Consulting Services Is it Time to Renew Your ALTA Certification?
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Under increased regulatory pressure to protect customer non-public personal information (NPI), banks and mortgage lenders are more focused on performing due diligence for title companies and attorneys to ensure security and confidentiality of customer data. The original ALTA Best Practices certification deadline was October 1, 2015. Since the certification is only valid for two years, many lenders will require a renewal of your certification in 2017.

Is it time for you to renew your ALTA certification?

Compliance

To prove compliance with third-party oversight required by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), several lenders have announced their requirements for title companies and attorneys to have a certification performed by an independent CPA (varies by lender) qualified to evaluate their compliance with ALTA Best Practices policies and procedures.

ALTA Best Practices Framework

The American Land Title Association (ALTA) Best Practices Framework assists lenders in meeting their responsibility to oversee third-party vendors. ALTA Best Practices also serves as a benchmark for the real estate settlement and mortgage lending industries. By demonstrating compliance with ALTA Best Practices, title companies and attorneys provide mortgage lenders, underwriters, and customers with assurance that they are following the industry’s established practices.

7 Pillars

ALTA Best Practices cover seven guidance areas called “pillars” including:

  1. Pillar 1: Licensing: Establish and maintain current license(s) required for business title insurance and settlement services.
  2. Pillar 2: Escrow Accounting Procedures: Adopt and maintain appropriate written procedures and controls for Escrow Trust Accounts allowing for electronic verification of reconciliation.
  3. Pillar 3: Privacy & Information Security: Adopt and maintain a written privacy and information security program to protect Non- public Personal Information as required by local, state, and federal law.
  4. Pillar 4: Settlement Procedures: Adopt standard real estate settlement procedures and policies that help ensure compliance with Federal and State Consumer Financial Laws as applicable to the Settlement process.
  5. Pillar 5: Title Policy Production & Delivery: Adopt and maintain written procedures related to title policy production, delivery, reporting, and premium remittance.
  6. Pillar 6: Professional Liability Insurance Coverage: Maintain appropriate professional liability insurance and fidelity coverage.
  7. Pillar 7: Consumer Complaints: Adopt and maintain procedures for resolving consumer complaints.

Resources

The American Land Title Association has put together the ALTA Assessment Guide & FAQ resource to help you understand the policies and procedures for compliance with the Best Practices standards. Download the ALTA Assessment Guide & FAQ Resource to learn more or contact one of our P&N professionals today.

Download the ALTA Assessment Guide & FAQs

Need Help?

P&N is qualified to perform ALTA Best Practices third-party certification reporting services for title agents. We can assess your level of compliance with ALTA Best Practices and help you develop a remediation plan to address any compliance issues.

P&N can assist with the following:

  • Evaluating current processes, policies, and procedures for compliance with ALTA Best Practices
  • Developing processes, policies, and procedures consistent with ALTA Best Practices
  • Performing an independent assessment of processes, policies, and procedures for certification

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