ALTA’s Best Practices Implemented
Since the financial crisis of 2008, lenders have focused on reducing settlement risk. The topic was further highlighted in a 2012 bulletin issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) where lenders were reminded that they are directly responsible for the activities of the third party service providers they choose to do business with.
In an effort to address these concerns, the American Land Title Association (“ALTA”) developed “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices”1 (“Best Practices”) in 2013. These title and settlement benchmarks were produced to further protect consumers, promote quality service, provide for ongoing associate training, and meet legal and market requirements. While voluntary, these Best Practices have been adopted and implemented by Central Texas Title.
ALTA’s Best Practices are not intended to encompass all aspects of title and settlement, but they do attempt to address the areas of greatest concern to lenders and the public in general. Meeting these Best Practices helps Central Texas Title illustrate to our customers the company’s dedication to professionalism, and supports a positive and compliant real estate settlement experience.
ALTA’s Best Practices compliance includes:
Establish and maintain current license(s) as required to conduct the business of title insurance and settlement services.
Central Texas Title maintains state mandated insurance licenses. This practice ensures the company remains in good standing with the state. In Texas, this includes both the Agent License and Escrow Officer Licenses. Escrow Officers are required to complete the required number of continuing education hours to renew their license. However, at Central Texas Title, our Escrow Officers have earned state certification designations which require an even greater degree of continuing education.
Adopt and maintain appropriate written procedures and controls for Escrow Trust Accounts allowing for electronic verification of reconciliation.
Central Texas Title employs appropriate and effective escrow controls and associate training to meet Texas Department of Insurance requirements for the safeguarding of our client’s funds.
Adopt and maintain a written privacy and information security program to protect Non-public Personal Information as required by local, state and federal law.
We adhere to federal and state laws (including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) which require title companies to develop a written information security program that outlines procedures to protect non-public customer information. Learn more under the Your Privacy tab.
Adopt standard real estate settlement procedures and policies that ensure compliance with Federal and State Consumer Financial Laws as applicable.
We have developed procedures and conduct ongoing associate training to adhere to state, federal and other obligations governing the settlement process and provide for a safe and compliant settlement. Central Texas Title utilizes Texas promulgated rates and rules to ensure correct fees are being charged for title insurance premiums. Click the Rates tab for current Texas Title Insurance Premium Rates.
Adopt and maintain written procedures related to title policy production, delivery, reporting and premium remittance.
Following established procedures for production, delivery and remittance of title insurance policies aids us in meeting our obligations. In Texas, the policy delivery requirement states “Title policies shall be furnished to the insured within ninety (90) days after receipt by the title company of proof of compliance with the company’s Schedule C requirements.”
Maintain appropriate professional liability and fidelity coverage.
Appropriate professional liability coverage confirms the title agency has the financial capacity to stand behind their professional services.
Adopt and maintain procedures for resolving consumer complaints.
Our foundation is based upon integrity, trust and great service. It is important to us to ensure your satisfaction and we encourage your feedback. Use the Contact Us tab to reach us at any time.
We urge you to educate yourself on the components of ALTA’s Best Practices. Find out more about the benefits of choosing a title and settlement provider, like Central Texas Title, that adopts these voluntary Best Practices by visiting www.alta.org.