Solving Common Technology Problems with the Help of ALTA
Working through its technology committee, the American Land Title Association® (ALTA®) is common ground for title agencies and underwriters, like Stewart, to work with their peers and tech partners to solve industry compliance challenges and to grow our ability to meet the needs of our customers. Currently the ALTA Tech Committee is completing models for industry use that include title agency validation for lenders and electronic payments by agencies to the underwriter. These models incorporate industry standards for data interchange so that, for example, agency systems can talk to underwriter systems in a common way, saving expenses for system development for both agencies, and underwriters. This work also opens the door for an improved, simple standard process for payments that brings efficiencies for the agency and the underwriter. An iGuide on the value of the model and how to use it is part of the committee deliverables.
For 2013, the ALTA Tech Committee is intent in helping to bring agencies up to speed on some of the ALTA Best Practices involving technology. The front runner is the protection of non-public personal data. Best practices, auditability and verification of electronic escrow account reconciliation, title policy production, customer delivery, and underwriter reporting are also queued as potential subjects for the committee to consider. There are various tech solutions and providers for these functions in the market, and the committee is considering with them to adopt a best practice process, data standards and auditability that are more acceptable to lender customers and underwriters. The 2013 committee goals are not yet set, but these are the items of discussion today.
Finally, there is a return of interest by this group in eMortgage. More lenders are finally beginning to express interest in using this modern method of electronically executing lender docs in an eClosing and eRecording to reduce the cost, improve the consumer experience and reduce risk. We will probably see more activity by the committee on this front next year.
The ALTA Tech Committee delivers leadership in industry tech, including process models, data standards, iGuides for implementation, training content and communication to the industry participants. The recent ALTA Tech Committee meeting had 22 participants and a lot of enthusiasm to work on those things which will help the title industry to be seen as the verifiable trusted third party for transaction management in the real estate industry, serving the American consumer.