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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.


 

 

TitleOne acquires Idaho agencyOpen in a New Window

TitleOne has acquired an Idaho title agency that serves the Bonner County market, the company announced. Read on for more details about the acquisition.

 

Investor Title’s first-quarter profits increaseOpen in a New Window

Investors Title Co.’s net income and revenues increased during the first quarter, according to the company’s latest earnings statement.

 

Small-business owners remain rosy about economyOpen in a New Window

Apparently unfazed by fluctuations on Wall Street or a possible trade war with China, optimism among small-business owners continued to climb during April, according to the National Federation of Independent Business latest index.

 

Simplifile adds 38 jurisdictionsOpen in a New Window

Simplifile has added 38 recording jurisdictions in 12 states to its eRecording network. Read on for more details.

 

Freddie: Steady market growth expectedOpen in a New Window

Freddie Mac is predicting low mortgage rates, a strong labor market and low unemployment to fuel steady growth in the housing market during 2019. Read on for more details.

 

Home prices rose in AprilOpen in a New Window

Redfin said April’s increase in home prices is a more sustainable level of price growth than home price increases seen early last year. Read on for more details.

 

PGP Title talks about strong first quarterOpen in a New Window

Atlanta-based homebuilder PulteGroup, Inc.’s first-quarter title revenues increased by double-digits, according to the company’s latest earnings report.

 

Financial firms spend $2,300 per employee on cybersecurityOpen in a New Window

On average, financial institutions each year spend $2,300 per full-time employee on cybersecurity, according to a report released by Deloitte and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

 

Southern Title adds new locationOpen in a New Window

Daytona Beach, Fla.-based Southern Title has opened a new location in Flagler County and announced an agent in charge for the new location.

 

Foreclosure filings continue to declineOpen in a New Window

The states with the highest foreclosure rates in April were New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Illinois and Florida. Read on for more details.

 

ePN adds Georgia county to its networkOpen in a New Window

eRecording Partners Network has expanded its eRecording network in Georgia with the addition of DeKalb County. Read on for more details.

 

Record number of home searchers looking to skip townOpen in a New Window

The national share of home searchers looking to relocate to different geographical areas is at its highest level on record. Read on for more details.

 

Ransomware attack delaying Baltimore closingsOpen in a New Window

As a result of a ransomware attack, real estate closings in Baltimore have been delayed as the city’s computer systems that provide information about taxes owed, water bills and lien certificates are locked.

 

Xome announces executive leadership additionsOpen in a New Window

Dallas-based Xome Holdings LLC has announced several additions to its leadership team, including a new chief financial officer, a head of innovation and chief of staff, and senior vice presidents for its Title365 operation.

 

Builder confidence at highest level since OctoberOpen in a New Window

Builder confidence regarding newly built single-family homes rose in May, reaching its highest level since October 2018, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

 

First American, Taylor Morrison reach 500 eClosingsOpen in a New Window

First American Title Insurance Co. and Taylor Morrison Home Corp. have completed 500 hybrid eClosings using First American’s eClosing solution. Read on for more details.

 

Roostify integrates with DocutechOpen in a New Window

Roostify has integrated Docutech’s eSign, eClose and print fulfilment technology into its lending platform. Read on for more details.

 

ComplianceEase integrates with PFSOpen in a New Window

ComplianceEase has integrated its automated compliance solution with Promontory Fulfillment Services LLC’s white-label mortgage origination platform.

 

Covius gains $20 million investmentOpen in a New Window

A New York-based investment firm has agreed to invest $20 million in Covius Holdings Inc. for a minority share of the company, both companies announced. Read on for more details about the strategic investment.

 

WFG Lender Services launches DecisionPointOpen in a New Window

WFG Lender Services has launched a new product that promises to process title requests within seconds by using the borrower’s name and the property address. Read on for more details.

 

Passport Title Services enters Volunteer StateOpen in a New Window

Rockville, Md.-based Passport Title Services, LLC has expanded into Tennessee. Read on to learn what President and CEO John R. H. Cotter said about the expansion.

 

Spano Abstract expands teamOpen in a New Window

Garden City, N.Y.-based Spano Abstract has expanded its team with the addition of a client relationship specialist and a clearance officer. Read on for more details.

 

Modus launches digital earnest money featureOpen in a New Window

Real estate technology company Modus has launched a platform that enables users to directly access their account and securely submit funds to escrow.

 

The country’s most affordable and sustainable citiesOpen in a New Window

Minneapolis, Chicago and Philadelphia are the most affordable sustainable cities, according to a new report from Redfin. Read on for more details.

 

Fidelity’s first-quarter revenues improve slightlyOpen in a New Window

Despite decreases in purchase, refinances and commercial closings, Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (FNF) reported a slight improvement in first-quarter title revenues, according to the company’s latest earnings statement.

 

NotaryCam, Milo Credit complete remote online closingOpen in a New Window

NotaryCam recently partnered with Milo Credit to complete the lender’s first remote online closing. Read on for more details about the remote online closing.

 

Proper Title expands footprintOpen in a New Window

Palatine, Ill.-based Proper Title, LLC has expanded its footprint in Illinois with the expansion of its Chicago Loop office and the opening of a new location in St. Charles.

 

Underwater properties on the riseOpen in a New Window

The states with the highest share of seriously underwater properties during the first quarter were Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia and Illinois. 


 

App enables remote bidding on foreclosuresOpen in a New Window

An Atlanta-based fintech company has created an app that enables buyers to buy foreclosed property being auctioned at Georgia courthouses through their phones, tablets, or PCs. Read on for more details.

 

Bidding wars decreased in AprilOpen in a New Window

Since January, San Francisco and Phoenix have seen the biggest increases in the rate of bidding wars. Read on for more details.

 

Zucaro retires as Old Republic’s CEOOpen in a New Window

After 25 years at the helm of Old Republic International Corp., Aldo (Al) Zucaro will retire as the company’s CEO effective Oct.1. Read on for more details.

 

WFG names president of Dallas-Fort Worth divisionOpen in a New Window

WFG National Title Insurance Co. has named a president of its Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) division. Read on to learn who WFG selected.

 

J.P. Morgan accepting eNotes as collateralOpen in a New Window

J.P. Morgan’s Corporate Client Banking and Specialized Industries (CCBSI) mortgage group now is accepting eNotes as collateral to fund warehouse lending transactions.

 

Simplifile statewide in IdahoOpen in a New Window

In addition to Idaho, 10 other states offer statewide eRecording through Simplifile. Read on for more details.

 

Loan defects rose in MarchOpen in a New Window

Arkansas was the only state with a year-over-year decrease in loan defect frequency in March.

 

First American Mortgage Solutions launches compliance suiteOpen in a New Window

First American Mortgage Solutions has launched a flexible loan-level solution for mortgage lenders and servicers, investors, auditors, due diligence and quality control providers.

 

Old Republic’s title premiums declineOpen in a New Window

Old Republic International Corp’s title premiums and fees earned dipped slightly during the first quarter, according to the company’s latest earnings statement.

 

NS3 Preview: Biggest names take the stage in PhoenixOpen in a New Window

The biggest names in the industry gather June 18-20 at the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) in Phoenix, with attendees getting to hear from top underwriters and lenders on stage.

 

Ohio settlement company launches routing platformOpen in a New Window

A Cleveland-based company has launched a title/escrow platform that uses artificial intelligence and analytics to monitor the workload of participating title agents and attorneys and routes orders to the agent with the least number of pending transactions.

 

Alliant National hires underwriting counselOpen in a New Window

Alliant National Title Insurance Co. has hired an industry-recognized speaker, instructor and author to serve as vice president, southwest underwriting counsel.

 

Luxury-homes sales prices dropOpen in a New Window

According to Redfin, the annual decline in the sale price for luxury homes during the first quarter was the first in nearly three years.

 

ClosingCorp integrates with Blue SageOpen in a New Window

ClosingCorp’s SmartFees solution now is integrated with the Blue Sage Digital Lending Platform. Read on for more details.

 

Knight Barry acquires another Florida agencyOpen in a New Window

Less than two months after acquiring a Pensacola-based title agency, Knight Barry Title has acquired a second title company in the Sunshine State.

 

Homeowner ROI decreased in first quarterOpen in a New Window

The highest average home seller returns in the first quarter were in San Jose, Calif.; San Francisco; Seattle; Modesto, Calif.; and Salt Lake City.

 

Agents National hires business develop managerOpen in a New Window

Agents National Title has hired a Florida business development manager who will focus on cultivating agency relationships and building an agency base in South Florida.

 

Houses slightly more affordableOpen in a New Window

Real house prices decreased slightly between January 2019 and February 2019 and year-over-year. Read on for more details.

 

First American’s pretax margin improvesOpen in a New Window

Despite declines in closed title orders, in both refinances and purchase orders, First American Financial Corp. improved its pretax title margin during the first quarter, according to the company’s latest earnings statement.

 

Simplifile to sell to MERS parentOpen in a New Window

Simplifile has agreed to sell the Utah-based company to Intercontinental Exchange, the parent company of MERS, for $335 million, the companies announced late Wednesday.

 

ALTA names new CEOOpen in a New Window

The American Land Title Association (ALTA) has named a former executive in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush to serve as its CEO, effective July 1.

 

NS3 Preview: Technology the future of compliance managementOpen in a New Window

Attorneys Sean Burke and Marx Sterbcow have worked closely with regulators, having been involved representing an individual or company in a number of title-related cases that agencies have brought. Burke and Sterbcow will be speaking at the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) this summer.

 

Blockchain platform launches escrow softwareOpen in a New Window

A Blockchain-secured platform for real estate and title recordkeeping has launched software modules that it said enables reduced escrow overhead costs and mitigated risks.

 

SoftPro integrates with CloseSimpleOpen in a New Window

SoftPro has integrated CloseSimple’s text messages, branded emails and tracking capabilities into its platform. Read on for more details.

 

LenderClose adds to its teamOpen in a New Window

LenderClose has added a senior vice president of sales and a relationship manager to its team. Read on for more details.

 

CertifID expands coverageOpen in a New Window

CertifID now is protecting all wire transfers that are initiated by buyers in real estate transactions for up to $1 million for a single fee of $4.95. Read on for more details.

 

Stewart’s first-quarter losses increaseOpen in a New Window

Mostly attributable to expenses related to its proposed acquisition by Fidelity and tax changes in fair value of equity securities investments, Stewart Information Services Corp.’s losses nearly doubled during the first quarter, according to the company’s latest earnings statement.

 

NS3 Preview: Separating fact from fiction with eClosingsOpen in a New Window

Fortunately for attendees at the 2019 National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) June 18-20 in Phoenix, Equity National Title President and attorney James K. O’Donnell will be bringing his ground-level experience doing all manner of eClosings to the stage during the NS3 session “eClosing: Just do it”

 

Hightide Settlement selects Pavaso for eClosingsOpen in a New Window

California-based Hightide Settlement Services recently began offering eClosings through Pavaso, both companies announced. Read on to learn more.

 

NATIC names North Carolina state agency managerOpen in a New Window

North American Title Insurance Co. has named a state agency manager for North Carolina. Read on for more details.

 

Home prices decline for first time in seven yearsOpen in a New Window

U.S. home sale prices dropped slightly in March to a median of $295,100. Read on for more details.

 

Cook & James adds attorneyOpen in a New Window

Atlanta-based real estate law firm Cook & James has added an attorney to its team whose focus will include purchase closings and title reviews. Read on for more details.

 

Timetable for completion of Fidelity-Stewart deal unclearOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (FNF) is offering no timetable for the completion of its proposed acquisition of Stewart Information Services Corp. for $50 per share of common stock. During a conference call Thursday with investors, analysts and journalists, Fidelity executives said they continued to work to provide the information requested by federal and state regulators.

 

2019 Voice of the Title Agent winners announcedOpen in a New Window

Read on to learn who won the free registration to the 2019 National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) in Phoenix

 

SafeChain launches Blockchain-based networkOpen in a New Window

SafeChain is partnering with independent title agents in Ohio in launching a Blockchain-backed network that enables peer-to-peer transfers of prior title insurance policies. Read on for more details.

 

NorthStar names regional account managerOpen in a New Window

NorthStar Title has named a regional account manager for Summit County, Ohio. Read on for more details.

 

Refinances up, 30-year note dropsOpen in a New Window

The 30-year note rate dropped for the third consecutive month during March. Read on for more details.

 

Quicken, Vrbo partnership opens refi possibilitiesOpen in a New Window

Quicken Loans has partnered with Vrbo to allow rental income earned through the latter to be used to qualify for mortgages. Read on for more details.

 

FAN acquires Florida title agencyOpen in a New Window

Florida Agency Network (FAN) has acquired a Florida title agency with multiple locations in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hernando counties, the company announced. Read on for more details.

 

Premium Title, Springhouse launch HELOCOpen in a New Window

Premium Title has partnered with appraisal management company Springhouse to launch a home equity line of credit hybrid solution that provides combined title search and valuation data for lenders. Read on for more details.

 

Report: Property price increases to slow in 2019Open in a New Window

A new report from Veros Real Estate Solutions predicts that properties in the nation’s 100 largest markets will appreciate at a rate of 3.7 percent over the 12 months ending March 1, 2020. Read on for more details.

 

First National adds underwriterOpen in a New Window

First National Title Insurance Co. has added an industry veteran to its underwriting team. Read on for more details.

 

Churchill Mortgage hires senior vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Churchill Mortgage has hired Tim Broadhurst as senior vice president of loan officer development and senior home loan specialist, the company announced. Read on for more details.

 

SafeChain integrates with ResWareOpen in a New Window

SafeChain’s wire fraud prevention software and Blockchain applications for land title have been integrated into Adeptive’s ResWare title and escrow production software. Read on for more details.

 

364 Title Group launches new agencyOpen in a New Window

364 Title Group has finalized all licensing requirements and has been approved as a new title agency in New Mexico under the name Azure Title. Read on for more details.

 

Old Republic exec to lead Pavaso, RamQuestOpen in a New Window

Old Republic Title has hired a senior vice president who will have leadership responsibilities for Pavaso and RamQuest. Read on for more details.

 

Blockchain app for escrow introducedOpen in a New Window

A Los Angeles company has introduced a Blockchain-based mobile application it said targets wire fraud and introduces efficiency into home purchase transactions. Read on for more details.

 

Newman Title gains escrow officerOpen in a New Window

Title Alliance, Ltd. has appointed an escrow officer for Newman Title. Read on for more details.

 

Foreclosure filings hit 11-year lowOpen in a New Window

Foreclosure filings during the first quarter were the fewest since the first quarter of 2008. Read on for more details.

 

Least and most disaster prone metrosOpen in a New Window

A new report from Redfin ranks the country’s metropolitan areas according to their frequency of earthquakes, fires, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Read on for more details.

 

A.M. Best: Blockchain won’t make title insurance obsoleteOpen in a New Window

Blockchain will support, not replace, title insurance, according to a commentary published by A.M. Best. Read on to learn what challenges A.M. Best believes must be met before Blockchain implementation in the title industry.

 

Alliant National completes ISO certificationOpen in a New Window

Alliant National Title Insurance Co. has successfully completed its 2019 ISO 27001 Certification annual surveillance audit, the company announced.

 

Cybersecurity platform for small businesses launchedOpen in a New Window

A portfolio company of The Wicks Group has launched safeguards especially designed to protect small businesses and their employees from potential cyber threats and data breaches.

 

Simplifile names vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Simplifile has promoted a company veteran to vice president of national accounts. Read on for more details.

 

Forseti Real Estate adopts Vialok’s security platformOpen in a New Window

Florida-based Forseti Real Estate Services has become the first closing company to implement Vialok’s messaging platform. Read on for more details.

 

Mid America hires executive managing directorOpen in a New Window

Mid America Mortgage, Inc. has hired an executive managing director of business development. Read on for more details.

 

Soaring prices increasing multi-generational homesOpen in a New Window

A comprehensive study examining home purchasing trends found that more and more buyers are purchasing multi-generational homes, often because their adult children have either moved back or never left home. Read on for more details.

 

NS3 Preview: Learning practical applications of BlockchainOpen in a New Window

During the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) June 18-20 in Phoenix, SafeChain co-founder and CEO Tony Franco and Fidelity National Financial’s Jason Nadeau will discuss the practical applications of Blockchain.

 

Stewart selects business developer for Puget SoundOpen in a New Window

Stewart Title has selected a former WFG vice president to spearhead its growth in Bellevue, Wash., and in the surrounding areas of King County. Read on for more details.

 

NorthStar Title names assistant general counselOpen in a New Window

Cleveland, Ohio-based NorthStar Title has hired an assistant general counsel. Read on for details.

 

ClosingCorp integrates with BlendOpen in a New Window

ClosingCorp’s residential real estate closing cost data has been integrated into Blend’s lending platform. Read on for more details.

 

Cloudstar hires title production administratorOpen in a New Window

Cloudstar has hired a title production administrator. Read on for more details.

 

OS National expanding Georgia headquartersOpen in a New Window

OS National LLC will invest more than $15 million in an expansion of its suburban Atlanta headquarters that will create more than 1,000 jobs, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

 

NS3 Preview: Working together improves efficiencyOpen in a New Window

At the 2019 National Settlement Services Summit (NS3), Christopher Gulotta, a founding principal of the Gulotta Grabiner Law Group, PLLC, will serve as the lead panelist of “Partners Working Together.”

 

Blockchain platform introduces tokenized contractsOpen in a New Window

The developer of a Blockchain-based real estate platform has introduced a tokenized, industry-agnostic digital contract platform.

 

Black Knight expands data elements for Michigan propertiesOpen in a New Window

Black Knight, Inc. has expanded the number of data elements available for properties throughout Michigan within its Tax for Title and Settlement solution.

 

Howard Hanna names regional managerOpen in a New Window

Howard Hanna has named a regional manager of its Southern Tier region. Read on for more details.

 

ePN adds 28 jurisdictionsOpen in a New Window

During the first quarter of 2019, eRecording Partners Network added 28 jurisdictions across the U.S. to its eRecording network. Read on for more details.

 

Third-party vetting platform attracts new banksOpen in a New Window

A third-party vetting platform designed to manage risk and create standardized best practices has attracted a group of 12 leading regional and digital financial institutions as new investors.

 

NS3 Preview: Sales, marketing in focusOpen in a New Window

How do title agencies market their companies to create new relationships to maintain their current level of business or spur growth? That’s one of the topics to be discussed during the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) June 18-20 in Phoenix.

 

Optimism among small-business owners improvesOpen in a New Window

Small-business owners recently surveyed had increasingly positive views about future business conditions, and more thought the current period is a good time to expand. Read on for more details.

 

Sarasota Title adds director of business developmentOpen in a New Window

Sarasota Title Services, Inc. has hired a director of business development. Read on for more details.

 

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