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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.


 

 

Closing costs remained flat in 2019Open in a New Window

Despite a significant increase in mortgage volume, average closing costs for single-family properties in 2019 remained flat, according to an analysis by ClosingCorp. Read on for more details.

 

Coronavirus impacting three-quarters of small businessesOpen in a New Window

A survey by the NFIB Research Center found 76 percent of small businesses have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak. Read on for more details from NFIB’s latest survey of small-business owners.

 

WFG announces southwest regional managerOpen in a New Window

WFG National Title Insurance Co. has named a manager for its southwest region. Read on for more details.

 

DocMagic launches AutoPrepOpen in a New Window

DocMagic, Inc. has launched new technology that enables its Total eClose platform to accept documents from any source, including non-e-enabled documents. Read on to learn more.

 

Cloudstar hires ResWare administratorOpen in a New Window

Cloudstar has hired a senior ResWare administrator and SQL reporting expert. Read on for more details.

 

SBA, Treasury detail Paycheck Program termsOpen in a New Window

Days before small businesses were allowed to submit requests for the Paycheck Protection Program, a $349 billion loan program administered by the Small Business Administration and authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the agency and the Treasury Department released key details of the program.

 

Stimulus package offers relief for small businessesOpen in a New Window

Within the recently passed $2 trillion stimulus and relief bill is a $349 billion fund to help small businesses continue to meet ongoing payroll and other critical needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

ALTA, others calling for housing-related offices to remain openOpen in a New Window

The American Land Title Association has joined with the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders in urging governors, mayors and county officials nationwide to keep offices vital to the settlement and financial industries open during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Government extends deadline for REAL IDOpen in a New Window

The federal government has extended the deadline for requiring the Real ID or enhanced license needed to board federally regulated commercial aircraft or accessing federal facilities and nuclear power plants. Read on to learn the new deadline.

 

February loan defects hit historical lowOpen in a New Window

During February, loan defects reached the lowest level in the history of First American’s Loan Application Defect Index. Read on for more details.

 

Howard Hanna hires managerOpen in a New Window

Howard Hanna has appointed a manager for one of its offices in northeast Ohio. Read on for more details.

 

Cassina Group adds two RealtorsOpen in a New Window

South Carolina-based The Cassina Group has added two Realtors to its team. Read on for more details.

 

Analysts weigh coronavirus’ impact on industryOpen in a New Window

The title industry is “financially healthy” and possesses the means to address time gaps in insurance coverage associated with the closing or limited hours of county recorder offices nationwide, according to one ratings agency.

 

Colorado title agency offering digital earnest-money transfersOpen in a New Window

A Denver-based title agency has partnered with a technology provider to offer digital transfers of earnest money deposits through the latter’s platform, the companies announced.

 

Granite Escrow earns SOC certificationsOpen in a New Window

Newport Beach, Calif.-based Granite Escrow and Settlement Services recently passed its AICPA SSAE 18 SOC 1 Type 2, SOC 2 Type 2, and SOC 3 audits, the company announced.

 

The least/most overleveraged citiesOpen in a New Window

Residents in West Mifflin, Pa., have the lowest mortgage debt-to-income ratio, according to a report by the website WalletHub. Read on for more details.

 

LenderClose adds software engineersOpen in a New Window

LenderClose recently expanded its team with the addition of two software engineers. Read on for more details.

 

First-quarter home affordability improvedOpen in a New Window

Median-price homes continue to be unaffordable for average wage earners in many places across the country, even as affordability overall improved in the first quarter. Read on for more details.

 

2020 Voice of The Title Agent survey winners announcedOpen in a New Window

The four winners of this year’s Voice of The Title Agent survey have been chosen. Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in the survey.

 

First American sells GreenFoldersOpen in a New Window

First American Financial Corp. has sold its wholly owned digital office management software provider GreenFolders to a Salt Lake City-based provider of workflow automation software solutions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 

Radian Group suspends share repurchasesOpen in a New Window

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Radian Group Inc. has suspended share repurchases and taken several other actions, the company announced. Read on for more details.

 

Evolve Mortgage, Pavaso partnerOpen in a New Window

Texas-based Evolve Mortgage Services has adopted Pavaso’s eClosing platform that supports remote online notarization, the company announced. Read on for more details.

 

WFG adds sales managersOpen in a New Window

WFG National Title Insurance Co. has added two area sales managers. Read on for more details.

 

Video home-tour requests soarOpen in a New Window

As the real estate market adjusts to restrictions imposed by public health officials, one real estate brokerage said its requests for agent-led, video home tours have soared. Read on for more details.

 

Fewer expect prices to increase in next recessionOpen in a New Window

An increasing percentage of homebuyers and sellers expect home prices to decline when the next recession hits. Read on for more details.

 

Second iBuyer pauses home buyingOpen in a New Window

Following in the footsteps of competitor Redfin, the Zillow Group, Inc. has halted its nationwide home buying in response to public health orders related to the coronavirus. Read on for more details.

 

AM Best affirms CATIC’s credit ratingsOpen in a New Window

AM Best has affirmed Connecticut Attorneys Title Insurance Co.’s financial strength rating of B++ (good) and its long-term issuer credit rating of “bbb,” the ratings agency announced. Read on for more details.

 

The Closing Exchange launches Curbside ClosingOpen in a New Window

In attempt to continue facilitating closings during the coronavirus pandemic, The Closing Exchange is offering Curbside Closing as a signing option for title agents and lenders.

 

Ellie: Refinances, closing rates upOpen in a New Window

During February the share of refinances increased and the average time to close loans decreased. Read on for more information.

 

LenderClose hires vice presidentOpen in a New Window

LenderClose has hired a vice president of marketing. Read on for more details.

 

Annual home growth rose in FebruaryOpen in a New Window

During February, home value growth accelerated in 23 of the 35 largest U.S. metros. Read on for more details.

 

iBuyer halts acquisitionsOpen in a New Window

In a sign of what may be to come, the real estate brokerage Redfin has halted iBuyer activity and canceled open houses across the country, as have numerous other Realtors in an effort to promote social distancing suggested by public health officials.

 

WFG appoints Arizona presidentOpen in a New Window

WFG National Title Insurance Co. has appointed an industry veteran as president of its Arizona division. Read on to learn who was selected for this position.

 

HUD suspends evictions, foreclosuresOpen in a New Window

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has directed the Federal Housing Administration to suspend foreclosures and evictions on for the next 60 days. Read on for more details.

 

FGKS Law opens new officeOpen in a New Window

An Ohio-based law firm that also owns a title agency has opened a new office. Read on for more details.

 

Realtors detail homebuyer interestOpen in a New Window

Nearly half of Realtors surveyed by the National Association of Realtors said homebuyer interest changed because of the coronavirus outbreak. Read on for more details.

 

Union Home Mortgage expands teamOpen in a New Window

Union Home Mortgage has hired an industry veteran to help lead its growth in markets throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. Read on for more details.

 

Industry participants deploy coronavirus plansOpen in a New Window

From underwriters and title companies to technology providers and industry partners, participants in the title space have deployed plans to protect employees and continue serving customers. Read on for more details.

 

ALTA, others urging nationwide RON authorizationOpen in a New Window

The American Land Title Association (ALTA) has joined with the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Realtors and others in urging Congress to pass legislation authorizing the nationwide use of remote online notary.

 

MBA: Fed moves will boost economyOpen in a New Window

Mortgage Bankers Association Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni believes the emergency actions taken by the Federal Reserve this week significantly will reduce financial stress. Read on to learn more.

 

Alliant National hires associate underwriting counselOpen in a New Window

Alliant National Title Insurance Co. has hired an associate underwriting counsel for Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. Read on for more details.

 

Homebuyers also concerned about climate changeOpen in a New Window

As if the current economic disruption was not enough, a new report indicates homebuyers and sellers also are concerned about climate change. Read on for more details.

 

Angel Oak adds Florida managerOpen in a New Window

Angel Oak Home Loans has added an area manager to recruit loan officers and grow its presence in Florida. Read on for more details.

 

Working from home challenges, best practicesOpen in a New Window

As corporate America does what it can to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), more and more employees are working from home. Read on learn what experts define and challenges and best practices for companies.

 

SBA offering disaster-relief loansOpen in a New Window

The Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans of up to $2 million to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus. Read on for more details.

 

Two mortgage companies mergeOpen in a New Window

West Virginia-based MVB Financial Corp.’s subsidiary Potomac Mortgage Group, Inc. recently entered into a merger agreement with Intercoastal Mortgage Co. Read on for more details.

 

Flipping reaches 13-year highOpen in a New Window

The percentage of homes flipped in 2019 reached an eight-year high. Read on for more details.

 

Stiff competition for homes in JanuaryOpen in a New Window

Redfin said a majority of offers submitted by its agents in January faced competition, as many areas across the country faced a severe housing shortage. Read on for more details.

 

LenderClose adds vice presidentOpen in a New Window

LenderClose has added a vice president of client relations to its team. Read on for more details.

 

Maryland title agency names COOOpen in a New Window

A title agency licensed in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia and able to close transactions in all 50 states has named its first chief operations officer. Read on for more details.

 

GO Mortgage launches eClosings through DocMagicOpen in a New Window

GO Mortgage has partnered with DocMagic to create an eClosing solution to enable homebuyers to digitally sign closing documents. Read on to learn more about what DocMagic is providing for the mortgage company.

 

Small-business owners added workers in FebruaryOpen in a New Window

Small-business owners added workers during February, according to the National Federation of Independent Business’ latest jobs report. Read on for more details.

 

Percentage of zombie foreclosures inches upOpen in a New Window

The states with the greatest zombie foreclosure rates are Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Oklahoma and Maryland. Read on for more details.

 

Home-purchase sentiment remains highOpen in a New Window

During February, three of the six Home Purchase Sentiment Index components decreased month-over- month, including the percentage of Americans who said now is a good time to buy a home. Read on for more details.

 

Kensington Vanguard hires business executiveOpen in a New Window

Kensington Vanguard National Land Services has hired an industry veteran to help with new business initiatives in the commercial and residential sectors. Read on for more details.

 

Remote work enabling migration to affordable citiesOpen in a New Window

According to a new report, employers may be battling salary increases and supporting retention by offering employees the ability to work remotely instead of higher wages. Read on for more details.

 

ATTOM launches building permit solutionOpen in a New Window

ATTOM Data Solutions has launched a building permit solution that provides data on residential and commercial building permits nationwide, the company announced. Read on for more details.

 

ATG names chief financial officerOpen in a New Window

Chicago-based Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. has tapped a former executive from KPMG and JPMorgan Chase as senior vice president and chief financial officer. Read on for more details.

 

WFG expands Colorado footprintOpen in a New Window

WFG National Title Insurance Co. has expanded its Colorado footprint by acquiring access to title plants in 11 counties that comprise between 85 percent and 90 percent of that state’s property transactions.

 

ClosingCorp names chief technology officerOpen in a New Window

ClosingCorp has selected a former Black Knight and First American executive as its next chief technology officer. Read on to learn who ClosingCorp selected for the position.

 

PropertySync now available nationwideOpen in a New Window

The cloud-based SaaS title plant platform PropertySync now is available nationwide. Read on for more details.

 

First American completes Docutech acquisitionOpen in a New Window

First American has completed its $350 million acquisition of eClose and fulfillment technology provider Docutech. Read on for more about the acquisition.

 

Foundation Title acquires Knoxville agencyOpen in a New Window

Tennessee-based Foundation Title & Escrow Series has expanded with the addition of a title agency in Knoxville, the company announced. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 

NFIB names presidentOpen in a New Window

The board of directors of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) unanimously elected Brad Close as its next president. Read on for more details.

 

ClosingCorp adds sales executiveOpen in a New Window

ClosingCorp has hired a national sales executive for data solutions. Read on for more details.

 

iBuyers gaining market share in some marketsOpen in a New Window

For the third consecutive quarter, Raleigh, N.C., led the nation in iBuyer market share. Read on for more details.

 

Bowe Digital expands teamOpen in a New Window

Bowe Digital recently expanded its team with the addition of a business development manager, a content manager and a content writer. Read on for more details.

 

Coronavirus forces WFG Summit cancellationOpen in a New Window

Out of an abundance of caution concerning the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), WFG National Title Insurance Co. has canceled its summit scheduled for later this month in Orlando, Fla.

 

Industry expert expects recessionOpen in a New Window

One of the deans of the title industry expects a recession is on its way, this time driven by high levels of corporate debt instead of a housing market crash. Read on to learn more of what Stone had to say.

 

Punctual Abstract, RamQuest integrateOpen in a New Window

RamQuest has integrated Punctual Abstract’s title evidence into its production platform, the companies announced. The companies said using Punctual Abstract and RamQuest together will reduce turn times, reduce potential errors, and reduce labor costs on the title agent side.

 

Landtrust Title expands teamOpen in a New Window

Chicago-based Landtrust Title Services recently expanded its team with the additional of a director of sales for residential services. Read on for more details.

 

Home value growth continues to slowOpen in a New Window

Annual U.S. home value growth slowed for the 21st consecutive month in January. Read on for more details.

 

Agents National adds agency managerOpen in a New Window

Agents National Title Insurance Co. has hired an industry veteran to serve as its Florida agency service manager. Read on for more details.

 

Real estate technology platform raises $23 millionOpen in a New Window

A real estate technology company which last year had more than $1 billion in transactions in Utah and Arizona has raised $23 million through a Series B equity round of financing.

 

Fidelity adds digital opening packageOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Financial, Inc. has expanded its WireSafe home buyer and seller program to include a new digital opening package for consumers purchasing a home through any of its title companies.

 

Security Title expandsOpen in a New Window

Security Title Insurance Agency has added another office in the St. Louis area, the company announced. Read on for more details.

 

Howard Hanna announces region presidentOpen in a New Window

Howard Hanna has appointed a president of its western New York region. Read on for more details.

 

Millennial refinances hold steadyOpen in a New Window

The percentage of refinances among millennials held steady in January. Read on for more details.

 

Cherry Creek Mortgage expands Wyoming footprintOpen in a New Window

Cherry Creek Mortgage Co. has expanded its presence in Wyoming with the opening of a new office. Read on for more details.

 

Cordray book details his near-firingOpen in a New Window

In the new book released by Richard Cordray on his time as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Cordray’s writing sounds much like his speeches and presentations during his time in office – thought out, straight forward and detailed.

 

Realogy’s title group reports improved earningsOpen in a New Window

Realogy Holdings Corp.’s division formerly known as Title Resource Group generated double-digit increases in both its fourth-quarter and yearly net revenue driven by a huge increase in refinances, according to the company’s latest earnings statement. Read on for more details from Realogy’s latest earning statement.

 

Radian Group names president of mortgage businessOpen in a New Window

Radian Group Inc. has selected one of its senior executive vice presidents to oversee its mortgage business. Read on to learn who was selected for the position.

 

The Closing Agent offering fraud alertsOpen in a New Window

Orlando, Fla.-based The Closing Agent is enrolling certain homebuyers in a county fraud-alert system that notifies property owners if anything appears in the public record with their name on it. Read on to learn more.

 

Top markets for fix-and-flipsOpen in a New Window

More than half of the Top 25 markets for fix-and-flip properties are in the East. Read on for more details.

 

RamQuest, SIGNiX integrateOpen in a New Window

RamQuest, Inc. has integrated SIGNiX’s online document signing solution into its Closing Market digital network. Read on for more details.

 

New-home sales up for third straight quarterOpen in a New Window

During the fourth quarter of 2019, new-home sales had the biggest gain in more than two years and the third consecutive quarterly increase. Read on for more details.

 

Fintech startup launches cloud-based title searchOpen in a New Window

A Kentucky-based fintech startup has launched a title search management automation software-as-a-service. Read on to learn who is behind the company and its platform.

 

Fidelity’s ratings affirmed following acquisitionOpen in a New Window

Following Fidelity National Financial agreement to acquire FGL Holdings, Moody’s Investors Service affirmed Fidelity’s Baa2 senior unsecured debt rating and the A2 insurance financial strength ratings of its primary title insurance subsidiaries.

 

Four cities primed for growth in the next decadeOpen in a New Window

An analysis by Redfin has identified the four metropolitan areas most primed for growth over the next decade. Read on for more details.

 

RamQuest, CertifID integrateOpen in a New Window

RamQuest has integrated CertifID’s digital solution into its Closing Market digital network. Read on for more details.

 

Median home prices increasing in most Opportunity ZonesOpen in a New Window

Median home prices rose in 66 percent of Opportunity Zones nationwide during the fourth quarter. Read on for more details.

 

Small-business optimism in record territoryOpen in a New Window

The National Federation of Independent Businesses’ (NFIB) small-business Optimism Index has started 2019 with one of the highest readings in the survey’s 46-year history. Read on for more details from NFIB’s latest survey.

 

Alliant National names executive vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Alliant National Title Insurance Co. has promoted Rodney Anderson to executive vice president and national agency manager. Read on to learn more about the newest member of Alliant National’s executive team. .

 

Investors Title produces record revenuesOpen in a New Window

Investors Title Co. set new records for fourth-quarter and yearly revenues, premiums, and earnings. Read on for more details from Investors’ latest earnings report.

 

Stewart makes changes to National Agents teamOpen in a New Window

Stewart Information Services Corp. recently made changes to its National Agents team with the appointment of a senior vice president and a manager. Read on for more details about the changes.

 

Home affordability driving migration patternsOpen in a New Window

More than a quarter of those searching for homes on Redfin during the fourth quarter searched for a home in another metropolitan area. Read on for more details.

 

ProcessFast releases platform designed for RamQuest usersOpen in a New Window

ProcessFast has released a new version of its Ops Insights platform developed specifically for title agencies using RamQuest’s production technology. Read on for more details.

 

Home prices continue to climbOpen in a New Window

U.S. home-sale prices increased 6.7 percent year-over-year in January to a median of $306,400. Read on for more details.

 

Fidelity reports ‘strong’ quarter, ‘banner’ yearOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Financial, Inc.’s “strong” fourth quarter included a nearly 40 percent increase in pre-tax earnings, and its “banner” year included its highest pre-tax title margin in 17 years, according to the company’s latest earnings statement. Read on for more details from Fidelity’s latest earnings report.

 

Nashville agency launches smart tools, names CTOOpen in a New Window

A Nashville, Tenn.-based title and escrow company has launched a proprietary digital platform offering smart tools and transparent pricing and named a chief technology officer. Read on to learn about the company’s expansion plans.

 

PLTA Partners