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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.


 

 

Conversations with the C-Suite: General Title Insurance Co.Open in a New Window

Welcome to our latest Conversations with the C-Suite exclusive to The Title Report. In these features we talk to leaders of the industry about their business priorities, plans for the future and what title agents need to know to succeed. In this edition, Editor Tara Quinn spoke with General Title Insurance Co. President and General Counsel Rob Holman.

 

Fidelity squares things with CaliforniaOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Title Co. was back in the good graces of the California Secretary of State’s office Thursday night, after the company temporarily had been put on suspension. Read on for details of the resolution for Fidelity.

 

Simplifile, LendingQB integrate collaboration servicesOpen in a New Window

Simplifile has integrated its collaboration and post closing services with LendingQB.  Users now can create loan records to initiate data and document sharing with settlement providers. Read on to learn more.

 

Average closings in 2016 longest in four yearsOpen in a New Window

Closing times have risen nearly a full week since the spring of 2016, finding their highest mark since February 2013, according to the latest report from Ellie Mae. Overall, average closing times in 2016 were the longest since 2012. Read on for more insights from the report.

 

Home prices climb while inventory divesOpen in a New Window

Home prices rose 4.7 percent in December as inventory declined 12.7 percent, according to Redfin, a real estate brokerage. Keep reading to learn more.

 

Housing starts up in DecemberOpen in a New Window

Housing starts showed strength in December, while building permits grew slightly, according to the latest report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau.Keep reading to learn more. 

 

House report says Cordray may have violated lawOpen in a New Window

Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee charged in a newly released report that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray might have violated federal law in rulemaking involving larger participants in the consumer auto-lending market.

If the charge were true, it could expose Cordray to being removed from his post under the “for-clause” provision of the Dodd-Frank Act.

“Ignoring the Administrative Procedure Act — a landmark law for ensuring the public is included in rulemaking — is unbecoming of a public servant,” committee member Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Illinois) told The Title Report.

 

Beige Book releases latest economic forecastOpen in a New Window

Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts indicated that the economy continued to expand at a modest pace across most regions from late November through the end of the year.  

Residential and commercial construction activity remains elevated in Cleveland, while New York’s commercial real estate market slackened. 

Keep reading to learn more on the latest Fed observations.

 

DocuSign names new CEOOpen in a New Window

DocuSign named a new CEO who has more than 25 years of executive leadership and experience, including a decade as chairman and CEO at an industry-leading publicly traded company.

The company’s previous CEO, Keith Krach, will continue in his role as chairman of DocuSign’s board of directors.

Keep reading to learn more about the new leadership.

 

Austin law firm adds real estate expertOpen in a New Window

The law firm of Stahl, Bernal, Davies, Sewell & Chavarria has named a new partner. He will focus on all aspects of commercial real estate transactions. Keep reading to learn more. 

 

Builder confidence holds firm in JanuaryOpen in a New Window

Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes remained on firm ground in January, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Read on to learn more. 

 

CFPB accepting board, council applicationsOpen in a New Window

To be sure that it hears from a variety of experts with diverse viewpoints, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau set up several committees — three of which will have vacancies this fall. Read on to learn more. 

 

WACO Title acquires abstract companyOpen in a New Window

 WACO Title has expanded its reach in the central Arkansas market after announcing the purchase of an abstracting company.

Longtime industry veteran Harry Allen, a longtime veteran of the Arkansas title and closing industry, will continue to manage the office, according to details of the announcement.

Keep reading to learn more about the January acquisition.

 

Businesses report rise in fraud, riskOpen in a New Window

Fraud, cyber and security incidents are now the “new normal” for companies across the world, according to executives surveyed for the 2016-17 Kroll Annual Global Fraud and Risk Report.

More than three-quarters of executive reported their companies fell victim to fraud in the past year rose, up significantly from recent years, highlighting the escalating threat to corporate reputation and regulatory compliance.

Cyberincidents were even more commonplace. Read on to find out how prevalent they were, and who the report said were the most common perpetrators of incidents.

 

Integrity Title expands title plant coverageOpen in a New Window

Hidalgo, San Patricio and several other Texas counties now are available for access from Integrity Title Records. 

Operations Manager Sonny Livesay said these areas are key to expanding the agency’s services in South Texas.

Read on to learn more about the areas which will be made available.

 

Longtime Stewart leader retiresOpen in a New Window

Agency Executive Vice President George Houghton has announced he will be retiring at the beginning of April 2017 after a 35-year association with Stewart, 19 as a Stewart employee. Keep reading to learn more.

 

Fort Myers Title welcomes new closing processorOpen in a New Window

The Title Junction family continues to grow as it welcomes a new closing processor. Read on to learn more about her.

 

NJ law firm expands real estate groupOpen in a New Window

Scarinci Hollenbeck, a regional business law firm, has expanded with the addition of two attorneys to its commercial real estate law practice. Read on for more details about the new hires.

 

Trump meets with potential Cordray replacementOpen in a New Window

There has been much debate over the future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) since president-elect Donald Trump won the election.

Republican senators have called for Cordray to be fired, while House Democrats are defending him and the bureau, listing its accomplishments.

Read on to learn more about the potential future of the bureau’s leader.

 

House passes Small Business Regulatory Reform measureOpen in a New Window

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2017.

It was introduced by Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot to force federal regulators to take the economic effects to small businesses into consideration when drafting legislation.

Keep reading to learn more.

 

NATC realigns geographic regionsOpen in a New Window

North American Title Co. (NATC) has realigned its geographic regions and filled a new position of area president for Arizona, Nevada and Utah.

The new area president has worked in the region and will report to Dia Demmon, president of the newly renamed Western Region, which includes California.

Keep reading to learn more.

 

HA&W changes name to AprioOpen in a New Window

 Habif, Arogeti & Wynne (HA&W), a CPA-led business advisory firm, announce that the company has changed its name to Aprio.

Over the next 24 months, the company said it will operate as HA&W | Aprio, before making the full transition to the new brand.

Read on to learn more about the meaning of the firm’s new name.

 

CATIC now integrated with ResWareOpen in a New Window

Adeptive announced its ResWare platform now is integrated with Connecticut Attorney’s Title Insurance Company. Keep reading to learn more.

 

Housing sentiment dampenedOpen in a New Window

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) decreased in December for the fifth consecutive month. Read on to learn why.

 

New-home purchase applications increaseOpen in a New Window

The Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Applications Survey data for December 2016 shows mortgage applications for new-home purchases increased 2 percent from December 2015. Keep reading to learn more.

 

Stewart sells off portion of lender services businessesOpen in a New Window

Stewart Lender Services has divested several of its holdings after the sale to American Mortgage Consultants  of its businesses which performed due diligence and servicing functions.

This includes credit, compliance, origination and servicing quality control reviews – as well as due diligence and quality control-related technologies. The deal closed on Dec. 31, 2016, the companies announced in a press release. 

Read on to learn more about the future of Stewart employees involved in the sale.

 

Data Trace expands in TexasOpen in a New Window

Data Trace Information Services LLC announced the introduction of four new geographically indexed, P-12 compliant thick title plants in Texas.

President Robert Karraa said these new plants deliver instant access to data title companies need. The company said in an announcement that the addition of the new title plants make Data Trace the only provider in the area offering access to both tax and title data in a single system.

Read on to learn more.

 

Freedom Mortgage joins Simplifile Collaboration serviceOpen in a New Window

Freedom Mortgage has begun using the Simplifile Collaboration service in its wholesale division to quickly and easily exchange data with its settlement partners.

Simplifile President Paul Clifford said the importance of true collaboration between lenders and settlement providers in the post-TRID era cannot be overstated.

Keep reading to learn more.

 

Millennial refinances increased in second half of 2016Open in a New Window

Purchase loans by millennial borrowers dropped to 77 percent and refinances increased to 22 percent of all loans in the second half of 2016, according to Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker. Read on to learn more.

 

Foreclosure inventory declines 30 percentOpen in a New Window

A new report from CoreLogic shows the national foreclosure inventory declined 30 percent from a year ago, and is nearly 80 percent below its peak level in 2010. Read on for more details.

 

ComplianceEase names SVP of salesOpen in a New Window

Compliance promoted one of its own to vice president of national sales. Keep reading to learn more.

 

House bill eyes small business flexibilityOpen in a New Window

House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) introduced the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2017.

The bill is designed to force regulators to craft smarter, less burdensome regulations taking into consideration their direct and reasonably foreseeable economic effects, especially on small businesses, Chabot said.

Read on for more details of how the bill would impact small businesses.

 

Study: Businesses unprepared for cyberattacksOpen in a New Window

A lack of knowledge and protection is putting businesses across the globe at risk of grinding to a halt, according to the 2016 Kaspersky Lab Corporate IT Security Risks survey.

A lack of knowledge and protection is putting businesses across the globe at risk of grinding to a halt, according to the 2016 Kaspersky Lab Corporate IT Security Risks survey.

The annual survey included responses from more than 4,000 representatives of small, medium and large businesses, including financial institutions.

 

 

Majesty Title Services expands into BrandonOpen in a New Window

Majesty Title Services announced that it has expanded into Brandon, Fla. This is the fourth Tampa Bay office for Majesty Title in the Brandon market. CEO Vince Cassidy said the move was a “logical extension” of the company’s plan. Keep reading to learn more about the move and that plan.

 

Survey says commercial outlook strongOpen in a New Window

Commercial and multifamily mortgage lending is expected to increase in 2017, as lenders’ appetites to place new loans and borrowers’ appetites to borrow both remain strong, according to a new Mortgage Bankers Association survey. Read on to learn more.

 

Housing survey includes crime, food security focusOpen in a New Window

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau released the results of the 2015 American Housing Survey, focusing on 25 metropolitan areas across the country. Read on to learn which areas have low food security and the highest crime rates.

 

Metropolitan Title Co. expands to new countyOpen in a New Window

Metropolitan Title Co. will expand its service area coverage in northern Indiana to a new county through the acquisition of an abstract company.

The abstract company’s name formally has changed to Metropolitan Title Co. as of the first of the year.

Keep reading to learn more about the deal and the future of the abstract company’s leadership.

 

F&M Bank Corp. acquires title companyOpen in a New Window

F & M Bank Corp., parent company of Farmers & Merchants Bank, has acquired a title company based in Virginia.

The real estate settlement and title insurance company has offices in Harrisonburg, Fishersville and Charlottesville, Va., and has been in operation since 1985.

Keep reading to learn more details about the acquisition.

 

First American Mortgage Solutions integrates with LoanLogicsOpen in a New Window

First American Mortgage Solutions announced that it has completed its integration with LoanLogics.

The technology integration will provide users of LoanLogics’ LoanHD platform with access to First American’s FraudGuard product.

Keep reading to learn more about how users can order FraudGuard services directly from the AppQ Network vendor management portal.

 

Wyoming authorizes eRecording statewideOpen in a New Window

On Jan. 1, a law authorizing eRecording statewide took effect in Wyoming. Simplifile announced four counties already have joined its network. Read on to learn more.

 

ResWare integrated with Ops InsightsOpen in a New Window

Adeptive’s ResWare platform now is integrated with Ops Insights from ProcessFast. Read on to learn more.

 

Small-business owners optimistic about futureOpen in a New Window

The Staples National Small Business Survey revealed optimism among small-business owners as they kick off 2017. Read on to learn more. 

 

Alliant manager achieves fraud examiner certificationOpen in a New Window

Alliant National Title Insurance Co. announced its Continuous Improvement Manager Tom Weyant is now a Certified Fraud Examiner.

He is the second professional at the title underwriter to achieve this designation.

Keep reading to learn what that entails. 

 

CourthouseDirect.com releases search-by-address featureOpen in a New Window

CourthouseDirect.com new feature allowing users to search real property records by address.

President Paul Cones said the new technology offers more information and faster results.

Keep reading to learn more.

 

Stewart names two to Board of DirectorsOpen in a New Window

Stewart announced two new appointments to the board of directors.

They are replacing retiring board members Frank Keating, the former governor of Oklahoma, and Laurie Moore-Moore. The moves are part of the agreement Stewart reached in October with an activist investor group.

Keep reading to learn more about the new appointees and what their compensation for being on the board entails.

 

WFG adds to Chesapeake Region teamOpen in a New Window

The Agency Group for WFG National Title Insurance Company named an assistant vice president, underwriter/account manager for the company’s Chesapeake Region.  Read on to learn more.

 

Buying more affordable than renting in most marketsOpen in a New Window

ATTOM Data Solutions released its 2017 Rental Affordability Report, which shows that buying a home is more affordable than renting in 66 percent of U.S. housing markets analyzed for the report. Read on to learn more.

 

Ten X lists ‘hottest’ single-family marketsOpen in a New Window

Ten-X released its Top Single-Family Housing Markets Report for winter, which ranks the nation’s 50 largest housing markets according to current and forecasted housing fundamentals. Read on to learn more.

 

NAILTA names new president, boardOpen in a New Window

The National Association of Independent Land Title Agents (NAILTA) named General Title Insurance Co.’s Rob Holman as its fifth president.

He told The Title Report about his agenda for his two-year term.

Read on to learn what you can expect from this independent land title agent organization.

 

First American projects fewer loan defects in 2017Open in a New Window

First American Financial Corp. released the First American Loan Application Defect Index for November 2016.

Chief Economist Mark Fleming said although the downward trend has paused from the previous month’s index, he expects the number of defects to continue to decrease throughout 2017.

Keep reading to learn more on Fleming’s insight for the next year.

 

Segin Systems announces ISO-27001 certificationOpen in a New Window

Segin Systems, Inc. has announced its recent ISO-27001 certification.

Among the 114 requirements, Segin has implemented end-to-end security controls for risk management, incident management, vulnerability management and physical security.

Read on to learn more.

 

December home sales down slightly from NovemberOpen in a New Window

According to the latest Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast, December existing home sales showed a modest month-over-month decrease, down 1.8 percent from November, but up 0.9 percent from a year ago. Read on for more details from the report.

 

CSC adds to eRecording network in DecemberOpen in a New Window

Corporation Service Company (CSC) announced several new jurisdictions have been added to its eRecording network in December.

Read on to learn more.

 

Pending home sales dip, NAR saysOpen in a New Window

Pending home sales dipped in November to their lowest level in nearly a year, according to the National Association of Realtors. Its latest report found a brisk upswing in mortgage rates and not enough inventory dispirited some would-be buyers. Read on for more details.

 

Searching for the future of title companiesOpen in a New Window

Finding and keeping new blood in the title insurance industry can be a challenge. 

H.B. Wilkinson Title Co. President Dan Mennenoh and Holler Law Firm Managing Attorney George Holler shared their methods for success. 

Read on to learn more. 

 

Fee disclosures still causing problemsOpen in a New Window

Lodestar Software Solutions founder and CEO Jim Paolino told The Title Report many in the industry are still handling the upfront fee disclosure incorrectly.

A lot of title agents and lenders overestimate their fees to avoid shortages and its causes problems down the road.

Read on to learn more.

 

Time to close loans rises near 2016 highOpen in a New Window

More than a year since the new disclosure forms became effective, overall closing times have risen near their highest mark of 2016, a new report from Ellie Mae states.

Closing times are one day behind January’s level, which was the longest period of time to close loans registered by the report since February 2013.

The increase in closing times in November comes after a leveling out from January through August. Read on for details from the Origination Insight Report.

 

Greenberg Traurig adds focus on title insuranceOpen in a New Window

Greenberg Traurig, LLP has added a shareholder to its Sacramento office to focus on administrative law, insurance regulation, title insurance and appellate law. Read on to learn more. 

 

Real estate outlook declines, First American saysOpen in a New Window

First American Financial Corp. released its Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI) for the fourth quarter of 2016. The RESI showed expectations for changes in transaction volume and prices over the coming year decreased 3.8 percent this past quarter as compared with a year ago. Read on for more findings from the report.

 

 

Existing home sales forge ahead in NovemberOpen in a New Window

A big surge in the Northeast and a smaller gain in the South pushed existing-home sales up in November for the third consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors. Keep reading to learn more.

 

Title Midwest moves into WisconsinOpen in a New Window

Title Midwest recently announced that it made its first move into the state of Wisconsin following the acquisition of a title company.

Title Midwest also has locations in Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas. TM Holdings Inc. President John Stauffer talked to The Title Report about the expansion

Read on to hear what Stauffer had to say about the move and the services that the company will be able to offer in Wisconsin.

 

ServiceLink acquires United Lender ServicesOpen in a New Window

Pittsburgh-based ServiceLink announced that it has acquired United Lender Servicers.

The company said the acquisition was a strategic move, particularly for ULS’ originations and valuations businesses. Read on to learn more about the recent deal.

 

Young workers behind, but optimisticOpen in a New Window

Youngers workers in the U.S. experience higher rates of unemployment than then population as a whole, but are still generally optimistic about their job prospects, according to the Federal Reserve.

Its report states young adults prefer steady work over less steady, higher paying positions.

Keep reading to learn more about the latest findings.

 

Fidelity National Title Group names vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Title Group (FNTG) New York Agency recently appointed a familiar face to the position of vice president of national agency accounts. Read on to learn more.

 

Investors Title Co. adds Georgia underwriting counselOpen in a New Window

Investors Title Co. named a new Georgia underwriting counsel. Keep reading to learn more about the most recent appointee. 

 

Simplifile adds 12 to eRecording networkOpen in a New Window

Simplifile announced the addition of eight Georgia counties and four Louisiana parishes to its eRecording network. Keep reading to learn more. 

 

First American economist: Rates to cool forecastOpen in a New Window

First American Financial Corp. Chief Economist Mark Fleming said the results from the firm’s latest Potential Home Sales model reveal insight into the housing market for 2017.

The recent rise in mortgage rates after the election and the increase in the federal-funds rate by the Federal Reserve are likely to cool home sales next year, Fleming said.

Read on to find out how the market could look as 2017 begins.

 

DOL overtime rule can’t be repealedOpen in a New Window

The future of the Department of Labor’s overtime rule appears to be in the hands of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, following an analysis by The Title Report which reveals that the rule will not be subject to repeal through the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

Although opponents of the rule have suggested for weeks that it would be subject to repeal under CRA, research by The Title Report shows that will not be possible. However, the appellate court has agreed to an expedited review of the injunction in the case.

How will that affect the overtime rule? And what's the next step in the court process for the case? Read on for the details.

 

North American Title Group names VP regional counselOpen in a New Window

The North American Title Group, LLC named a vice president, regional counsel for its California region. Keep reading to learn more.

 

Title premiums on pace for best year in a decadeOpen in a New Window

The third quarter of 2016 was another positive quarter for the title insurance industry according to ALTA. Title insurance premiums written were up 7.4 percent.

Through the first nine months of 2016, the industry has rolled up $10.37 billion in title insurance premiums written, up 7.2 percent from the first nine months of 2015.

That's the strongest performance for the industry since at least 2007, and puts the title industry on pace for its best year in at least a decade. 
Keep reading to learn more about the data. 

 

Berkshire Hathaway: Interest rates on the minds of consumersOpen in a New Window

Current and prospective homeowners remain optimistic about the state of the real estate market, yet they expressed concern over the prospects of rising interest rates in Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ latest Homeowner Sentiment Survey. Read on to learn more. 

 

ClosingCorp names SVP of data operations, product managementOpen in a New Window

ClosingCorp has added a senior vice president of data operations and product management to its team. Keep reading to learn more.

 

Wells newsletter talks electronic title delivery, PHH caseOpen in a New Window

In its quarterly newsletter to title and settlement agents, Wells Fargo took the opportunity to address a number of noteworthy areas. Included in the newsletter is RESPA guidance in light of the recent PHH Corp. v. CFPB case, information on the electronic delivery of a title policy, and an update on integration with Closing Insight. Read on for the details.

 

Fitch: Banks to benefit from rate increaseOpen in a New Window

Most banks are projected to benefit from interest rate hike announced by Federal Open Market Committee Dec. 15, according to the latest North American Financial Institutions Chart of the Month from Fitch Ratings.

However, this December’s rate hike alone will likely not be sufficient to boost earnings materially, Fitch said.

Keep reading to learn more from the company’s latest report.

 

 

Title expansion in Nebraska continuesOpen in a New Window

A title company announced that it has expanded its services in Nebraska through a recent acquisition.

The company will now have nine offices serving the state, providing full title and escrow closing services, along with other services. “Combining the legacy, expertise and experience of the two companies will help serve the Kearney area and the state of Nebraska well into the future,” Nebraska Title President Jennifer Strand said.

Read on for details of the acquisition and reaction from both parties.

 

SoftPro to partner with Ellie MaeOpen in a New Window

SoftPro will partner with Ellie Mae to integrate its title, closing and escrow software with Ellie Mae’s Encompass. Keep reading to learn more.

 

WFG adds to Southeastern agency teamOpen in a New Window

WFG National Title Insurance Co. named an assistant manager/Georgia underwriting counsel. Read on to learn more. 

 

CFPB credit trends tool tracks industries onlineOpen in a New Window

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unveiled Consumer Credit Trends, a web-based tool to help the public monitor developments in consumer lending and forecast potential future risks.

The beta version of the tool covers the mortgage, credit card, auto loan, and student loan markets.

Read on to learn more. 

 

NFIB: Small business optimism soars post-electionOpen in a New Window

Small business optimism remained flat leading up to Election Day, then rocketed higher as business owners expected much better conditions under new leadership in Washington, according to a special edition of the monthly NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism. Read on to learn more. 

 

Fed announces second rate hike in decadeOpen in a New Window

The Federal Open Market Committee announced its decision to raise the target range for the federal funds rate from .5 percent to .75 percent

It’s just the second time in the past 10 years the Federal Reserve has raised the benchmark rate.

Keep reading to learn more. 

 

Fitch says FNF, Black Knight restructuring won’t affect ratingsOpen in a New Window

In response to Fidelity National Financial’s announcement to allow Black Knight Financial Services and FNFV Group to operate as fully independent companies, Fitch Ratings placed FNF’s Long-term Issuer Default Rating and senior unsecured debt rating on Rating Watch Positive.

Fitch did not take action on FNF’s title insurance operating company financial strength rating.

Read on to learn more about the ratings agency’s reaction to the news.

 

Simplifile names director of product strategyOpen in a New Window

Simplifile named a new director of product strategy. Keep reading to learn more.

 

Small business optimism at high pointOpen in a New Window

Small-business owners are the most optimistic they have been since January 2008, according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. Read on to learn more. 

 

CoreLogic: Foreclosures decline more than 30 percentOpen in a New Window

CoreLogic released its October 2016 National Foreclosure Report, showing the foreclosure inventory declined by 31.5 percent. Keep reading to learn more.

 

Stewart names chief operating officerOpen in a New Window

Stewart named a new chief operating officer to oversee all business operations.

The position is a new addition to the company’s roster of executive officers, and CEO Matt Morris said his experience will make him a vital member of the team.

Read on to learn more about the new addition and his background.

 

Silk Title and Escrow opens operations centerOpen in a New Window

Silk Title and Escrow LLC announced the opening of an Operations Center in Rhode Island.

Silk Chairman Lance Silver said Rhode Island is a very strong market for title and settlement personnel. The company said the move is a continuation of its increase in market share, which has seen business grow by more than 500 percent in the last year alone.

Keep reading to learn more about the company and its new center. 

 

Landmark Title adds chief title officerOpen in a New Window

Landmark Title Assurance Agency recently filled the new position of chief title officer. Read on to learn more. 

 

Home equity increases in third quarterOpen in a New Window

Homeowners with mortgages saw their equity increase in the third quarter. Read on to learn more.

 

Study shows real estate leaders’ outlook for housingOpen in a New Window

Top real estate executives’ confidence in the U.S. economy and housing market for 2017 has softened compared to two years, according to the latest Imprev Thought Leader Real Estate Confidence study. Read on to learn more. 

 

Pioneer Title Agency opens two new officesOpen in a New Window

Pioneer Title Agency announced that it has opened two new location. The company, which has been in business for more than 30 years, now has 56 offices in operation.

The two new offices will add nine employees to the more than 450-member team at Pioneer Title Agency.

Read on for more details about the additions and the history of the company.

 

A.M. Best upgrades credit ratings of CATICOpen in a New Window

A.M. Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating of Connecticut Attorneys Title Insurance Co.

The move reflected a “favorable risk-adjusted capitalization” at the company, A.M. Best said, and included a revision of the company’s outlook.

The underwriter also announced the opening of a new office in Portland, Maine. Keep reading to learn more. 

 

WFG’s Patrick Stone shares economic perspectiveOpen in a New Window

During the annual Association for Title Information Management (ATIM) Conference, WFG Chairman and CEO Patrick Stone shared his perspective on the economy and the coming year.

He said this is the first year the United States has a higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) than the European Union, since 2003.

Keep reading to learn more.

 

 

Home Purchase Sentiment Index decreases in NovemberOpen in a New Window

The share of consumers expecting mortgage rates to go down over the next year and those who believe now is a good time to sell a home both fell according to the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index. Read on to learn more.

 

WFG National adds underwriting counselOpen in a New Window

WFG National Title Insurance Co. named an underwriting counsel for the states of Illinois and Indiana in its Midwest Agency group. Keep reading to learn more. 

 

Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. Maintains “A’ Unsurpassed” RatingOpen in a New Window

Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. maintained a Financial Stability Rating of A’ (A Prime), Unsurpassed, for 21 consecutive years dating to 1995.

Demotech’s ratings summarize its opinion as to an insurer's ability to insulate itself from the business cycle that exists in the general economy as well as the underwriting cycle that exists in the insurance industry.

ATG President and CEO Peter Birnbaum said he is proud of the rating. Read on to learn more.

 

Home flipping activity decreasesOpen in a New Window

ATTOM Data Solutions released its Q3 2016 U.S. Home Flipping Report, showing a total of 45,718 single family home and condo sales were flips in the third quarter of 2016, representing 5.1 percent of all single family and condo sales during the quarter. Read on to learn more.

 

Fidelity to relinquish control of Black KnightOpen in a New Window

In a surprising move being met by positive reaction from analysts, Fidelity National Financial announced that it would move to allow Black Knight Financial Services and FNFV Group to operate as fully independent companies.

The plan would have Fidelity distribute all 83.3 million shares of its stock in Black Knight – amounting to about a 54 percent share in the company – to shareholders of  FNF Group and strip Fidelity of its controlling interest in Black Knight.

What’s behind the move, and why have analysts cheered the plan? Read on for the details.

 

Equity National Title, Mid America complete ClosingsOpen in a New Window

Equity National Title recently collaborated with Mid America Mortgage to conduct three eClosings.

The eClosing process, which did accommodate the wet-signing of certain documents before a notary as required by state law, allowed the homebuyers to review all pertinent closing forms online before the closing.

Keep reading to learn more from both parties, as well as a first-time homebuyer who participated in the process.

 

Federal Reserve to make changes to Beige BookOpen in a New Window

The Federal Reserve announced changes that will begin in 2017 to its Beige Book publication. Read on to learn more.

 

FICO offers cybersecurity effectivenessOpen in a New Window

Silicon Valley analytics firm FICO is offering an Enterprise Security Score to compete in the marketplace and better identify security risks across the supply chain. Keep reading to learn more.

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