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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.


 

 

Data Connect now available to Encompass usersOpen in a New Window

Ellie Mae’s Data Connect now is available to lenders using its Encompass digital mortgage solution. Read on for more details.

 

Notarize gains $20 million in fundingOpen in a New Window

Notarize has gained $20 million through a new round of funding led by Polaris Partners, Lennar Corp., Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Fifth Wall Ventures, Second Century Ventures and Realogy Holdings Corp.’s Title Resource Group.

 

Iberiabank’s quarterly title revenues increaseOpen in a New Window

Iberiabank Corp., whose holdings include 24 title insurance offices, reported an increase in first-quarter title revenues. CEO Daryl Byrd said the corporation’s first-quarter results either met or exceeded internal expectations and that Iberia is on track to achieve its 2018 financial guidance.

 

Nevada homeowners most likely to move this quarterOpen in a New Window

Homeowners in in Nevada, Delaware, Florida, Colorado and Virginia are the most likely to move during this year’s second quarter, according to a new report. Read on for more details.

 

Southern Title associates gain credentialsOpen in a New Window

Two Southern Title associates have become licensed Florida title agents. Read on for more details.

 

Luxury home prices averaging $1.8 millionOpen in a New Window

A new report attributes the first-quarter increase in prices for luxury homes to dwindling supply. Read on for more details.

 

New GTOs start today, may affect youOpen in a New Window

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will extend its Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) that mandate identifying natural persons behind shell companies, The Title Report has learned.

 

Investors Title’s profits decreaseOpen in a New Window

Investors Title Co. pointed to higher interest rates and declining refinances for its drop in first-quarter net income and revenues. Read on for more details from Investors’ first-quarter earnings report.

 

ATTOM launches marketing list creation platformOpen in a New Window

ATTOM Data Solutions has launched a new online marketing list creation platform. The new platform provides users access to public record tax, deed, mortgage and foreclosure data for nearly 155 million U.S. properties.

 

Westcor redesigns websiteOpen in a New Window

Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. has redesigned its website to offer quick and easy access to company information and online tools. President Mary O’Donnell said the redesign will allow visitors to better understand Westcor’s culture and position in the marketplace.

 

Stewart adds New York staffOpen in a New Window

Stewart Title has hired two executives to help with its sales and customer support in New York. Read on for more details.

 

GRS Title hires business development directorOpen in a New Window

GRS Title Services, LLC has hired a business development director. Read on for more details.

 

SoftPro integrates PropLogixOpen in a New Window

A new integration enables SoftPro users to order PropLogix’s municipal lien searches, HOA certificates/estoppels, and surveys, as well as track lien releases. Read on for more details.

 

Old Republic announces sweeping management changesOpen in a New Window

Old Republic has announced sweeping senior management changes, including the appointment of a new president and chief operating officer and additional responsibilities for several company veterans. The newly appointed president will become the eighth in Old Republic’s 95-year history.

 

NS3 Preview: Blockchain, Bitcoin and YouOpen in a New Window

During the 2018 National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) in Detroit, three industry insiders will discuss how the growth of Blockchain and cryptocurrency stands to benefit title agents, lenders, Realtors and borrowers. Read on for more details.

 

MBH, Pavaso partner on digital closingsOpen in a New Window

The largest settlement services provider in Virginia is collaborating with Pavaso to offer digital closings. MBH said Pavaso’s platform will help it give lenders and Realtors a competitive advantage with faster, more convenient and more secure closings.

 

Hispanic homeowner rate increasesOpen in a New Window

For the third straight year, the Hispanic homeownership rate rose in 2017. Read on for more details from the Hispanic Wealth Project report.

 

Mid America expands relationship with Spectrum MortgageOpen in a New Window

Mid America Mortgage has expanded its relationship with Spectrum Mortgage to include warehouse lines of credit. Read on for more details.

 

Visionet adds vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Visionet Systems Inc. has hired a vice president of underwriting and client relations. Read on for more details.

 

NS3 Keynote: Surviving, thriving in new regulatory worldOpen in a New Window

During the 2018 National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) in Detroit, Flagstar Bank President and CEO Alessandro DiNello will address the regulatory issues facing both lenders and service providers since the Dodd-Frank Act’s implementation, and how he believes many of the greatest burdens presented by the law can be mitigated without a massive overhaul of its provisions.

 

Realogy’s TRG reports flat first-quarter earningsOpen in a New Window

Despite increases in purchase title and closing units as well as average fee per closing unit, a significant decrease in refinance title and closing units contributed to flat first-quarter revenue for Realogy Holdings Corp.’s Title Resource Group.

 

First American adds board directorOpen in a New Window

The executive vice president and general counsel for Sempra Energy has been appointed to the board of directors of First American Financial Corp. First American said the newest board director’s experience running intricate businesses and her accomplished service as a director for publicly traded companies make her a valuable addition.

 

Stewart names sales directorOpen in a New Window

Stewart has named a sales director for its Eastern United Sates and Upper Midwest direct operations. Read on for more details.

 

Marcus & Millichap acquires Pinnacle Financial GroupOpen in a New Window

The national brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Cleveland-based Pinnacle Financial Group, Inc. Read on for more details.

 

Title Alliance appoints branch managerOpen in a New Window

Title Alliance, Ltd. has appointed a branch manager to oversee its Title Alliance Platinum. Read on for more details.

 

ATGF names CEOOpen in a New Window

Less than two years after joining Attorneys Title Guaranty Fund, Inc., the company has promoted its associate general counsel to CEO. The company said Eric Morgan will continue as president, with primary responsibility for the company’s licensing expansion, financial operations and regulatory relations.

 

CFPB announces staffing, organization changesOpen in a New Window

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this week announced staffing and organizational changes it said were designed to make the bureau more efficient, effective and accountable. The new hires include several policy associate directors and the organizational changes include the creation of a new office within the bureau and the renaming of another.

 

NS3 Preview: Meridian CEO discusses life after CFPB enforcementOpen in a New Window

Meridian CEO Mark Myers will take the stage on the first day of the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) in Detroit (June 6-8) in an aptly focused session “Life After Enforcement” to discuss the CFPB’s action against his company and its aftermath.

 

Title Alliance names regional operations managerOpen in a New Window

Title Alliance, Ltd. has named a regional operations manager for Keystone Premier Settlement Services. Read on for more details.

 

Simplifile adds Florida countyOpen in a New Window

Simplifile clients now can eRecord documents in Collier County, Fla. Read on for more details.

 

LenderClose hires sales VPOpen in a New Window

LenderClose has hired a vice president of sales who will focus on introducing more credit unions and community banks to its digital lending platform.

 

Fidelity, Stewart executives discuss proposed mergerOpen in a New Window

Following the announcement of Fidelity’s proposed acquisition of Stewart earlier this year, executives from both companies traveled across the country to hold Town Hall-style meetings with Stewart employees.

 

Stewart’s quarterly title revenues increaseOpen in a New Window

Boosted by strong commercial sales and appreciating prices, Stewart Information Services Corp. increased both its title revenues and commercial revenues during the first quarter, according to the company’s latest earnings statement.

 

NS3 Preview: Staying alert during escrowOpen in a New Window

“Fraud is prevalent in every part of society. We have crooks of all sorts come out of the woodwork when there is a lot of money involved,” said Juliana Tu, president, Viva Escrow! Inc., and president-elect, the California Escrow Association, while discussing various types of fraud conducted at the closing table and the importance of staying alert during the escrow process.

 

Visionet hires vice presidentOpen in a New Window

New Jersey-based Visionet Systems Inc. has hired a vice president for consumer lending. Read on for more details.

 

Weichert expands presenceOpen in a New Window

During the first quarter of 2018, Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. increased its market presence with new office signings across the country. Read on for more details.

 

Number of underwater properties dropsOpen in a New Window

Although the number of seriously underwater properties in the U.S. declined during the first quarter, it was the smallest drop since 2013. Read on for more details.

 

Fidelity’s first-quarter revenues increaseOpen in a New Window

Strong purchase markets helped Fidelity National Financial generate increases in both total revenue and earnings per share during 2018’s first quarter.

 

NS3 Preview: Moving your business from the Stone Age to eClosingsOpen in a New Window

During a session at this year’s National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) in Detroit June 6-8 titled “From Zero to eClosing,” industry experts will discuss eNotarizations, eClosings and the remaining roadblocks to their widespread adoption.

 

Alliant National obtains SSAE18 Type II compliant statusOpen in a New Window

Alliant National Title Insurance Co. has successfully completed the Service Organization Control Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagement 18 Type II examination.

 

Research reveals best day to sell a homeOpen in a New Window

What is the best month to sell a home? How about the absolute best day to sell a home? Read on for ATTOM Data Solutions’ answers to those questions.

 

AmTrust promotes vice presidentOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has selected a vice president to oversee its operations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Read on for more details.

 

Loan defects declined in MarchOpen in a New Window

Wyoming, Arkansas, Virginia, Maryland and New Mexico had the greatest year-over-year increase in loan defect frequency during March. Read on for more details from the latest First American Loan Application Defect Index.

 

2018 VOTA winners announcedOpen in a New Window

The Title Report and October Research, LLC, gave away a free registration to this year’s National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) in Detroit June 6-8, along with three subscriptions to The Title Report, to selected participants in this year’s Voice of the Title Agent survey.

 

Old Republic reports flat title volumeOpen in a New Window

Although accounting changes resulting from the new tax laws brought down Old Republic International Corp.’s earnings in the first quarter of 2018, the company said that title results for the first three months were basically flat.

 

NS3 Preview: Michigan title manager provides sales strategies that workOpen in a New Window

How do title and settlement companies grow their businesses — or maintain their current level of business for that matter? During a session at this year’s National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) in Detroit June 6-8 titled “Winning Sales Strategies,” Chris Kass, sales manager at Michigan-based Liberty Title, will discuss sales strategies and offer solutions for growing your business.

 

ATA National acquires Chicago agencyOpen in a New Window

Michigan-based ATA National Title Group (ATA), LLC has acquired a Chicago-area title agency with four offices and 12 employees. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 

TruSight gains new investorOpen in a New Window

BNY Mellon has joined American Express, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo as a key investor in a company formed to streamline third-party risk assessment. Read on for more details.

 

Westcor announces Ohio regional managerOpen in a New Window

Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. has appointed a manager to oversee operations and strategic growth in Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Read on for more details.

 

Land Services USA adds title officerOpen in a New Window

Land Services USA, Inc. has hired a title officer for its new Maryland office. Read on for more details.

 

First American’s title margin best since 2010Open in a New Window

A significant decline in refinances was partially offset by higher home prices as First American Financial Corp. reported a small decline in revenue for the 2018’s first quarter. CEO Dennis Gilmore said the company expects growth in its purchase business in 2018.

 

CFPB finalizes TRID amendmentOpen in a New Window

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized an amendment to its “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rule that addresses when mortgage lenders with a valid justification may pass on increased closing costs to consumers and disclose them on a Closing Disclosure.

 

Michigan company offering title franchisesOpen in a New Window

A company based in Auburn Hills, Mich., has launched a new turnkey franchise system that promises to eliminate the barriers typically found when trying to enter the title insurance industry.

 

Land Services USA names vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Philadelphia-based Land Services USA, Inc. has named Shawn A. Goldfaden vice president and counsel. Read on for more details.

 

Cottrell Law Group adds real estate attorneyOpen in a New Window

The Cottrell Law Group has added a real estate attorney to its closing team. Read on for more details.

 

ReverseVision integrates Allegiant Reverse ServicesOpen in a New Window

A new integration allows settlement agents from Allegiant Reverse Services to place title orders and track files directly from ReverseVision’s platform. Read on for more details.

 

Title agents say due diligence problems frequentOpen in a New Window

A majority of title agents surveyed by PropLogix said they find a post-closing problem in one of every 10 closings, and most said they’ve had to perform curative services due to a previous title agent’s post-closing neglect.

 

Codorus Valley Bancorp reports quarterly gainOpen in a New Window

Codorus Valley Bancorp, Inc., whose subsidiary PeoplesBank owns SYC Settlement Services, credited its first-quarter gain in profits to tax reform passed late last year.

 

Freddie Mac names chief economistOpen in a New Window

Freddie Mac has hired an economist who previously worked for CoreLogic, Fannie Mae and the National Association of Realtors to serve as its chief economist.

 

ePN adds vice president, operations managerOpen in a New Window

eRecording Partners Network has hired a vice president of client services and an operations manager of client services. Read on for more details.

 

Inventory shortage making homes less affordableOpen in a New Window

Nevada, New York, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Missouri had the greatest increase in real house prices between January 2018 and February 2018, according to the First American Real House Price Index.

 

Housing demand declined in MarchOpen in a New Window

In the markets served by Redfin, the number of customers making purchase offers through the real estate brokerage declined in March. Read on for more details.

 

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.

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