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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.


 

 

East Hampton begins eRecordingOpen in a New Window

eRecording in the town of East Hampton, Conn., now is available through Simplifile. The East Hampton Town Clerk said using eRecording will eliminate payment errors, provide prompt electronic payment to the town and increase staff productivity. 

 

President’s cybersecurity efforts a ‘baby step’ in the right directionOpen in a New Window

President Barack Obama announced at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and in his State of the Union address that cybersecurity will be a priority in 2015. He unveiled his plan to introduce legislation on data breach notification, as well as a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.

President proposes cybersecurity legislation

 

Stewart Title aligns Dallas-Fort Worth commercial servicesOpen in a New Window

Stewart Title Commercial Services combined its Dallas-Fort Worth local and national commercial associates into one team to create a single point of contact for local, national and multi-national commercial transactions in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.

 

Economy expanding at solid pace according to FedOpen in a New Window

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met in December suggests that economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace. Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate. On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources continues to diminish.  

 

Purchase volume rises in December, says Ellie MaeOpen in a New Window

Purchase volume rose slightly in December following a four-month decline, according to Ellie Mae’s Origination Insight Report.

 

Mortgage rates tick upOpen in a New Window

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing average fixed mortgage rates reversing course from the first weeks of the year to tick up slightly. Read on to learn more.

 

Former NFL player jailed for loan modification schemeOpen in a New Window

Jeffrey Charles Leroy Taylor was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra to 36 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $350,470.00 in restitution in a loan modification scheme.

 

Solutionstar announces closing of Title365 acquisitionOpen in a New Window

Solutionstar Holdings, LLC, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. closed the acquisition of Experience 1 Inc., the holding company for Title365, Trusted Sighing and technology subsidiaries.

Title365's Michael Tafoya discusses acquisition

 

Zillow to host weekend hackathonOpen in a New Window

Zillow will host a weekend hackathon where developers will be asked to come up with creative solutions to make it easier for homebuyers to find a home. The winning team receives $10,000. Read on to learn more about the event.

 

Black Knight adds VP to deliver ‘innovative new products’Open in a New Window

Black Knights has added an industry veteran to its ranks to develop and deliver additional products and services and expand the company’s offerings to the real estate industry. Read on to learn more. 

 

RealtyTrac looks back at foreclosure market in 2014Open in a New Window

RealtyTrac, a source for comprehensive housing data, released its Year-End 2014 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. Read on to see how foreclosures in 2014 matched up to previous years.

 

Commercial real estate attorney joins firm in AustinOpen in a New Window

Alan Cohen has joined the law firm of Stahl, Bernal, Davies, Sewell & Chavarria as a senior attorney. Keep reading to learn more about him.

 

RedVision expands abstracting coverageOpen in a New Window

RedVision now performs in-house searches covering 76 percent of the U.S. population and is projected to reach 90 percent by year-end.

Technology impacts title examination, title plants

 

Construction worker admits concealing mortgage fraudOpen in a New Window

A Belvidere, N.J., man admitted he concealed a mortgage fraud scheme carried out by his wife, a former real estate title agent, in which they obtained seven loans, totaling more than $3.7 million, on two properties located in Belvidere and Wood-Ridge, N.J., U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

 

CFPB posts 7 factors affecting mortgage interest rateOpen in a New Window

 The CFPB’s Owning a Home team posted “7 factors that determine your mortgage interest rate.  It says lenders know how interest rates are determined, and consumers should as well. Keep reading to learn more.

 

 

Assured Title opens second location in NaplesOpen in a New Window

Assured Title Services, a full-service title insurance agency, specializing in both residential and commercial real estate transactions, opened a second office at the Promenade in Bonita Springs, Fla. 

 

Seriously underwater properties decrease 2.2 million in 2014Open in a New Window

 At the end of 2014, there were 7,052,570 U.S. residential properties seriously underwater according to RealtyTrac’s Home Equity & Underwater report.

 

 

Old Republic’s Q4 up significantly over 2013Open in a New Window

Old Republic International Corp. reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2014. Pretax operating income for both periods reflected much lower year-over-year general insurance earnings. Title insurance operating income in 2014’s fourth quarter gained significantly compared with results for the same period of 2013, while performance for the full year was eroded to some degree by transitory weaknesses in housing-related markets.

 

Former title company employee heads to prisonOpen in a New Window

Harris County, Texas resident and title company employee Maria Eliza Garza was ordered to prison following her conviction in conspiring to defraud seven different Houston-area banks for more than $2 million in 2007 and 2008, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Garza pleaded guilty Sept. 4, 2013.

 

Crown Title Services to open new Maryland locationOpen in a New Window

Title Alliance partnered with RE/MAX Realty Group to open a location in Maryland through the name Crown Title Services, LLC. Keep reading to learn more.

 

Southern Title opens Jacksonville officeOpen in a New Window

Southern Title opened an office in Jacksonville, Fla. Keep reading to learn more.

 

RealtyTrac adds data industry veteran to ranksOpen in a New Window

RealtyTrac, added a data industry veteran and product management innovation executive to its ranks as senior vice president of data products. Keep reading to learn who.

 

Going to the next level of compliance with SSAE, SOC Part 2Open in a New Window

 Radni Davoodi, principal and co-founder of Atlantis National Services, Inc., said in 2014 several lenders began requiring the title insurance agent to provide Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements 16 (SSAE 16) verification to maintain not only its existing relationships, but also to be added to their approved vendor list for new transactions and orders. 

 

More than 80 percent plan at least one acquisition in 2015Open in a New Window

KPMG, LLP, an audit, tax and advisory firm, released its 2015 M&A (mergers and acquisitions) Outlook Survey Report “The Boom is Back: M&A Reemerges as Leading Growth Strategy.” It said respondents plan on doing multiple deals in 2015, reporting considerably more expected acquisitions than in previous years.

Acquisitions boom as companies look to expand

 

Freedom Mortgage prepares for expected surge in volumeOpen in a New Window

Freedom Mortgage Corp., a privately held, full-service mortgage lender licensed in 50 states, is hiring as many as 500 new employees to accommodate anticipated volume growth following President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce Federal Housing Agency’s (FHA) mortgage insurance premiums.

FHA makes homeownership more affordable

 

Counsellors Title welcomes new regional account managerOpen in a New Window

Counsellors Title Agency, Inc. added John DeSantis Jr. to its agency’s sales and marketing team of licensed title producers as regional account manager. He brings a broad and distinguished knowledge of the title insurance industry, representing over a quarter century of professional title experience.

 

Old Republic forms new specialty insurance joint underwriting ventureOpen in a New Window

Old Republic International Corp. announced that it was sponsoring the formation of a joint underwriting venture with certain principals long associated with specialty insurance. The new venture, Old Republic Specialty Insurance Underwriters, Inc. will focus its operations on two distinct segments of the general insurance market place. 

 

Industry reacts to new CFPB toolOpen in a New Window

He said the CFPB posted a mortgage shopping tool that violates the mortgage disclosure requirements that they have put in place for lenders to follow in order to protect and fully disclose the full costs of a mortgage to a consumer.

Nearly half of borrowers don’t shop for mortgages, says CFPB report

 

Going to the next level of compliance with SSAE, SOC Part IOpen in a New Window

Radni Davoodi, principal and co-founder of Atlantis National Services, Inc., said in 2014 several lenders began requiring the title insurance agent to provide Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements 16 (SSAE 16) verification to maintain not only its existing relationships, but also to be added to their approved vendor list for new transactions and orders. 

 

Umatilla County now eRecordingOpen in a New Window

Umatilla County, Ore., has implemented eRecording documents such as deeds and mortgages to save money and provide better customer service. Keep reading to learn more.

 

Foreclosure inventory down 35 percentOpen in a New Window

As of November 2014, approximately 567,000 homes nationally were in some stage of foreclosure, compared with 880,000 in November 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 35.5 percent, according to the November National Foreclosure Report released by CoreLogic. Keep reading to learn more.

 

LandStar Title Agency appoints vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Joe Diliberti has joined the LandStar Title Agency as vice president to further develop its growing portfolio of regional and national accounts. 

 

Title agent pleads guilty in New JerseyOpen in a New Window

A former real estate title agent admitted to carrying out a mortgage fraud scheme in which she obtained seven loans, totaling more than $3.7 million, on two properties located in Wood-Ridge, N.J., and Belvidere, N.J.

 

Fitch: Wells Fargo 2014 results consistently solidOpen in a New Window

Fitch Ratings views these results as consistent with WFC’s credit profile, with ratings that remain among the highest in the world, supported primarily by its superior earnings profile. WFC’s more commercial bank-focused business model continues to help set itself apart from its large bank peers, with less exposure to volatile capital markets revenues and, while not immune, much lower litigation-related expenses than other large bank peers.

 

States attorneys expresses concern over JPMorgan Chase breachOpen in a New Window

Several states attorneys general (Multistate) wrote a letter to Zoe Strickland, managing director and global chief privacy officer at JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Jan. 8 expressing their concern and requesting additional information regarding the data breach. 

 

Commercial real estate activity expanding, says Beige BookOpen in a New Window

Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts suggest that national economic activity continued to expand during the reporting period of mid-November through late December, with most Districts reporting a “modest” or “moderate” pace of growth according to the “Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District,” otherwise known as the Beige Book.

 

President proposes cybersecurity legislationOpen in a New Window

President Barack Obama spoke at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Jan. 12 regarding his recent initiatives to curb the threats to cybersecurity. He also unveiled plans to introduce legislation on data breach notification, as well as a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.

 

LenderLive appoints due diligence expert for third-party reviewsOpen in a New Window

LenderLive Network Inc.’s CEO Rick Seehausen said growing the company’s due diligence business is a top priority in 2015. To that end, he has appointed an expert as a president of the division.

 

Indecomm Global Services names new VP of salesOpen in a New Window

Indecomm Global Services appointed a vice president of sales to spearhead the company’s sales efforts in outsourcing, risk management, learning and software services to the mortgage industry. Read on to learn more.

 

Carrington names institutional business liaisonOpen in a New Window

Carrington Mortgage Holdings appointed a new institutional business liaison for its real estate and mortgage divisions. The industry veteran possesses a rich history of managing business growth and developing key relationships within the housing sector. Read on to learn who was appointed.

 

Mortgage applications increase 49 percentOpen in a New Window

Mortgage applications increased 49.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Jan. 9, 2015. Read on to learn more.

 

CSC acquires PropertyInfo’s eRecording businessOpen in a New Window

Corporation Service Co. (CSC), a provider of eRecording services nationwide acquired the eRecording submitter business of PropertyInfo Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Title Co.

 

ALTA says new CFPB mortgage forms disclose inaccurate feesOpen in a New Window

ALTA’s CEO Michelle Korsmo released a statement regarding her concerns that the CFPB’s new Closing Disclosure is misleading consumers about the actual price of their title insurance policies. Read on to see what she had to say.

 

HUD releases monthly scorecardOpen in a New Window

Each month the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury produce a monthly scorecard on the health of the nation’s housing market. 

 

Nearly half of borrowers don’t shop for mortgages, says CFPB reportOpen in a New Window

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report finding almost half of consumers don’t shop around for a mortgage when purchasing a home. As part of its Know Before You Owe mortgage initiative, the CFPB is releasing “Owning a Home,” an interactive, online toolkit designed to help consumers as they shop for a mortgage.

“Our study found that many consumers are not shopping for a mortgage,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. 

 

First International extends reach to Charlotte CountyOpen in a New Window

First International Title, an independent title agent in Florida, opened two new branch offices in Charlotte County. The Englewood offices will be led branch manager Lisa Guild, who brings to First International Title more than 30 years of experience in the title business. 

 

Judicial Title grows market share on Long IslandOpen in a New Window

Judicial Title Insurance Agency has served the real estate community since 1978 from its offices in Westchester, N.Y., and New York City. Recently, the agency expanded to Long Island with a new office in Riverhead, located in Suffolk County. 

 

Carlisle Title appoints business development czarOpen in a New Window

Carlisle Title appointed a new executive vice president of business development to lead the team in strategic and tactical sales and marketing planning, as well as sales training and education.

 

MiT National Land Services adds industry vet to sales teamOpen in a New Window

MiT National Land Services, a national title insurance agency located in Midtown Manhattan, N.Y., added industry veteran Bryant Goulding to its growing sales team.

 

Title Alliance shakes things up with new president, toolsOpen in a New Window

A joint-venture title insurance agency, Title Alliance, has appointed Susan Brody as president of its Pittsburgh-based entity, T.A. Closing Network, effective immediately. Prior to this, Susan was founder and president of Brody Abstract, Inc. which she founded in 1995.

 

Washington county adds eRecordingOpen in a New Window

Stevens County implemented eRecording of documents through Simplifile, an eRecording service, offering customers a faster and more efficient recording method online. 

 

CoreLogic: 90 percent of homes regained equity in 2014Open in a New Window

Nearly 273,000 U.S. homes returned to positive equity in the third quarter of 2014, bringing the total number of mortgaged residential properties with equity to approximately 44.6 million, or 90 percent of all mortgage properties. Keep reading to learn more about this progress.

 

FHA makes homeownership more affordableOpen in a New Window

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reduce the annual premiums new borrowers will pay by half a percent. This action is projected to save more than 2 million FHA homeowners an average of $900 annually and spur 250,000 new homebuyers to purchase their first home over the next three years.

 

HomeServices of America announces leadership changes for RealtySouthOpen in a New Window

HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, announced that effective immediately, Richard Grimes has assumed the role of chief executive officer of RealtySouth; Jim Dye has been promoted to senior vice president and general sales manager; and Ty Dodge, former president and CEO of RealtySouth, has been named Chairman Emeritus of the company.

 

Thomas Title grows in SouthwestOpen in a New Window

After opening its Dallas office in August 2012, Thomas Title & Escrow completed its second full year in Texas. The office is anchored by professionals who have decades of experience in commercial title and escrow. The Texas operations reported revenue growth of 200 percent year-over-year.

 

Bella Title latest member of Florida Agency NetworkOpen in a New Window

Bella Title is the first acquisition by the Florida Agency Network (FAN) of 2015, as part of its statewide expansion. The network has a staff of more than 200, 3 real estate attorneys on staff and 27 convenient locations throughout central Florida.

Florida Agency Network welcomes Uptown Title

 

Black Knight introduces new commercial data offeringOpen in a New Window

Through a partnership with New Jersey-based SMR Research, Black Knight now offers enhanced commercial data, made more valuable with the addition of fields such as standardized property use, tenant information and mortgage default scores.

 

DC commercial real estate services provider acquired by DTZOpen in a New Window

Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate services provider serving the U.S., has been acquired by an affiliate of DTZ Investment Holdings. The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions and is dependent of Cassidy Turley’s combination with the operations of DTZ Group (DTZ) to create a global, full-service commercial real estate services company.

 

Fitch Ratings appoints chief risk officerOpen in a New Window

Fitch Ratings appointed John Olert as Group Chief Risk Officer effective immediately.

 

LenderLive names new chief information officerOpen in a New Window

LenderLive Network Inc. as appointed a new chief information officer to lead and manage the company’s infrastructure, network and data security and provide oversight for corporate and divisional application development. Keep reading to learn more.

 

Northeast loses residents for third yearOpen in a New Window

According to the United Van Lines’ Annual National Movers Study shows Oregon continues to hold the title as top moving destination. Read on to learn more.

 

Paperful to paperless: From piles of files to streamlined operationsOpen in a New Window

Nicole Plath, CEO of Fortune Title Agency Inc. in Roseland, N.J., said she started taking a look at the processes of her father’s title company in 2010 and “convinced him to change the software and move to a paperless environment because I knew what all the benefits of that would be.”

 

Two Minnesota counties begin eRecordingOpen in a New Window

Two Minnesota County recorders offices have begun eRecording through Simplifile. Read on to learn more.

 

Title Alliance adds implementation specialistOpen in a New Window

Title Alliance added a compliance-based role to the roster to work with all of the offices companywide to ensure they are knowledgeable of new and existing title and RESPA requirements nationally and in each state. Keep reading to learn more.

 

Pending home sales show modest gain in NovemberOpen in a New Window

Pending home sales slightly improved are above year-over-year levels for the third straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors. Read on to learn which major regions experience a slight gain in November.

 

Ellie Mae names new CEOOpen in a New Window

Ellie Mae, a provider of innovative on-demand software solutions and services for the residential mortgage industry appointed Jonathan Carr as CEO effective Feb. 1. 

 

Loan officer charged with mortgage fraudOpen in a New Window

Joseph DiValli, 45, of Jackson, N.J., was charged in a seven-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and six counts of wire fraud, all of which caused losses of at least $2 million. 

 

SoftPro opens registration for 2015 User Group ConferenceOpen in a New Window

SoftPro opened registration for its 16th Annual User Group Conference at Disney’s Contemporary Resort April 8-10. Keep reading to learn more about the event.

 

For-sale inventory up almost 12 percent, Zillow saysOpen in a New Window

The November Zillow Real Estate Market Report says nationally, for-sale inventory was up 11.8 percent annually, but fell 1.7 percent month-over-month. Keep reading to learn more.

 

Home prices increase 15 percent in November according to RealtyTrac reportOpen in a New Window

U.S. median home prices increased 15 percent in November from a year ago, according to the November 2014 Residential and Foreclosure Sales Report from RealtyTrac. Distressed home prices reached their highest level since December 2009. Read on to learn more.

 

Californian pleads guilty to fraudOpen in a New Window

A Northern California real estate investor pleaded guilty for his role in bid rigging and fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in northern California, the Department of Justice announced.

Charles Rock was indicted on Dec. 3, 2014, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland, Calif.

 

FHFA addresses super-priority liensOpen in a New Window

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is alerting homeowners, financial institutions and state authorities of the agency’s concerns with state-level actions that threaten the first-lien status of single-family loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  

 

Acquisitions boom as companies look to expandOpen in a New Window

Title companies have a hard time growing organically, according to Capello Group Managing Director Gene Urcan. He said once title companies get to that $20 million to $30 million mark in revenues, they have a hard time growing beyond that without making acquisitions. There isn’t a standard formula for smaller agents because there are many factors at play other than the bottom line.

“You have some owners that are frustrated that would like to be much bigger and more profitable and the organic growth is just not working,” Urcan told The Title Report.

 

Black Knight announces initial public offeringOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Financial, parent company of Black Knight Financial Services, announced it’s planning an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

Case-Shiller releases latest Home Price IndexOpen in a New Window

S&P Dow Jones Indices released the latest results for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, a measure of U.S. home prices. Data released for October 2014 shows that the pace of home prices across the country continues to decelerate, although eight cities did see prices rise faster.

 

Baird and Warner names new COOOpen in a New Window

Baird & Warner named Jennifer Alter Warden to the newly created position of chief operating officer and Laura Ellis as the new president of the brokerage’s residential sales division.

“Jennifer and Laura have proven time and time again that they are invaluable assets to Baird & Warner,” Baird & Warner CEO and President Steve Baird said. 

 

Attorney pleads guilty to real estate investment fraudOpen in a New Window

Aaron Seltzer, 38, of Trappe, Md., pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with a scheme in which he converted funds intended for real estate investments to his personal use.

 

Hamilton Title expands with two new locationsOpen in a New Window

Hamilton National Title expanded its reach in Indiana by acquiring two new locations in Elkhart and Columbus — both formerly owned by Stewart Title. Hamilton Title, headquartered in central Indiana, has been very acquisitive as it expands across the region.

Hamilton National completes third title company acquisition in just over a year

 

TRI Pointe adds title services, partners with imortgageOpen in a New Window

TRI Pointe launched TRI Point Solutions, made up of TRI Pointe Connect and TRI Pointe Assurance, a suite of homebuyer services that will provide end-to-end support throughout the closing process. TRI Pointe Connect, a joint venture with imortgage, will provide mortgage-related services.

 

Winged Foote Title expands to Naples, Fla.Open in a New Window

Winged Foot Title LLC has opened a new office in Naples, Fla. Their expanded reach allows them to better serve the Naples, Marco Island and Bonita Springs real estate markets. Chris Black, owner of Winged Foot, said the expansion always has been part of his original vision.

 

Listening critical in brand managementOpen in a New Window

During the ALTA Annual Convention, ALTA Manager of Public Affairs Wayne Stanley and Chicago Title Vice President of New Media and Education Bill Risser talked about using social media as a listening tool. Keep reading to see how this tool can help build relationships and protect your brand.

 

A.S.K. Services grows Ohio teamOpen in a New Window

A.S. K. Services appointed Lynn Jennings to the role of account manager for Ohio. She will focus on supporting our current clientele who are based in the Buckeye state.

A.S.K. Services Inc. acquires Outsourcing Solutions LLC

 

Buying more affordable than renting, report showsOpen in a New Window

Buying still is more affordable than renting in the majority of U.S. housing markets, according to RealtyTrac’s analysis of fair market rents and median home prices in more than 500 counties. However, the opposite is true in markets with the biggest increase in the millennial share of the population over the last six years.

 

GSE foreclosure prevention actions top 3.3 millionOpen in a New Window

The FHFA released a report showing that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed approximately 72,700 foreclosure prevention actions in the third quarter, bring the total to more than 3.3 million since the start of conservatorships in September 2008. Read on to learn more.

 

Home sales rise little year-over-yearOpen in a New Window

Auction.com’s Real Estate Nowcast predicts home sales will be up slightly from one year ago and essentially flat compared with November. Keep reading to learn more.

 

A.M. Best rates National Title Insurance of New YorkOpen in a New Window

National Title was acquired on Jan. 2 as part of the FNF’s acquisition of Lender Processing Services, Inc. National Title and FNF’s other domestic title insurance companies collectively are referred to as the Fidelity National Financial Group. The outlook for the ratings is stable. 

 

Prosecutor warns of new real estate closing schemeOpen in a New Window

Prosecutor Fredric Knapp is issuing an alert to the members of the Morris County Bar Association regarding a real estate closing scheme — involving emailed wiring instructions for banking transactions. 

 

First International adds senior escrow closerOpen in a New Window

First International Title of Venice adds a new senior escrow closer. Keep reading to find who.

 

East Tennessee credit unions launch title companyOpen in a New Window

CU Community and Credit Union Services of East Tennessee have teamed up to launch CU Community Title Co. LLC, effective Jan. 2, 2015. The joint venture represents a groundbreaking collaboration between subsidiaries of two East Tennessee credit unions, ORNL Federal Credit Union and Y-12 Federal Credit Union, both headquartered in Oak Ridge, Tenn., just outside of Knoxville. 

 

Mortgage debt reaches record highOpen in a New Window

The level of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt outstanding increased by $28.6 billion in the third quarter of 2014, as the four major investor groups increased their holdings, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

 

Illinois expands eRecording to Will CountyOpen in a New Window

The Will County Recorder’s office has implemented electronic recording through Simplifile, providing customers with a faster, more convenient way to record their documents.

 

MBA announces five year-end promotionsOpen in a New Window

MBA President and CEO David Stevens announced the promotion of five MBA staff members. They will be effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Among those named to new positions was Rick Hill, who will serve as vice president of industry technology. 

 

Galveston woman sentenced for mortgage fraudOpen in a New Window

A Galveston, Texas, woman has been sentenced to federal prison for federal violations related to a mortgage fraud scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced.

 

HUD program left on cutting tableOpen in a New Window

One of the staple programs in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “Blueprint for Access,” issued in May 2014 by the Federal Housing Administration, has been tabled for at least a year.

The Homeowners Armed with Knowledge (HAWK) pilot program was designed for new homebuyers to encourage housing counseling before buying a home, with the promise of lower payments from an FHA-insured loan.

 

U.S. economy expanding at moderate pace, says FOMCOpen in a New Window

On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources continues to diminish. Household spending is rising moderately and business fixed investment is advancing, while the recovery in the housing sector remains slow. 

 

Bank of America announces Closing Disclosure plansOpen in a New Window

Bank of America became the second national lender to announce its plans for the new Closing Disclosure forms in 2015. Read on for the details.

 

IBERIABANK to acquire Georgia Commerce BancsharesOpen in a New Window

IBERIABANK Corp. (IBKC) and Georgia Commerce Bancshares Inc. signed a definitive agreement for IBKC to acquire Georgia Commerce via merger. The all-stock deal has been approved by the board of directors of both companies is expected to close in the first half of 2015. 

 

Low rates fuel growth in refi volumeOpen in a New Window

Lenders’ share of mortgage refinancing volume rose for the fourth straight month in November as mortgage interest rates continued to fall, according to the latest Origination Insight Report released by Ellie Mae.

 

Sixteen charged in telemarketing scheme involving Detroit homesOpen in a New Window

Sixteen people have been charged for operating a fraudulent telemarketing scheme that involved losses of more than $20 million to more 290 victims in 46 states and Canada, including Michigan, United States Attorney Barbara McQuade announced.
 
McQuade was joined in the announcement by Paul Abbate, special agent in charge of the FBI Detroit Field Office.

 

Beware of year-end cyber theftOpen in a New Window

A new article by eDiscovery firm Secure Discovery LLC is warning corporations about the traditional end of year spike in corporate cyber theft, as some employees who are poised to start a new job in January with a competitor attempt to take confidential information along with them.

“Most employees wouldn't think of stealing client lists, formulas, manufacturing processes, plans, and other private information on their way out the door,” Secure Discovery LLC’s Chief Legal Officer Mason Evans said.
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Calendar

2/10/2015
PLTA Executive Committee Meeting

2/12/2015
PLTI & PREP-Deeds & Transfers of Title-February 12, 2015

3/3/2015
PLTI - Taking the Confusion Out of Liens - KOP - March 3, 2015

3/12/2015
PLTI - Deep Dive into the New Closing Disclosure Form - KOP - March 12, 2015

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