On July 19, one of the greatest advances in guidance for title industry best practices came about when the American Land Title Association (ALTA) published version 2.0 of the ALTA Best Practices Framework. ALTA has diligently labored on this large project for the benefit of its members since last summer, and previously published in early 2013 a draft of the best practices for comment on its website.
Now finalized, the ALTA Best Practices Framework is available to title companies and agencies, to help lender clients satisfy their compliance responsibility to manage third-party vendors as required by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Framework is comprised of the following documentation:
- Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices
- Assessment Procedures for enabling third-party certifications
- Certification Package for use by customers, which includes a letter, certification by a third party and declaration pages for all applicable insurance coverages, such as Errors and Omissions and Professional Liability.
Each of the components of the framework can now be found at ALTA’s website, and will help title agencies and offices provide the support their lender clients need. There is also a wealth of information on how to get started, as well as a growing library of policies and checklists to support title offices’ efforts to raise the quality of their operation in a competitive market.
I am proud to have been a part of this great team of title professionals who have worked so hard to get the ALTA Best Practices Framework to the goal line of publication. It remains a work in progress, and will evolve over time as real-world experience reveals what enhancements title companies, agencies and their lender customers will need.
You can be proud of the title industry in that many companies have had these best practices in place for a long time. Now, the ALTA Best Practices Framework formalizes and communicates title and closing industry policies and procedures that will add trust and transparency, both of which are so fundamentally important to the real estate transaction process and the consumer. We deliver title assurance and we are the get it done people that get deals closed.