We are honored at Smart Title & Escrow to have recently received ALTA’s Best Practices Certification. Prior to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the regulation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) was divided amongst several different federal agencies. Each agency had different priorities, goals and standards. To simplify the regulatory process, Congress vested the CFPB with the authority to regulate everything from credit cards to mobile phones and even mortgages.
One of the CFPB’s goals is to make financial institutions responsible for the management of their vendors. For instance, when the company Chase hired for debt collection engaged in unfair practices, the CFPB fined Chase $216 million. Likewise, the CFPB makes mortgage lenders accountable to consumers for the actions of their vendors, including title insurance companies.
Alta Best Practices Compliance
With fines so high, banks naturally seek assurances from title companies that they are in compliance with all federal regulations. In 2012, the American Land Association (ALTA) responded by issuing the industry’s first framework for its best practices. ALTA’s Best Practices requires comprehensive compliance in seven areas: Licensing, Escrow Accounting, Information Security, Title Policy Production, Settlement Procedures, Liability and Fidelity Coverage, and Consumer Complaints.
Smart Title has been certified by the ALTA Elite Provider CPA firm, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C. (PYA). PYA conducted an independent, in-person audit of all of Smart Title’s written policies, systems and practices. It has issued a peer-reviewed certification that Smart Title meets or exceeds all of seven pillars of ALTA’s Best Practices.
Lending institutions, real estate professionals, buyers, borrowers and sellers can all close with Smart Title secure in the knowledge that it has met all of ALTA’s high standards and satisfies federal regulations.
If you would like more information on closing your real estate transaction with confidence at Smart Title, please contact us by filling out the form below.