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As of Nov. 1, more than 1,200 recording jurisdictions are eRecording enabled. Mark Ladd told The Title Report more than two-thirds of the population lives in an eRecording jurisdiction.
October refinance transaction volume rose to 40 percent of title mortgage volume, the highest level in six months, according to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insight Report.
MBL Title launches as an agency office, joining an elite group of full-service Dallas title companies.
Liberty Title, a Michigan title company based in Ann Arbor, now officially is registered with Secure Settlements Inc. The company’s registration as a Closing Provider is valid for the next year.
A panel of four industry experts discussed how agents can use technology to improve their post-closing process at the 2014 ALTA Annual Convention.
The panel was made up of Vicki DiPasquale, vice president at Simplifile; eLynx Director of Title Solutions John Ralston,; Dick Reass, CEO of RynohLive and Liz Tanner, business development under reQuire, and their session was titled, “Don’t Forget the Post-Closing: Using Technology to Support Audit and Compliance.”
Stewart Title Guaranty Co.’s Senior Vice President, Western States Agency District Manager Mike Cranmer will be retiring. George Houghton now will take on that role. Read on to learn more.
Builder confidence in the market for newly build single-family homes rose four points to a level of 58 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).
Linear Title & Closing announced a new vice president of commercial title services. Read on to find out who was promoted to this position.
Secure Cloud Systems Executive Vice President Steven Russo struck a note of caution for company leaders in a new whitepaper titled, “Corporate Executives – Time to get your head’s up out of the sand.”
“While these (cyber) threats are on a dramatic upswing, it has been reported that corporate spending in and around cyber protection is on the down swing,” Russo wrote.
First International Title’s CEO Jim Moran expects there will always be some level of confusion when he tries to explain what an estoppel letter is and how impactful it can be when closing a real estate transaction.
More than a decade into the title insurance industry’s effort to streamline title processes with technology, eRecording — in its various iterations — will offer even more advantages come August 2015, when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) integrated mortgage disclosures will change the closing process as we know it today, according to a panel at the American Land Title Association’s (ALTA) recent annual convention.
Complaint management in the title insurance and settlement services industry is still in the early stages of adoption, and there is a need for more awareness, according to Rizolv’s Todd Hougaard. Complaint management now is mandated by federal regulators, but only 20 percent of respondents in a recent survey (of 593 people) by Rizolv said they had even defined a consumer complaint for their company.
The third quarter Commercial Real Estate Market Monitor showed healthy increases in deal volume and pricing as cap rates and risk premiums declined.
Cornerstone Management Solutions partnered with CSC eRecording Solutions to provide title agents with an integrated eRecording solution. Keep reading to learn more.
Foreclosure filings increase 15 percent from the previous month, but still are down 8 percent from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac’s Foreclosure Market Report. Read on to see why.
Near North National Title Vice President and Counsel Colleen Morrison offered several tips to agents that could help them attract this market. She said being able to service your customer, no matter what the dollar amount is, demonstrates competence and ensures they are going to stay loyal.
Stewart Title opened a new office in Ashburn, Va. The new mixed-use community will serve Ashburn and the surround areas near Washington D.C.
“We are extremely excited to bring our real estate and title services to the Loudoun market,” Office President Ryan Twiss said.
Entrust Solutions has launched its centralized processing service. Read on to learn more.
True Title Co. opened its fourth location in Festus, Mo., to serve its expanding client base in and around the area. Read on for more details.
Former NFL player Jeffrey Charles Leroy Taylor pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud along with nine other defendants to charges involving a scheme to bilk thousands of homeowners who were struggling to make their mortgage payments.
First American Financial Corp., a global provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions, added Mark Fleming as the company’s chief economist.
Daniel Fowler, CEO of Near North Title Group moderated the panel consisting of Colleen Morrison, vice president and counsel of Near North National Title, Steven Napolitano, CEO of First Nationwide Title Agency, Randy Shoemaker-Crump, senior vice president of Fidelity National Financial and John Stauffer, chairman and CEO of Title Midwest Inc. There are a few things national commercial customers want, according to Stauffer. They want someone they have a lot of confidence in. They don’t want to reteach another agent or underwriter what they’re looking for. They want one point of contact.
Two months after Fidelity National Title Group (FNTG) bought a 70 percent stake in LandCastle Title, FNTG released more details on the purchase in its quarterly 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In addition, PGA golf professional Dustin Johnson filed suit in Georgia, alleging ex-LandCastle CEO Nat Hardwick and his former law firm, known now as Morris Schneider Wittstadt LLC, alleging they conspired together in a fraud scheme that left Johnson out $3 million.
According to Diane Evans, the title industry is just one very large extended family.
“It’s been an incredible opportunity to work with amazing companies and great employees and other team members,” Evans said.
Adeptive announced the addition of policy jackets to the integration of ResWare and First American Title Insurance Co.’s AgentNet system.
eLynx confirmed the previously announced acquisition of Medallion Analytics Co. was finalized Oct. 31.
World Wide Land Transfer announced the appointment of a new senior vice president of business development.
Simplifile appointed one of its own as vice president of regulatory and industry affairs.
Black Knight SVP Trey Barnes said recent reductions in the average 30-year mortgage interest rate have expanded the population of borrowers who could benefit from refinancing by nearly 25 percent. Read on to learn more.
A.S.K. Services acquired Outsourcing Solutions LLC, a Michigan firm that provides professional contract closers to its clients in southeastern and other urban areas of Michigan.
RealtyTrac, a source for comprehensive housing data, said sales to institutional investors — entities that purchase at least 10 properties in a calendar year — accounted for 4.3 percent of all sales of single-family homes and condos in the second quarter. That was down from 5.0 percent in the previous quarter and down from 5.3 percent a year ago, to the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2010, its Q3 2014 U.S. Institutional Investor & Cash Sales Report showed.
North American Title Co. (NAT) will provide identity theft repair coverage at no cost to its customers on or after Dec. 1 for 12 months through its AllClear Guarantee.
“We know the terrible cost to consumers who have their identity stolen, as they work with creditors and credit bureaus to repair their credit,” NAT President Tom Fischer said.
Home prices nationwide increased 5.6 percent in September 2014 compared with September 2013. This change represents 31 months of consecutive year-over-year increases in home prices nationally.
Alex Soria and Sonia Rodis of Las Vegas pled guilty to one count of pattern mortgage lending fraud, a category “B” felony, in connection with a mortgage fraud scam that operated under the name BioGreen Teck, LLC.
Demotech Inc., a financial analysis firm specializing in evaluating the financial stability of regional and specialty insurers, affirmed the financial stability rating for Ameristract Title Insurance Co.
CoreLogic released a faster, lower cost, configurable, portfolio-level lien analysis solution for servicers. Read on for more details.
Title Alliance appointed a company veteran as the new manager for its Collier County, LLC office. Keep reading for more information.
Habif, Arogeti & Wynne LLP is the newest partner with Fidelity National Title Group as a preferred vendor to its title agents for ALTA Best Practices compliance benchmarking and testing.
A new title agency joined the Florida Agency Network. It became the 27th location in the agency around the state of Florida.
Investors Title Co. saw decreases in overall volume but Chairman J. Allen Fine said he is pleased with the overall strength of the home purchase market. Keep reading to learn more.
Ellie Mae reported a 30 percent jump in revenue growth year over year in its third quarter earnings report. Keep reading to learn more.
Fidelity National Financial (FNF) reported its operating results of its core segment, a provider of title insurance, technology and transaction services to the real estate and mortgage industries. Chairman William Foley said the third quarter was stable for the company’s title business. He said the focus on operational efficiency metrics allowed FNF to generate a 14.7 percent pretax title margin.
A national eRecording service announces the first eRecording for one of Ohio’s most populous counties, along with a new integration with a business partner. Read on for all of the news.
A title insurance company has named new agency managers for Florida and the Southeast/Mid Atlantic regions. Read on to find out who the new appointees are.
A leading settlement solutions provider announced a new integration for its digital network. Read on to find out the details.
Adeptive announced that New World Property Data’s search platform now is integrated with Adeptive’s ResWare product.
An increase in foreclosures is the first quarterly tick up in the U.S. in three years, RealtyTrac said. Read on to find out whether your market was affected.
Tax and accounting firm Habif, Arogeti & Wynne LLP is the latest company to get behind ALTA’s Best Practices with a program it is billing as the “fastest and most affordable path to compliance.”
Demotech Inc. assigned a Financial Stability Rating to First American Title Guaranty Company.
Purchase and commercial favorable to First American in third quarter
Fidelity National Financial released a letter stating it was a victim of a targeted phishing attack in April. Keep reading to learn more about the attack.
Prosecutors in Ohio last week indicted a man accused of bilking $250,000 from consumers in at least five states by operating a fraudulent loan modification scheme.
Robert Walker, a 43-year-old man from North Royalton, Ohio, was indicted on 21 counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud.
Old Republic International Corp. reports its financial results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2014. According to the release, year-over-year title insurance operating income was lower as transitory weaknesses in housing-related markets eroded the fast-paced earnings progress of the past three years. Consolidated net income for the 2014 third quarter and year-to-date period once again was enhanced by the realization of substantial gains from sales of investment securities.
First American Financial Corp. CEO Dennis Gilmore said a continued emphasis on operating efficiency, coupled with seasonal strength in the purchase and commercial markets, had a favorable impact on the title segment’s results in third quarter.
According to a release, the total revenue for the company in the third quarter of 2014 was $1.3 billion, a decline of 3 percent relative to the third quarter of 2013.
Stewart Information Services Corp. CEO Matt W. Morris said the third quarter of 2014 showed a solid improvement over both the second quarter of 2014 and the third quarter of 2013.
“Although the residential housing market continues to be somewhat lackluster, we are seeing the beneficial results from executing on our strategic initiatives,” Morris said.
Meridian Title Corp. of South Bend, Ind., recently had its processes, procedures and controls formally evaluated and tested by an independent account and auditing firm and passed.
The refinance transaction peaked out from the negative column recently. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Refinance Index on Oct. 22 increased 23 percent from the previous week.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said it expects to see $1.19 trillion in mortgage originations during 2015, a 7 percent increase from 2014. While it anticipates purchase originations to increase 15 percent, it expects refinance originations to decrease 3 percent.
American Escrow Reconciliation Inc. solidified its merger into Entrust Solutions, increasing the company’s reconciliation footprint by 30 percent, according to Entrust Managing Member Jonathan Yasko.
Hamilton National Title finalized the asset purchase of Hale Abstract. The transition comes on the heels of industry and government regulations, which have caused lenders, Realtors, investors and property owners to seek compliant agencies.
Indecomm Global Services released its latest mortgage recording innovation, TRIP – The Recording Information Portal. This new tool integrates real time information and data by jurisdiction with Indecomm’s recording solution.
First Nationwide Title Agency added an assistant vice president to its sales team to focus on business development, client retention and relationship building.
ServiceLink added a title industry veteran to its team of national sales executives. Keep reading to find out who.
ClosingCorp is launching a new tool, Seller Net Sheet, designed to inform sellers of their estimated closing proceeds. It instantly calculates a seller’s net proceeds for any property in the nation. Brian Benson, CEO of ClosingCorp told The Title Report that title companies have clients that need to know what a transaction is going to look like before it closes. If a title company can bring information, technology and efficiency to the way it gets that information, the company can help its clients close more transactions.
NextAce released NeXtraction, an adaptable and accurate data capture engine and related workflow that turns document images into actionable data and information.
“NeXtraction makes possible the true harnessing of data,” NextAce CEO Don Cantral said.
First American, Fidelity, Old Republic, Stewart and Ellie Mae are releasing their third quarter earnings report over the new few days.
Statewide Abstract Corp. acquired Land Transfer Ltd. Keep reading to learn more.
Thomas Title moves and adds two new team members.
Alliant National CEO Bob Grubb said the underwriter is now the only one in the nation to provide an independent audit of its agent oversight systems to lenders. It recently completed the Service Organization Control (SOC) 1SM SSAE 16 Type II examination. Read on to learn more.
Following a string of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) consent orders with real estate, title insurance and settlement service providers, as well as ongoing private litigation, legal and regulatory compliance is weighing heavily on these industries. At the Real Estate Services Providers Council Inc.’s (RESPRO) recent conference, two top RESPA attorneys presented their top 10 recommendations for avoiding investigations and dealing with regulatory audits.
The Federal Reserve’s seventh Beige Book report gives a look at banking and real estate conditions across the country, in addition to the state of other industries and the overall economic outlook. Read on to see what the Fed’s 12 districts had to say about conditions today.
Stewart Title announced it has hired a regional manager for its Kansas City office. Read on to find out who it is.
Loan document preparation provider DocMagic Inc. announced Oct. 16 that it acquired eSignSystems from WAVE Systems Corp. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The Title Report attended the 2014 American Land Title Association’s 2014 Annual Convention. Panels of industry experts spoke on subjects ranging from the Closing Disclosure forms to the eClosings. Keep reading for a summary of what we learned.
Financial institutions such as title insurance companies handle millions of transactions daily involving customers’ sensitive information. Add the complexities of maintaining the privacy of this information and mix in compliance obligations with the myriad of changing state breach laws and you’ve got a recipe for non-compliance, wasted resources, increased risks and potential fines.
A new report from RealtyTrac analyzed housing conditions in more than 1,500 counties nationwide to determine the health of markets and their potential effect on elections this fall. Read on to see what RealtyTrac forecasts based on the housing study.
October Research, LLC recently attended Real Estate Data Shield Founder and CEO Christopher Gulotta’s presentation regarding title agents and data security. He said agents need to be as prepared as their customers for data breach. Read to learn how.
The Title Report is attending the American Land Title Association’s 2014 Annual Convention Seattle. Read on for a glimpse at Day 1.
First Bank Mortgage announced that it will continue its nearly 25-year relationship as a client of Black Knight Financial Services, signing a three-year contract to service its mortgage loans on Black Knight’s MSP system.
The new loan estimate and Closing Disclosure forms will replace the good faith estimate, HUD-1 settlement statement and TILA disclosures in less than 300 days on Aug. 1, 2015. This will be a culture shift in the settlement services industry, and software companies aren’t wasting any time getting prepared. Representatives from ResWare, RamQuest and SoftPro said they are getting their customers ready when the time comes. Read on to find out how.
For the 30th consecutive month, year-over-year home prices rose nationally, according to the August CoreLogic Home Price Index, released earlier this month. Read on to find out the pace of growth and where CoreLogic forecasts prices to go in the next year.
Atlantis National Services Inc., a title insurance agency licensed in 32 states, announced that it completed an audit examination for SSAE 16 SOC1 Type 2 certification.
So far, many in the industry don’t seem surprised and were prepared for the announcement.
“I have been following the new HUD proposal for a long while now and have attended many information sessions on the new HUD and the new CFPB best practices that are being implemented next August as well, so I was not surprised by this announcement,” Sojo Title Agency Operations and Title Manager Katie McKinney said.
eLynx, a portfolio company of American Capital, Ltd. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Medallion Analytics Company (Medallion). Pittsburgh-based Medallion provides services that help lenders and settlement services companies extract data from documents rather than rely simply on image files. This data can then be used to pre-populate forms and ensure greater quality, accuracy and compliance in loan documents from pre- to post-close. The deal is expected to close Oct. 31.
Sathish Kumar Chandhun Rajendran, 36, of Sterling, Va., was sentenced after pleading guilty to engaging in unauthorized access to government servers that hosted a Fannie Mae website used to support federal mortgage loan modification programs.
Rajendran pleaded guilty to one count criminal information charging him with unauthorized access to a protected computer causing damage.
Ernst Publishing Co. updated its patented search engine technology, making the system ready for lenders who must comply with the new CFPB Integrated Disclosure rule coming in 2015.
Williston Financial Group (WFG) selected YourDox, a secure document deliver and online marketing system, as a preferred partner for its independent title agents. Read on to learn more.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey data for September shows mortgage applications for new home purchases remained constant relative to the previous month.
The Connecticut Attorney’s Title Insurance Co. (CATIC) is improving the competitiveness of its agents by widening its educational offerings. Recently, the title insurance underwriter hosted its first agent forum, attracting more than 500 people.
Title Insurance companies, like other financial institutions are vulnerable to data breaches. When this happens there are federal and state laws requiring notification of the breach and the amount of damage done. According to an Oct. 8 report from Perkins Coie, Third Quarter 2014: States Expanding Data Breach Notification Requirements, California, Florida, Kentucky and Iowa have their security breach notification requirements in the past few months.
WFG National Title Insurance Co. integrated its policy jackets with RamQuest’s Closing Market platform. Keep reading to learn how this makes agents’ jobs easier.
ServiceLink added a respected industry veteran to its national sales executive team.
North American Title Insurance Co. and A.S.K. Services Inc. teamed up to provide A.S.K. Services’ title searches and recording solutions to NATIC’s independent agents in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. In other NATIC news, teambuilder Lundbeck joins NATIC in California.
American Tax & Property Reporting Inc., a subsidiary of SLK Global, launched SmartProp, a next generation product in property search reports.
“It’s a partnership. They took a big stake in us so they would have a New York presence,” Insignia BNT Managing Partner Darren Wainer told The Title Report.
RealtyTrac, a source for comprehensive housing data, released its first Home Equity Line of Credit Trends Report.
RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist told The Title Report, “The primary impetus for this report was availability of the data. Previously we have not had access to mortgage data, but we recently acquired record-level mortgage data nationwide, and so wanted to bring more awareness in the marketplace of trends in that data. We started with HELOCs in part because those are an interesting part of the marketplace right now as homeowners regain equity and return to this loan product that largely was in hibernation over the past two years.”
The Mortgage Bankers Association appointed a new chief financial officer along with a vice president of research and economics. Keep reading to find out who they are.
The data and analytics division of Black Knight Financial Services appointed a chief technology officer out of the Irvine, Calif., office.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Sept. 30 announced a consent order and $200,000 penalty against Lighthouse Title Inc. for what the bureau called “illegal quid pro quo referral agreements.” According to the bureau, Lighthouse Title – a personal, business, life and title insurance provider in Holland, Mich. – violated RESPA by “providing something of value to any person with an agreement or understanding that the person will refer real estate settlement services.”
Old Republic National Title Insurance Co. appointed a new vice president and national underwriting counsel to underwrite commercial title insurance risk of more than $25 million and provide legal and business advice.
LenderSecure adds to its list of compliance providers launched last year by RynohLive and Real Estate Data-Shield.