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Blockchain 101: How It Works
March 27, 2019
In this video, Amrock’s Bryan Bedard, a member of ALTA’s Blockchain Workgroup, explains blockchain in a low-tech, easy-to-understand way to help you learn how the technology can be used to improve the public land records system. If you can understand the rules of football, you can understand blockchain.
 Surviving the Silver Tsunami: What’s the Real Problem?
March 26, 2019
Deborah Higgins, senior vice president of human resources for Title Resources Group, led a discussion focused on finding and training staff during the first Ideas Festival titled “Surviving the Silver Tsunami” at ALTA SPRINGBOARD in Memphis. Read on to learn why Higgins believes the retirement tsunami might not be the industry's biggest challenge when it comes to an aging workforce, and find out what companies across the country are doing to attract and retain talent.
First American Title Company of Montana Expands Brand
March 22, 2019
All former American Title & Escrow locations in the state now operate under the brand First American Title Company of Montana. Title Financial Corporation—the parent company of First American Title Company of Montana—acquired American Title & Escrow last year.
Churchill Mortgage Forms Joint Venture With Title Company
March 22, 2019
According to a press release, the joint venture with American Home Title was created to streamline the origination process, accelerate closing times and create a secure mortgage experience for borrowers, real estate agents and lenders.
CATIC Offers PrepExpress Online Software in Florida
March 21, 2019
The customized closing tool streamlines the preparation of policies, while automating the calculation of tax adjustments, recording fees, conveyance and transfer taxes, and disbursements.
Fidelity Launches Digital Closing Platform
March 21, 2019
Integrated e-signature technology allows for many documents to be signed in advance of the closing and—in jurisdictions where it is permitted—remote online notarization capabilities ensure sellers and buyers can close on a transaction when and where it best suits their schedules.
Report Wire Transfer Fraud Activity to FBI
March 19, 2019
No matter the dollar loss, title and settlement companies are encouraged to report wire transfer fraud activity to the FBI at www.ic3.gov. This will help the bureau have a better understanding of the frequency of the fraudulent activity.
What’s Going on at ALTA SPRINGBOARD
March 19, 2019
More than 350 title professionals are set to take their businesses and careers to the next level at the 2019 ALTA SPRINGBOARD in Memphis, Tenn.
Set Up Your Company’s FREE ALTA Registry Listing
March 19, 2019
Did you know that more than 7,000 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.
Take Advantage of the ALTA Hiring Resources
March 19, 2019
Employee recruitment, retention, training and development are essential to a healthy business. 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.
 Utah Passes Bill Allowing Affiliated Businesses
March 19, 2019
Utah passed a bill that adopts the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act as the state repealed a law banning affiliated business arrangements.
Closepin Releases New Wire Instructions Verification Tool
March 19, 2019
In addition to providing lenders an automated compliance and risk management program for their closing agent network, Closepin said its solution now verifies wire instructions on the same insured platform.
NATIC Names Underwriting Counsel and State Manager in Florida
March 19, 2019
In this role, Jessica Hew will help oversee agency operations in Florida and expand NATIC’s attorney agent base in the state.
Visionet Unveils Tool to Automate Bulk Title Searches
March 19, 2019
Visionet Systems, Inc. launched a proprietary digitized title research and collation (D-TRAC) solution to automate bulk title search requirements.
ALTA Urges Congress to Develop Uniform Rules on Data Protection, Collection
March 18, 2019
ALTA urges Congress to develop national, uniform rules to guide businesses about how to protect data and to ensure consumers are notified of breaches in a timely and consistent manner.
Title Alliance Appoints General Counsel, Compliance Officer
March 14, 2019
In this role, Maria Deligiorgis is responsible for all of the company's legal and business elements in all operations, and supervising and directing underwriting, compliance reports and best practices.
ICYMI: January Digital Title News
March 14, 2019
The cover article of this edition forecasts the 2019 market and how technology can help drive efficiencies as origination volume decreases. Also in this issue are articles on opportunity zones, rethinking closing cost quotes, ALTA’s National Title Professional designation and FinCEN’s renewal of its money laundering Geographic Targeting Order.
 Be Heard at ALTA's Advocacy Summit
March 14, 2019
ALTA Advocacy Summit is the premier event that unites ALTA members with federal lawmakers to advance policies that affect American property rights. ALTA Advocacy Summit features round-table discussions and intimate forums on public policies on topics such as title insurance, property rights, the home closing process, mortgage disclosures and fraud. Watch this video as title professionals across the country explain why they attend the ALTA Advocacy Summit. Join us in Washington, D.C., May 6-8. Register today.
ALTA 2019 TIPAC Donors
March 14, 2019
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 nearly $153,000 in pledges from 154 donors so far in 2019. Check out who has supported the industry.
Thomas Title & Escrow Names SVP for Dallas Market
March 14, 2019
An industry veteran of 40 years in title and banking, Anne M. Miller will be responsible for optimizing workflow process, technology platforms and regulatory compliance through training and review of benchmark performance standards.
RynohLive Integrates with Easysoft
March 13, 2019
The partnership between the two software companies provides a new solution enhancement for Easysoft’s attorney, legal professional and title agent clients via the ability to access RynohLive ‘s escrow and financial security under a single platform.
Learn How to Fight Cyber Fraud
March 12, 2019
Let's be honest, being a professional in the title insurance industry right now can seem scary. Issues such as real estate wire fraud, personal information privacy, data security, cyber insurance coverage and your liability can be overwhelming. You might feel like you have a lot of questions but very few answers. Get answers at ALTA's Wire Fraud Boot Camp. Six hours of CE/CLE will be available in many states.
 Paving the Way for Women in the Title Industry
March 12, 2019
The 1920s represented a monumental period of change for women’s roles in the United States. Women won the right to vote through the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Aug. 12, 1920. By the mid-1920s, women had successfully entered the title insurance industry. Read on to learn about Jessie L. Chapman, the first woman to hold an official position with what was then called the American Title Association.
How Remote Online Notarization is Driving the Future of Identity Verification
March 12, 2019
With remote online notarization, we’re seeing the next evolution of the driver’s license.
First American Data Solutions Group Honored for Customer Service, Innovation
March 12, 2019
First American Database Solutions group earned a Gold Stevie award in the “Customer Service Training Team of the Year” category and Bronze Stevie awards in the “Innovation in Customer Service” and “Business Intelligence Solutions” categories.
Simplifile E-recording Network Reaches 1,900 Jurisdictions
March 12, 2019
Simplifile announced that its electronic recording network reached 1,900 jurisdictions with the addition of Logan County, Ill.
ALTA Board Approves Revision to Best Practices
March 7, 2019
ALTA’s Board of Governors on Feb. 21 approved a motion to revise the Title Insurance & Settlement Company Best Practices to include a requirement for companies to be listed in the ALTA Registry. The revision is under a 30-day comment period that ends April 12.
FTC Seeks Comment on Proposed Amendments to Safeguards and Privacy Rules
March 7, 2019
Proposed changes to the Safeguards Rule would require financial institutions to encrypt all customer data, to implement access controls to prevent unauthorized users from accessing customer information and to use multifactor authentication to access customer data.
ClosingCorp Unveils Price Trends Market Analyzer
March 7, 2019
ClosingCorp said the tool allows settlement agents to see their market share on national, state and county levels; benchmark their pricing based on product type and geography, or compare pricing to that offered by the top and bottom providers in each market; and assess the addressable market for various products by evaluating volume and pricing trends on a national, state and county level.
Qualia Launches Live Reconciliation Service
March 7, 2019
Qualia said its reconciliation specialists serve as ongoing accounting consultants to those companies seeking additional support to manage and clear a title company’s daily exceptions, help clean up and catch-up their accounts, send out digests with accounting updates, assist with creating and analyzing monthly reports required by underwriters, and be on the alert for any audit red flags.
North American Title Division Manager of Greater Sacramento/Northern Nevada
March 7, 2019
North American Title Co. promoted Brynn Powers to division manager for the company’s Greater Sacramento/Northern Nevada region.
Ellie Mae Integrates With ALTA Registry
March 5, 2019
Using the unique ALTA ID from the ALTA Registry is one of many steps Ellie Mae is taking to provide secure alternatives to email, especially critical on purchase-based transactions. With fraud on the rise, an opportunity exists for lenders to enhance security while simultaneously improving efficiency.
American Mortgage Consultants Acquires String Real Estate Information Services
March 5, 2019
The CEO of American Mortgage Consultants said the acquisition of String, which is a provider of title search outsourcing services, is part of ongoing efforts to offer a comprehensive set of title quality control services to participants in the secondary mortgage market.
ALTA Says PACE Programs Need Safeguards to Protect Consumers
March 5, 2019
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on March 4 issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to get feedback on residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. PACE loans allow homeowners to pay for energy-efficient retrofitting through their property tax assessments. These loans often take lien priority over the first mortgage lien. ALTA said PACE programs need effective safeguards that will promote energy efficiency property upgrades, while also protecting consumers.
States Title Names VP of National Operational Services
March 5, 2019
Doug Aunkst will manage North American Title’s national production and facilities support
Knight Barry Title Expands Into Florida With Acquisition
March 5, 2019
Knight Barry Title has expanded into Florida following its acquisition of Pensacola, Fla.-based Partnership Title Company LLC.
Fidelity Completes Its First Remote Online Notarization Transaction in Texas
March 5, 2019
This was the first such transaction for FNF in Texas, where state law allows escrow officers commissioned as online notary publics to perform fully digital closings using a combination of video technology and digital signatures.
Get a Blueprint to Protect Your Business from Wire Fraud
February 28, 2019
ALTA Innovation Boot Camps | Register Today
Please, don't be the next headline. We have created all new ALTA Innovation Boot Camps to help you protect your title or settlement company from wire fraud scammers and hackers.
ALTA Advocacy Summit Registration is Open
February 28, 2019
ALTA Advocacy Summit registration is open, and you can save $100 if you sign up by March 15. This event provides the only opportunity you’ll have to speak with legislators in person and create a lasting impression on members of Congress.
WACO Title Launches Closing Trainee Program
February 28, 2019
During the one-year program, trainees master a wide range of industry specific topics, including technology training. Upon completion, the trainees become WACO closing agents in markets throughout Arkansas and Missouri.
North American Title Appoints Division President, Manager of Illinois
February 28, 2019
North American Title Co. has named Rob Wahlen division president and manager for its Illinois region.
2019: The Year of Fintech in the Title Industry?
February 27, 2019
From the national companies to smaller operations that operate in one state, 2018 proved to be a year of acquisitions and expansion to gain market share. Earlier in the year, Fidelity announced plans to acquire Stewart. In December, States Title publicized plans to acquire North American Title Insurance Co. Both transactions, pending regulatory approval, are expected to close in 2019. The deals will significantly alter the industry landscape at the underwriter level. The acquisitions will ultimately have some effect on title agencies, which are also trying to decipher how to grow their business and capitalize on the technology wave. From secure collaboration and communication portals, electronic closings and remote online notarization (RON), and chat bots, assimilating technology into the homebuying process seems to be on the minds of title professionals across the country.
 Tips to Protect Payoffs from Wire Fraud
February 26, 2019
Traditional mortgage wire fraud scams usually began with a fraudster deceiving a buyer or key party to the transaction into believing the imposter was a legit participant in the deal. Once inserted into the email chain, the criminal changes already established wiring instructions. In a recent twist, fraudsters are deceiving title companies by issuing counterfeit mortgage payoffs and wire instructions from the start. Read on for tips to protect your operation from criminals targeting targeting loan payoffs.
ALTA Awards Professional Designation to Washington State Industry Veteran
February 26, 2019
Bill Ronhaar WTP, NTP recently received ALTA's National Title Professional (NTP) designation. Ronhaar joins 97 other leaders from across the United States who also have earned the designation.
Federal Title Expands Into Maryland
February 26, 2019
The company said the expansion was needed due to the growing number of settlements in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area.
Illinois Real Estate Title Center Acquires First Community Title Services
February 26, 2019
The Title Center, which is agent of Investors Title Insurance Co., now has nine locations with the addition of FCT’s Bloomington, Champaign and Pekin locations.
Simplifile Named a Top Mortgage Workplace by Mortgage Professional America
February 26, 2019
To evaluate companies for this honor, the publication collected employer nominations and employee surveys. Nominees were evaluated on metrics including benefits, incentives, employee development and culture.
Ohio Auditors Form Working Group to Test Multi-county Real Estate Transaction System
February 26, 2019
The County Auditors’ Association of Ohio (CAAO) recently formed a working group to study how blockchain technology can be implemented at the county level to more effectively transfer property deeds.
Take ALTA’s Cyber Crime Experience Survey
February 21, 2019
Have you experienced wire fraud, or are you concerned with cybersecurity? ALTA wants to learn more about wire fraud incidents in the industry! You can take ALTA’s short survey to share your experience with cyber crime. The goal of the survey is to learn more about wire fraud incidents in the industry. The survey includes questions on four main subjects including the frequency of phishing attempts, efforts to improve customer awareness, trends on employee training, and prosecutions.
ALTA Welcomes New Members
February 21, 2019
ALTA is pleased to announce new and associate members, as well as real estate attorneys, who have recently joined ALTA. Over the past month, ALTA gained 90 new members and now has nearly 5,300 member companies so far in 2019. Read on to view the entire list of new 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.
Check Out the New ALTA Marketplace
February 21, 2019
The new ALTA Marketplace provides members a more user-friendly search interface where you can look for vendors, products and services by name, location and relevance. The Marketplace is your one-stop shop for a wide range of services such as software to help you prevent wire fraud, including anti-phishing, email filters, firewalls and intrusion software.
Missouri Resident Receives ALTA National Title Professional Designation
February 21, 2019
ALTA announced that Mary Jo Edmiston MTP, NTP has been awarded a National Title Professional (NTP) designation. Formally acknowledged with her NTP designation on Feb. 1, Edmiston joins 97 other leaders from across the United States who also have devoted their careers and themselves to the land title insurance industry.
Webinar Recording: Staying Ahead of the Customer Curve
February 21, 2019
The real estate market is changing at a pace unlike any time 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 recording will help you get inside the heads of your main customer types, lenders, real estate agents and homeowners. Learn what drives their decision making and the things you can do to elevate their experience at the closing.
Give Your Brain Some Fresh Air
February 20, 2019
Stop Yawning and Start Engaging!
When you attend a live event and you have the opportunity to network, sometimes it's hard to get past the mundane chit-chat. We get it: If you have one more conversation about the weather or your flight in, you might just pull the fire alarm.
 The Docket: Do Policies Cover Easements Not Revealed in Public Record?
February 19, 2019
Christopher Smart, a shareholder with the law firm Carlton Fields, provided today’s review of a ruling by a U.S. district court in Louisiana addressing liability for easements created by facts on the ground, but not revealed in public records. Read on to learn why this case is important to the title industry.
PropLogix Launches New Third-party Vendor Payment Option
February 19, 2019
Much like a buyer would pay for an inspection prior to closing, PropPay allows the buyer or seller to pay for municipal lien searches before closing.
First American Named to Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work
February 19, 2019
For the fourth consecutive year, First American Financial Corporation was named to the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list.
ALTA Honors First Iowa Designee with National Title Professional Recognition
February 19, 2019
ALTA has awarded Zachary A. Ruroden ILTA CLTP, NTP a National Title Professional designation. Ruroden joins 97 other leaders from across the United States who also have earned the designation.
North America Title Names Florida Division President
February 19, 2019
A 30-year title insurance industry veteran, Marilyn Olliver will manage North American Title's branch offices throughout Florida.
 Cupid’s Fraudulent Arrow Often a Prelude to Wire Fraud
February 14, 2019
People looking for romance are hoping to be swept off their feet, not caught up in a scam. However, tens of thousands end up getting scammed instead of finding. These unsuspecting romantics often end up getting recruited by the online Casanovas and femme fatales as money mules to carry out wire transfers.
 Fidelity Reports Q4 and 2018 Financials
February 14, 2019
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title segment generated pre-tax earnings of $102 million during the fourth quarter of 2018. This compared to $248 million in pre-tax earnings during the same period in 2017.
 First American Reports Q4, 2018 Results
February 14, 2019
First American Financial Corp. reported that its title division generated $136.4 million in pre-tax income during the fourth quarter of 2018. This compares to $165.6 million in pre-tax income during the same period in 2017.
 Old Republic Shares 2018 Q4, Full-year Results
February 14, 2019
Old Republic International reported that its title segment posted pre-tax income of $61.1 million during the fourth quarter of 2018. This compared to $64.2 million in pre-tax income during the same period a year ago.
NATC Names Regional Presidents
February 14, 2019
Michael A. Montalvo will serve as president of the eastern region, while Chad Nichols was named president of the western region.
 Stewart Reports Fourth-quarter, Full-year Results
February 14, 2019
Stewart Information Services reported that its title segment posted pre-tax income of $29.5 million during the fourth quarter of 2018. This compared to $27.0 million in pre-tax income during the same period a year ago.
AmTrust Title Promotes Shapiro to General Counsel
February 14, 2019
In her new role, Felice K. Shapiro is responsible for all underwriting decisions for AmTrust Title and First Nationwide Title.
Stewart Names National Director of Lender Sales
February 14, 2019
Rich Kuegler will be responsible for sales and business development strategy for Stewart’s lender channel, with a focus on improving the customer experience in title/settlement and appraisal management solutions.
First American Promotes Kushi to Deputy Chief Economist
February 14, 2019
Odeta Kushi previously served as senior economist, helping First American’s Economics team research, create and publish unique perspectives on the housing market.
What’s Hot in Digital Closings
February 13, 2019
ALTA SPRINGBOARD is bringing you a special showcase, “What’s Hot in Digital Closings,” to highlight products and services that will help you keep up on trends and provide you with the latest and greatest strategies for delivering the ultimate customer experience at the closing table.
SoftPro Integrates With NextAce
February 12, 2019
Title and settlement service providers using SoftPro’s business exchange platform now have access to NextAce’s automated title search and reporting capabilities, the companies announced.
 Who Is Charles Jones?
February 12, 2019
Charles Jones passed away in 1938, yet his name lives on in the form of the Charles Jones Judgment Lien Upper Court Search, an industry standard title search service in New Jersey. Often referred to as a Chucky Jones search, the service and the name have such strong recognition in Northeast real estate and legal circles that it once again is the name of the company Charles Jones established and whose roots trace back to 1911. But, who was Charles Jones?
Utah Passes Remote Online Notarization Bill
February 12, 2019
Utah became the latest state to pass legislation that permits remote online notarizations (RON). The bill follows the key principles of the ALTA-MBA model legislation.
North American Title Company Names President
February 12, 2019
States Title, Inc. has named Dia Demmon president of its newly acquired subsidiary, North American Title Co. (NATC). She will oversee the company’s extensive title insurance, escrow and closing operations throughout the country.
 The Docket: Marketable Title vs. Economic Marketability
February 7, 2019
Annie Malave, underwriting counsel for Fidelity National Title Group, provided today’s review of a ruling by the Utah Court of Appeals addressing marketable title and whether notice to a title insurance agent regarding a claim can be considered notice to the title insurer. Read on to learn why this ruling is important to the title industry.
 The Docket: Virginia Supreme Court Rules Foreclosure Trustee Breached Fiduciary Duty
February 7, 2019
Bizhan Beiramee, managing attorney of Beiramee Law Group PC, provided today’s review of a ruling by the Virginia Supreme Court, which reversed the trial court’s dismissal in a case addressing the fiduciary duty of trustee in a non-judicial foreclosure sale. Read on to learn why this decision is important to the title industry. \
 Webinar Recording: Is What Happened in 2018 What We Should Expect In 2019?
February 7, 2019
As Millennials continue to age into homeownership—and like prior generations choose ownership over renting—potential demand will continue to increase. Yet, the question is where will the supply come from? Will existing homeowners choose to sell their homes and "move up?" Is the housing stock growing sufficiently to keep pace with the growth in households looking for shelter? Will the supply shortage that we have experienced for the last two years continue and will quickly rising house prices cause an affordability crisis? Listen First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming to find out if 2019 is the year that the housing market turns and ends it’s seven-year bull run.
 Indiana Orders Title Company to Reimburse Consumers for Alleged Overcharges
February 7, 2019
Following a market conduct examination, the Indiana Department of Insurance ordered a title company to reimburse consumers $3.1 million for allegedly overcharging for title insurance from 2006 to 2008.
Title Agencies Implement Blockchain Technology to Help Prevent Wire Fraud
February 7, 2019
Landmark Title Assurance Agency and Title Security Agency of Arizona both have implemented the RealBloq.io platform at some of their branch operations to securely send wire instructions.
North Dakota Governor Reappoints ALTA Member to Board of Higher Education
February 7, 2019
Nick Hacker, president of North Dakota Guaranty & Title Co., was reappointed to the North Dakota Board of Higher Education by Gov. Doug Burgum.
LodeStar Integrates Real Estate Taxes into Closing Cost Solution
February 7, 2019
LodeStar Software Solutions, a residential real estate closing cost data and technology company, has integrated national real estate taxes into its closing cost data improve the accuracy of its Loan Estimates and provide better data to mortgage professionals and title agents.
ALTA Member Elected as President of York Builders Association
February 7, 2019
The York Builders Association (YBA) recently installed Shonna Cardello, founder and president of White Rose Settlement Services Inc. as its 2019 president.
Metrics are Confusing. We can Help.
February 6, 2019
Get Down to the Nitty-Gritty at ALTA SPRINGBOARD "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else." Seriously, though, Yogi Berra is right: How do you know you're hitting your goals if you don't keep track of your performance?
 New York Reminds Title Companies of New Regs, Rate Requirements
February 5, 2019
The regulations require title insurance companies to submit new rate applications to establish rates to be charged in the future that exclude all expenses deemed to be prohibited under the regulation. In its letter, the NYDFS said that all title insurance policies issued after Feb. 15, 2019, at rates that don’t reflect compliance with the regulation will be in violation of New York law.
 Fidelity Acquisition of Stewart Title Insurance Company Hits Hiccup in New York
February 5, 2019
The New York Department of Financial Services disapproved of Fidelity National Financial’s application to acquire Stewart Title Insurance Company, a New York-domiciled title insurance company that is licensed only in New York. In a regulatory filing, Fidelity and Stewart reported they are “evaluating the appropriate course of action in light of the regulator's determination." The deal has been approved in 28 other states.
Remote Online Notary Keeps Deal on Track Despite Sub-zero Temps
February 5, 2019
The use of remote online notary (RON) technology helped get a deal closed in Minnesota despite dangerous weather conditions with wind chill reaching 55 degrees below zero.
ClosingCorp Partners With ALTA Registry
February 5, 2019
“Under the TRID rule, lenders must be confident that their third-party providers are quoting accurate rates and fees. Not having reliable vendors creates a greater risk of fraud, tolerance violations, uninsured losses and a negative customer experience,” said Bob Jennings, chief executive officer of ClosingCorp. “The ALTA Registry will help improve accuracy, efficiency and compliance for our clients throughout the mortgage process.”
Southern Title Honored with State Award by Women’s Council of Realtors
February 5, 2019
Daytona Beach, Fla.-based Southern Title Holding Company LLC received the 2018 Strategic Business Partner of the Year Award for the Women’s Council of Realtors (WCR) Florida at the Network’s Mid-Winter Meetings.
SafeChain Adds Routing Number Authentication to Wire Fraud Prevention Platform
February 5, 2019
SafeChain’s wire fraud prevention platform now incorporates information from the Accuity Bankers Almanac Routing and Transit Number (RTN) file, giving users greater confidence that funds are being wired to the correct account.
NATIC Named Director of Audit and Compliance Services
February 5, 2019
Adam Cotler has been promoted to vice president, director of audit and compliance services for North American Title Insurance Co. (NATIC). For the past two years, he served as NATIC’s assistant director of quality assurance and compliance, handling the department’s day-to-day audit operations.
 Automation vs. Artificial Intelligence
January 31, 2019
The emergence of artificial intelligence, automation and other technologies may seem daunting, but the solutions offer opportunities to help title and settlement companies meet evolving customer needs. Read on to learn how some companies are already using these technologies to reassign staff from the mundane task-based processes and get them focused on revenue and risk.
Hit by Wire Transfer Fraud? Use the Kill Chain Process
January 31, 2019
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.
Nevada Now E-recording Statewide with Simplifile
January 31, 2019
Nevada joins Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts and Oregon in offering e-recording statewide through Simplifile.
Survey: TRID Tops Lender QC Issues
January 31, 2019
According to a survey from Mortgage MetaSource, which compiled data from tens of thousands post-close quality control audits over the past year, three of the top five pain points for originators involved the Closing Disclosure.
Working In … Or On?
January 31, 2019
During the typical work day, you’re doing all of the things you’re normally called upon to do: making calls, taking calls, emails, finances, spreadsheets, project planning, creative tasks, putting our fires, a little management here, a little leadership there. And then more calls, more emails, more fires. These a activities came with the territory. But what are you doing to work ON your business?
Win a VIP Capitol Hill Experience
January 31, 2019
Want to win a trip to Washington, D.C., for a VIP Capitol Hill experience? All you must do is take our Congressional Liaisons survey and start reporting your activity with members of Congress.
Discover How to Protect Your Customers' Money and Data
January 30, 2019
2019 ALTA Innovation Boot Camps Are All NEW

You can't ignore it: Every day there are more and more news stories about wire fraud, hackers and folks just like your customers who lose their life savings. And many times, the losses are preventable.

 The Docket: California Appeals Court Holds Counsel Can Be Sued for Invasion of Privacy
January 29, 2019
Ryan Squire, partner at Garrett & Tully PC, and Maia Mdinaradze, an associate at Garrett & Tully, provided today’s review of a ruling by a California Appeals Court that held an insurer's coverage counsel could be sued by the policyholder for invasion of privacy because he shared information with the insurer. Read on to learn why this ruling is important to the title industry.
Networking With Other NTPs Helps Build Robust Contact List
January 29, 2019
Carol Kirby NTP of Title Financial Corporation in Billings, Mont., shares why she earned her National Title Professional designation, how it has helped her career and who have been industry mentors.
ALTA Policy Forms Update: Final Publications and Technical Corrections
January 29, 2019
The ALTA Board of Governors approved a recommendation to revise the ALTA Closing Protection Letters and adopt new Endorsements during an Oct. 10 meeting. The subject forms have passed through an industry comment period and are published in final form.
CATIC Relocates National Commercial Services Office
January 29, 2019
The move, along with an expanded underwriting department, will allow CATIC to better serve its national commercial services clients.
Founder of Colorado-based Land Title Guarantee Passes Away
January 29, 2019
In 1967, Bill Vollbracht started Land Title Guarantee Company with five employees. The company now has more than 50 offices throughout Colorado.
NEW VIDEO: Don't Take Our Word For It
January 24, 2019
Let's keep it real. You see our invites to attend ALTA events, but maybe they don't seem like your deal, or maybe you think you don't have the time or the budget. Perhaps you shrug and think, "Meh, maybe next year." Here's the thing: Don't listen to us, listen to them.
Last Chance to Register for Webinar: Four Ideas to Move Your Agency Forward
January 24, 2019
Do you find yourself getting so buried in your day-to-day routine and responsibilities that you lose sight of the big picture? That’s the difference between working IN your business—efficiently handling those everyday tasks—and working ON your business, improving and expanding your operation with an eye on long-term viability and success. During this webinar, industry experts will discuss metrics you can implement to gauge business flow, tips to improve processes, keys to understanding technology resources and how to build a team approach to sales.
How Do You HOP? Pilgrim Title Finds Success
January 24, 2019
When Dena Davis joined Pilgrim Title in 2017, the Rhode Island-based title company didn’t have a social media presence. As marketing & business development director, Davis’ main role was to quickly ramp up efforts with the goal of creating a social media footprint and promoting the company’s brand. She turned to ALTA’s Homeowner Outreach Program (HOP) for the resources.
Need Resources to Give Presentations to Real Estate Agents, Consumers?
January 24, 2019
Through ALTA’s Homeowner Outreach Program, members can access PowerPoint presentations that can be customized and used in the marketing and sales process with homeowners and real estate agents. Make sure to check out the "notes" section of each presentation for education tips, content and more.
NextDeal Announces Wire Fraud Protection of $500,000
January 24, 2019
NextDeal announced it now offers up to $500,000 of wire fraud protection for each transaction that utilizes its preDOCS technology.
Nevada Division of Insurance Issues Unlawful Inducements Bulletin
January 24, 2019
The Nevada Division of Insurance in December issued a bulletin reminding the industry how the department interprets and enforces marketing practices that may violate the states rebate and inducement laws.
TitleWave Integrates With Qualia
January 24, 2019
The integration provides Qualia customers with a secure and seamless process to submit their title search orders to TitleWave without having to rekey order details or leave the Qualia platform.
 IRS Issues Final Regulations on Pass-through Business Deduction
January 22, 2019
The U.S. Treasury on Jan. 18 issued final regulations on a provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that allows owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, trusts and S corporations to deduct up to 20 percent of their qualified business income on their taxes. Read on to see how this affects title and settlement companies.
Survey: Less Than 60 Percent of Title Companies Have Cyber Insurance
January 22, 2019
Wire transfer fraud and cyberattacks are top of mind for most title company owners. According to the FBI, there has been a 1,100 percent rise in these crimes from 2015-2017. However, only 58 percent of title companies nationwide have cyber liability insurance policies, according to a nationally representative survey conducted last year by ALTA’s Data & Analytics Work Group. Read on to see how your company compares.
 10 Things to Ask When Purchasing a Cyber Crime Policy
January 22, 2019
If your a title or settlement company has decided to obtain a cybercrime policy, here are 10 questions to help guide you through the process and find the right policy based on your company’s needs and vulnerabilities.
Stewart Title Adds Underwriting Counsel in Upstate New York
January 22, 2019
Stewart Title Insurance Company recently named Sarah Norcross as underwriting counsel to support its agency services team in upstate New York.
Black Knight Digital Closing Solution Helps Determine Best Way to Close a Loan
January 22, 2019
Black Knight’s digital closing solution has been enhanced with data recognition capabilities that can automatically determine the best way to close any given loan based upon a lender’s preferences and business rules, as well as jurisdiction-specific requirements.
WFG Adds Senior National Commercial Underwriting Counsel
January 22, 2019
As senior national commercial underwriting counsel in WFG's New York division, Jessica M. Figueroa Figueroa is responsible for overseeing the company's national commercial real estate transactions.
Orange Coast Title Appoints New COO
January 22, 2019
Mike Marconi began his career with Orange Coast Title in 1990 and was promoted to executive vice president in 2004. He replaces Rich Macaluso, who continues as president of Orange Coast Title.
Fidelity’s Carroll Awarded N.Y. State Bar’s Professionalism Award
January 22, 2019
Frank Carroll, regional counsel for Fidelity National Title Group (FNTG), was awarded the Professionalism Award of the New York State Bar Association’s Real Property Section during its annual meeting in January.
 N.Y. Appellate Court Upholds Title Insurance Regulations
January 17, 2019
The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling that annulled new title industry regulations promulgated by the Department of Financial Services (DFS).
Radian Acquires Data Analytics and Predictive Model Provider
January 17, 2019
Five Bridges uses analytics to provide customers with valuation and risk management tools that span the entire loan lifecycle, from underwriting and origination to servicing, secondary market purchase and securitization.
CFPB Director Says Bureau Will Examine TRID Effectiveness
January 17, 2019
The new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) indicated the bureau plans to examine how title fees are disclosed under the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule.
Heartland BancCorp Merges Title Companies
January 17, 2019
BancCorp, parent company of Heartland Bank, will merge TransCounty Title Agency, a community focused boutique agency acquired by the bank in July 2018, with All Ohio Title Agency, which has been 49 percent owned by the bank since 2000.
 Webinar Recording: Stay Ahead of the Customer Curve
January 17, 2019
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. Listen to this webinar recording to learn what drives your customers' decision making and the things you can do to elevate their experience at the closing.
HURRY! Early Bird Pricing Ends January 19
January 16, 2019
Now is the best time to put your business at the top of your to-do list and register for ALTA SPRINGBOARD before our Early Bird Pricing ends!
 Are the Robots Coming for Your Job?
January 15, 2019
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.
Finding Your Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
January 15, 2019
While your company already may be crushing the market, think about the possibilities of discovering some new products or services that could deliver an even better experience for your customers.
SafeChain Digitizes Property Deed Transfer and Conveyance for Ohio County
January 15, 2019
SafeChain recently completed the digital conversion of Perry County, Ohio’s deed transfer and conveyance process between the engineer and auditor.
Westcor Agent Closes Deal With Seller in France Using RON
January 15, 2019
Westcor Land Title Insurance Company reported that one of its agents, Momentum Title in Houston, completed its first purchase transaction utilizing remote online notarization (RON) involving a seller in France.
Alert: Fraudulent Title Companies Handling Mexico Timeshares
January 15, 2019
According to the Missouri Department of Insurance, people are posing as inactive or expired licensed title insurance agencies or title insurance agents and fraudulently soliciting, handling conveyance documents and funds related to Mexico timeshare properties. Read on for tips to protect your business.
CertifID Reports It has Protected Over $1.2 Billion in Wire Transfers
January 15, 2019
CertifID announced it has protected over $1.2 billion from wire fraud from late 2017 through December 2018.
 The Docket: Missing Owner in Granting Clause—Not Necessarily Fatal
January 15, 2019
Michael Sikora III, CEO of the law firm Sikora Law LLC, provided today’s review of a ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court that addressed a bankruptcy case involving a mortgage missing the name of one of the property owners in the granting clause. Read on to learn why this decision should be helpful in other cases in which mortgages are challenged.
Survey: Most Title Companies Have E&O Coverage
January 10, 2019
More than 95 percent of title companies have errors and omissions (E&O) insurance coverage, according to a nationally representative survey conducted last year by ALTA’s Data & Analytics Work Group. Additionally, almost a quarter have made claims on that insurance over the past five years. Read on for more details.
Rethinking Closing Cost Quotes
January 10, 2019
The need for accurate up-front costs has never been higher from both a compliance and a business perspective. There is a tremendous opportunity for business growth for title agents who can leverage technology to get their fees into the hands of lenders, real estate agents and consumers as early as possible.
Register for Free Webinar: 2019 Housing Market Forecast
January 10, 2019
As Millennials continue to age into homeownership—and like prior generations choose ownership over renting—potential demand will continue to increase. Yet, the question is where will the supply come from? Will existing homeowners choose to sell their homes and "move up?" Is the housing stock growing sufficiently to keep pace with the growth in households looking for shelter? Will the supply shortage that we have experienced for the last two years continue and will quickly rising house prices cause an affordability crisis? Is 2019 the year that the housing market turns and ends it’s seven-year bull run?
Report: Keep GSEs in Conservatorship Until Flawed Charters Are Fixed
January 10, 2019
While talk renews for housing finance reform and removing the government sponsored entities (GSE) from government control, a new report from the Milken Institute opposes releasing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from conservatorship without fixing the critical flaws in their charters.
Wife of Former ALTA President Passes Away
January 10, 2019
Glenda Sproles Rattikin, the wife of former ALTA President Jack Rattikin Jr. and the mother of current ALTA Board member Jack Rattikin III, passed away Jan. 2 at the age of 84.
WACO Title Expands Footprint in Arkansas
January 10, 2019
The opening of an office in Bentonville gives WACO Title 24 offices throughout Arkansas and Missouri.
Stewart Title Names New Leader of Lender Services
January 10, 2019
As senior vice president of Lender Services, Beth Fowler will oversee Stewart's valuations, search and centralized title services operations.
Discover How to Survive the Silver Tsunami, Analyze Metrics and Drive Innovation at ALTA SPRINGBOARD
January 9, 2019
ALTA SPRINGBOARD is the event designed specifically to help title insurance professionals take their businesses to the next level. It is focused on providing proven strategies, practical education and networking opportunities that will accelerate business success for anyone who attends.
 Government Shutdown Delaying, Cancelling Deals Involving IRS Liens
January 8, 2019
The continued government shutdown is disrupting closings and causing problems for title companies trying to obtain lien payoff information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
 The Docket: U.S. Bankruptcy Court Rules Insurer Not Liable for Misrepresentation
January 8, 2019
Cheryl Cowherd, senior underwriting counsel for Agents National Title Insurance Co., provided today’s review of a ruling by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Illinois that addressed grounds for dischargeability. Read on to learn why the ruling could have been different if the title company had not followed proper search procedures.
Wyoming County to Develop Blockchain-based Land Record Platform
January 8, 2019
Teton County in Wyoming plans to work with Medici Land Governance (MLG)—a subsidiary of Overstock.com—to develop a blockchain-based land records and information platform in 2019.
Want a Four-Pack in 2019?
January 8, 2019
If you're ready to make a commitment to yourself and your business, stop saying, "I'll get started tomorrow," and get moving today. To help you stay motivated, we're providing our members-only discount for the Four-Pack Special: Register for ALTA's three major events as well as one Innovation Boot Camp for a discounted rate! Offer expires Jan. 31, 2019.
First American Names President of Direct Division
January 8, 2019
Janette Waller will oversee First American Title's direct operations across the country.
Simmons Bank Partners With ALTA Registry
January 8, 2019
Simmons Bank will be able to search the ALTA 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.
January 8, 2019
Effective Jan. 7, Kenneth B. Popeleski succeeded Richard A. Lawrence, who stepped down as CFO, but will retain his position as a CATIC director, senior vice president and treasurer until his previously announced retirement date in May 2019.
SoftPro Integrates With A.S.K. Services
January 8, 2019
SoftPro users who have title production needs in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio are now able to order title services from A.S.K. directly through their SoftPro software.
Last Chance to Register for the Phoenix HOP Leader Training
January 7, 2019
New year, new you, right? So do something that will separate you from the competitor down the street and position your business a step ahead of everyone else: Register for a one-day in-person training and become an ALTA Homeowner Outreach Program (HOP) Leader!
ALTA Establishes Digital Closing Committee
January 1, 2019
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.