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The Title Report is the title insurance industry’s premier source of market intelligence on issues that matter to today’s title agent and settlement services professional. It provides up-to-the-minute, nationwide reporting on title insurance, settlement services, e-commerce and title technology, real estate market trends, fraud reports, ratings actions and earnings reports, mergers and acquisitions, niche markets, competitive business strategies and regulatory and legislative updates.


 

 

Gardner to chair ESRA boardOpen in a New Window

A Docutech executive vice president has been selected to chair the board of directors for the Electronic Signatures and Records Association in 2018. Read on for more details.

 

ATTOM Data Solutions acquires Onboard InformaticsOpen in a New Window

ATTOM Data Solutions has acquired the leading provider of neighborhood data and data-enabled turnkey products to the real estate industry, the company announced. As a result of the acquisition, Onboard Informatics’ neighborhood data will be integrated into the ATTOM Data Warehouse, which blends property tax, deed, mortgage, foreclosure, environmental risk, natural hazard and neighborhood data.

 

House approves TRID fixOpen in a New Window

The House on Wednesday approved a bill that makes changes to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule that mortgage loan originators and title insurers have been advocating. If approved by the Senate, the bill would amend the TRID rule to modify disclosure requirements applicable to mortgage loan transactions.

 

Pilgrim Title principals expand into FloridaOpen in a New Window

The principals of Rhode Island-based Pilgrim Title Insurance Co. have expanded into Florida. The Florida office will provide closing and title services including commercial real estate acquisitions and financing.

 

Ohio title agency earns certificationOpen in a New Window

Columbus, Ohio-based Title First Agency recently earned it SSAE-18 certification. Read on for more details.

 

Ellie Mae adds executive vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Ellie Mae has hired a former Walmart executive to serve as its executive vice president of human resources. Read on for more details.

 

CoreLogic adds government affairs memberOpen in a New Window

CoreLogic has hired an executive to be part of its Government Affairs team. Read on for more details.

 

Black Knight pushing eMortgages to volumeOpen in a New Window

The company that brought the mortgage industry’s first collaborative solution for TRID transactions is ready to take eMortgage collaboration to another level. During an interview with The Title Report, Black Knight Lending Solutions Senior Vice President/Managing Director Andy Crisenbery discussed the company’s latest project, Expedite Close.

 

First American surpasses last year’s numbersOpen in a New Window

First American Financial Corp. reported mixed results for its fourth quarter, with revenues down slightly but net income up. However, both FAF’s 2017 yearly revenue and net income beat 2016’s numbers.

 

loanDepot parent names mello CEOOpen in a New Window

The parent company of loanDepot has named a real estate executive to head its recently launched mello Home business. mello’s CEO is the former president of Keller Williams Worldwide division and former CEO of Keller Williams.

 

Refinances holding steady among millennialsOpen in a New Window

The percentage of refinance loans among millennials has held steady for three straight months. Read on for more information from the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker.

 

Home purchasing sentiment reaches all-time highOpen in a New Window

The percentage of Americans who felt positive about the housing market reached an all-time high in January. Read on for more details from Fannie Mae’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index.

 

First American adds Texas managerOpen in a New Window

First American Title National Commercial Services has hired a Texas operations manager. Read on for more details.

 

Loan defects, fraud increased in DecemberOpen in a New Window

Which states had the largest increase in the frequency of defects, fraud and misrepresentation in mortgage loan applications? Read on for those answers from First American’s latest Loan Application Defect Index.

 

Small-business owners increasing pay levelsOpen in a New Window

Citing a shortage of qualified workers, nearly one quarter of small-business owners surveyed in January plan to increase pay levels to attract the employees they need, according to a report by National Federation of Independent Business.

 

Stewart’s fourth-quarter income dropsOpen in a New Window

Stewart Information Services Corp. attributed a drop in fourth-quarter net income and pretax income to more than $9 million in charges related to its review of corporate strategic alternatives, office closures, the integration of Title365, and executive severance and retention expenses.

 

Black Knight names new CEOOpen in a New Window

Black Knight has hired the former chief operating officer of Fidelity National Information Services to serve as its CEO. The company’s current CEO, Tom Sanzone, will become Black Knight’s vice chairman and will assist with the transition.

 

Home prices increased during DecemberOpen in a New Window

CoreLogic said the largest year-over-year increases in home prices were in California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Washington. Read on for more details.

 

Simplifile adds Florida countyOpen in a New Window

Manatee County, Fla. has adopted Simplifile’s eRecording platform. Read on for more details.

 

Investors Title posts record profitsOpen in a New Window

For a third consecutive year, Investors Title reported record levels of revenues. Company Chairman J. Allen Fine attributed the company’s positive run to a growing national economy, a strong real estate market, and the success of its long-term business model.

 

Fidelity names division managerOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Title Group (FNTG) has selected a long-time company veteran to oversee its commercial and residential real estate operations in the Midwest, East and Southeast. FNTG’s newest executive vice president and division manager told The Title Report the new opportunity is both an honor and a privilege.

 

The Closing Agent launches NextDeal’s preDOCSOpen in a New Window

NextDeal’s technology platform preDOCS has been deployed by The Closing Agent, the companies announced. The Closing Agent’s chief operating officer said preDOCS is saving the company at least an hour per file.

 

Agents National selects Florida managerOpen in a New Window

Agents National Title Insurance Co. has hired an industry veteran to oversee its agency operations, production and underwriting in Florida. Read on for more details.

 

IBERIABANK announces raises, bonusesOpen in a New Window

As a result of federal tax reform, IBERIABANK announced raises and bonuses for nearly 80 percent of its associates. Read on for more information.

 

Landtech integrates CSCOpen in a New Window

Landtech Settlement Software has integrated CSC’s eRecording solution into its title production software. Read on for more details.

 

Fidelity reports fourth-quarter resultsOpen in a New Window

Despite a significant decline in refinances, Fidelity National Financial, Inc’s (FNF) title operations outperformed last year’s fourth-quarter and yearly numbers for title revenue.

 

Utah title company acquires two agenciesOpen in a New Window

With the acquisition of a competitor, a Utah-based title insurance company has formed one of the state’s largest commercial and residential title agencies.

 

First American completes lien release business acquisitionOpen in a New Window

First American Financial Corp. (FAF) has completed its acquisition of Bank of America’s (BOA) lien release business, and BOA’s employees now are part of First American’s Mortgage Solutions division.

 

reQuire, CertifID partnerOpen in a New Window

reQuire has entered into an agreement to become a distribution partner for CertifID. Read on for more details.

 

Alliant National hires regional counselOpen in a New Window

Alliant National Title Insurance Co. has an industry veteran to serve as its western regional counsel. Read on for more details.

 

First American economist: Affordability crisis ‘overstated’Open in a New Window

Consumer house-buying power was unchanged between October and November 2017, and grew 0.9 percent year-over-year. Read on for more details from First American Financial’s latest Real House Price Index.

 

Day to oversee FNF’s agents nationwideOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Financial has selected company veteran Steven G. Day as president of National Agency Operations for its national title group. Day, who is also president of the American Land Title Association, will oversee Fidelity’s network of more than 5,000 agents across the country.

 

Incenter completes Agents National acquisitionOpen in a New Window

Incenter LLC has completed its previously announced acquisition of Agents National Title Insurance Co. (ANTIC). An Incenter managing director said the acquisition will help the company continue to provide excellent customer service while shortening the time needed to complete transactions.

 

Small business lending expandsOpen in a New Window

The latest small business credit report from PayNet found small business lending increased in November. Year over year, lending to seven small business sectors jumped by more than 4 percent.

 

Title Alliance names product specialistOpen in a New Window

Title Alliance, Ltd. has promoted a company veteran to product specialist. Read on for more details.

 

Home seller profits at 10-year highOpen in a New Window

Last year’s fourth quarter was the most-profitable period to sell a home in a decade. Read on for more details from ATTOM Data Solutions’ latest U.S. Home Sales Report.

 

Proper Title hires underwriting counselOpen in a New Window

Proper Title has hired an industry veteran as its senior underwriting counsel. Read on for more details.

 

Court: CFPB structure ‘constitutional’Open in a New Window

In a blow to the Trump administration, a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled that the single-director structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is constitutional, reversing a 2016 decision by a three-panel ruling.

 

The mortgage industry’s #MeTooOpen in a New Window

While much of the recent publicity regarding sexual harassment has centered on alleged predators in Hollywood, the media and in Congress, a recent survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association indicates sexual harassment also is rampant in real estate and finance.

 

Vermont city launches Blockchain pilot programOpen in a New Window

A global Blockchain startup has launched a pilot program with the City Clerk’s Office in South Burlington, Vt. to use the technology to record real estate conveyance documents. The CEO of the startup said the pilot program will showcase the savings of Blockchain and further the city’s goal of achieving a more cost-effective government.

 

Beige Book: Housing markets restrainedOpen in a New Window

Economic activity continued to expand throughout the country from late November through the end of 2017, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book. However, the Fed’s bank contacts from its 12 districts throughout the country also reported that housing markets continued to be restrained by low home inventories.

 

Home prices increased in NovemberOpen in a New Window

Home prices hit new price peaks in 11 of the nation’s largest states. Read on for more information from Black Knight’s Home Price Index.

 

CSC adds 40 new countiesOpen in a New Window

Since last year’s fourth quarter, CSC has added 40 new counties in 26 states to its eRecording network. Read on for more details.

 

Newfi adds senior vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Newfi Lending has hired an industry veteran as its senior vice president of capital markets. Read on for more details.

 

Old Republic’s title group has record-setting yearOpen in a New Window

Relatively low mortgage rates and strong residential and commercial markets helped Old Republic’s title group set an all-time record for premiums and fees in 2017. Rande Yeager, CEO of Old Republic Title Companies, said the group is approaching 2018 with cautious optimism, and that’s he’s excited about technology advances and the possible adoption of Blockchain.

 

TitleTap introduces online review management toolOpen in a New Window

With more and more customers researching a company’s online reviews before selecting one, it’s vital that title companies and others in the industry mitigate bad reviews and resolve customer issues while promoting positive reviews. TitleTap has introduced a new product that promises to help industry participants manage their online reputations.

 

Omni Title adds escrow officerOpen in a New Window

Cleveland-based Omni Title has hired a title and escrow officer. Read on for more details.

 

Simplifile adds recording jurisdictionsOpen in a New Window

With the latest additions to its eRecording platform, the Simplifile network includes more than 1,700 jurisdictions. Read on for more details.

 

DocMagic reaches milestoneOpen in a New Window

DocMagic, Inc. has processed more than 300 million mortgage-related electronic signatures. Read on for more details.

 

WFG expands commercial divisionOpen in a New Window

WFG National Title Insurance Co (WFG) is expanding its National Commercial Services Division with an eye toward growing its commercial presence in direct-owned western operations and leveraging the company’s agency network in the eastern states.

 

WACO, Pavaso complete Arkansas’ first eClosingOpen in a New Window

Less than one year after state legislators in Arkansas established the standards necessary to protect the legitimacy of eSigned and eNotarized documents, WACO Title Co. and Pavaso, Inc. recently completed the state’s first full eNotary closing.

 

AmTrust announces alliance with A.S.K.Open in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has formed an alliance with a full-service title production and public record research firm to support its agents in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. AmTrust’s president said the alliance will provide a comprehensive menu of sophisticated, data-driven resources that will enable agents to provide improved and accelerated services.

 

Title Alliance adds operations managerOpen in a New Window

Title Alliance has hired a senior operations manager who formerly worked nearly three decades for the company. Read on for more details.

 

Punctual services available through ResWareOpen in a New Window

ResWare has integrated Punctual Abstract’s title search services into its platform. Read on for more details.

 

Underwriter adds Georgia managerOpen in a New Window

A national underwriter has hired a state agency manager for Georgia. Read on for more details.

 

Florida agency launches closing portalOpen in a New Window

The Florida Agency Network completed a collaboration portal that’s designed to help prevent wire fraud security during closings.

 

ALTA, insurance groups urge CFPB restrictionsOpen in a New Window

The American Land Title Association is one of eight insurance trade groups supporting a bipartisan bill that would clarify the extent to which the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can regulate the insurance industry. The groups have endorsed a bill that would amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to clarify the bureau’s authority regarding entities regulated by state insurance regulators.

 

NFIB: Trump a hit with small-business ownersOpen in a New Window

Following the 2016 election of Donald Trump, the confidence of small-business owners throughout the U.S. soared and then remained high throughout 2017. In fact optimism among small-business owners, as measured by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), was at an all-time high last year.

 

2017 foreclosures lowest in 12 yearsOpen in a New Window

The number of foreclosure filings during 2017 dropped to its lowest level since 2005. Read on for more details.

 

Freddie: Moderate housing growth expected in 2018Open in a New Window

Freddie Mac is forecasting moderate growth in U.S. housing market activity through the next two years. Read on for more details.

 

Ellie Mae, COCC partnerOpen in a New Window

Ellie Mae’s latest partnership will provide members of COCC’s cooperative access to Encompass. Read on for more details.

 

The Trident Group announces leadership changesOpen in a New Window

The Trident Group has named a former RESPO chair as its president. The company also announced a new president of Trident Land Transfer Co.

 

AmTrust takes step toward going privateOpen in a New Window

The families who own a significant share of AmTrust Financial Services have taken a step toward going private. Those owners have proposed paying $12.25 per share for the rest of the company.

 

Regional title company makes acquisitionOpen in a New Window

An Idaho-based title company that operates in 58 counties in three states has acquired a title agency in Idaho. The acquisition expands the company’s reach in Southeast Idaho.

 

Stewart selects New England managerOpen in a New Window

Stewart has promoted a company veteran to serve as its district manager of New England. Read on for more details.

 

ResWare integrates Alliant NationalOpen in a New Window

A new integration will allow Alliant National Title Insurance Co. agents to generate policy jackets and closing protection letters within ResWare. Read on for more details.

 

Cloudstar names VP of business developmentOpen in a New Window

Cloudstar has named a vice president of business development. Read on for more details.

 

OneTitle acquires ‘significant’ interest in NJ title agencyOpen in a New Window

A New York-based direct title insurance underwriter has acquired a significant interest in a New Jersey title agency. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 

ALTA launches agent registryOpen in a New Window

The American Land Title Association has launched a national registry of title and settlement agents. ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo told The Title Report that the platform allows title and settlement agents to more confidently go forward in their relationships with lenders and customers.

 

Redfin expands into additional statesOpen in a New Window

Redfin Corp. is offering loans to homebuyers in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and North Carolina. The real estate brokerage that is integrated with Title Forward plans expansion into other states during 2018.

 

AmTrust selects Southeast CounselOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has hired a Southeast Counsel to oversee the company’s business in Florida and neighboring states. Read on for more details.

 

Buying cheaper than renting in many placesOpen in a New Window

Buying a median-priced home is more affordable than renting a three-bedroom property in more than half the counties in the U.S. Read on for more details.

 

ATG LegalServe, File & ServeXpress partnerOpen in a New Window

ATG LegalServe and File & ServeXpress have partnered to enable law firms and courts to access their services through either company’s website.

 

Westcor, Notarize partner to offer online notarizationsOpen in a New Window

Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. and Notarize have partnered to offer online notarization for real estate transactions in various states across the country. Westcor’s CEO said the partnership will offers borrowers the option of an online closing and reduces agents’ operational costs.

 

Bill seeks to increase SBA’s oversight of loan programOpen in a New Window

A bipartisan bill in Congress would increase the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) oversight authority over the popular 7(a) Loan Program. The bill would further outline the responsibilities of the SBA and the requirements of its director.

 

Tuten Title & Escrow adds equity partnerOpen in a New Window

Louisiana-based Tuten Title & Escrow, LLC has hired an attorney as the firm’s newest equity partner. The firm’s new member interned with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana under U.S. Attorney Donald Washington.

 

ZOCCAM expands platformOpen in a New Window

ZOCCAM has enhanced its platform to speed up onboarding of escrow agents and financial institutions.

 

SoftPro integrates New Jersey Search ExpertsOpen in a New Window

SoftPro has integrated New Jersey Search Experts’ products and services into its platform.

 

Landtech integrates Punctual AbstractOpen in a New Window

Landtech Settlement Software has integrated Punctual Abstract’s title and abstract services into its platform.

 

Realogy names chief technology officerOpen in a New Window

The largest full-service residential real estate services company in the United States, which includes Title Resource Group and Guaranteed Rate, Inc., has named a chief technology officer.

 

Study: Many banks have no digital transformation strategyOpen in a New Window

According to a new study, nearly four out of 10 banks do not have a sustainable digital transformation strategy. Additionally, only a small percent of banks believe they are in a position to be leaders when it comes to digital transformation.

 

Mortgage delinquencies declineOpen in a New Window

The percentage of mortgages 30 days or more past due declined during October. Read on for more details.

 

Southern Title hires account executiveOpen in a New Window

Southern Title has added an account executive to its staff. Read on for more details.

 

Home purchasing sentiment dipped in DecemberOpen in a New Window

The optimism of Americans concerning purchasing homes dropped slightly during December.

 

Court rules against EnglishOpen in a New Window

Late Wednesday District of Columbia District Judge Timothy J. Kelly issued his ruling on a preliminary injunction requested by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Deputy Director Leandra English against President Donald Trump’s appointment of Mick Mulvaney as acting director.

 

Knight Barry acquires title groupOpen in a New Window

Knight Barry Title has expanded its footprint into Minnesota with the acquisition of a title group there. Knight Barry’s chief operating officer said the acquisition will help the company “provide more customers with our signature services and collaborative online tools.” 

 

Federal Title selects Pavaso for eClosingsOpen in a New Window

Federal Title and Escrow Co. has partnered with Pavaso for eClosing services in the Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. Federal Title said its partnership with Pavaso will help make the closing process simpler and smarter for its customers.

 

Exceleras expands offering for title agenciesOpen in a New Window

Exceleras has created a complete set of functionality that title agents can use to fulfill title order requests independently of closing properties, the company announced. The company said its new functions are a significant expansion of the company’s title service capabilities.

 

Embrace Home Loans promotes presidentOpen in a New Window

Embrace Home Loans has selected one of its executives to lead its expanded Financial Institution Services Division.

 

AmTrust adds agency representativeOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has hired an agency representative to help it generate new business.

 

ResWare integrates PropLogixOpen in a New Window

PropLogix’s services are now fully integrated within ResWare’s title production software. Read on for more details.

 

American Title gets new managing directorOpen in a New Window

Assurant, Inc. has appointed a managing director to oversee its subsidiary American Title, Inc. The new managing director will replace Mike Mackintosh, who announced plans to leave Assurant last month.

 

Stewart expands executive’s roleOpen in a New Window

Stewart has added more responsibilities to a former Old Republic executive’s job description who joined the company last year. Chief Corporate Development Officer John Magness now will also provide strategic oversight to Stewart’s U.S. direct operations.

 

Situs acquires service providerOpen in a New Window

Less than one year after acquiring an influential Washington, D.C advisory firm, Situs has entered into a definitive agreement to buy a leading service provider to the financial services industry.

 

Illinois title company relocatesOpen in a New Window

Edwardsville, Ill.-based Madison County Title Co. has moved into new headquarters, according to announcement on the company’s website.

 

Minnesota lender changes nameOpen in a New Window

A Minnesota lender has adopted a new name to take advantage of its parent company’s name recognition.

 

First names of most-active homebuyersOpen in a New Window

What’s in a name? Apparently quite a bit if you’re analyzing which generation was the most-active homebuyers in 2017.

 

Demotech partners with price comparison providerOpen in a New Window

Through a partnership with Demotech, a price comparison provider for title insurance and settlement services now will also provide consumers shopping for title insurance with the financial stability ratings of title insurance companies.

 

Texas mortgage company names next CEOOpen in a New Window

The CEO of an independently owned, full-service mortgage lender based in Houston will retire as CEO but remain chairman of the company’s board. He will be replaced by a current member of the company’s executive team.

 

Report: Qualified workers needed for small businessesOpen in a New Window

Small-business owners had a difficult time finding qualified workers in December, which forced more to consider raising pay levels, according to the latest report from the National Federation of Independent Business.

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