PYA helps Title Agents address lender requirements related to ALTA Best Practices

For many years, the lending community has been subject to statutory and regulatory obligations to protect their customers’ nonpublic, personal information. Recently the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released Bulletin 2012-03, which restated and further emphasized the importance of those obligations, especially in the context of banks’ relationships with third-party vendors—such as those providing title insurance and settlement services to a lender’s clients. Since the CFPB has developed a reputation for levying huge fines against those who fail to comply with their rules, and has already started auditing mortgage lenders for third-party vendor risk-management compliance, lenders have responded by increasing their efforts to perform due diligence on title companies. The type of due diligence performed has been inconsistent within the industry, with some lenders asking vendors to complete questionnaires, others requesting vendors to submit their policies and procedures, and still others conducting interviews and on-site visits.

In response, the American Land Title Association (ALTA)—the title industry’s national trade association since 1907—stepped in to help its approximately 5,000 members (title insurance companies, title agents, independent abstracters, title searchers, and attorneys) and the title industry as a whole. ALTA’s solution was to establish a “best practices” framework to assist title companies with satisfying their responsibility to clients, underwriters, banks, and mortgage lenders. Beyond the establishment of these voluntary best practices, ALTA also has proposed that title companies obtain an assessment by an independent third party to demonstrate the title company’s compliance with ALTA Best Practices.

While the development of the ALTA Best Practices Framework is new to the industry, from an operational standpoint, many title insurance and settlement companies already have been applying similar standards to satisfy their responsibility to underwriters. Best Practices initially requires an organization to prepare a written set of policies and procedures that address each of the seven pillars of Best Practices as outlined by ALTA:

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1. Licensing

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2. Escrow Accounting Procedures

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3. Privacy & Information Security

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4. Settlement Procedures

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5. Title Policy Production & Delivery

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6. Professional Liability Insurance Coverage

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7. Consumer Complaints

PYA Services

  • Preparation of Best Practices Policies and Procedures

    PYA provides development assistance with policies and procedures that are consistent with the ALTA Best Practices Framework.

  • Evaluation of Best Practices Policies and Procedures

    PYA provides complimentary evaluation of policies and procedures to ALTA members.

  • Implementation of Best Practices Policies and Procedures

    PYA provides project management assistance for Best Practices implementation.

PYA Tools

Find out if you qualify for a complimentary evaluation of your policies and procedures.

PYA’s Readiness Tool provides a complimentary, no-obligation approach to indicate if you are ready to be assessed by PYA.

Coming Soon.  Does your lender require self-certification? Use PYA’s Self Assessment Tool to facilitate your assessment.

Best Practices that are scalable

One of the most common misconceptions is that ALTA’s Best Practices are only for large title companies. PYA has successfully worked with title agencies of all sizes, from two person title agencies serving one or two counties up to multiple office title companies operating in 33 states.

Not ready for an assessment?

Not all title companies are ready for a full independent assessment. Some desire to operate in accordance with the Best Practices Framework, but don’t know how to start the process. Regardless of your needs, PYA is able to scale our services to assist you.

Who is PYA? What can we do for you?

PYA, a certified public accounting and consulting firm, has been accepted into ALTA’s Elite Provider Program and is recognized as the first Elite Provider to offer ALTA Best Practices Assessments. ALTA’s Elite Provider Program provides settlement companies with a source for identifying reputable providers to perform high quality services.