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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.


 

 

Pavaso links with Cook & JamesOpen in a New Window

Pavaso has added Atlanta-based Cook & James to its network of local and national title and attorney partners.

 

AmTrust hires underwriting counselOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has hired a regional underwriting counsel who will be based in Virginia.

 

Predictions for 2018’s housing marketOpen in a New Window

One economist is predicting homes will sell more quickly in 2018, and tax reform will encourage some homeowners to stay put longer and others to move away from high-priced cities.

 

NTC expands eRecording coverageOpen in a New Window

Nationwide Title Clearing (NTC) is expanding its eRecording services to include nationwide eRecording of mortgage documents. NTC said the expansion is possible because of its newly completed county requirements database.

 

New title agency opens in FloridaOpen in a New Window

A new title agency that will handle residential and commercial closings and provide escrow services recently opened its doors in the Florida panhandle. The agency is owned by a local attorney who is a managing partner at a nearby law firm.

 

AmTrust hires underwriting counselOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has hired a Midwest underwriting counsel.

 

Millennials more likely to buy in MidwestOpen in a New Window

Millennial borrowers were more likely to purchase a home in the Midwest in October, according to Ellie Mae’s latest Millennial Tracker.

 

Home purchasing sentiment improved in NovemberOpen in a New Window

The share of Americans who said now was a good time to buy a home increased in November.

 

First American acquires lien release businessOpen in a New Window

First American Financial Corp. (FAF) has reached an agreement to acquire Bank of America’s (BOA) lien release business. As part of the agreement, which is expected to close during the first quarter of 2018, FAF will provide lien release services to BOA.

 

New Jersey agency expands footprintOpen in a New Window

A New Jersey title agency has opened its fourth branch office. The company’s newest office is 25 miles away from New York City in a county where the median home price is $424,900, and the median list price is $222 per square foot.

 

Report: Residential real estate activity ‘restrained’Open in a New Window

Real estate contacts throughout the country reported that sales activities were restrained by low home inventories and rising home prices from mid-October through November. Home builders complained of rising costs for labor and materials, and in some markets affordability is becoming an issue.

 

Flipping ROI hits two-year lowOpen in a New Window

The average profit on homes flipped in the third quarter dropped to its lowest level in more than two years. Read on from more details from ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q3 2017 U.S. Home Flipping Report.

 

Homeowner equity increased during third quarterOpen in a New Window

During the third quarter, U.S. homeowners collectively saw their equity increase by nearly $871 billion, according to CoreLogic.

 

Qualia integrates Punctual AbstractOpen in a New Window

Qualia has integrated Punctual Abstract Co, Inc.’s title commitment data and property searches.

 

Berkshire Hathaway acquires title agencyOpen in a New Window

Berkshire Hathaway has acquired an independently owned title insurance agency that handles residential and commercial transactions across North Carolina and South Carolina. A Berkshire executive said the acquisition will further the company’s efforts to integrate all the elements of the real estate transaction into a seamless experience.

 

Demotech upgrades AmTrust’s FSROpen in a New Window

Demotech, Inc. has upgraded the financial stability rating of AmTrust Title Insurance Co. The company received a rating level that is assigned to insurers who possess unsurpassed financial stability related to maintaining positive surplus.

 

Redfin expands into District of ColumbiaOpen in a New Window

Two months after expanding its mortgage operations into Illinois, the technology driven real estate brokerage Redfin now is serving homebuyers in the District of Columbia. The company’s mortgage operation, which is integrated with Title Forward, plans to launch in additional states next year.

 

CATIC hires chief HR officerOpen in a New Window

CATIC has hired a senior vice president and chief human resources officer with more than two decades of experience.

 

Atlanta real estate firm adds VPOpen in a New Window

An Atlanta-area law firm that provides closing services in four states has hired a vice president of business development.

 

Home price appreciation continued in OctoberOpen in a New Window

Although home prices are expected to dip slightly during November, CoreLogic is forecasting that home prices will increase through next October.

 

Texas title company expands DFW operationsOpen in a New Window

A Texas title agency has opened an additional office in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area and hired a sales manager for that territory. The company now has seven direct offices in the DFW area.

 

Illinois title agency opens Chicago officeOpen in a New Window

Illinois’ second-largest title insurance agency said it will open a new office in Chicago this month. The company’s executive vice president said signage on the building is visible to thousands of drivers who travel the Kennedy Expressway each day.

 

Premium Title selects Pavaso for eClosingsOpen in a New Window

Premium Title has partnered with Pavaso to provide lenders with an eClosing solution that enables them to digitally deliver all closing documents to borrowers for review prior to closing on any device. Both companies believe the collaboration is a solid step toward providing a better, easier closing experience for borrowers.

 

AmTrust adds national production managerOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has hired a national production manager who has more than 17 years of experience in the title industry.

 

DocMagic opens print fulfillment centerOpen in a New Window

DocMagic, Inc. has opened a 12,000 square foot print fulfillment center near its Torrance, Calif. headquarters.

 

National underwriter adds Indiana managerOpen in a New Window

A national underwriter has hired the former executive director of the Indiana Land Title Association to oversee its operations in Indiana.

 

Orange Coast selects CFOOpen in a New Window

Orange Coast Title Co. has hired a vice president and chief financial officer. The newest member of Orange Coast’s executive team has more than 25 years of financial and general management experience serving multiple industries.

 

Arkansas title agency moves corporate headquartersOpen in a New Window

An Arkansas title agency in existence for more than a century attributed the need for relocating its corporate headquarters to growth in the northwest part of the state. The company’s chief operating officer said the new headquarters will help the company step up the experience for customers and associates.

 

Cloud-hosting solution for title agents launchedOpen in a New Window

A national title insurance servicing company has created a cloud-hosting solution for title agents and law firms. The solution not only allows title agents and law firm employees to safely work away from their offices, it also assists with ALTA compliance and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulatory issues.

 

The hottest fourth-quarter housing marketsOpen in a New Window

A recently released index identified the housing markets likely to have the strongest sales activities during the fourth quarter.

 

Sutton hires vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Sutton Alliance, LLC has hired a vice president of business development for its title division.

 

Segin completes surveillance auditOpen in a New Window

Segin Systems, Inc. has successfully completed a surveillance audit to assess the company’s information security management system.

 

New Jersey title agency expandsOpen in a New Window

A New Jersey-based title agency has opened a new office in Monmouth County. The agency’s president called the move a logical step in terms of proximity to the company’s client base and expansion into a growing area.

 

NAR: Montgomery right choice for FHAOpen in a New Window

According to the National Association of Realtors, the industry is excited about Brian Montgomery’s anticipated return as commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration. This week, the Senate Banking Committee voted to approve Montgomery’s nomination and send it to the full Senate.

 

Anticipated tax reform driving business optimismOpen in a New Window

During October, more small-business owners expecting higher sales and said now is a good time to expand their businesses than during the previous month. The National Federation of Independent Business believes that anticipation of Congress passing tax reform in the near future is also making small-business owners more optimistic.

 

Home affordability improved in SeptemberOpen in a New Window

Homes became more affordable during September as real house prices decreased compared with August, according to First American Financial Corp.’s Real House Price Index.

 

Nationwide Abstrax joins Qualia’s networkOpen in a New Window

Nationwide Abstrax LLC’s title and property searches now are available through Qualia’s network.

 

Loan Vision partners with The Mortgage CollaborativeOpen in a New Window

Loan Vision has become part of The Mortgage Collaborative’s resources for its lender-members, the companies announced.

 

CFPB leadership battle moves to the courtsOpen in a New Window

Who is in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? The answer might not be as simple as it would seem. Following the departure of former Director Richard Cordray and the dueling appointments of two acting directors, the answer to that question is not likely to be decided before weeks or months of court wrangling.

 

Regional title insurer chooses SoftProOpen in a New Window

One of the nation’s largest and oldest regional title insurers has integrated its commitment jackets and closing protection letters with SoftPro’s business exchange platform. The integration will enable the title insurer’s agents to electronically report insured risks directly through their SoftPro software.

 

Pioneer hires escrow officerOpen in a New Window

Pioneer Title Agency has hired an escrow officer to work at one of its branches in Phoenix.

 

Freddie: No housing bubbleOpen in a New Window

Despite the fact that homes are overvalued in many markets, Freddie Mac said there is much evidence that there is currently no housing price bubble.

 

Several states hit price peaks in SeptemberOpen in a New Window

Home prices during September hit new peaks in several states.

 

CFPB leadership uncertain after Cordray leavesOpen in a New Window

On Black Friday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was left in the dark about its leadership. Director Richard Cordray announced early in the day that he would resign his position, effective at midnight, and named a deputy director Hours later, President Donald Trump announced that he officially named Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as the acting director. So who is in charge?

 

Finance giants form company to assess third-party risksOpen in a New Window

Finance giants American Express, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have formed a company to conduct third-party risk assessments.

 

Lenders Title parent makes acquisitionOpen in a New Window

Mortgage Contracting Services, the parent company of Lenders Title Solutions, has acquired the property preservation division of Carrington Home Solutions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 

Redfin’s third-quarter earnings improveOpen in a New Window

The technology driven real estate brokerage Redfin Corp. reported third-quarter earnings that included increases in revenue and profits.

 

AmTrust hires regional agency managerOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has hired a former Stewart executive as a regional agency manager.

 

Report: Refinances increased as mortgage rates dippedOpen in a New Window

The percentage of refinance loans inched up slightly in October as interest rates dipped to a new 2017 low.

 

Number of underwater properties decreasesOpen in a New Window

Nationwide, the number of seriously underwater properties declined during the third quarter.

 

Pavaso, eOriginal partner to offer ‘fully’ digital post closeOpen in a New Window

With its partnership with eOriginal now in place, Pavaso said it has completed the final steps of its online mortgage process and now can offer “fully” digital post closings.

 

Realogy releases third-quarter earningsOpen in a New Window

During the third quarter, Realogy Holdings Corp.’s Title Resource Group had an increase in both purchase units and its average fee per closing unit. However, a large decrease in refinance units completed during the quarter drove the group’s revenue down.

 

BOA: Small-business owners more optimisticOpen in a New Window

America’s small-business owners are more optimistic about the national and global economies than they were one year ago, according to a survey by Bank of America.

 

Weichert Title Group adds vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Weichert Title Group has hired a former Stewart state sales manager to lead its New Jersey sales team.

 

Notarize expands offeringsOpen in a New Window

Notarize has expanded its digital platform with new services that help title agents and lenders connect and serve buyers and sellers online.

 

Mortgages delinquencies on the declineOpen in a New Window

The percentage of loans 30 days or more past due and the foreclosure inventory rate both dropped during August.

 

The Closing Exchange acquires two companiesOpen in a New Window

The Closing Exchange has acquired two businesses it believes will help it transform the signing services business for the mortgage, title and settlement, reverse mortgage, auto lending, and timeshares industries.

 

Meridian names sales managerOpen in a New Window

Meridian Title Corp. has named a regional sales manager who will lead its northern Indiana and southwest Michigan sales teams.

 

Signature Closers, Pavaso partnerOpen in a New Window

As a result of its partnership with Pavaso, Signature Closers now can provide digital closings as well as traditional closings. .

 

Qualia expands geographic reachOpen in a New Window

Qualia’s real estate closing platform is now available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

 

Women-owned businesses doubled in past 20 yearsOpen in a New Window

The number of businesses owned by women in the U.S. doubled from 1997 to 2017, according to a report commissioned by American Express OPEN.

 

Title industry ‘cornerstone’ of Detroit’s revitalizationOpen in a New Window

The city of Detroit owns about 25 percent of all properties in the Motor City. The Detroit Land Bank Authority has the monumental task of selling these abandoned, often vacant properties and returning them to the tax rolls.

 

Stewart appoints division presidentOpen in a New Window

Stewart Title has hired a former Fidelity executive who served that company for more than two decades in six different northern California counties. The new division president will oversee Stewart’s daily operations San Francisco, Marin and Sonoma counties and be responsible for the company’s top-line growth.

 

Blogging service for title agents launchedOpen in a New Window

A Florida-based company that provides turn-key marketing solutions and websites for title agents and law firms across the country has launched a blogging service. 


 

ReverseVision integrates Premier Reverse ClosingsOpen in a New Window

ReverseVision has integrated Premier Reverse Closings’ title services into its loan origination system. 


 

Home purchasing sentiment dipsOpen in a New Window

The net share of Americans who believed October was a good time to buy or sell a home declined. 

 

Percentage of distressed sales downOpen in a New Window

Although the percentage of distressed sales declined during the third quarter, they remain high in several pockets of the nation.

 

Industry reacts to Cordray’s resignationOpen in a New Window

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its inaugural Director Richard Cordray have been a lightning rod for critics for years. With Cordray’s announced departure, the industry’s focus likely will switch to speculation on who President Donald Trump will appoint to replace him and the bureau’s structure.

 

Analysis: MID change won’t just affect luxury homesOpen in a New Window

The housing industry has expressed its concern over changes in House and Senate tax bills that would affect the incentives for homeownership. Although many wondered about a tax break that appeared to be targeted to luxury homes of more than $500,000, the impact of the proposal could have a much wider reach than anticipated.

 

Stewart releases third-quarter earningsOpen in a New Window

Stewart Information Services Corp. said business disruptions caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had a $4 million adverse impact on its pretax profits during the third quarter.

 

ATG hires CIOOpen in a New Window

Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG) has selected an accomplished director of information technology in the title insurance industry to serve as senior vice president and chief information officer.

 

First International increases staffOpen in a New Window

First International Title has announced additions to its staff at two Florida locations.

 

RamQuest integrates PropLogixOpen in a New Window

A new integration will enable RamQuest customer’s to order PropLogix’s closing due diligence services without leaving the RamQuest solution.

 

ePN expands eRecording networkOpen in a New Window

During August, September and October, eRecording Partners Network added 29 jurisdictions to its eRecording network.

 

Analyst says 1 option makes sense for StewartOpen in a New Window

Following the release of its third quarter earnings report, Stewart Information Services Corp. announced it is reviewing alternatives which include a possible sale of the company or a merger. An analyst from Kroll Bond Rating Agency told The Title Report there was one combination that made the most sense for Stewart.

 

Old Republic names executive vice presidentOpen in a New Window

Old Republic National Title Insurance Co. has promoted a company veteran and brought him onto its executive leadership team. The newest member of the company’s executive leadership team joined Old Republic in 2010 and has served in various capacities, including overseeing the company’s operations in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

 

Wire fraud prevention platform launchedOpen in a New Window

The owners of a Michigan title agency which experienced an $180,000 wire fraud breach in 2015 have developed a platform designed to prevent others involved in the real estate process from experiencing the same problem. The platform was introduced at the National Settlement Services Summit in San Antonio in June.

 

Tennessee title company adds processorOpen in a New Window

Rochford Law & Real Estate Title has hired a title processor to assist with various transactions.

 

TitleVest hires sales executiveOpen in a New Window

TitleVest has hired a sales executive who will serve as a policy-issuing agent for all major underwriters.

 

eTitle links with QualiaOpen in a New Window

A new integration will enable Qualia users to access eTitle’s services.

 

Old Republic's title group continues 'record' paceOpen in a New Window

Revenue and profits from Old Republic’s title group are on a ‘record’ pace through the first nine months of 2017. Old Republic achieved improved third quarter numbers despite Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which the company said caused a two-week disruption in Texas and one week in Florida.

 

NAR: Proposed tax reform equals middle-class tax increaseOpen in a New Window

The much-anticipated tax reform package released by the House Republicans last week will undoubtedly undergo many revisions. The National Association of Realtors is giving the initial proposal a thumbs down.

 

Mid America, NASCAR partner to promote new digital platformOpen in a New Window

Mid America Mortgage, Inc. has launched a new digital mortgage approval and closing platform that promises to help borrowers reach the closing table in less than half the time of a traditional mortgage process. To promote its new platform, the company has partnered with NASCAR and the iconic race team Richard Petty Motorsports.

 

Omni Title adds escrow officerOpen in a New Window

Omni Title LLC has a commercial title and escrow officer with more than 25 years of experience.

 

New service protects escrow securityOpen in a New Window

PCN Network’s Safe Escrow now includes a service that confirms payoff accounts and authenticates payees for outbound wires.

 

QuestSoft, Specialized Data Systems integrateOpen in a New Window

QuestSoft and Specialized Data Systems have partnered to provide end-to-end digital mortgage compliance, both companies announced.

 

Investors Title sets quarterly recordOpen in a New Window

Low interest rates and rising home prices helped Investors Title Co. set a quarterly record for revenues and net premiums written. The earning Investors Title generated during the third quarter was the second highest in the company’s history.

 

Old Republic expands executive leadership teamOpen in a New Window

Old Republic National Title Insurance Co. has brought one of its veteran team members onto its executive leadership team as an executive vice president. The newest member of Old Republic’s executive team has served as a member of the company’s National Leadership Team on its Agency Committee for nearly four years.

 

Report: No housing bubble in sightOpen in a New Window

A new report predicts housing markets throughout the nation will remain strong through the end of 2018, with home prices continuing to climb. The report suggests concerns about home prices which have hit new peaks in several areas are overblown.

 

AmTrust hires Michigan representativeOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has hired a First American Title Insurance executive to serve as its Michigan representative.

 

Entrust names national sales directorOpen in a New Window

Entrust Solutions has selected a former managing partner of Landtech Data Corp. as its national sales director. Read on for more details.

 

ComplianceEase integrates PathSoftwareOpen in a New Window

PathSoftware has integrated ComplianceEase’s automated compliance solution with its cloud-based mortgage loan origination software.

 

First American posts improved numbersOpen in a New Window

The continued rise of home prices throughout the country was one of the factors that helped First American Financial Corp. post improved third quarter earnings. The company’s CEO said orders are up in October and that he’s optimistic about the fourth quarter.

 

AmTrust expands in TexasOpen in a New Window

AmTrust Title Insurance Co. has moved its Texas corporate offices into a skyscraper in downtown Houston. A company vice president said the company’s business is “vibrant and growing” in Houston and the additional space was needed to accommodate continued business expansion throughout Texas.

 

Stewart, Ellie Mae partnerOpen in a New Window

Stewart’s title and settlement services are now available through Ellie Mae’s all-in-one mortgage management solution.

 

Home prices peak againOpen in a New Window

Although the rate of appreciation is slowing, nationwide home prices peaked in August for the 64th straight month.

 

Percentage of vacant properties decreasesOpen in a New Window

Nationwide, the share of vacant properties decreased.

 

Gateway Mortgage selects TRKOpen in a New Window

The Gateway Mortgage Group has selected TRK Connection’s Insight Risk & Defect Management platform to conduct its internal quality control audits.

 

FNF details end-to-end tech platformOpen in a New Window

The hurricanes that devastated Texas and Florida residents also caused major disruptions for title industry and real estate professionals in those states. Even so, Fidelity National Financial, Inc.’s FNF Group posted third quarter earnings that included increases in revenues, profits and earnings per share.

 

New home sales near 10-year highOpen in a New Window

The Census Bureau reported that the number of new single-family homes sold during September reached its highest level since October 2007. An official with the National Association of Realtors told The Title Report that any new supply, especially affordable housing for first-time buyers, is being immediately purchased.

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