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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.


 

 

Tennessee approves eNotarizationsOpen in a New Window

Tennessee has approved a bill that would allow notaries to perform online notarizations. The bill has been forwarded to Gov. Bill Haslam, who is expected to sign it into law.

 

NS3 Preview: Revitalization of blighted properties key for urban growthOpen in a New Window

Land banks play a vital role in communities with abandoned properties hoping to be available again for purchase. The title insurance industry is a main player when it comes to these efforts. The 2018 National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) welcomes three expert panelists to the stage to help attendees learn how they can engage in similar initiatives in their communities.

 

Nationstar appoints COOOpen in a New Window

Nationstar Mortgage Holdings has created a new position of chief operating officer, and selected a former division president at ServiceLink to fill it.

 

IDS now conducting hybrid eClosingsOpen in a New Window

Clients of International Document Services, Inc. now have the capabilities to conduct hybrid electronic mortgage closings through its flagship mortgage document preparation platform. Read on for more details.

 

Median home prices nearing pre-recession peakOpen in a New Window

Median home prices in Houston, Dallas, Denver, San Jose and San Antonio have soared past their pre-recession peaks during the first quarter. Read on for more details.

 

Percentage of closed loans increasesOpen in a New Window

According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insight Report, interest rates during March reached their highest level since January of 2014. Read on for more details.

 

Politicians react to Wells Fargo enforcement actionOpen in a New Window

In announcing its $1 billion enforcement action about Wells Fargo Bank, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau did not say much about the financial abuses against consumers committed by the bank. But while the bureau seemed loathe to trumpet its largest enforcement action ever, others in and around Washington had plenty to say.

 

NS3 Preview: Packing your cyberattack survival kitOpen in a New Window

There is lots of information out there about the risk of cyberfraud, how to avoid it, requirements to protect your company against it, and what the latest scams are that you need to look out for. But happens when you get that 3 a.m. phone call that your system has been breached?

 

Westcor expands its remote, online notarizationsOpen in a New Window

Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. has expanded its underwriting support of real estate transactions closed completely online to an additional four states and the District of Columbia.

 

AmTrust hosting women’s summitOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. will hold its first annual “Women’s Summit” at The Graduate Center of CUNY in New York. Read on for more details.

 

Stewart promotes sales executiveOpen in a New Window

Stewart has named a sales director for its Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee direct operations. Read on for more details.

 

Title Alliance appoints closing managerOpen in a New Window

Title Alliance, Ltd. has appointed a closing manager for Center City Settlement Services. Read on for more details.

 

Small business optimism remains near historic highsOpen in a New Window

Optimism among small-business owners has been riding high for more than a year. In fact, fewer small-business owners are identifying taxes as their top problem, and a higher percentage are planning capital outlays. 

 

First American Mortgage Solutions expands APIsOpen in a New Window

First American Mortgage Solutions (FAMS) has expanded the application programming interfaces available through its Digital Gateway. FAMS said the expansion will give users greater flexibility to create modern, consumer-friendly applications and workflows.

 

Quarterly foreclosures increaseOpen in a New Window

During this year’s first quarter, foreclosure rates throughout the country inched upward compared with the previous quarter. Read on for more details.

 

Ellie: More borrowers expecting online convenienceOpen in a New Window

A survey by Ellie Mae found that nearly two-thirds of Americans expect to be able to apply for a mortgage and complete the application online. Read on for more details.

 

Fannie: Consumer confidence increased in MarchOpen in a New Window

Americans surveyed by Fannie Mae in March were more confident about the economy and housing market than they were in February. Read on for more details.

 

Wells Fargo hit with $1 billion penaltyOpen in a New Window

Wells Fargo Bank has agreed to a $1 billion penalty issued by the federal government for how it charged certain borrowers for mortgage interest rate-lock extensions and the way it administered a mandatory insurance program related to its auto loans. The penalty is the largest ever assessed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

 

WFG acquires Washington title agencyOpen in a New Window

WFG National Title Insurance Co. has acquired a Spokane, Wash.-based title and settlement services provider that serves two counties and has 65 employees.

 

ALTA endorses bill to restructure CFPBOpen in a New Window

The American Land Title Association has joined more than 20 other groups in endorsing a bill that would change the leadership structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from a single director to a commission.

 

LenderClose gains funding from venture capital firmOpen in a New Window

LenderClose has gained funding from a venture capital firm that will allow it to hire 25 more employees. The principal of the venture capital fund said its investment “is gas in the tank that will allow LenderClose to do much more.”

 

Proper Title hires senior sales representativeOpen in a New Window

Proper Title, LLC has hired a senior sales representative. Read on for more details.

 

Report: Housing affordability worsensOpen in a New Window

A new report predicts home affordability will decline the fastest in Tacoma, Wash., Fresno, Calif., Baltimore and Boston. Read on for more details.

 

Ellie Mae adds senior vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Ellie Mae has hired a senior vice president of product strategy and management. Read on for more details.

 

Four companies partner on eClosingsOpen in a New Window

Pavaso has partnered with Intercap Lending, Elevated Title and Signature Closers to conduct eClosings in which the lender, title company and notary collaborate within Pavaso’s portal. .

 

Swiftpage enhances CRM lineOpen in a New Window

Swiftpage has added to its customer relationship management software and released the latest version of its Premium Platform. The company’s newest product offers insurance providers the ability to tailor their CRM to meet the unique needs of their business, market, and industry. Read on for more details.

 

ATGF adds agency managerOpen in a New Window

Attorneys Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. has hired an agency manager for its Colorado and Utah operations. Read on for more details.

 

Property taxes up nearly $3,400 per homeOpen in a New Window

ATTOM Data Solutions said New Jersey, Illinois, Vermont, Texas and New Hampshire had the highest property taxes in 2017. Read on for more details.

 

LenderLive acquires reQuireOpen in a New Window

In recent years, the group of technology companies called reQuire Holdings, LLC had been on its own purchasing spree. Now, the company has been acquired by LenderLive Services, LLC.

 

Lennar names C-Suite teamOpen in a New Window

The Lennar Corp.’s board has announced a series of changes to its C-Suite executive team, including the naming of a new chairman and CEO. Lennar said the management changes recognize the hard work, effective leadership, collaboration and significant contribution of the named executives.

 

CATIC appoints new board memberOpen in a New Window

The newest member of CATIC’s Board of Directors is a prominent attorney who has expertise in short sales, foreclosed properties, bankruptcies and probate matters related to real estate transactions.

 

FTC offers cybersecurity resources for small businessesOpen in a New Window

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is offering new educational resources to help small businesses strengthen their cybersecurity and protect sensitive data. The FTC said the new educational resources are a result of the roundtables it hosted in 2017.

 

Westcor adds agency representativeOpen in a New Window

Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. has hired an industry veteran as an agency representative. Read on for more details.

 

Tappable equity highest on recordOpen in a New Window

Rising home prices have driven total tappable equity to its highest dollar amount on record. Read on for more information from Black Knight’s latest report.

 

Closepin partners with Angel Oak Home LoansOpen in a New Window

Closepin has launched an automated closing agent compliance process for Angel Oak Home Loans LLC and their Lending Services platform. Read on for more details.

 

FAN completes fully digital refinanceOpen in a New Window

Along with United Wholesale Mortgage and Florida Mortgage Firm, the Florida Agency Network recently completed its first paperless, fully digital real estate refinance transaction.

 

Premium Title expands coverage areaOpen in a New Window

Premium Title has secured escrow licensing in Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington. The company now provides direct title/settlement services in 45 states plus the District of Columbia.

 

Lennar subsidiary launches digital mortgage platformOpen in a New Window

A subsidiary of the Lennar Corp. has introduced a digital mortgage platform designed to streamline the home loan process. The company said the new platform incorporates sophisticated, data-driven technology to simplify a traditionally tedious, manual process, resulting in a faster, more frictionless mortgage experience.

 

Denim announces chief technology officerOpen in a New Window

Denim has hired a former AIG and Athene executive as its chief technology officer. Read on for more details.

 

AmTrust hires agency representativeOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has hired an agency representative for its Texas operation. Read on for more details.

 

Freddie Mac adds directorOpen in a New Window

Freddie Mac has added a new member to the company’s board of directors. Read on for more details.

 

New title and escrow platform company launchedOpen in a New Window

Two investment firms and a title industry veteran have joined forces to launch an independent title and escrow platform company. The company said its strategy is to create the leading technology centric and customer-obsessed title platform serving all facets of the mortgage loan cycle.

 

Consumer group seeks to block Fidelity-Stewart dealOpen in a New Window

A national consumer group has reached out to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and state insurance commissioners in an effort to block Fidelity’s proposed acquisition of Stewart.

 

Small-business owners posting ‘help wanted’ signsOpen in a New Window

One-fifth of small-business owners surveyed by the National Federation of Independent Business during March said they had plans to hire more workers. Many of the small-business owners surveyed reported a willingness to raise pay levels to attract the right workers.

 

RamQuest integrates CloseSimpleOpen in a New Window

RamQuest, Inc. has integrated CloseSimple’s automated communication tool within its digital network. Read on for more details.

 

The Top 5 fastest appreciating marketsOpen in a New Window

Four of the top five fastest appreciating real estate markets during the next 12 months are projected to be in Washington. Read on for more details from Veros Real Estate Solutions’ predictions

 

Deutsche Bank implements DocMagic’s eVaultOpen in a New Window

Deutsche Bank has successfully implemented DocMagic’s proprietary eVault technology. Read on for more details.

 

Old Republic, Pavaso complete Arizona eClosingOpen in a New Window

Homeowners Financial Group recently partnered with Old Republic and technology provider Pavaso to complete an eClosing in Arizona, the companies announced. The parties said the eClosing involved a property in Arkansas and that the transaction was completed in less than 30 minutes.

 

Agent on TRID bill: ‘We have the ability to affect change’Open in a New Window

Title insurance professionals who have been hoping for changes to the disclosure of simultaneously issued title insurance were disappointed when the TRID Improvement Act of 2018 was not included in the final Senate financial regulatory reform bill sponsored by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), which was passed last month. However, the fight to get the TRID Improvement Act to the president’s desk is not yet over.

 

NextAce launches two new solutionsOpen in a New Window

NextAce recently launched what it called two first-of- its-kind solutions for the title insurance industry. The first solution enables title insurers, agents, and attorneys to setup their underwriting and business rules and then produce automated title reports in minutes.

 

Home prices outpacing median wage earnersOpen in a New Window

Median home prices during the first quarter of 2018 were not affordable for average wage earners in 68 percent of counties throughout the country, according to ATTOM Data Solutions Home Affordability Report.

 

AmTrust hires agency representativeOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has hired an industry veteran to help it continue expansion throughout the west coast of Florida. Read on for more details.

 

CSC adds 31 new countiesOpen in a New Window

CSC has added 31 new counties in 21 states to its eRecording network since the first quarter of 2018, the company announced. Read on to learn more.

 

ValuAmerica parent acquires title insurerOpen in a New Window

The parent company of ValuAmerica has acquired a national title insurance and settlement services company licensed in nearly 40 states and the District of Columbia. Radian Group said the acquisition is consistent with its growth and diversification strategy, and its focus on the core product offerings of its mortgage and real estate services business.

 

Qualia striving to become industry’s transaction platformOpen in a New Window

Earlier this year, Qualia closed a $33M Series B led by Menlo Ventures with participation from 8VC, Bienville Capital and Barry Sternlicht. Qualia CEO Nate Baker spoke with The Title Report about the company’s plans to use its cash infusion.

 

Small-business owners more confident about economyOpen in a New Window

Confidence concerning the nation’s business environment continued to rise among small-business owners in February, according to a survey from the National Federation of Independent Business.

 

Simplifile upgrades post-closing serviceOpen in a New Window

Simplifile has enhanced its post-closing service to help lenders automate the return of trailing loan documents. Read on for more details.

 

SLK Global adds vice presidentOpen in a New Window

SLK Global Solutions has hired a vice president, mortgage, the company announced. Read on for more details.

 

Florida real estate law group adds partnerOpen in a New Window

A Florida real estate law practice has added a partner. Read on for more details.

 

Title premiums reach 11-year highOpen in a New Window

The title insurance industry built upon the excellent year it had in 2016 with an even better year in 2017, according to ALTA’s Market Share Analysis. Despite an industry-wide decline in refinances last year, title insurance underwriters generated the highest amount of title insurance premiums since 2006.

 

New Jersey agency expands into PennsylvaniaOpen in a New Window

An independently owned title research and production firm in New Jersey has acquired one of the largest independently owned search and production companies in Pennsylvania.

 

Title agents confident new tax code won’t hamper marketOpen in a New Window

The Republican tax reform package will have little impact on 2018’s overall housing market, according to First American’s Real Estate Sentiment Index.

 

Most mortgage applications completed old fashioned wayOpen in a New Window

Nearly 60 percent of homeowners applied for and completed their latest mortgage application completely in person, according to Ellie Mae’s 2017 Borrower Insights Survey.

 

IBERIABANK names chief diversity officerOpen in a New Window

IBERIABANK has hired the company’s first chief diversity officer. Read on for more details.

 

Following proposed acquisition, Moody’s affirms Fidelity's ratingsOpen in a New Window

Following Fidelity National Financial, Inc.’s (Fidelity) announcement that it is acquiring Stewart Information Services for $1.2 billion in stock and cash, Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed the company’s senior debt rating and the insurance financial strength ratings of its primary title insurance subsidiaries.

 

Equity firm acquires ownership interest in Alliant NationalOpen in a New Window

A private equity firm that specializes in buying mid-market companies has acquired an ownership interest in the holding company that owns Alliant National Title Insurance Co. Alliant said its leadership and personnel would remain the same, and the partnership would facilitate the company’s next stage of growth.

 

Small business lending nears all-time highOpen in a New Window

Lending to small businesses increased during January and approached an all-time high, according to the latest Strategic Insights Report from PayNet.

 

Knight Barry launches new websiteOpen in a New Window

Knight Barry Title has launched a new website designed to better serve the needs of its customer base across the Midwest.

 

AmTrust adds agency sales and service representativesOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has hired two agency sales and service representatives for its Mid-Atlantic region.

 

Rental yields decline slightlyOpen in a New Window

According to ATTOM Data Solutions, the areas with the highest potential annual gross rental yields for 2018 are in Maryland, Georgia, Alabama and Michigan.

 

Ellie Mae partners with Pacific UnionOpen in a New Window

Ellie Mae and Pacific Union have announced a partnership through which joint customers can deliver data and documents.

 

Realogy’s TRG and Pavaso partner on eClosingsOpen in a New Window

The Lender Services Division of Realogy’s Title Resource Group (TRG) has selected mortgage technology provider Pavaso to provide eClosing technology.

 

ATGF’s yearly profits increaseOpen in a New Window

For the second consecutive year, Attorneys Title Guaranty Fund, Inc.’s net profits reached an all-time high.

 

loanDepot names COOOpen in a New Window

loanDepot has named industry veteran Tammy Richards as its chief operations officer for enterprise mortgage operations. The newest member of loanDepot’s executive team will work closely with its mello Innovation Lab.

 

Westcor appoints agency managerOpen in a New Window

Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. has appointed a Southern Virginia Agency manager to assist in increasing its footprint in the Mid-Atlantic market. Read on for more details.

 

Black Knight integrates FormFreeOpen in a New Window

Black Knight has integrated FormFree’s asset verification service into its centralized application programming interface marketplace. Read on for more details.

 

Underwriter hires regional counselOpen in a New Window

A national underwriter has hired a regional underwriting counsel for its Southeast region. Read on for more details.

 

Blockchain real estate transaction completedOpen in a New Window

A Blockchain startup which earlier this year launched a pilot program with the City Clerk’s Office in South Burlington, Vt., said it has completed a real estate deal recorded with the technology. The technology provider said the deal was facilitated by its smart contract real estate transaction tool and its Blockchain registry.

 

Title Financial acquires two title companiesOpen in a New Window

Title Financial Corp. (TFC) has acquired the largest title and escrow company in Southeastern Montana. TFC said the acquisitions create a geographic network that will facilitate a seamless and convenient real estate experience.

 

AmTrust’s credit rating unchanged by privatization bidOpen in a New Window

A.M. Best said AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.’s Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb” was unchanged by the closing of the sale of a 51 percent interest in a portion of company’s U.S.-based fee businesses.

 

Loan originations dipped during fourth quarterOpen in a New Window

Several cities in California and Colorado had huge declines in loan originations during the fourth quarter of 2017. Read on for more details from an ATTOM Data Solutions’ report.

 

LenderLive names chief information security officerOpen in a New Window

LenderLive Holdings, Inc. has selected a company veteran to serve as its chief information security officer. Read on for more details.

 

Cloudstar names VP of salesOpen in a New Window

Cloudstar has hired a former JP Morgan Chase manager to serve as vice president of sales. Read on for more details.

 

A look back at LandAmerica purchaseOpen in a New Window

It was late in 2008 that the Big Five in title became the Big Four. As the Big Four is set to become the Big Three following the announcement of Fidelity National Financial’s (FNF) buyout of Stewart Information Services Corp., it is worth looking back to the last major deal that shook the title landscape.

 

Fidelity: Synergies could include cutsOpen in a New Window

In considering its bid for Stewart Information Services Corp., Fidelity Chairman William P. Foley, II said the company identified an estimated $135 million in operational cost synergies. Although some of the synergies are expected to come in services, technologies and activities, Fidelity said non-complementary facilities also could be closing.

 

Analyst: Stewart sale likely to clear regulatorsOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Financial, Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Stewart Information Services Corp. shouldn’t have a problem clearing federal regulators, according to a top analyst.

 

Law firm investigating Stewart saleOpen in a New Window

While federal regulators weigh whether Fidelity National Financial, Inc.’s agreement to acquire Stewart Information Services Corp. would harm consumers, a New York City law firm is investigating whether the deal is good for Stewart’s shareholders.

 

Fidelity ‘not sure’ how FTC will view Stewart acquisitionOpen in a New Window

The chairman of Fidelity National Financial, Inc. said he’s not sure how the Federal Trade Commission will view the company’s agreement to acquire Stewart Information Services Corp. for $1.2 billion in cash and stock.

 

Fidelity acquires Stewart in $1.2 billion dealOpen in a New Window

In a deal that would eliminate one of the Big Four title insurers, Fidelity National Financial, Inc. has signed a merger agreement to acquire Stewart Information Services Corp. for $1.2 billion in cash and stock.

 

Arizona agencies adopt Blockchain technologyOpen in a New Window

Two Arizona title agencies are integrating Blockchain technology into their day-to-day operations. Last year, the two title agencies conducted nearly 20,000 real estate transactions and underwrote title insurance in excess of $3 billion.

 

Westcor opens additional New York officeOpen in a New Window

To spur further growth in New York, Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. has opened a second office in the Empire State, this one on Long Island.

 

SLK Global hires senior vice presidentOpen in a New Window

SLK Global Solutions has hired a senior vice president. Read on for more details.

 

Florida Agency Network hires sales managerOpen in a New Window

The Florida Agency Network has hired a sales manager to oversee sales initiatives throughout Florida. Read on for more details.

 

ComplianceEase updates its analyzerOpen in a New Window

ComplianceEase has updated its ComplianceAnalyzer with TRID Monitor to comply with the 2017 TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule. Read on for more details.

 

Lennar announces post-merger leadership teamOpen in a New Window

Now that its $9.3 billion merger with CalAtlantic Group is complete, Lennar Corp. has announced the leadership team for its Lennar Palm Atlantic Division.

 

Firm launches cybersecurity services practiceOpen in a New Window

An accounting and advisory firm serving the financial services and real estate industries has launched a cybersecurity services practice to help lenders and servicers protect themselves against online fraud and data attacks.

 

Qualia secures $33 million in additional fundingOpen in a New Window

Qualia has secured millions in additional funds from Menlo Ventures with participation from 8VC, Bienville Capital and Barry Sternlicht. With the additional funding, Qualia said it will expand its engineering and product teams and accelerate its growth into additional markets across the U.S.

 

NTC promotes executiveOpen in a New Window

Nationwide Title Clearing has promoted a company executive to serve as assistant vice president of business development. Read on for more details.

 

More millennials using conventional loansOpen in a New Window

An increasing percentage of millennials took advantage of conventional loans in January. Read on for more details.

 

Massachusetts commercial real estate brokerage launchesOpen in a New Window

A new suburban commercial real estate brokerage firm serving Massachusetts’ 128 suburban markets has launched. Read on for more details.

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