title-industryMaintaining best practices for title insurance and settlement services ensures business manners remain in good standing with the state. The American Land Title Association (ALTA) regulations improve quality and professionalism but also have hefty implications. Acuity breaks down some of the new rules.

Obtain Appropriate License(s)

Maintain good standing with the state and comply with the regulatory department’s latest registrations and licenses required for your title insurance business. Establish applicable business licenses and maintain appropriate compliance with the requirements of ALTA?s Policy Forms Licensing.

Maintain Required Procedures and Controls in Writing

Escrow and trust accounts require written controls and procedures for electronic reconciliation and verification purposes. Appropriate escrow controls will help improve accuracy and meet the legal and consumer regulations required, eliminating the risk of losing client funds. Title and settlement companies may request the services of contractors to segregate trust accounting responsibilities.

The following procedures will help you fulfill this best practice:

    • Separating the maintenance of companies’, managers’, or employees’ operating accounts and escrow funds maintained as part of your fiduciary responsibility.
    • Documenting all outstanding file balances.
    • Ensuring that only authorized employees conduct relevant transactions. The company should set different authorization levels and annually update them. Employees who leave the company for any reason must be immediately removed as bank account signatories.
      Using federally insured financial institutions to maintain all escrow trust accounts, unless the beneficial owner directs otherwise.
    • Conducting background checks not only on potential employees but also on existing ones who have access to customer funds, every three years.
    • Conducting ongoing training for the employees who manage escrow accounting and funds.

ALTA’s best practices hoist the quality and professionalism of the title industry, protects consumers, and provides ongoing employee education. The benefits outweigh the consequences, but as to what extent, only time will tell. Acuity National Real Estate Solutions, LLC, provides old-fashioned professional excellence with the cutting-edge technology necessary for optimized processes and smooth, speedy transactions. In today?s market, you need an agile title and closing partner that delivers with honesty and integrity. To learn more about Acuity?s services, contact us at https://ftgclosings.com/support.

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