represent a Paradigm Shift for Insurance?
April 26, 2018
In a report titled “Blockchain and Insurance - The Trust Machine,” Fitch Ratings views blockchain as a potential game-changing technology for the insurance industry over the long term, but also concludes that uncertainties around the technology remain pronounced, resulting in major unknowns for when and how much it will be adopted.
Michigan Title Agency Honored Among ‘Best and Brightest’
April 26, 2018
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Sun Title Agency is being honored for the third year by the National Association of Business Resources (NABR) for being among West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For.
Want to Speak at ALTA ONE in L.A.?
April 26, 2018
This year’s ALTA ONE will be held in Los Angeles at the JW Marriott at LA Live, which is an entertainment complex that offers the best downtown attractions the City of Angels has to offer. You can be part of the experience by submitting an application to be one of our esteemed speakers. Deadline to submit your application is April 30.
Westcor Names Ohio Regional Manager
April 26, 2018
In this role, Michael Trowbridge will have oversight of operations and strategic growth in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan.
U.S. House Passes Bill to Modernize IRS, Automate Income Verification
April 24, 2018
The U.S. House of Representatives on April 18 passed legislation to automate income verification through a modern digital interface at the Internal Revenue Service.
 The Docket: U.S. Appeals Court Addresses Exclusion 3(a) and Mechanic’s Liens Caused by Lender
April 24, 2018
Heather R. Schuette, vice president and senior national counsel for First American Title Insurance Co., provided today’s review of a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which held that a title insurance company may deny coverage of a lender’s claim relating to mechanics’ liens under Exclusion 3(a) of the title insurance policy, even if the lender’s conduct was not intentional. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.
Action Title Research Bolsters Exec Team
April 24, 2018
As vice president of title production, Bill Drobins NTP will direct and manage the company’s title production operations in Pennsylvania.
ePN Expands Team in California
April 24, 2018
eRecording Partners Network (ePN) announced the recent additions of Chris Stephan as vice president of client services and Ryan Clegg as operations manager of client services.
 ALTA Response to Blockchain Articles
April 24, 2018
Blockchain is an interesting concept and the technology may eventually provide some serious benefits in the real estate sector. However, there have been inaccurate and sweeping generalizations about the process title professionals take to search the public record and issue a title insurance policy to protect property rights. Read on for examples of why title insurance will remain extremely beneficial to consumers and lenders even as more information becomes digitized and potentially migrate to blockchain.
Powerful Market Forces Reduce Affordability, First American Reports
April 24, 2018
While the supply squeeze and rising mortgage rates are powerful forces working against housing affordability, homeowners are gaining equity as the economy remains strong, according to First American’s latest Real House Price Index.
Blockchain Can’t Protect Property Rights, but Title Insurance Can
April 19, 2018
There are potential applications of blockchain technology that touch the title insurance industry, including, but not limited to, land recording systems. Enthusiastic proponents argue that these systems would be so efficient and secure that they would eliminate the need for title insurance. However, this argument ignores the fundamental purpose of title insurance: to protect a homeowner against undiscovered title issues and provide assurances of property rights.
Get Your ALTA Best Practices Questions Answered Here
April 19, 2018
To help ensure industry receives consistent guidance about the Best Practices, ALTA publishes answers to frequently asked questions on its FAQ Portal. Check out the latest answers, which address questions about standard record retention for closing files, whether closing agents should have a separate privacy notice from the one issued on behalf of their underwriter and international wires.
ALTA Supports Bipartisan Bill Requiring CFPB to Issue Useful, Timely Regulatory Guidance
April 19, 2018
U.S. Reps. Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) on April 18 introduced a bipartisan bill that would standardize the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) process of providing rules and guidance to better protect consumers. Read on to learn how you can encourage your member of Congress to support the bill and have the CFPB provide more clarity to the regulations it enforces.
 Beware of Fictitious Consumer Complaint Email from CFPB
April 19, 2018
According to the CFPB, a title company in Florida reportedly received a suspicious email that appeared to include a consumer complaint. The CFPB said any email that directs recipients to download an attachment to view a consumer complaint about their company is bogus.
CATIC Appoints New Member to Board of Directors
April 19, 2018
CATIC recently appointed Linda B. Meyers, a managing member of the law firm Webber & Meyers, to its Board of Directors.
Register NOW Before Our Boot Camps Are Gone
April 17, 2018
If you haven’t attended ALTA Innovation Boot Camp this year, now is the time to register for our FINAL event in Minneapolis! Are you just throwing marketing ideas on the wall to “see what sticks”?
Title Financial Corp. Expands Montana Footprint With Acquisition
April 17, 2018
Title Financial Corporation (TFC) and its subsidiary, First American Title Company of Montana Inc., recently acquired American Title & Escrow and Carbon County Abstract & Title.
ALTA Supports Bill to Create CFPB Commission
April 17, 2018
ALTA joined 22 other financial services and housing groups supporting a bipartisan bill that would transition the leadership structure at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from a sole di-rector to a commission.
Arizona Passes Flat-fee Recording Legislation
April 17, 2018
The legislation, which goes into effect June 30, 2019, introduces a flat-fee structure and replaces individual fees that are currently charged in connection with the transfer of property to be collected.
WFG National Title Acquires Washington-based Agency
April 17, 2018
The acquisition of Inland Professional Title strengthens the underwriter’s footprint in the Northwest.
Attorneys Title Guaranty Fund Bolsters Agent Support Team
April 17, 2018
Attorneys Title Guaranty Fund Inc. has hired Devin Storms as Colorado and Utah agency manager to strengthen the support provided to its independent agents throughout the region.
RamQuest Users Get Text Messaging and the Pizza Tracker for Title
April 17, 2018
CloseSimple helps title companies better communicate during the closing process through automated text messages, email updates and their Pizza Tracker for Title.
Happy With Your Company's Culture? Learn How to Improve It
April 12, 2018
When done right, strong core values can increase productivity, help guide decision making and boost employee morale. While it may be tempting to steal some core values from companies who are nailing it, they must be authentic to your culture and business. Register for ALTA's next free Title Topics webinar to learn why values matter and how they can amplify company performance.
FFIEC Issues Statement on Cyber Insurance and Potential Role in Risk Management Programs
April 12, 2018
Although the FFIEC does require financial institutions to maintain cyber insurance, the evolving cyber insurance market and the shifting cyber threat landscape may prompt institutions to consider whether cyber insurance would be an effective part of their overall risk management programs.
SEC Releases Updated Public Company Cybersecurity Disclosure Guidance
April 12, 2018
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in February released a “Commission Statement and Guidance on Public Company Cybersecurity Disclosures” to help public companies understand their obligations to disclose cybersecurity risks and incidents.
ePN Adds 25 Jurisdictions to E-recording Network
April 12, 2018
ePN announced the addition of 25 jurisdictions across the U.S. to their e-recording network during the first quarter of 2018. These counties and towns are in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.
 Up In Smoke: Budding Legality of Pot Poses Challenges to Title and Escrow Industry
April 12, 2018
While more states are legalizing marijuana, the federal government still categorizes marijuana as a controlled substance. This means it’s viewed the same as heroin. Because marijuana is illegal under federal law, the title industry faces several challenges and significant risk when handling transactions involving marijuana money.
POLITICO’s Co-founder Mike Allen Joins ALTA Advocacy Summit Lineup
April 11, 2018
Hear co-founder of POLITICO and Axios, Mike Allen, live at ALTA Advocacy Summit! An author and journalist, Allen has not only reported on but also driven the daily conversations in and around Washington, D.C.
One Easy Step to Give Better Service to Your Lenders
April 10, 2018
Mortgage lenders want more information about the companies they do business with and need to ensure their risk management procedures are being met. You can give them more confidence in working with your company by confirming your company in the national ALTA Registry.
How to Get Started With Digital Marketing on any Budget
April 10, 2018
Digital media consumption has drastically increased over the past decade, outpacing television consumption. In 2016, the National Association of Realtors reported that 86% of homebuyers used the internet in their research process. That percentage will only increase. The internet has changed the way that people shop for everything. Digital marketing is the best way to engage consumers in the electronic age. Read on for tips to ensure a successful digital marketing campaign.
Illinois Regulator Delays Implementation of New Financial Interest Disclosure
April 10, 2018
Due to efforts by the Illinois Land Title Association, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation agreed to delay implementation of a new disclosure of financial interest form as it works to modify the regulation so that industry can comply and consumers receive a better experience.
Investment Firm Partners With Title Companies to Create Tech-based Platform
April 10, 2018
Panorama Point Partners, an Omaha-based private equity firm that specializes in working with middle-market growth-driven companies, has partnered with two title companies to create a technology-based title and escrow platform company.
Westcor Appoints Agency Rep for California and Utah
April 10, 2018
In this role, Jim Johnson will be responsible for increasing the company's footprint in the Utah and California markets.
Several ALTA Members Honored for Tech Innovations
April 10, 2018
RynohLive, CertifID and Westcor Specialty were among the winners of HousingWire’s fifth-annual Tech100 award for the top tech firms in the mortgage finance space. The awards recognize the top 100 innovative technology companies in the U.S. housing economy, spanning real estate, mortgage lending, mortgage servicing and investments
 Have 20 Seconds to Support the Title Industry?
April 10, 2018
The Title Action Network (TAN) is the premier grassroots organization promoting the value of the land title insurance industry. In the current regulatory environment, the title industry faces threats of new policies at both the state and federal levels that could seriously affect your business. Check out this short video to learn how in 20 seconds you can sign up for TAN for free and help support the industry.
Learn New Strategies to Build Relationships With Your Customers and Grow Market Share
April 5, 2018
Looking to differentiate your company from the competitor down the street? Register for one daylong in-person training and become an ALTA Homeowner Outreach Program (HOP) Leader.
 ICYMI: The Complexities and Needed Due Diligence for Commercial Transactions
April 5, 2018
Handling commercial deals can be lucrative, but they also require substantially more due diligence and carry additional risk. Listen to this recorded webinar to learn the differences between commercial and residential transactions, as well as the hurdles you must overcome when handling the more complex commercial orders. A copy of the presentation can be downloaded here.
Private Equity Firm Invests in Alliant National Title
April 5, 2018
Presidio Investors, a private equity firm specializing in mid-market companies, has agreed to partner and invest in Colorado-based underwriter Alliant National Title Insurance Co.
Radian Acquires Entitle Direct
April 5, 2018
Radian reported the acquisition will complement the geographic reach of ValuAmerica, which was acquired by Radian subsidiary Clayton Holdings in 2015.
Florida Agency Network Closes First Refinance E-closing Using Remote Online Notary
April 5, 2018
Florida Agency Network completed its first paperless, fully-digital real estate refinance transaction with United Wholesale Mortgage and Florida Mortgage Firm. Hillsborough Title completed the transaction utilizing remote online notarization via Notarize and Westcor Land Title Insurance Company, which issued the title insurance policy.
NextAce Provides Automated Title Products in Over 500 Counties
April 5, 2018
The service allows title insurers, agents and attorneys of all sizes to setup their underwriting and business rules and begin producing automated title reports in minutes. In addition, NextAce also announced new partnerships with title plant providers TitlePoint (BKFS), Data Trace, SKLD in Colorado, TDI in Texas and TitleSCAN.
Greater Illinois Title Company Completes Type 2 SOC 2 Report and ALTA Best Practices Certification
April 5, 2018
A Type II report includes the service organization's system description, as well as a detailed testing of the operating effectiveness of the service organization's controls throughout the specified period.
Homeowners Financial Group, Pavaso Deliver Digital Closing in Arizona
April 5, 2018
Homeowners Financial Group (HFG) reported it is one of the first Arizona-based mortgage lenders to complete an e-closing with Pavaso.
New CFPB Chief, Regulatory Climate: Find Out How This Affects You
April 4, 2018
In a January staff memo, acting director of the CFPB Mick Mulvaney laid out the bureau’s new governing philosophy. Attend the 2018 ALTA Advocacy Summit to learn how the CFPB’s new mission and five-year strategic plan will alter the regulatory climate.
Technical Corrections to 2016 Commitment and 2017 Short Form Commitment Announced April 2, 2018
April 3, 2018
The ALTA Forms Committee has made technical corrections to the 2016 ALTA Commitment and 2017 ALTA Short Form Commitment for an ALTA Short Form Residential Loan Policy effective April 2, 2018. Read on to learn more about this important correction.
Bring Your Team: Buy Two ALTA Innovation Boot Camp Passes, Get a Third Free
March 28, 2018
Have you tailored your marketing strategy for 2018? Wait—do you even have a marketing strategy? If you’re not completely confident in your answers to these questions, don’t worry: ALTA will help you bring your whole team to experience our Innovation Boot Camps with B2G1 pricing!
Action Title Research Expands into Pennsylvania
March 27, 2018
Action Title Research has announced its expansion into Pennsylvania with its recent acquisition of Norristown-based Central Property Search.
NATIC Names Regional Underwriting Counsel in the Southeast
March 27, 2018
As vice president and regional underwriting counsel, Kelsea Laun will support the existing counsel, Mike Bates, and help provide legal and underwriting support to NATIC agents throughout Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
2017 Title Premium Volume Up 3.3 Percent from Prior Year
March 27, 2018
The title insurance industry generated $14.8 billion in title insurance premiums during 2017 compared to $14.3 billion during 2016, according to ALTA’s latest Market Share Analysis.
ALTA Announces PropLogix as an Elite Provider
March 27, 2018
ALTA’s Elite Provider Program is comprised of premier service providers committed to offering comprehensive benefits to the title insurance and settlement services industry. PropLogix provides due diligence nationally for unrecorded debt, open permits, municipal lien searches, tax liens, land surveys, payoff tracking, lien release tracking, association estoppels and HOA/COA research.
 The Docket: Ohio Appeals Court Holds Perfection Not Needed for Valid Mortgage
March 27, 2018
Michael Sikora III, CEO of the law firm Sikora Law LLC, provided today’s review of a ruling by an Ohio appeals court that addressed multiple real property issues including what’s needed for a mortgage to be valid. Read on to learn why this ruling is important to the title industry.
10 Cybersecurity Threats and Trends
March 22, 2018
Title and settlement companies must remain vigilant protecting data and money. Christopher Skinner, chief executive officer of technology security firm SpiderOak, details 10 threats and trends to look out for across business, governmental and personal arenas.
Do You Own Your Block?
March 22, 2018
Despite ongoing efforts to make transactions more efficient and digitize processes, there’s still the need for human connections and interactions. While new technologies and homebuyer demands are shifting customer needs, title and settlement companies can still own their own block. Read on for advice that Bill Svoboda, co-founder of CloseSimple, offered during ALTA SPRINGBOARD in Atlanta.
Knight Barry Title Launches New Website to Better Serve Growing Customer Base
March 22, 2018
The new site features an icon navigation panel to better find the tools and resources available to the company's customers. In addition to the ability to search for a local office, customers can use the website to sign into their Knight Barry Title account (or create a new one) for access to title orders, closing documents and other resources and information.
Help Us Create a Lasting Impression on Congress
March 22, 2018
As a member of the title insurance industry, you have the perfect opportunity to reach legislators and explain the benefits of our business during the 2018 ALTA Advocacy Summit to be held May 21-23 at The Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.
FinCEN Extends Money Laundering Prevention Effort
March 20, 2018
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) renewed for an additional six months an existing Geographic Targeting Order (GTO) that requires U.S. title insurance companies—along with their subsidiaries and agents—to identify the individuals behind companies used to conduct high-end, all-cash real estate transactions in certain major jurisdictions. The renewed GTO runs through Sept. 16.
Simplifile Automates Return of Trailing Mortgage Documents
March 20, 2018
Simplifile says the new post-closing service is designed to save lenders time on final Closing Disclosure reconciliation, eliminate time-consuming post-closing document management tasks, and provide a complete audit trail to reduce regulatory risk.
Pavaso Partners With TRG
March 20, 2018
Robert Fitzpatrick, senior vice president of Title Resource Group’s Lender Services Division, noted that moving to a digital process highlights the company’s dedication to transparent communication with clients and customers.
Fidelity to Acquire Stewart for $1.2 Billion
March 19, 2018
Fidelity National Financial Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire Stewart Information Services Corp. for $1.2 billion. In a release, Fidelity said it will retain and grow the Stewart brand. The deal is subject to certain closing conditions, including Stewart stockholder approval and federal and state regulatory approvals. The deal is expected to close during the first or second quarter of 2019. Read on for details.
ALTA-supported Bill Introduced in House to Restructure CFPB Leadership
March 15, 2018
Introduced by four U.S Representatives on March 13, the Financial Product Safety Commission Act of 2018 (H.R. 5266) would replace the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s sole director with a bipartisan, five-member commission.
2030 Marks Important Milestone for U.S. Population, Housing Market
March 15, 2018
The year 2030 marks an important demographic turning point in U.S. history, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 National Population Projections. Why? By 2030, all baby boomers will be older than age 65. This will expand the size of the older population so that one in every five residents will be retirement age.
Westcor Appoints Agency Manager for Southern Virginia
March 15, 2018
Westcor Land Title Insurance Company named Stephanie Campbell as southern Virginia agency manager to increase the company’s footprint in the Mid-Atlantic market.
NTP Can Help Establish Industry Credibility
March 15, 2018
Chuck Sheffield NTP, senior vice president and corporate title manager for AmeriTitle Inc. in Bend, Ore., has worked in the title insurance industry for nearly 40 years. Find out Sheffield obtained his National Title Professional designation from ALTA five years ago.
It's Not Too Late to Register for ALTA SPRINGBOARD
March 14, 2018
If you haven't yet registered for ALTA SPRINGBOARD, you still have time! Learn, share and network with title professions across the country, as well as ALTA staff, at the W Midtown in Atlanta from March 20-21.
 Video: Intro to Google AdWord
March 13, 2018
As part of the Homebuyer Outreach Program (HOP), ALTA developed a short video to help members get started promoting their business on Google AdWords.
 Silent Revolution Sweeping across the Title Industry
March 13, 2018
Alok Data says title agents have long held tight to control of back-office or production functions of issuing a title insurance policy. But times have changed. Read on to learn why Data says title agents are beginning to focus on profitability over revenue and cost over sales.
Survey: New Tax Code Expected to Have Little Impact on Housing Market
March 13, 2018
Title agents and real estate professionals believe the recent change to the U.S. tax code will only have a minimal impact on the real estate industry, according to the latest Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI) from First American.
5 Steps to Promote Your Company on Google
March 13, 2018
Google ads may seem confusing or too costly for your business. ALTA has developed this five-step process to help you get started for just $50 per ad. Read on to learn how you can place a digital ad that's measurable, cost-effective, maximizes relevance and is highly targeted.
Five Tips to Make Your Social Media Life Easier
March 13, 2018
Trying to manage several social media profiles can seem downright overwhelming, especially for someone running a small business. Read on for five tips to help you administer the various accounts and make your job and life easier. Also, read on to access the social media content provided by ALTA.
Florida Agency Network Closes Full Digital Transaction in Sunshine State
March 13, 2018
The closing was completed by Paramount Title, a member of the Florida Agency Network, on March 7. The electronic notarization of deeds and affidavits was performed by Notarize via an app interface utilizing a notary in the state of Virginia.
ALTA Innovation Boot Camp: Room Block to Close
March 13, 2018
There’s Still Room at the Inn – For a Short Time
ALTA’s Innovation Boot Camp, to be held April 17-18 in New Orleans, still has rooms available for a discount at the NOPSI Hotel. But hurry, the room block ENDS March 16!
Don't Let Your Deal Crumble at Closing
March 8, 2018
No real estate agent wants his or her deal to crumble at the closing because of errors or unanswered questions. ALTA has created a video that members can use to help explain why their clients should purchase an owner's title insurance policy to protect their property rights. This video, titled "Don't Let Your Deal Crumble at Closing," is one of several available in the HOP Video Library powered by AmTrust Title to serve as a resource for marketing and education efforts. Additional videos include "5 Reasons You Need Title Insurance," "Title Insurance is Where the Smart Is" and "Protect Your Money From Wire Fraud Schemes."
7 Tips to Enhance Cybersecurity Awareness in Your Organization
March 8, 2018
A recent study has shown that the average size of a data breach has increased 1.8 percent to more than 24,000 records since 2016. It is now more important than ever to implement preventative measures to help mitigate the risk of cyber attacks and train employees on cybersecurity best practices. The weakest link is often not the technology itself, but the users who can unknowingly cause a security incident through events such as opening a phishing email or allowing a visitor on-site without checking their access.
Simplifile Approved E-notary Vendor in Arkansas
March 8, 2018
Simplifile is the fifth e-notary service provider to be approved by the state since it began allowing e-notarizations in 2013.
AmTrust Title Introduces ASAP Digital Tool for Agents
March 8, 2018
Through new features in its proprietary system AmTrust Search and Production (ASAP), agents can order, track and receive title search products and generate draft commitments.
Qualia Raises $33 Million in Funding from Venture Firms
March 8, 2018
With the new capital, Qualia said it will expand its engineering and product teams and accelerate their growth into additional markets across the United States.
Stewart Adds Commercial Services Staff in California and Washington State
March 8, 2018
To support expansion of its commercial services and meet growing demand in the western United States, Stewart is adding industry veterans to its existing team.
Look Who's Attending ALTA SPRINGBOARD
March 7, 2018
Want to take your business to the next level? Join ALTA and title industry experts from across the U.S. at the second annual ALTA SPRINGBOARD! Log in to ALTA’s website and find out which of your friends will be representing their companies at the conference.
Senators Introduce ALTA-supported Bill to Fix TRID
March 6, 2018
On March 5, Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Doug Jones (D-AL) introduced the TRID Improvement Act (S. 2490), a bipartisan bill that corrects the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance premiums on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) and helps consumers understand the true cost of their real estate transaction.
Indiana Joins States With Online Notary Legislation
March 6, 2018
Indiana’s General Assembly on Feb. 27 passed a bill by a 95-0 vote in the House after a prior 46-1 vote in the Senate that will allow remote online notarizations (RON). The legislation will go into effect July 1, 2019 once the bill is signed by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb.
CFPB Releases List of Rural and Underserved Counties
March 6, 2018
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released on March 6 the 2018 list of rural and underserved counties and a separate 2018 list that includes only rural counties.
Stewart Expands Commitment to E-closing Convenience in 12 States
March 6, 2018
In a release, Stewart said partnerships and technology integrations have positioned the company to support digital closings with electronic consumer and notary signatures, as well as remote online notarization of required lender and settlement documents.
Lessons From Losses: Don’t Let the Finish Line Become a Starting Line for Trouble
March 6, 2018
Remember when Grand Poobah Fred sold the Loyal Order of the Water Buffaloes’ land without authority and absconded with the proceeds of the sale? Well fraud is not the only reason to make sure the person signing corporate documents has authority to do so. Even honest mistakes by a buyer or seller, when they are not caught by the title agency, can lead to significant losses.
AmTrust Names New SVP in National Commercial Division
March 6, 2018
In this role, Stephen W. Francis is charged with growing direct national commercial business throughout the southeast region and will oversee the production center servicing the customers of the region.
Free Webinar: Commercial vs. Residential Transactions
March 1, 2018
Handling commercial deals can be lucrative, but they also require substantially more due diligence and carry additional risk. Register for ALTA's next free webinar to learn the differences between commercial and residential transactions, as well as the hurdles you must overcome when handling the more complex commercial orders.
Profile: ALTA President Steve Day
March 1, 2018
ALTA President Steve Day captures the title industry’s essence with the development of Our Values initiative. Read on to learn more about ALTA's president and association's strategic priorities for 2018.
CATIC Expands Into Florida
March 1, 2018
CATIC, a Bar-related title insurance company, has expanded its operations with the opening of an office in Orlando, Fla.
Where Can You Get CE/CLE, Hear a Rapper and Braindate?
February 28, 2018
Yeah, you read that right. Attend 2018 ALTA SPRINGBOARD and you’ll get to experience Braindating—where you can curate your own conference experience and meet one-on-one with other attendees—and hear Atlanta-based rapper Brandon Blue perform a self-written song about the title industry.
IRS Requires Personal Information When Verifying Taxpayer Identity
February 27, 2018
On Jan. 3, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) instituted a new identity verification process requiring third parties calling on behalf of a taxpayer to verify their identity by providing personal information such as their Social Security Number and date of birth.
House Passes TRID Bill Again in Effort to Spur Senate Action
February 27, 2018
By a voice vote on Feb. 27, the U.S. House of Representatives for a second time passed the TRID Improvement Act of 2017.
Tax Reform Webinar Recording Available for Purchase
February 27, 2018
Whether you are a sole practitioner, small business owner or large corporation, tax reform legislation will change your tax liability and impact business planning for years to come. Purchase this webinar recording as experts from Steptoe & Johnson's tax group detail how the changes affect your business so you know the questions to ask when talking with your accountant.
Diverse Syndicate Invests $3 Million Into SafeChain
February 27, 2018
SafeChain’s product, SafeWire, uses a unique multi-factor authentication mechanism to help prevent wire transfer fraud.
ALTA Members Can Save with UPS
February 27, 2018
ALTA members can take advantage of some of the most competitive rates available on shipping services with UPS.
Res/Title Raises Money for Congenial Heart Walk
February 27, 2018
On February 23, ALTA President Steve Day NTP and Res/Title CEO Jim Paolino participated in February’s “End of the Month for a Cause,” by wearing red to raise funds for the Congenital Heart Walk.
Qualia Achieves ISO 27001 Certification
February 27, 2018
Qualia announced that it is an ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified provider whose Information Security Management System (ISMS) has received third-party accreditation from the International Standards Organization.
Our Values In Action
February 22, 2018
Last year, ALTA unveiled its Our Values initiative. The key words of the values are: We Lead, We Deliver, We Protect. Check out how one member etched the values in glass and displayed them in their office.
 The Docket: California Court Addresses Priority of Liens Filed at Same Time
February 22, 2018
Giancarlo Spolidoro, vice president and commercial counsel for Chicago Title, reviews a recent decision by a California Court of Appeals that addressed the lien priority of a refinance and a HELOC that were filed at the same time. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
Stewart, Pavaso Partner to Accelerate Adoption of E-closings
February 22, 2018
Stewart and e-mortgage technology developer Pavaso Inc. have partnered to promote and deliver a fully digital mortgage closing process.
CertifID Receives $1.7M in Seed Financing
February 22, 2018
CertifID is a wire fraud prevention platform designed to authenticate the identities of transactional parties and share banking information securely.
Oregon Now E-recording Statewide with Simplifile
February 22, 2018
Simplifile announced that Wallowa County, Ore., has adopted its e-recording service, making Oregon the eighth state to implement e-recording in each of its counties statewide.
Take ALTA's Survey on Business and Cyber Insurance
February 22, 2018
Every day our industry continues to evolve. This constant change brings new ways of doing business as well as new threats. At ALTA, our goal is to help the title and settlement industry keep up with these trends. To help with this, ALTA is asking title professionals to take this survey about the types of insurance coverages title agencies and settlement companies buy to protect their businesses. Results of the ALTA Survey on Business and Cyber Insurance will be shared with the industry for benchmarking purposes. Responses will be anonymous. Participants will receive a copy of the findings.
Title and Rap Industries Collide
February 21, 2018
Atlanta-based rapper Brandon Blue will set the tone for ALTA SPRINGBOARD during the opening Finding Your Rhythm session. Blue will sing a self-written song that encompasses the title industry's values of leading, delivering and protecting. More than just gritty beats and standard lyrics, Blue's music reflects personal experiences and the ability to overcome adversity. He will then hold a Q&A about his creative process for developing the lyrics.
Old Republic Title Announces Pavaso as National E-closing Technology Provider
February 20, 2018
Old Republic National Title Insurance Company (ORNTIC) has partnered with Pavaso to provide an e-closing solution that serves as a foundation for processing digital real estate transactions in ORNTIC's direct and national settlement operations.
First American Named to the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work
February 20, 2018
For the third consecutive year, First American Financial Corporation was named as one of the 2018 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For.
North American Title Names State Agency Manager for Colorado
February 20, 2018
As state agency manager for Colorado, Susan Stewart will be responsible for overseeing agency operations across the state and working with new and existing title insurance agents to grow their business.
Technology that Makes Sense for the Digital Mortgage Closing Community
February 20, 2018
A primary opportunity in creating the digital mortgage process is in the closing phase. There are certainly a variety of digital closing solutions on the market today, offering a range of capabilities, such as allowing customers to review documents electronically, and to e-sign documents when appropriate. The question is not whether an e-close can be done, but rather, what questions must be asked and answered for it to be deployed successfully across the industry.
Help Protect Your Industry: Take the Congressional Liaisons Survey
February 20, 2018
John Voso Jr. made a commitment to be an advocate for the title industry about six years ago. He's challenging you to do the same. Do you know an elected official? You can get started today by taking our Congressional Liaisons survey.
Title Midwest Acquires Title Company in Oklahoma
February 15, 2018
Title Midwest Inc. announced its recent acquisition of Main Street Title, which has locations in Tulsa and Edmond.
House Passes ALTA-supported Bill to Fix TRID
February 15, 2018
By a vote of 269-143, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that corrects the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance premiums on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) and help consumers understand the true cost of their real estate transaction.
The Docket: Equitable Subrogation May Be Applied to Series of Prior Payoffs
February 15, 2018
Michael N. Russo Jr., director of the law firm Council Baradel, reviews a recent decision by the U. S. District Court that addressed whether equitable subrogation can be applied to previous refinances.
Fidelity Announces Brand Refresh for TitleWave
February 15, 2018
Fidelity National Title Group (FNTG) announced a new logo, tagline and website for TitleWave Real Estate Solutions, which provides title production in over 25 states,
Earn Olympic Gold With Your Marketing Efforts
February 14, 2018
2018 is expected to be another strong purchase market. What are you doing to grow your business? Register for one of ALTA's Innovation Boot Camps and learn how to build an effective marketing plan that you can implement tomorrow and dominate the competition.
Get Busy Growing - ALTA SPRINGBOARD
February 14, 2018
Business, like life, comes down to taking advantage of new opportunities and continue growing your company and career. There's no better opportunity to do this than at the 2018 ALTA SPRINGBOARD.
Four Proactive Tips to Improve Cybersecurity for Small Businesses
February 13, 2018
According to Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, 61 percent of data breaches in 2016 affected small businesses. As many of you are aware, the title industry is in the attackers’ direct line of fire. The good news is that effective IT security is not beyond reach. Here are a few cybersecurity tips that can benefit your business.
ALTA Welcomes New Members
February 13, 2018
ALTA is pleased to announce new and associate members, as well as real estate attorneys, who have recently joined ALTA. You can view the entire list of new members. Last month, ALTA celebrated record membership for the ninth consecutive year. ALTA now has nearly 6,400 members. Not a member? Click here to join today. You can also check out this video to learn how ALTA membership can take your business to new summits.
CFPB Refocuses Mission in New Strategic Plan
February 13, 2018
The five-year strategic plan refocuses the CFPB's mission on regulating consumer financial products or services under existing federal consumer financial laws, enforcing those laws judiciously, and educating and empowering consumers to make better informed financial decisions.
 House Expected to Vote on ALTA-supported Bill to Fix TRID
February 13, 2018
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would correct the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance premiums on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) and help consumers understand the true cost of their real estate transaction.
Step-by-Step Recovery Process Made Available for Wire Fraud Victims
February 13, 2018
To help the increasing number of title agents, homebuyers, real estate professionals and mortgage lenders targeted by the wire fraud epidemic, two industry experts have published a white paper detailing the immediate steps the victimized professional or homebuyer must take in order to improve the odds of recovering stolen funds.
 Investors Title Reports Q4 and Full-year 2017 Earnings
February 13, 2018
North Carolina-based Investors Title Co. reported pre-tax income of $30.3 million during 2017. This compares to pre-tax income of $28.1 million during 2016.
 #HAPPYCLOSINGDAY
February 8, 2018
Ironclad Title in Louisiana is an example of one title company embracing the mantra of ALTA's Homebuyer Outreach Program (HOP). And it’s paying dividends. Read on to find out how simple changes to the company's color scheme and promoting #happyclosingday on social media have brought new juice to Ironclad Title's marketing efforts.
 House Passes Mortgage Choice Act
February 8, 2018
The U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 8 voted 280-131 to pass H.R. 1153, the Mortgage Choice Act of 2017, which would relax the restriction on fees paid to lender-affiliated title companies in Qualified Mortgage (QM) transactions.
 Stewart Reports Financial Results
February 8, 2018
Stewart Information Services Corp. reported that its title insurance segment generated $27 million in pre-tax income during the fourth quarter of 2017. This compared to $38.1 million during the same period in 2016.
 First American Reports Q4, Full-year 2017 Results
February 8, 2018
First American Financial reported that its title insurance and services segment generated pre-tax income of nearly $642.4 million in 2017. This compared to pre-tax income of $598.9 million in 2016.
Simplifile Expands E-recording in Florida
February 8, 2018
Manatee County joins 51 other Florida counties that also offer e-recording through Simplifile.
CATIC and CATIC Foundation Provide Financial Support to the Connecticut Community Law Center
February 8, 2018
CATIC and CATIC Foundation announced a pledge of $45,000 in support of the Connecticut Community Law Center, an initiative of the University of Connecticut School of Law and the Hartford County Bar Association.
 Watch the Brand New ALTA SPRINGBOARD Video!
February 7, 2018
Let's face it, we could tell you until we're blue in the face how perfect ALTA SPRINGBOARD is for you and your organization. But when you want to try something new, who do you go to for an honest opinion?
 Watch the Brand New ALTA SPRINGBOARD Video!
February 7, 2018
Let's face it, we could tell you until we're blue in the face how perfect ALTA SPRINGBOARD is for you and your organization. But when you want to try something new, who do you go to for an honest opinion? Your friends! Take a look at this short video of your title industry friends describing their experiences at the in-person event that gets you ready to share and learn new ideas.
ALTA’s 2018 Strategic Priorities
February 6, 2018
Strategic planning is an important focus of ALTA’s Board of Governors and its staff. It provides a sense of direction and outlines measurable goals. Strategic planning helps guide day-to-day decisions, and also helps when evaluating progress and changing approaches while moving forward. Read on to learn the six strategic priorities ALTA will focus on in 2018.
ALTA 2018 TIPAC Donors
February 6, 2018
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. TIPAC has received $293,352 from 350 donors so far in 2018. Check out who has supported the industry.
Agents National Title Appoints Florida State Manager
February 6, 2018
As Florida state manager and counsel, Kevin Thomas will be responsible for establishing the company's business operations and agency base in the state, and will also oversee agency operations, production and underwriting.
Black Knight to Deliver End-to-End Digital Mortgage Solution
February 6, 2018
Black Knight announced plans to launch an advanced hybrid and full digital closing solution that supports data and document exchange, workflow and processes associated with real estate transactions.
Eliminate 'Stare and Compare' When Confirming Your Title and Settlement Agents
February 6, 2018
The American Land Title Association (ALTA) has launched a national registry of title and settlement agents: The ALTA Registry. This is a unique and first of its kind registry for the title industry. The electronic database is updated daily.
Utah-based Cottonwood Title Acquires Competitor
February 6, 2018
Cottonwood Title Insurance Agency Inc., a Utah-based title insurance company, announced the acquisition of Founders Title Company and Founders Title Company of Davis.
Help Bring Order to Lender Pipeline
February 2, 2018
With 29 confirming underwriters onboard, the national ALTA Registry sped past the 3,000 confirmed locations at years end and is now on course to break the 4,000 barrier! Be part of the solution: Get confirmed today and help your lender clients reduce errors and risk.
Link Directly to Your ALTA Registry Listing
February 2, 2018
If your company is in the ALTA Registry and confirmed by your underwriter(s), a great way to highlight to your clients that you are “part of the solution” is to add a link from your website or email directly to your own listing in the ALTA Registry.
 Court Rules RESPA Allows Referral Arrangements, Finds CFPB Structure Constitutional
February 1, 2018
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Jan. 31 issued a ruling in PHH Corporation v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a landmark case challenging the bureau’s constitutionality and a controversial anti-kickback enforcement action for alleged RESPA section 8 violations.
 The Docket: U.S. District Court Addresses Effect of Forfeiture on Tenancy by the Entirety
February 1, 2018
Jeffrey Lang, vice president and national underwriting counsel for Old Republic National Title Insurance Co., reviews a recent decision by the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia that addresses applicability of a federal criminal forfeiture to a tenancy by the entirety interest created under state law.
 Fidelity Reports 2017, Q4 Results
February 1, 2018
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title insurance segment generated pre-tax earnings of $955 million during 2017.
ALTA SPRINGBOARD Scholarship Can Help Get You to Atlanta
February 1, 2018
The Fidelity National Title Group Scholarship will award 10 recipients complimentary registration to ALTA SPRINGBOARD. This scholarship program is open to title insurance agents and real estate attorneys employed by a company that has a gross revenue of less than $500,000.
Fidelity Names New Agency President
February 1, 2018
Steven G. Day NTP was promoted to president of Fidelity National Title Group's National Agency Operations and will oversee the company’s network of over 5,000 agents.
Periodic Reminder: Beware of Phishers and Offers of Registry Data-For-Sale
February 1, 2018
The National ALTA Registry Operates Similarly to a Phone Book.
A phone book tells you that at the time of printing, it can be confirmed that a business existed with its printed name and location(s). It is an industry utility designed only to help the lending industry communicate more effectively with their title and settlement service providers. To this end we would like to that this opportunity to refresh us all as to what data is published in it and how it gets there.
Sold Out! Time to Sign Up for the Next HOP Leader Training
January 31, 2018
It's Official! We Sold Out! The HOP Leader Training on February 8 in Nashville has SOLD OUT of registration spots! If you don't want to be left in the cold, be sure to register NOW for our other upcoming HOP Leader Trainings
 ICYMI: Webinar on Building the Right Foundation for Your Team
January 30, 2018
Listen to this webinar recording and find out how an industry leader is actively building his team and changing his company’s culture to enhance engagement, empower employees for success and bring positive energy to title insurance. Learn tips about how to energize your teams and how to get employees to buy into your vision or mission.
Hit by Wire Transfer Fraud? Use the Kill Chain Process
January 30, 2018
The FBI offers a Financial Fraud Kill Chain (FFKC) process to help recover large international wire transfers stolen from the United States. This process can only be used if the fraudulent wire transfer meets certain criteria.
 Vermont Launches Blockchain Pilot to Record Real Estate Transfers
January 30, 2018
Propy has launched a project in collaboration with the City Clerk's Office of South Burlington, Vt., to utilize blockchain technology to record real estate conveyance documents. In 2016, the state's legislature released results of a report that concluded the costs and challenges associated with the use of blockchain technology for the state's public recordkeeping outweighed the benefits.
 Old Republic Reports Full-year 2017, Q4 Results
January 30, 2018
Old Republic reported that its title insurance group generated $237.1 million in pre-tax income during 2017. This is up from $210.2 million in pre-tax income the previous year.
FNTG Names Division Manager
January 30, 2018
As executive vice president and division manager, Edson Burton will oversee Fidelity National Title Group’s commercial and residential real estate operations in the Midwest, East and Southeast.
Membership Grace Period Ends Jan. 31
January 30, 2018
ALTA membership is the key way for title and settlement companies to get access to products that help save money and to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to excel. Make sure to renew your membership before Jan. 31 or you’ll lose access to exclusive member-only business tools, insights and information.
Survey Shows TRID Helping With Borrower Satisfaction
January 30, 2018
The Stratmor Group notes that despite the increase in loan cost and longer closing cycle, borrower satisfaction has improved. Stratmor attributes this increase to the fact that more lenders are contacting consumers prior to closing. Increased contact between the borrower and lender was one of the key goals of TRID.
Take Advantage of the ALTA Hiring Resources
January 25, 2018
ALTA has developed many tools and resources to aid members in the hiring process. Available items include checklists for new hires and for when employees leave, as well as sample behavioral interviewing questions. You must be an ALTA member and logged into the site to access the material. ALTA also offers a Model Training Program that incorporates elements for new and veteran employees. Build the perfect training program with a mix of audio, video, distance learning, team-building and face-to-face training opportunities. Looking to post an opening at your company on a job board but sure what it should say? Check out the sample job descriptions and advertisements.
CFPB Seeks Comments on Investigation Process
January 25, 2018
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a request for information (RFI) on Jan. 24 seeking comment on the bureau's process for investigating companies that face possible enforcement actions. A day after issuing the request, CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney laid out the bureau’s new governing philosophy in a staff memo, which said that regulated businesses should have the right to know the rules before being charged. “This means more formal rulemaking on which financial institutions can rely, and less regulation by enforcement,” Mulvaney wrote.
WFG Grows National Commercial Services Division
January 25, 2018
As senior vice president of the division, Erin Scheckler’s primary focus will be to expand the commercial presence in WFG’s direct-owned western operations while leveraging the WFG agency network in the eastern states through its Florida-based National Agency Commercial Services group.
Title Tap Launches Solution for Online Reputation, Consumer Complaint Tracking
January 25, 2018
TitleTap, a provider of real estate law and title insurance website marketing tools, announced a new solution that combines a way for consumers to share positive reviews on places like Facebook and Google, while satisfying the requirement for consumer complaint resolution tracking.
NATIC Appoints Georgia Agency Manager
January 25, 2018
John Kotleba will oversee agency operations throughout Georgia, while securing and servicing title insurance agents to promote new and increased business activity.
AmTrust Title Partners With A.S.K. Services
January 25, 2018
AmTrust Title Insurance Company has formed an alliance with A.S.K. Services, a title production and public record research firm, to support the underwriter’s agents in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.
DocMagic Reaches E-signing Milestone
January 25, 2018
DocMagic Inc. reached a significant milestone having processed more than 300 million mortgage-related electronic signatures.
Simplifile E-recording Network Passes 1,700 Jurisdictions
January 25, 2018
Simplifile now offers its e-recording solution in 1,715 jurisdictions, which encompasses 97 percent of the total number of U.S. jurisdictions reported by the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA).
Dazed and Confused Consumer
January 23, 2018
Fannie Mae research shows education empowers homeownership with knowledge and confidence. The ALTA Homebuyer Outreach Program can help explain benefits of title insurance earlier in the process.
The Docket: N.Y. Court Addresses Case Involving Deed Obtained by Fraudulent Inducement
January 23, 2018
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 recent decision by the New York Appellate Division (First Department) that involved a deed obtained by fraudulent inducement and the execution of a Consolidated Extension Mortgage Agreement Note. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry.
WACO Title, Pavaso Collaborate to Deliver E-notary Closing in Arkansas
January 23, 2018
WACO Title Company and Pavaso Inc. reported that the companies recently completed Arkansas’ first full e-notary closing since the state legislature passed The Arkansas Electronic Notary Public Act in early 2017.
ResWare Integrates with Alliant National for CPLs and Policy Jackets
January 23, 2018
Agents of Alliant National Title Insurance Company can now generate policies and CPLs from the title production system for improved efficiency and accuracy.
Tohickon Settlement Services Opens New Office in Center City, Pa.
January 23, 2018
The firm has named Rob Stephan as account executive and Ryan Cortez as closing agent to handle client needs at its new office in Center City, Pa., which includes the central business and central neighborhoods of Philadelphia.
Cloudstar Names VP of Business Development
January 23, 2018
As vice president of business development, Deb Grace will foster new relationships, while at the same time, nurture existing clients by acting act as a knowledgeable industry resource and expert to help solve problems for title agents, underwriters, vendors and others in the mortgage, real estate and financial services industries.
Buy Two ALTA SPRINGBOARD Tickets, and the Third Is On Us
January 23, 2018
Get the biggest savings you’ll find for ALTA SPRINGBOARD when you purchase two full-price registrations and get a third from ALTA for free! Send more so you can do more.
Confirm Your Registry Listing Today
January 20, 2018
Did you know that more than 5,000 of your competitors’ locations are already confirmed in the ALTA Registry? We want to make sure you don’t miss out. Joining the ALTA Registry is free. Just because you're an ALTA member or have an ALTA Policy Forms License does not mean your company is in the Registry.
ALTA Continues Support of Bill Clarifying CFPB’s Ability to Regulate Insurance
January 18, 2018
ALTA joined seven other insurance trade groups urging support for a bipartisan bill that would clarify and reinforce the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ability to regulate the insurance industry.
How Social Engineering and Phishing Can Affect You and Your Business
January 18, 2018
Phishing email flood our inboxes every day. That’s why it’s important to constantly be cautious when you receive a suspect message. Read on for tips from ALTA’s Information Security Committee to help protect against phishing schemes.
OneTitle Partners With Title Agency to Expand Into New Jersey
January 18, 2018
OneTitle National Guaranty Company, Inc. has formed a partnership with Sovereign Title Agency LLC to offer title insurance policies for residential and commercial properties in New Jersey.
CoreLogic Integrates Fraud and Income Verification Solutions With LendingQB
January 18, 2018
CoreLogic’s income verification solution and fraud report are now available on the LendingQB Loan Origination System (LOS).
Florida Agency Network Launches Collaboration Portal
January 18, 2018
The company said its portal bridges wire fraud security best practices with the benefits of a consumer-friendly closing experience.
ResWare Integrates With National Title Information Services
January 18, 2018
Adeptive Software announced the integration of its ResWare title production software with National Title Information Services (NTIS), which provides tax and municipal lien searches in all 50 states.
No Gimmicks, Just Savings When You Register Now for ALTA SPRINGBOARD!
January 17, 2018
If you’ve been thinking about registering for ALTA SPRINGBOARD, now is the time: Take advantage of our Early Bird Pricing, ending this Friday, January 19! Save $50 off regular registration and start making plans to join us March 20-21 in Atlanta!
Boost Your Marketing Efforts With These Brandable Ads
January 16, 2018
ALTA members can modify and brand marketing material with their company information and logo at www.ALTAprints.com. You can customize material and download PDFs for free or order prints that can be delivered directly to your office.
Trident Announces Leadership Changes
Reuters  |  January 16, 2018  |  Pete Schroeder
Barbara Griest has been named president of The Trident Group, while Lisa DeWolf was appointed president of Trident Land Transfer Company.
ZOCCAM Enhances Platform That Facilitates Escrow Payments
January 16, 2018
ZOCCAM announced an enhancement to its platform that expedites onboarding of escrow agents and financial institutions. ZOCCAM enables real estate agents and consumers utilizing its mobile app to send earnest money and closing costs to the escrow agent via mobile capture.
Stewart Names District Manager of New England
January 16, 2018
In this role, Gary Bernier will be responsible for agency operations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Calling All Experts: Apply to be Faculty at 2018 ALTA SPRINGBOARD
January 16, 2018
The Call for Faculty for 2018 ALTA SPRINGBOARD is now open. We are looking for discussion facilitators to lead thoughtful and interactive round-table discussions and brainstorms on specific issues, and speakers for a limited series on career advancement. As a member of the ALTA Faculty, you’ll showcase your knowledge and expertise, and facilitate SPRINGBOARD attendees through this unique, collaborative learning experience. ALTA SPRINGBOARD will be held March 20-21 in Memphis, Tenn., at the Peabody Hotel. We are accepting faculty applications through Wednesday, Jan. 17.
Be Part of the Faculty at ALTA SPRINGBOARD
January 12, 2018
The format of ALTA SPRINGBOARD is different from the typical ALTA meeting, so the responsibilities of the faculty are different as well. ALTA is looking for discussion facilitators to lead thoughtful and interactive round-table discussions and brainstorms on specific issues, and speakers for a limited series on career advancement. Find out what’s required, the perks and how to submit an application. Deadline to submit an application is Friday, Jan. 4. ALTA SPRINGBOARD will be held March 20-21 in Memphis, Tenn.
House Financial Services Committee to Vote on Bill Clarifying CFPB’s Ability to Regulate Insurance
January 11, 2018
The Business of Insurance Regulatory Reform Act of 2017 (3746)—introduced by U.S. Reps. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) and Gwen Moore (D-Wis.)—would amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to clarify the authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) with respect to entities regulated by a state insurance regulator, and for other purposes.
Westcor Partners With Notarize to Offer Online Notarization in 16 States
January 11, 2018
Westcor Land Title Insurance Company has partnered with Notarize to expand online notarization to real estate transactions in 16 states. The partnership enables borrowers, independent title agents and lenders to benefit from online closings utilizing Notarize’s platforms.
SoftPro Integrates With New Jersey Search Experts
January 11, 2018
SoftPro recently integrated with New Jersey Search Experts for ordering judgment searches, chancery abstracts, corporate status reports, UCC’s, assessment, utility searches, and many other reports and searches.
The Need for Change Management
January 11, 2018
We live in an era of constant change. Nothing stays the same. Change comes in many forms. It could be a change in legislative or regulatory compliance (CFPB), or a change in your business process or policies (ALTA’s Best Practices), and it will most likely include a change in technology. The success of any business transition depends on leaders being able to influence others, such as your staff.
The Docket: Is A ‘Real Covenant’ Just A Contract?
January 11, 2018
Lance Pomerantz, a New York sole practitioner who provides expert testimony, litigation consulting and strategic advice in land title disputes, reviews a recent New York case that asks if a recorded covenant that runs with the land can be “abandoned” in the same way as a contract provision.
AmTrust Selects New Southeast Counsel
January 11, 2018
As Southeast counsel, Richard H. Himes Jr. will be responsible for providing underwriting assistance to agents in Florida and the Southeast as well as to support company management as it launches business operations in those states.
ATG LegalServe Partners with File & ServeXpress to Provide E-filing Solution in Illinois
January 11, 2018
Now that electronic filing is required throughout most of Illinois as of Jan. 1, 2018, law firms and courts can realize even more efficiency and cost savings because of a partnership between ATG LegalServe and File & ServeXpress.
Educate New Hires With ALTA's Updated Title 101 Online Course
January 10, 2018
With 18 revised chapters that will introduce or refresh basic title insurance concepts to anyone, Title 101 topics include searching, abstracting, land descriptions, underwriting, policy forms, closing and escrow, industry regulations and more.
Senate Hearing Examines Overhauling Ant-money Laundering Regulations
January 9, 2018
The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing Jan. 9 discussing the potential of overhauling regulations aimed at curbing money laundering. During the hearing, one of the expert witnesses said the information collected by title companies about individuals behind companies used to conduct high-end, all-cash real estate transactions in certain major jurisdictions was an example of successful data collection reported to FinCEN.
Knight Barry Title Expands Service Area to Eastern Minnesota
January 9, 2018
Knight Barry Title continued its expansion efforts with the recent acquisition of a title insurance group in Minnesota owned by Chuck and David Bang.
ALTA Joins Industry Groups Urging Congress to Enact National Data Breach Legislation
January 9, 2018
Following a series of recent data breaches, ALTA and 21 other industry groups sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee asking Congress to pass strong federal data protection and consumer breach notification legislation to help ensure consumers’ important personal and payment information is not vulnerable to cyber hackers.
Demotech Partners With Tridster to Help Consumers Make Better-Informed Decisions on Title Insurance
January 9, 2018
Demotech and Tridster have partnered to provide consumers with financial stability ratings when they are shopping for title insurance companies.
 The Docket: Maryland Appellate Court Rules on Adverse Possession
January 9, 2018
Sally Presler-McCash of the law firm Joseph Greenwald & Laake PA reviews an unreported opinion from the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, which addresses an adverse possession claim. While this is an unreported opinion, the decision is still important to the title industry. Read on.
Stewart Chief Corporate Development Officer to Provide Strategic Oversight to Direct Operations
January 9, 2018
Stewart announced that John Magness will provide strategic oversight to Stewart’s U.S. direct operations as an expanded part of his role as chief corporate development officer.
 To Our Members: Thank You
January 4, 2018
ALTA constantly thinks about new tools and resources our members need to succeed. Formulating the ALTA Best Practices, launching a human resources library to help you in your hiring process, starting the Title Action Network and creating the Homebuyer Outreach Program are just a few examples of tools we’ve rolled out the last few years to help our members meet market demands.
 ICYMI: 2018 Housing Market Forecast Webinar
January 4, 2018
The future of the housing market looks very different from the past. No longer can we rely on falling mortgage rates to financially encourage refinancing and moving. First-time homebuyers are increasingly a critical segment of the housing market, but Millennials are so different from their Baby Boomer parents with different attitudes and impediments to homeownership. Or are they? Listen to a recording of this webinar as Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American Financial Corporation, provides a forecast of the 2018 housing market.
Public Hearing Set in New York to Examine New Title Regs
January 4, 2018
The New York Assembly Standing Committee on Insurance will hold a public hearing to evaluate new title insurance regulations that clarify rules about marketing expenses and ancillary fees that title agents or title insurers may charge.
Holler Law Among Top 100 Law Firms in U.S. for Growth
January 4, 2018
Milford, Conn.-based Holler Law firm was recognized as one of the fastest growing law firms in the United States by Law Firm 500.
ResWare Integrates With TitleM
January 4, 2018
TitleM aggregates data from multiple customer platforms including legacy, archived, payment or acquisition-related systems into a single service.
It's a New Year: Time to Invest in Your Business and Yourself
January 3, 2018
Register for ALTA SPRINGBOARD and Drive New Business, Foster Professional Growth. Looking for new ways to grow market share, enhance customer relationships and improve staff performance? Register now for ALTA SPRINGBOARD, be part of the conversation and collaborate with other professionals to help drive innovation and position yourself for success.
Proplogix Integrates With Qualia’s Marketplace
January 2, 2018
PropLogix has become the newest partner in the Qualia Marketplace, offering users nationwide HOA Estoppel certificates and municipal lien search options directly through the Qualia platform.
NATIC Names Northwest Regional Underwriting Counsel
January 2, 2018
Ian Kyle has eight years' experience in real estate law, including experience in litigation and as an underwriting counsel at the commercial branch of a national title insurance company
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