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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.


 

 

A.M. Best bullish on title industryOpen in a New Window

Citing a fifth consecutive year of favorable underwriting performance, A.M. Best is maintaining a stable outlook on the title insurance sector.

 

Texas up-and-comer adds execs, officesOpen in a New Window

A Dallas-based, full-service title company has expanded its executive team and opened two new offices. The company has hired a former Republic Title executive to oversee a new office in Dallas, and a former Stewart executive to lead a new operation in Plano, Texas.

 

Midwestern title group launches informational websiteOpen in a New Window

A Midwestern title group has launched an informational website that it said will provide homeowners with straightforward information about the home buying process. The company’s president said the website will positively impact the closing process through information and support. 


 

Report: Millennials not deterred by higher ratesOpen in a New Window

Neither higher mortgage rates nor summer temperatures deterred millennial homebuyers during August, according to a report from Ellie Mae.

 

Stewart adds agency integration managerOpen in a New Window

Stewart Title Agency Services has hired an agency integration manager who has 23 years of experience managing integration processes in the industry. 


 

ResWare integrates SmartCLOSEOpen in a New Window

ResWare’s integration of SmartCLOSE enables title agents to collaborate with lenders directly within ResWare. 


 

MORE Lending implements LoanScorecardOpen in a New Window

MORE Lending’s latest implementation will enable the company to instantly distribute the guidelines and pricing for their non-agency loan programs to third-party originators. 


 

WFG announces major realignment changesOpen in a New Window

As part of the realignment of its Agency Division, WFG National Title Insurance Co. has added a senior vice president and changed the responsibilities of many of its high-level executives.

Chairman and CEO Patrick Stone said the changes were needed because the company has outgrown its structure.

 

AmTrust launches title agency protection planOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. says it proprietary insurance protection plan is a ‘game-changer’ that will save its title agencies hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The company said the plan will be provided at a discount to qualifying agents and is generating interest throughout the title industry.

 

CATIC opens new officeOpen in a New Window

CATIC’s new office is assessable from the Mid-Cape Highway and overlooks historic Route 6A.

CATIC’s state manager said the location of the new office will allow its employees to easily reach all areas of Cape Cod. “We’re excited to have expanded,” the company’s state manager said.

Read on to learn where the new office is located.

 

Housing optimism matches all-time highOpen in a New Window

An increasing share of renters thought September was a good time to buy a home. Read on for more details from Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index.

 

PropLogix offering title curative servicesOpen in a New Window

PropLogix has added a new service designed to help title agents and real estate attorneys protect their clients and keep closings on track. Read on for more details.

 

Sikora Law adds real estate attorneyOpen in a New Window

Cleveland-based Sikora Law has hired a director-level attorney to handle disputes for its real estate clients. Read on to learn who the law firm selected.

 

ALTA announces values initiativeOpen in a New Window

During its ALTA One conference in Miami, Fla., ALTA released a values initiative the association said provides a ‘cultural compass’ for its members. 


 

Agents National poised for growthOpen in a New Window

Following its acquisition by Incenter LLC, Agents National Title Insurance Co. (ANTIC) will have the capital and surplus it needs to accelerate its vision of creating a fully digital real estate process, ANTIC President and CEO David A. Townsend told The Title Report


 

The Title Report on site for ALTA OneOpen in a New Window

From title agents and closers to underwriters and vendors, hundreds of industry participants will gather in Florida his week at ALTA One. The Title Report will be on the scene in Miami bringing you news about the topics discussed and the industry leaders in attendance.

 


 

Stewart expands California offeringsOpen in a New Window

Stewart Title has expanded its real estate services in California by adding to its growing network of National Commercial Market Centers in California, the company announced. The new office will act as a single point of contact for customers with national and international commercial needs.

 


 

Home affordability improvesOpen in a New Window

Home affordability improved in many places throughout the nation during the third quarter, including in Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix and San Diego. 


 

AmTrust adds national agency managerOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co.’s new national agency manager launched WFG National Title Insurance Co.’s operations in eight states. 


 

RamQuest integrates DocMagicOpen in a New Window

RamQuest, Inc. has integrated DocMagic’s SmartCLOSE closing collaboration portal into its digital network. 

 

Cyber threat sharing network announcedOpen in a New Window

As businesses consider their vulnerabilities in light of the massive Equifax breach that exposed the financial information of millions, a California company known for providing cyber and physical threat sharing has announced a new network specifically designed for financial services companies. 


 

Title Source offering eClosing through PavasoOpen in a New Window

The nation’s largest independent provider of title insurance, valuations and closing services has partnered with the eClosing platform company Pavaso to simplify the mortgage closing process. 


 

A.M. Best affirms First American’s excellent ratingOpen in a New Window

According to A.M. Best, the underwriting leverage of First American Financial Corp.’s title group has significantly improved from the prior five-year period due to its overall surplus growth, premium growth and improved operating results and cost reduction initiatives. 


 

Ellie Mae completes Velocify acquisitionOpen in a New Window

Ellie Mae has completed its acquisition of the sales acceleration platform Velocify. 

 

Aprio introduces escrow reconciliation solutionOpen in a New Window

In partnership with RynohLive, Aprio has launched an escrow reconciliation solution that provides real-time monitoring of escrow accounts to protect title agents from fraud. 


 

Chronos Solutions part of Day 1 CertaintyOpen in a New Window

Chronos Solutions now is providing reporting services through Fannie Mae's Day 1 Certainty program. 


 

FNF Group acquires digital transaction management platformOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Financial, Inc.’s FNF Group has acquired a majority interest in a provider of digital transaction management and closing solutions for real estate professionals. Chairman William P. Foley, II said the acquisition will broaden its service offerings and help agents, brokers and customers more efficiently close transactions.

 

Incenter acquires Agents NationalOpen in a New Window

Less than a year after purchasing Boston National, a subsidiary of private equity giant Blackstone Group has signed a purchase agreement to acquire Agents National Title Insurance Co. Known for its software system that connects and coordinates all aspects of the real estate transaction, ANTIC’s headquarters will remain in Columbia, Mo.

 

 


 

Equity National Title launches eClosing hubOpen in a New Window

The industry is moving toward an electronic mortgage process, but individual counties and states are moving at their own pace. Knowing what is allowed in each jurisdiction can be confusing. Equity National Title has launched a website designed to advise mortgage lenders about the various digital closings options available within each ZIP code.

 


 

Existing home sales decreaseOpen in a New Window

Tight inventories plus the disruption caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma likely caused a dip in the sales of existing homes during September. 


 

FNTG hires agency account managerOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Title Group has hired an agency account manager to develop business and support agents throughout Central Florida. 


 

CSC adds 44 counties to eNetworkOpen in a New Window

CSC has expanded its eRecording network with the addition of 44 counties. 


 

Survey: Borrowers embracing online, digital interactionOpen in a New Window

A new survey by sales acceleration platform Velocify found that borrowers who were provided an online portal were twice as likely to say technology improved the loan process as those who were not provided this option. 

 

HSF names chief operating officerOpen in a New Window

HSF Affiliates has selected the former CEO of Realtor.com and the past president and co-owner of Murphy Realty Better Homes and Gardens to oversee the growth strategy of Real Living Real Estate. 


 

Sixty percent of homeowners see double-digit equity gainsOpen in a New Window

Homeowners with mortgages gained an average of nearly $13,000 in equity between last year’s second quarter and this year’s. 


 

Westcor appoints underwriting counselOpen in a New Window

Westcor Land Title Insurance Co.’s new underwriting counsel for its Western Agency Region has more than 25 years of underwriting experience.

 

Docutech, Simplifile partnerOpen in a New Window

Docutech and Simplifile have partnered to create an eClosing solution that allows each transaction to be as digital as possible while maintaining a standardized process on every loan. 

 

Meridian reacts to CFPB enforcementOpen in a New Window

An investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alleged that Indiana-based Meridian Title steered thousands of customers to a title insurer partially owned by three of its executives without disclosing that relationship to consumers. The company denied any wrongdoing in a statement to The Title Report, but will be paying $1.25 million in consumer redress for its actions.

 

Snapdocs launches new hybrid closing capabilitiesOpen in a New Window

Snapdocs has launched an all-in-one solution that enables traditional, hybrid and fully digital closings. The company also has created a network of digital-ready national settlement companies.


 

Stewart adds California branchOpen in a New Window

Stewart Title has expanded its footprint in California with the opening of a new branch in the San Francisco Bay area. The company said the new office will serve the entire East Bay area.


 

Home price appreciation higher in hazard areasOpen in a New Window

A new report found that homeowners in cities with high risks of natural hazards have more equity and tend to keep their homes for longer. 


 

ServiceLink partners with RoostifyOpen in a New Window

A new integration will enable lenders, consumers and all mortgage participants to access ServiceLink’s transaction services through Roostify’s digital platform. 


 

NFM Lending selects Loan VisionOpen in a New Window

A Maryland-based lender said it selected Loan Vision to increase its efficiency and to improve its reporting capabilities. 


 

CFPB orders title agent to pay $1.25 millionOpen in a New Window

An investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that an Indiana title agent steered thousands of customers to a title insurer partially owned by three of its executives without disclosing that relationship to those consumers. The bureau said the title agency collected money it was not entitled to based on those referrals.

 

National title provider moves into Keystone StateOpen in a New Window

A national title insurance provider based in New York now is licensed to do business in Pennsylvania. With the addition of the Keystone State, the title agency now holds licenses in in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania and Illinois. 


 

Integrity Title grows its title plant accessOpen in a New Window

The largest provider of title plant access in Texas, Integrity Title Records has added a dozen counties in the Texas panhandle to its list of jurisdictions. The company’s vice president of business development said the added counties have records to sovereignty including a full library of document images and Grantor Grantee Indexes. 


 

Credit union launches title insurance subsidiaryOpen in a New Window

A national credit union with 72 locations in Texas, Colorado and Utah has launched a title insurance subsidiary. The credit union will offer title insurance and settlement services for both its members and the general public. 


 

August foreclosures increaseOpen in a New Window

After hitting an all-time low in July, foreclosure filings increased during August.


 

TitleTap hires business development directorOpen in a New Window

TitleTap’s new director of business development has been a consultant and trainer for both title companies and underwriters. 


 

Home prices continue to riseOpen in a New Window

Home prices continued an upward march in July, with prices in Washington and Utah increasing by double digits. 


 

Alabama title company expandsOpen in a New Window

A Birmingham, Ala.-based title company has opened a second office in the state and hired a vice president to oversee it. In addition to offering title and closing services, the new office will assist customers with probate issues, title clearance, contract review, commercial and residential closings, 1031 exchanges, refinances and reverse mortgages.

 

NFIB: Start tax reform with small businessesOpen in a New Window

During testimony before the U.S. Senate’s Finance Committee, National Federation of Independent Business President and CEO Juanita Duggan said small businesses need rate parity, lower taxes, and a simplified code. 

 

Black Knight launches new TitlePointOpen in a New Window

Black Knight Financial Services has merged the technology behind its TitlePoint and TitlePoint Xpress into a platform that allows users to access both applications through a single interface.

 

Housing starts improveOpen in a New Window

Both building permits and housing starts posted year-over-year increases during August, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

 

Property Debt Research integrates Lien SweeperOpen in a New Window

A new integration will enable Property Debt Research’s customers to obtain lien releases from Lien Sweeper.

 

Ohio real estate company names vice presidentOpen in a New Window

A Columbus, Ohio-based real estate company has named a vice president of business development. 

 

AmTrust expanding presence at Big Apple addressOpen in a New Window

By the end of the year, AmTrust Title Insurance Co. will significantly expand its presence at an iconic building that once housed the New York Daily News and was made famous by a large globe featured in the original Superman television series. Read on to learn what AmTrust’s senior executive vice president said necessitated the move.

 

Howard Hanna acquires Michigan brokerageOpen in a New Window

Howard Hanna Real Estate Services has expanded its roster of companies with the addition of a Michigan real estate company. The acquired company has been in business for more than 45 years and has more than 70 employees at two offices.

 

Florida welcomes new title agencyOpen in a New Window

A new title agency that can perform timeshare transfers in 23 states, Mexico, the Caribbean, plus other locations around the world, has opened in Orlando, Fla. The new company is a title agency for Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. 

 

NTC officer joins PRIA boardOpen in a New Window

The Property Records Industry Association has elected the chief legal officer of Nationwide Title Clearing to serve on its board.

 

Mortgage fraud risk increasesOpen in a New Window

During the second quarter of 2017, an increasing percentage of mortgage applications contained indications of fraud.

 

AmTrust appoints agency managerOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has hired an agency manager covering the Midwest who previously managed 1,100 agents.

 

Stewart economist analyzes hurricanes’ impactOpen in a New Window

What impact will Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have on the real estate market?  In a new whitepaper, Stewart's chief economist who studied homes sales one year prior and one year following Hurricane Charlie, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ivan, Tropical Depression Allison, Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike, predicts the two recent hurricanes will increase homes sales in the long run.

 

 


 

On its own as Black KnightOpen in a New Window

The official split between Fidelity National Financial (FNF) and Black Knight Financial Services is scheduled to happen later this month following FNF’s distribution of its outstanding shares of BKFS stock. Three days later, BKFS will be known as Black Knight and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “BKI.”

 

 


 

ALTA approves best practices letterOpen in a New Window

To better serve the needs of title agents and lenders in sharing information about compliance with best practices, ALTA has approved a representation letter that will replace its certification package. The association said the letter corrects a flaw in the certification package and is designed to make it easier for companies to communicate their compliance with the ALTA Best Practices to third parties.

 


 

Flipping returns decline for third consecutive quarterOpen in a New Window

Home flippers pocketed a decent average ROI during the second quarter. However, ATTOM Data Solutions said that average has declined for three consecutive quarters. 


 

Some metros post double-digit price increasesOpen in a New Window

According to the Black Knight Home Price Index, all 50 states saw home price appreciation in June. 

 


 

Foreclosure, delinquency rates dipOpen in a New Window

According to CoreLogic’s Loan Performance Insights Report, both the foreclosure inventory rate and the serious delinquency rate dipped to their lowest levels in nearly a decade in June. 


 

Dozens of Fidelity employees displaced by HarveyOpen in a New Window

Fidelity National Financial Inc. has created a fund to help employees impacted by Hurricane Harvey. FNF also is partnering with a non-profit to raise funds to help other Gulf Coast residents struggling with the hurricane’s aftermath. 

 


 

Report: Economy growing at ‘modest to moderate’ paceOpen in a New Window

The Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book said the economy is expanding, despite low inventories of homes, rising prices and not enough new construction that is hampering real estate activity. In some markets, Fed districts reported that sales are shifting to lower-priced homes from higher-price units



 

MBA urges CFPB to abandon big stick approachOpen in a New Window

In a new whitepaper, the Mortgage Bankers Association says it believes that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau too often uses enforcement actions rather than written guidance. Five years into the bureau’s existence, MBA said now is the time for the bureau to make key changes to its approach that would benefit both consumers and the industry.

 

 


 

LenderLive names CFOOpen in a New Window

LenderLive’s new chief financial officer spent more than a decade overseeing all aspects of finance at a financial technology company, as well as leading that company’s capital raising process and overseeing acquisitions. The new hire also previously held several senior finance positions at General Electric.

 

 


 

Millennial closing times vary widelyOpen in a New Window

Millennial homebuyers may need to be more patient in New York and Florida than in California and Illinois. 

 

DTS adds new integrationOpen in a New Window

Direct Title Solutions announced a new integration that will enable Qualia customers to order title abstract and recording services in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.


 

WFG appoints Michigan counselOpen in a New Window

WFG National Title Insurance Co. has selected one of the Michigan Land Title Association’s board members to serve as its Michigan counsel. 


 

Helping displaced title-industry workersOpen in a New Window

Throughout Texas, employees of title companies and underwriters have lost homes and possessions and have been displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Some title company offices have been destroyed and need office furniture to rebuild. 


 

Alliant National creates fund to assist agentsOpen in a New Window

Alliant National Title Insurance Co. has created a fund to assist its title agents, their employees, their families and their communities with costs and expenses not covered by insurance or other means of recovery. 

 

CATIC CEO: Texans will prevailOpen in a New Window

CATIC is partnering with the American Red Cross and one of its business partners to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey. 


 

CoreLogic supports launch of disaster fundOpen in a New Window

CoreLogic has provided seed money to support the launch of a new disaster fund designed to support victims of man-made and natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. 


 

First American ‘humbled’ by generosity of our peopleOpen in a New Window

First American Financial Corp. CEO Dennis J. Gilmore told The Title Report that he marveled at the resilience of everyone in the real estate, mortgage finance and title industries in the aftermath of Harvey, and is humbled by the compassion and generosity of our people. 


 

NATG aiding victims through donations, collectionsOpen in a New Window

Even before Houston’s flood-ravaged streets were passable, the North American Title Group and its associated companies had raised more than $1 million for victims of Hurricane Harvey. 


 

Old Republic partnering with Red Cross, Salvation ArmyOpen in a New Window

Old Republic is using the strength of its large employee network to aid Gulf Coast residents impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The company is matching donations made by its employees and distributing those funds to two non-profits. 


 

Former title company owner leaving CongressOpen in a New Window

A former Michigan title company owner nearing the end of his second term in the U.S. Congress has decided not to seek re-election in 2018. In a statement announcing his decision, the congressman – who serves as a member of the House Financial Services Committee – said his intent all along was to serve for a brief time and then return to the private sector.

 

 


 

Brokerage buyout joins settlement services affiliatesOpen in a New Window

HomeServices of America has expanded its massive holdings with the addition of the nation’s top privately owned real estate brokerage. Among the holdings that were acquired are 10 settlement services companies in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.

 

 


 

AmTrust enters new reinsurance contractOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. recently entered into a new quota share reinsurance contract that reduces the company’s exposure to and lessens financial volatility related to all catastrophe events, including hurricanes and tropical storms.

 

 


 

Loan originations rose in second quarterOpen in a New Window

Although second-quarter loan originations did not match 2016’s, they did increase from the first quarter.  .

 


 

Confidence growing in housing marketOpen in a New Window

During August, the percentage of Americans who said now was a good time to sell a home and that mortgage rates will continue to decline both increased. 

 

Jersey Mortgage selects Loan VisionOpen in a New Window

Jersey Mortgage said its new accounting software gives it the ability to analyze data rather than just type in data.

 

Title premiums challenging 2016’s 10-year highOpen in a New Window

Despite an industry-wide drop in refinances and increases to the Federal Reserve's benchmark short-term interest rate, title insurance premiums rose during the second quarter, according to ALTA’s market share analysis. 


 

Texas title company opens new officesOpen in a New Window

A Texas title company is opening four new branch locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The company also is adding an educational and training facility that will offer both onsite classes and a video-conferencing solution to enable remote learners to join instructor-led training. 

 


 

D.C. title company launches new websiteOpen in a New Window

A Washington, D.C.-based title company has launched a new website designed to help real estate professionals order title and receive quotes online. The company’s president said the new website enables it to receive time-critical information quickly and to process requests more efficiently. 


 

General Title hires Indiana counselOpen in a New Window

General Title Insurance Co. has hired an Indiana underwriting counsel who previously directed the title insurance division for Indiana. 

 

OpenClose integrates TimiosOpen in a New Window

The integration enables OpenClose customers to draw all title and settlement fees directly from within its loan origination system, eliminating data entry, saving time and ensuring fees are fully accurate and TRID compliant. 

 

Omni adds chief title officerOpen in a New Window

Omni Title LLC has hired a chief title officer with nearly three decades of experience. 



 

Title company among Harvey donorsOpen in a New Window

Businesses from every part of the title insurance industry are stepping up to aid in the massive recovery effort that will be needed in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. A Texas-based title company will donate a portion of settlement fees received during September to relief efforts, and that sum will be matched by its underwriter. They are among a number of public donations recently announced, including a large donation from one of the nation’s largest homebuilders.

 

 


 

North Dakota title company expandsOpen in a New Window

A title company based in North Dakota recently announced the opening of a second office to help serve its region. The president of the company joined staff at a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the second office.

 


 

Ellie Mae acquires sales acceleration platformOpen in a New Window

With its agreement to buy a leading sales acceleration platform, Ellie Mae said it is one step closer to achieving its vision of offering a fully digital mortgage. The software company said the combination of its Encompass platform with the sales acceleration platform will deliver a complete digital lead capture and conversion solution for creating interest, turning that interest into an application and then funding that loan quickly and at a low cost.

 

 

 


 

Title Data, NextAce partnerOpen in a New Window

Title Data and NextAce announced a partnership through which NextAce’s customers will have access to TDI’s title plants, which cover more than 80 percent of Texas. 


 

North State Bank promotes ReedyOpen in a New Window

North State Bank in Raleigh, N.C., has promoted its chief financial officer to executive vice president. 


 

CFPB urges Harvey flexibilityOpen in a New Window

As Gulf Coast residents scramble to get their lives in order following Hurricane Harvey, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is urging financial institutions to be flexible with consumers. 


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