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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.


 

 

Homebuilder launches title, mortgage servicesOpen in a New Window

A leading homebuilder in the West has formed a financial group that will provide title, settlement and mortgage services. Read on for more details about the new company.

 

Title Alliance announces C-Suite additionsOpen in a New Window

Title Alliance, Ltd. recently announced several additions to its C-Suite, including a chief strategy officer, a chief human resources officer and a general counsel and compliance officer.

 

ATA National opens suburban Chicago officeOpen in a New Window

Farmington Hills, Mich.-based ATA National Title Group, LLC. has opened a new office near Chicago. Read on to learn the location of ATA’s new office.

 

NATIC hires state agency managerOpen in a New Window

North American Title Insurance Co. has hired a state agency manager for Maryland and the District of Columbia. Read on for more details.

 

FormFree integrates with FundingShieldOpen in a New Window

FormFree has integrated FundingShield’s loan-level verification services into its platform. Read on for more details.

 

Title Junction adds escrow officerOpen in a New Window

Florida-based Title Junction has hired a data processor/escrow officer. Read on for more details.

 

Kensington Vanguard acquires 1031 exchange providerOpen in a New Window

Kensington Vanguard National Land Services has acquired a majority stake in the largest independent 1031 exchange service provider in the Eastern United States. Read on for more details.

 

HomeLight acquires digital mortgage startupOpen in a New Window

A real estate technology platform has acquired a digital mortgage startup with a proprietary software platform that automates 70 percent of the mortgage process, both companies announced.

 

NFIB opposes $15 minimum wageOpen in a New Window

The National Federation of Independent Business has urged Congress to dismiss a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Read on for more details.

 

ClosingCorp adds natural disaster alertsOpen in a New Window

During natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornados or wildfires, lenders using SmartFees will receive an alert listing all properties in the affected area with mortgage applications pending.

 

Inventory of homes declined in JuneOpen in a New Window

Redfin said if supply growth continues falling at the rate it has been since April, by September the number of homes for sale will be down from a year earlier by more than 4 percent.

 

TitleTap reveals results of SEO, security effortsOpen in a New Window

TitleTap recently released the results of its 2019 customer-wide study on search engine optimization and security. Read on for more details.

 

R your sales practices strong enough?Open in a New Window

Surviving in the title industry is dependent on your ability to sell services to others in the real estate business. But what percentage of your employees is responsible for sales?

 

Fed report: Signs of looming recession in placeOpen in a New Window

A report from an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis said new and existing home sales have declined in all four census regions, which in the past has been a sign of an impending economic slowdown.

 

WFG, SoftPro update integrationOpen in a New Window

SoftPro has enhanced its integration with WFG National Title Insurance Co., both companies announced. Read on for more details.

 

Stewart hires business development officerOpen in a New Window

Stewart Title has hired a business development officer for its commercial services unit. Read on for more details.

 

Nationwide real estate compliance manual publishedOpen in a New Window

A New York management consultancy has published an encyclopedic guide to the laws and customs governing real estate transactions throughout the U.S. Read on for more details.

 

Calyx hires national sales consultantOpen in a New Window

Calyx has hired a former ClosingCorp vice president as national sales consultant. Read on for more details.

 

Demotech affirms Agents National, Security Title’s FSROpen in a New Window

Demotech, Inc. recently affirmed the financial stability ratings (FSR) of A, Exceptional, assigned to both Agents National Title Insurance Co. and Security Title Guarantee Corp. of Baltimore.

 

Stewart expands RON capacity to 20 statesOpen in a New Window

Stewart has expanded its capacity to provide remote online notarization (RON) to more than 250 of its direct operations in 20 states, the company announced.

 

Southern Title enhances websiteOpen in a New Window

Florida-based Southern Title has added enhancements to its website to make it more user friendly for individuals with disabilities and non-English speakers.

 

Proper Title announces additional account executivesOpen in a New Window

Palatine, Ill.-based Proper Title has announced two industry veterans as its latest account executives. Read on for more details.

 

Second-quarter prices not affordable in most marketsOpen in a New Window

Median home prices during the second quarter of 2019 were not affordable for average wage earners in 353 of 480 U.S. counties. Read on for more details.

 

Loan defects down in MayOpen in a New Window

During May, Arkansas, Vermont, Florida, Utah and Arizona had the greatest year-over-year decreases in defect frequency. Read on for more details.

 

ALTA warns title companies of industry breachOpen in a New Window

The American Land Title Association (ALTA) said has updated an alert of a breach within the title and settlement industry which revealed non-public personal information. ALTA has worked to contact companies who might have been affected.

 

NC firm up, running after fireOpen in a New Window

A title attorney firm in North Carolina is up and running hours after an overnight fire destroyed the building which housed much of the firm’s operation. Brady & Kosofsky Partner Jaime Kosofsky told The Title Report that the staff was unharmed as he described the way his company was back on the job hours after the fire began.

 

Radian Group rebrands title operationsOpen in a New Window

Radian Group Inc. has rebranded its recently acquired EnTitle Insurance Co. as Radian Title Insurance Inc., the company announced. Read on for more details.

 

CoreLogic offers new tool for title agents, lendersOpen in a New Window

CoreLogic has announced the availability of an online portal that provides on-demand data and analysis on real estate transactions to help title agents and lenders gain a competitive edge.

 

Oak Title’s parent adds board directorOpen in a New Window

The holding company for Oak Title Services, LLC has added to its board of directors, the company announced. Read on to learn what the president and CEO of Oak Title’s holding company had to say about its new board member.

 

CyberScout announces CEOOpen in a New Window

Arizona-based CyberScout has hired a former Experian executive as its next CEO. Read on for more details.

 

Home prices continued to rise in MayOpen in a New Window

The share of homes sold above list price in May was down from one year ago. Read on for more details.

 

The Closing Exchange integrates with DocuSignOpen in a New Window

The Closing Exchange has integrated its eSignature capabilities and hybrid eClosings within DocuSign’s CXChoice platform. Read on for more details.

 

Mortgage-rate slide boosting marketOpen in a New Window

Mortgages rates last week dropped to their lowest level since November 2016, increasing mortgage applications and significantly expanding the pool of candidates who would benefit from a refinance.

 

Patten Title hires former Stewart CFOOpen in a New Window

Texas-based Patten Title Co. has hired a former Stewart chief financial officer to serve in the same role. Read on for more details about the hiring.

 

Federal Title launches credit partner programOpen in a New Window

Federal Title & Escrow Co. recently launched a credit partner program designed to help Realtors and mortgage lenders better serve homebuyers and sellers. Read on for more details about the program.

 

Wells Fargo names CTOOpen in a New Window

Wells Fargo & Company has named a chief technology officer. Read on for more details.

 

ClosingCorp integrates with WiproOpen in a New Window

ClosingCorp’s SmartFees service has been integrated into Wipro Gallagher Solutions’ (WGS) loan origination platform, the companies announced.

 

ATG names vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG) has named a vice president for its downstate operations. Read on for more details.

 

SLK Global offering tax services for commercial mortgage servicesOpen in a New Window

SLK Global Solutions recently announced it will offer customized tax services for commercial mortgage servicers through its Real Estate Tax Service Platform. Read on for more details.

 

States Title receives machine-learning patentOpen in a New Window

The federal government has issued a patent to States Title for a machine-learning solution it created, the company announced.

 

Signature Closers, Nexsys launching eClosing platformOpen in a New Window

Columbus, Ohio-based Signature Closers LLC has partnered with Nexsys Technologies LLC to create a digital mortgage closing platform, the companies announced.

 

Black Knight enhances its title plant applicationOpen in a New Window

Black Knight has enhanced its title plant application with several new features designed to improve the user experience, the company announced.

 

The Closing Exchange hires executive vice presidentOpen in a New Window

The Closing Exchange has hired Landon Smith as its executive vice president, client strategy and business development, the company announced.

 

Foreclosures decline for 11th consecutive monthOpen in a New Window

Metropolitan areas with double-digit decreases in foreclosures during May included Birmingham, Ala., New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Detroit. Read on for more details.

 

MBA launches affordable housing initiativeOpen in a New Window

The Mortgage Bankers Association recently launched strategic initiative to promote more sustainable, affordable homes for purchase and rental for underserved people and communities, especially minorities and low-to-moderate-income Americans.

 

Industry’s first-quarter premiums declineOpen in a New Window

The title industry saw premiums decline and claims rise during the first quarter of 2019, according to an analysis by the American Land Title Association.

 

TexanTitle selects SafeWireOpen in a New Window

Texan Title has chosen SafeChain’s SafeWire platform to defend its clients’ wire transactions against fraud, the companies announced.

 

TRG announces strategic hiresOpen in a New Window

Title Resource Group (TRG) has hired a director of its commercial channel, and its group member Title Resources has hired a senior vice president for its southeast region.

 

Realogy appoints chief ethics officerOpen in a New Window

Realogy Holdings Corp. has appointed a chief ethics and compliance officer. Read on for more details.

 

San Francisco bidding wars increased in MayOpen in a New Window

Thirty-five percent of offers written by Redfin agents in San Francisco faced a bidding war in May. Read on for more details.

 

LenderClose expands its teamOpen in a New Window

LenderClose has added five new employees and promoted two others, bringing its total workforce to 25 employees. Read on for more details.

 

NS3 Live: FHA's Montgomery kicks off first dayOpen in a New Window

The 15th edition of the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) got off to a terrific start Tuesday as Acting Deputy Secretary, and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Brian Montgomery, highlighted many topics and issues with important updates for everyone within the real estate transaction business.

 

NS3: Industry stars honored with OR awardsOpen in a New Window

For the eighth year, October Research, LLC, presented its annual awards for leadership, innovation and philanthropy, with some of the brightest stars in the title industry recognized for their efforts.

 

NS3: Make a Child Smile helps Phoenix youth get school readyOpen in a New Window

Summer may be in its early stages, but Phoenix-area youths know the next school year is around the corner, and attendees at the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) took time Tuesday to give them a hand.

 

SLK Global adds offerings to SmartTrakOpen in a New Window

SLK Global Solutions has added two new enhancements to its SmartTrak property tax solution. Read on for more details.

 

NS3 goes West, industry followsOpen in a New Window

The National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) marks its 15th anniversary this week by heading further west than it ever has. In the Valley of the Sun, the largest crowd yet will gather to hear from the best the industry has to offer over three days at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

 

Affordable places for nuptials and a first homeOpen in a New Window

For people looking to get married and cover the downpayment on their first home in the same place, the Midwest cities of Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh may be places to consider. Read on for more details.

 

RynohLive adds to sales, marketing teamOpen in a New Window

RynohLive has added vice presidents to its sales and marketing teams. Read on for more details.

 

Fidelity, NotaryCam team up on eClosingsOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Financial, Inc. announced it will allow the use of NotaryCam to deliver remote online notarization and remote online closing capabilities to its network of direct title and settlement operations and its network of independent title agents.

 

Cybercrime task force issues inaugural reportOpen in a New Window

A specialized think tank sponsored by NetDiligence has issued its first report on the ever-growing problem of cybercrime.

 

First American hires IT strategistOpen in a New Window

First American Title Insurance Co. has hired an industry veteran to serve as vice president of information technology strategy. Read on for more details.

 

Punctual Abstract expands offeringsOpen in a New Window

Louisiana-based Punctual Abstract recently expanded its offerings to include HOA Certification estoppel letter services. Read on for more details.

 

Stewart names associate senior underwriting counselOpen in a New Window

Stewart Title has promoted an executive to associate senior underwriting counsel. Read on for more details.

 

ATGF issues its first policy in ArizonaOpen in a New Window

Attorneys Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATGF) recently issued its first Arizona title policy through an independent agency in Phoenix.

 

NAR invests in Blockchain-platform PropyOpen in a New Window

Through its real estate technology fund Second Century Ventures, the National Association of Realtors has made a strategic investment in the Blockchain-startup Propy.

 

Notarize opens its network to all agentsOpen in a New Window

Notarize recently announced it has opened its title network to agents across the country. Read on for more details.

 

Millennials capitalize on interest rate declinesOpen in a New Window

As average interest rates on all 30-year notes declined in April, the percentage of millennials refinancing loans increased, according to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker.

 

Zipwhip, Telmetrics partnerOpen in a New Window

Zipwhip and Telmetrics Inc. have integrated services to allow businesses to gather attribution data on text messages delivered through existing business phone numbers.

 

Consumer homebuying sentiment nears all-time highOpen in a New Window

The increase in homebuying sentiment during May largely was attributable to a double-digit increase in consumers who said now is a good time to buy.

 

Exclusive: Industry keeps fee margins as home prices fallOpen in a New Window

In the latest installment of an exclusive joint project between The Title Report and ClosingCorp, we examine title and settlement fees for 2018 compared with our first sample of data, which covered the period between October 2017 and March 2018.

 

Pool of refinance candidates largest since 2016Open in a New Window

A recent drop in mortgage rates increased the pool of candidates who could likely qualify for refinances and save at least 75 basis points by two million, according to an analysis by Black Knight, Inc.

 

TitleWave adds operations managerOpen in a New Window

TitleWave has hired an industry veteran to serve as its western Pennsylvania operations manager. Read on for more details.

 

First National Title, Qualia integrateOpen in a New Window

Qualia has integrated First National Title Insurance Co.’s policy jackets and closing protection letters into its platform. Read on for more details.

 

Flipping rate hits three-year lowOpen in a New Window

The cities with the lowest average gross flipping ROI in the first quarter were McAllen-Edinburg, Texas, Daphne, Ala., Boise City, Idaho, Lexington, Ky. and San Antonio.

 

Fidelity extends acquisition deadline to SeptemberOpen in a New Window

Fidelity and Stewart will have three more months to get their deal in order after Fidelity on Monday exercised its right to extend the deadline to September. Fidelity earlier extended the deadline to June 18, but in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it stated that the companies extended the deadline one more time.

 

Notarize launches ‘first’ closing automation platformOpen in a New Window

Notarize has launched what it is touting as the world’s first closing automation platform.

 

WFG adds Independence Title as agentOpen in a New Window

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Independence Title has become an approved agent for WFG National Title Insurance Co.

 

Mortgage credit availability increases slightlyOpen in a New Window

Mortgage credit availability increased across all sectors during the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the latest credit availability index from the Housing Finance Policy Center.

 

Stewart adds vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Stewart Title has appointed a vice president who will be responsible for business development in the Seattle area. Read on for more details.

 

Prices for new homes fell during first quarterOpen in a New Window

During the first quarter of 2019, sales prices for newly built homes dropped for the first time in seven year. Read on to learn more from Redfin’s report.

 

LoanCare hires chief administrative officerOpen in a New Window

LoanCare has hired a chief administrative officer who will oversee the onboarding of new clients and servicing portfolios. Read on for more details.

 

Community Title Network acquires Virginia agencyOpen in a New Window

Community Title Network, LLC has acquired a title agency which operates four offices throughout northern Virginia, the company announced. Read on to learn more about the acquisition.

 

Economic health of U.S. households steadily improvingOpen in a New Window

According to its measures of economic well-being and financial resilience, the Federal Reserve Board said the health of U.S. households generally improved in 2018.

 

Cook & James expandsOpen in a New Window

The Atlanta-based real estate law firm Cook & James has expanded its footprint with the opening of a new location in Woodstock, Ga., and the addition of a new attorney.

 

CertifID CEO releases fraud prevention eBookOpen in a New Window

The co-founder and CEO of CertifID has released a new eBook designed to teach business owners and consumers how wire fraud scams work and the simple steps to achieve a high level of protection.

 

The nation’s safest statesOpen in a New Window

A website has analyzed 52 key safety indicators grouped into five different categories to determine the safest and most dangerous states. Read on for more details.

 

Loan defects decrease for first time in eight monthsOpen in a New Window

The five states with year-over-year increases in defect frequency in April were New York, Nebraska, Iowa, Hawaii, and West Virginia, according to the latest First American report.

 

Covius buys portions of Chronos’ portfolioOpen in a New Window

Covius Holdings has entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement to acquire certain businesses from Chronos Solutions, the companies announced.

 

First American’s credit rating unchanged by data exposureOpen in a New Window

Following the online expose of millions of sensitive documents, A.M. Best said First American Financial Corp.’s financial strength rating and the long-term issuer credit ratings remain unchanged.

 

CFPB warns about phishing scams in closingsOpen in a New Window

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is warning consumers and real estate professionals about sophisticated phishing scams through which closing costs and downpayments are diverted into fraudulent accounts.

 

Notarize surpasses $1 billion markOpen in a New Window

Notarize has closed more than $1 billion in real estate transactions through its remote online notarization platform. Read on for more details.

 

LenderClose integrates with SimplifileOpen in a New Window

LenderClose has integrated Simplifile’s county recordable documents, such as mortgages, trust deeds, and releases, into its platform. Read on for more details.

 

U.S. Bank implements Black Knight’s LOSOpen in a New Window

U.S. Bank has implemented Black Knight, Inc.’s loan origination system to manage loans purchased via its correspondent and Housing Finance Agency lending channels. Read on for more details.

 

FNF-Stewart: Where we’re atOpen in a New Window

It has been 438 days since Fidelity announced its plan to acquire Stewart for $1.2 billion, and its next deadline to close is June 18. In May, President Mike Nolan provided an update on the proposal, along with other details about the company and its plans.

 

Why NY denied FNF-Stewart dealOpen in a New Window

The New York Department of Financial Services wrote Fidelity National Financial (FNF) Chief Compliance Officer Paul Perez on Jan. 31, detailing its response to the proposed acquisition of Stewart Title by FNF. Although details of the denial were not made public, The Title Report has been able to obtain a redacted copy of the letter.

 

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.

 

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.

 

March new home sales highest since Great RecessionOpen in a New Window

Sales of newly built, single-family homes in March reached their highest monthly rate since the Great Recession, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau.

 

Passport Title rolls out new digital capabilitiesOpen in a New Window

Rockville, Md.-based Passport Title Services, LLC has introduced new digital capabilities that include automated case status communications, settlement document collection and wire fraud mitigation.

 

Home affordability improves for first time in three yearsOpen in a New Window

The five states with the greatest year-over-year decrease in real house prices were Wyoming, West Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, and Oklahoma. Read on for more details.

 

PLTA Partners