With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) putting its final touches on new regulations in the coming months, and the American Land Title Association (ALTA) releasing its Title Insurance & Settlement Company Best Practices, real estate industry thoughts are turning to compliance even more than before. Service providers have a responsibility to understand and comply with the new industry standards.
In fact, facilitating an efficient and secure transition is key to business success and great customer service. Not ones to leave our future to chance, Stewart has updated many programs to help to prepare and educate our independent agencies on these changes through webinars, one-on-one training, marketing materials and new services.
We’ve recently hosted a webinar series that explains how agencies can be fully compliant with the new regulations, and how expanded expertise can provide an advantage with customers. By understanding and adhering to ALTA and Stewart’s best practices, each agency has the opportunity to become recognized as a trusted partner. The webinars have been well-received, with record-breaking attendance; about a thousand agents were registered for our January session.
To continue our educational endeavors, we’ll host a series of CFPB workshops in the field during the second half of 2014. These sessions will be based on issues we anticipate agencies will face day–to-day. Helping our agents prepare to tackle anything that comes their way will help ensure our success as we walk through new CFPB processes with our customers.
We’ve also developed new marketing materials, which we’ll roll out soon and throughout the rest of this year. Given that the purpose of these regulatory changes is to help consumers better understand the transactions they’re involved in, one piece will be a presentation agents can give their customers to help explain the changes. We’ll also distribute an email template and flyer our Trusted Providers can personalize, brand and send to customers. This will provide consistency while enabling agents to customize communications for the unique needs of each customer.
To help independent agencies streamline their businesses, as well as comply with new industry standards, we’re expanding our offerings to provide escrow reconciliation services and centralized funding through Stewart Financial Services. Services such as escrow reconciliation will help not only create more efficient operations, but by completing a timely and accurate reconciliation report each month, the agents will fulfill a requirement of the Stewart Trusted Provider Program and the ALTA Best Practices.
By offering these educational programs, our goal is to equip our agents with what they need to fully comply with CFPB regulations and thrive in our changing industry.