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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.


 

 

NFIB: Start tax reform with small businessesOpen in a New Window

During testimony before the U.S. Senate’s Finance Committee, National Federation of Independent Business President and CEO Juanita Duggan said small businesses need rate parity, lower taxes, and a simplified code. 

 

AmTrust expanding presence at Big Apple addressOpen in a New Window

By the end of the year, AmTrust Title Insurance Co. will significantly expand its presence at an iconic building that once housed the New York Daily News and was made famous by a large globe featured in the original Superman television series.  


Read on to learn what AmTrust’s senior executive vice president said necessitated the move.

 


 

Howard Hanna acquires Michigan brokerageOpen in a New Window

Howard Hanna Real Estate Services has expanded its roster of companies with the addition of a Michigan real estate company. The acquired company has been in business for more than 45 years and has more than 70 employees at two offices.

 

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Florida welcomes new title agencyOpen in a New Window

A new title agency that can perform timeshare transfers in 23 states, Mexico, the Caribbean, plus other locations around the world, has opened in Orlando, Fla. The new company is a title agency for Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. 

 

NTC officer joins PRIA boardOpen in a New Window

The Property Records Industry Association has elected the chief legal officer of Nationwide Title Clearing to serve on its board. 

 


 

Mortgage fraud risk increasesOpen in a New Window

During the second quarter of 2017, an increasing percentage of mortgage applications contained indications of fraud. 


 

AmTrust appoints agency managerOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has hired an agency manager covering the Midwest who previously managed 1,100 agents. 


 

Stewart economist analyzes hurricanes’ impactOpen in a New Window

What impact will Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have on the real estate market?  In a new whitepaper, Stewart's chief economist who studied homes sales one year prior and one year following Hurricane Charlie, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ivan, Tropical Depression Allison, Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike, predicts the two recent hurricanes will increase homes sales in the long run.

 

 


 

On its own as Black KnightOpen in a New Window

The official split between Fidelity National Financial (FNF) and Black Knight Financial Services is scheduled to happen later this month following FNF’s distribution of its outstanding shares of BKFS stock. Three days later, BKFS will be known as Black Knight and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “BKI.”

 

 


 

ALTA approves best practices letterOpen in a New Window

To better serve the needs of title agents and lenders in sharing information about compliance with best practices, ALTA has approved a representation letter that will replace its certification package. The association said the letter corrects a flaw in the certification package and is designed to make it easier for companies to communicate their compliance with the ALTA Best Practices to third parties.

 


 

Flipping returns decline for third consecutive quarterOpen in a New Window

Home flippers pocketed a decent average ROI during the second quarter. However, ATTOM Data Solutions said that average has declined for three consecutive quarters. 


 

Some metros post double-digit price increasesOpen in a New Window

According to the Black Knight Home Price Index, all 50 states saw home price appreciation in June. 

 


 

Foreclosure, delinquency rates dipOpen in a New Window

According to CoreLogic’s Loan Performance Insights Report, both the foreclosure inventory rate and the serious delinquency rate dipped to their lowest levels in nearly a decade in June. 


 

Dozens of Fidelity employees displaced by HarveyOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Financial Inc. has created a fund to help employees impacted by Hurricane Harvey. FNF also is partnering with a non-profit to raise funds to help other Gulf Coast residents struggling with the hurricane’s aftermath. 

 


 

Report: Economy growing at ‘modest to moderate’ paceOpen in a New Window

The Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book said the economy is expanding, despite low inventories of homes, rising prices and not enough new construction that is hampering real estate activity. In some markets, Fed districts reported that sales are shifting to lower-priced homes from higher-price units



 

MBA urges CFPB to abandon big stick approachOpen in a New Window

In a new whitepaper, the Mortgage Bankers Association says it believes that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau too often uses enforcement actions rather than written guidance. Five years into the bureau’s existence, MBA said now is the time for the bureau to make key changes to its approach that would benefit both consumers and the industry.

 

 


 

LenderLive names CFOOpen in a New Window

LenderLive’s new chief financial officer spent more than a decade overseeing all aspects of finance at a financial technology company, as well as leading that company’s capital raising process and overseeing acquisitions. The new hire also previously held several senior finance positions at General Electric.

 

 


 

Millennial closing times vary widelyOpen in a New Window

Millennial homebuyers may need to be more patient in New York and Florida than in California and Illinois. 

 

DTS adds new integrationOpen in a New Window

Direct Title Solutions announced a new integration that will enable Qualia customers to order title abstract and recording services in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.


 

WFG appoints Michigan counselOpen in a New Window

WFG National Title Insurance Co. has selected one of the Michigan Land Title Association’s board members to serve as its Michigan counsel. 


 

Helping displaced title-industry workersOpen in a New Window

Throughout Texas, employees of title companies and underwriters have lost homes and possessions and have been displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Some title company offices have been destroyed and need office furniture to rebuild. 


 

Alliant National creates fund to assist agentsOpen in a New Window

Alliant National Title Insurance Co. has created a fund to assist its title agents, their employees, their families and their communities with costs and expenses not covered by insurance or other means of recovery. 

 

CATIC CEO: Texans will prevailOpen in a New Window

CATIC is partnering with the American Red Cross and one of its business partners to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey. 


 

CoreLogic supports launch of disaster fundOpen in a New Window

CoreLogic has provided seed money to support the launch of a new disaster fund designed to support victims of man-made and natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. 


 

First American ‘humbled’ by generosity of our peopleOpen in a New Window

First American Financial Corp. CEO Dennis J. Gilmore told The Title Report that he marveled at the resilience of everyone in the real estate, mortgage finance and title industries in the aftermath of Harvey, and is humbled by the compassion and generosity of our people. 


 

NATG aiding victims through donations, collectionsOpen in a New Window

Even before Houston’s flood-ravaged streets were passable, the North American Title Group and its associated companies had raised more than $1 million for victims of Hurricane Harvey. 


 

Old Republic partnering with Red Cross, Salvation ArmyOpen in a New Window

Old Republic is using the strength of its large employee network to aid Gulf Coast residents impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The company is matching donations made by its employees and distributing those funds to two non-profits. 


 

Former title company owner leaving CongressOpen in a New Window

A former Michigan title company owner nearing the end of his second term in the U.S. Congress has decided not to seek re-election in 2018. In a statement announcing his decision, the congressman – who serves as a member of the House Financial Services Committee – said his intent all along was to serve for a brief time and then return to the private sector.

 

 


 

Brokerage buyout joins settlement services affiliatesOpen in a New Window

HomeServices of America has expanded its massive holdings with the addition of the nation’s top privately owned real estate brokerage. Among the holdings that were acquired are 10 settlement services companies in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.

 

 


 

AmTrust enters new reinsurance contractOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. recently entered into a new quota share reinsurance contract that reduces the company’s exposure to and lessens financial volatility related to all catastrophe events, including hurricanes and tropical storms.

 

 


 

Loan originations rose in second quarterOpen in a New Window

Although second-quarter loan originations did not match 2016’s, they did increase from the first quarter.  .

 


 

Confidence growing in housing marketOpen in a New Window

During August, the percentage of Americans who said now was a good time to sell a home and that mortgage rates will continue to decline both increased. 

 

Jersey Mortgage selects Loan VisionOpen in a New Window

Jersey Mortgage said its new accounting software gives it the ability to analyze data rather than just type in data.

 

Title premiums challenging 2016’s 10-year highOpen in a New Window

Despite an industry-wide drop in refinances and increases to the Federal Reserve's benchmark short-term interest rate, title insurance premiums rose during the second quarter, according to ALTA’s market share analysis. 


 

Texas title company opens new officesOpen in a New Window

A Texas title company is opening four new branch locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The company also is adding an educational and training facility that will offer both onsite classes and a video-conferencing solution to enable remote learners to join instructor-led training. 

 


 

D.C. title company launches new websiteOpen in a New Window

A Washington, D.C.-based title company has launched a new website designed to help real estate professionals order title and receive quotes online. The company’s president said the new website enables it to receive time-critical information quickly and to process requests more efficiently. 


 

General Title hires Indiana counselOpen in a New Window

General Title Insurance Co. has hired an Indiana underwriting counsel who previously directed the title insurance division for Indiana. 

 

OpenClose integrates TimiosOpen in a New Window

The integration enables OpenClose customers to draw all title and settlement fees directly from within its loan origination system, eliminating data entry, saving time and ensuring fees are fully accurate and TRID compliant. 

 

Omni adds chief title officerOpen in a New Window

Omni Title LLC has hired a chief title officer with nearly three decades of experience. 



 

Title company among Harvey donorsOpen in a New Window

Businesses from every part of the title insurance industry are stepping up to aid in the massive recovery effort that will be needed in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. A Texas-based title company will donate a portion of settlement fees received during September to relief efforts, and that sum will be matched by its underwriter. They are among a number of public donations recently announced, including a large donation from one of the nation’s largest homebuilders.

 

 


 

North Dakota title company expandsOpen in a New Window

A title company based in North Dakota recently announced the opening of a second office to help serve its region. The president of the company joined staff at a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the second office.

 


 

Ellie Mae acquires sales acceleration platformOpen in a New Window

With its agreement to buy a leading sales acceleration platform, Ellie Mae said it is one step closer to achieving its vision of offering a fully digital mortgage. The software company said the combination of its Encompass platform with the sales acceleration platform will deliver a complete digital lead capture and conversion solution for creating interest, turning that interest into an application and then funding that loan quickly and at a low cost.

 

 

 


 

Title Data, NextAce partnerOpen in a New Window

Title Data and NextAce announced a partnership through which NextAce’s customers will have access to TDI’s title plants, which cover more than 80 percent of Texas. 


 

North State Bank promotes ReedyOpen in a New Window

North State Bank in Raleigh, N.C., has promoted its chief financial officer to executive vice president. 


 

CFPB urges Harvey flexibilityOpen in a New Window

As Gulf Coast residents scramble to get their lives in order following Hurricane Harvey, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is urging financial institutions to be flexible with consumers. 


 

Stewart replaces retiring CFOOpen in a New Window

Stewart Information Services Corp. has selected a former Nationstar and Fannie Mae executive to replace Chief Financial Officer Allen Berryman, who announced his retirement earlier this year. CEO Matt Morris said the newest member of Stewart’s executive team brings deep real estate and private equity sponsor experience.

 

NAHB to Trump: Seek Canadian lumber agreementOpen in a New Window

In April, the Trump administration enacted tariffs against imported Canadian lumber in hopes of leveling the playing field with U.S. lumber producers. However, the National Association of Home Builders believes those tariffs ultimately will hurt American consumers, especially Gulf Coast residents looking to rebuild following Hurricane Harvey.

 

Arkansas title company changes handsOpen in a New Window

An Arkansas title company that has operated in the North Central area of the state since 2003 has been sold. One of the new owners has more than 20 years of experience in the title industry and comes from a family that has owned title companies.

 

Westcor adds Michigan representativeOpen in a New Window

Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. has hired a Michigan representative who has served as general counsel for two large underwriters. 


 

Gibraltar Title hires associate counselOpen in a New Window

Gibraltar Title Services’ new associate counsel has represented companies and individuals in contract negotiations, corporate governance and real estate closings for more than 15 years. 


 

First International hires two execsOpen in a New Window

First International Title recently added a senior escrow officer and a business development executive to its staff. 


 

Here’s the hottest housing markets todayOpen in a New Window

Although some of the cities ATTOM Data Solutions is predicting will have strong housing sales during the third quarter are not surprising, others are.


 

Professional Title adds employeesOpen in a New Window

Florida-based Professional Title Agency announced the addition of several new staff members, including two processors and three closing agents. 


 

ePN adds 15 jurisdictionsOpen in a New Window

eRecording Partners Network has added jurisdictions in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas. 


 

Clayton launches security readiness solutionOpen in a New Window

Clayton Holdings has launched an end-to-end solution that includes advisory and preparedness support for pre-securitization due diligence review, originator and guideline assessment and ongoing monitoring structure and setup.

 

Survey: Realtors optimistic, concerned by nontraditional competitorsOpen in a New Window

Realtors generally are optimistic about the continued growth of the industry. Sixty percent of commercial real estate firms and 62 percent of residential ones expect profitability from all real estate activities to increase in the next year, a survey by the National Association of Realtors found.

 

Title industry preparing for Harvey’s aftermathOpen in a New Window

Businesses throughout portions of Texas, the largest state in the country for title insurance premiums in 2016, have been ravaged by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. The Texas Land Title Association has begun the process of reaching out to its members and connecting them to assist each other in closing transactions in the coming weeks.

 

ATGF continues run of profitable quartersOpen in a New Window

Attorneys Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. announced that the company has generated eight consecutive profitable quarters. The company’s president said the Denver-based firm will turn its focus toward growing its network of independent title agents and expanding its geographic footprint beyond Colorado, Utah, Minnesota and North Dakota.

 

 


 

NFIB: Small-business outlook rosyOpen in a New Window

Despite Congress’ failure to enact tax reform or to repeal Obamacare, small-business owners in July were more optimistic about the country’s business environment than they were in June, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

 

 


 

AmTrust appoints chief information officerOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. has shuffled its corporate deck, pulling in the leader of one of its U.S. subsidiaries to serve as its chief information officer.

 

 


 

Freddie: Home sales will increase in 2017Open in a New Window

According to Freddie Mac, this year’s home sales will outpace last year’s. However, home sales for the year would be even higher if more homes were available. 


 

Housing starts dipped in JulyOpen in a New Window

After making gains in June, both the number of building permits issued and housing starts dropped during July, according to the Census Bureau. 


 

RynohLive names security directorOpen in a New Window

RynohLive’s new director of security and product development has developed web applications within the timeshare, real estate, mortgage, hospitality, and defense contracting industries. 


 

FNF recruits leaderOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Financial Inc. has hired RedVision’s former executive vice president of sales and marketing to oversee its product and business development.

 

 

 


 

HomeServices Homesale selects presidentOpen in a New Window

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty has hired the former president of Coldwell Banker Preferred to oversee its sales management and office operations. 

 

Arkansas approves Pavaso as eNotary providerOpen in a New Window

Pavaso has become the fourth provider authorized to facilitate eNotary services in Arkansas. 


 

RynohLive names marketing VPOpen in a New Window

RynohLive has selected a vice president of marketing who has experience in the legal, hospitality, gaming, real estate settlement and information technology industries. 

 


 

TowneBank Mortgage integrates LodeStarOpen in a New Window

A new integration will enable TowneBank Mortgage employees to obtain quotes through Ellie Mae’s Encompass. 

 


 

Qualia adds to productOpen in a New Window

Qualia’s new title settlement software extension will help title agents and real estate attorneys reduce vendor collaboration challenges and closing delays, the company said.

Read on for more details

 

Former Vanguard exec joins Old RepublicOpen in a New Window

Old Republic has brought an executive from one of the world's largest and most successful asset management firms onto its team. The former Vanguard Group executive has experience in strategic planning, innovation initiatives, and investment stewardship. 


 

Ohio title company expandsOpen in a New Window

An Ohio title company based in Columbus has opened a new branch in another part of the state. The owner of the title company is a well-known industry veteran in the Buckeye State and has a special connection to the area in which her company’s new branch is located. 


 

Equity National names executive vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Equity National Title has tapped a former First American and Stewart executive to expand its national sales base, the company announced.

 


 

Number of equity-rich properties risingOpen in a New Window

According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q2 2017 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report, an increasing number of U.S. homeowners are amassing impressive stockpiles of home equity wealth. 


 

Indecomm hits 1,000-county markOpen in a New Window

Indecomm Global Services’ eRecording platform now reaches more than 64 percent of the U.S. population. 


 

LenderLive adds regional account managerOpen in a New Window

LenderLive Network has hired a regional account manager to work with its clients in the Northeast. 


 

RynohLive names presidentOpen in a New Window

RynohLive has promoted its chief operating officer to president, while simultaneously announcing that the company’s founder and CEO will remain an active member of the company’s leadership team. 

 


 

WFG deploys real estate transaction dashboardsOpen in a New Window

WFG National Title Insurance Co. has introduced a series of online transactional dashboards designed to keep consumers, Realtors and mortgage lenders updated on the status of real estate transactions during the settlement process. 


 

Report: Refinance loans rebound in JulyOpen in a New Window

After declining for two consecutive months, the nationwide percentage of refinance home loans increased slightly during July, according to Ellie Mae’s Origination Insight Report. During July, the average interest rate on a 30-year note dropped to its lowest level since January, and average closing times remained steady.


 

Docutech, Veri-Tax expand integrationOpen in a New Window

Lenders wanting to enroll in Fannie Mae’s validation service now can obtain the tax transcripts needed directly through Docutech.


 

AmTrust adds regional managerOpen in a New Window

Amtrust Title Insurance Co. has hired a former First American executive to grow its business in Texas and establish operations in New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada.


 

ShortTrack integrates dotloopOpen in a New Window

A new integration will increase the security of ordering title documents and shorten the time to close. 

 


 

Nevada conducts hybrid eClosingsOpen in a New Window

Pavaso and Greater Nevada Mortgage recently partnered to complete the first residential hybrid eClosings in Nevada’s history. Through Pavaso’s Digital Close platform, documents were electronically delivered to the homebuyers three days prior to closing, giving them time to review the documents online and ask questions prior to closing. 


 

New consulting firm for title companies opensOpen in a New Window

A new consultancy firm that promises to provide sustainable and repeatable methodology for title agents and service providers to access real estate agents has opened its doors. 


 

Texas title company soldOpen in a New Window

A Texas title company started by a former FBI agent and which was one of the first computerized agencies in its region has been sold. 


 

SYNRGO names VP of salesOpen in a New Window

SYNRGO has hired an industry veteran to oversee its sales activities. 


 

RamQuest adds Patriot SearchOpen in a New Window

Customers using RamQuest’s Closing Market now can perform free Patriot Searches that utilize up to nine data sources. 

 


 

AmTrust adds senior underwriting counselOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has hired a senior underwriting counsel who will be based in New York City. 

 

Title Alliance expands in FloridaOpen in a New Window

Title Alliance has nearly doubled its number of locations in Florida through a partnership with Keller Williams. The company has linked itself with two Keller Williams offices that have a top 10 market share in their counties and are among the fastest growing in terms of agents and transaction volume. 


 

Hawaii eRecords land court documentOpen in a New Window

In a process that only took a few moments, Title Guaranty and Simplifile completed Hawaii’s first eRecording of a land court document on July 26, 2017. 


 

Black Knight offers new indicesOpen in a New Window

Black Knight Financial Services has introduced a series of indices designed to provide insights into the housing and mortgage markets. 


 

May delinquency rate lowest since 2007Open in a New Window

During May, the percentage of homes with mortgage loans 90 days or more past due dropped to its lowest level in nearly a decade. 

 

Alliant National appoints SVPOpen in a New Window

Alliant National Title Insurance Co. has hired a former Stewart executive to oversee its Southeast Region. 


 

WFG National integrates SMS’ platformOpen in a New Window

WFG National Title Insurance Co. has completed its integration of Settlement Management Solutions’ title production platform. The new integration is available through the latest release of Settlement Management Solutions’ TitleExpress.


 

eMortgage milestone in North CarolinaOpen in a New Window

North Carolina has been at the forefront of eMortgage and eClosing transactions, and Thursday saw the state at the center of another milestone. Read on for details about the latest achievement, the principals involved in the transaction, and reaction from Brady & Kosofsky partner Jaime Kosofsky. 

 

Investors Title produces record quarterOpen in a New Window

Driven by more transactions and rising home prices, Investors Title Co. produced the best second quarter in the company’s history. A dramatic decrease in losses helped the company offset a decrease in refinances and an increase in operating expenses. 

 

NAR supports cybersecurity billOpen in a New Window

The National Association of Realtors has thrown its support behind a bipartisan bill that would link some small business development centers with business owners who want to improve their cybersecurity efforts. 


 

FNTG adds SVP in FloridaOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Title Group has hired an industry veteran to manage its operations in southern Florida. 


 

Housing sentiment hits record lowOpen in a New Window

During July, the share of Americans who said now is a good time to buy a house decreased to the lowest point in the history of Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index. 


 

CSC adds to its eRecording networkOpen in a New Window

Since the start of the second quarter, CSC has added 61 counties in 25 states to its eRecording network. 


 

Realogy posts improved Q2 numbersOpen in a New Window

Realogy Holdings Corp.’s Title Resource Group helped the corporation post improved second quarter numbers. An increase in the number of title policies issued by the group plus the corporation’s higher average home sale price during the second quarter helped offset a dramatic decrease in refinances. 


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