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The NJLTA is pleased to present Title News from the American Land Title Association:

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How to prepare for the next Equifax-type data theft

  • Not counting the Equifax intrusion, there have been 975 data breaches this year, exposing nearly 19.4 million records.
  • The Equifax breach exposed records for nearly 143 million consumers.

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2017-18 Nominations for ALTA Board and Executive Committees

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Finalized TRID Rule Applies to All Residential Deals Involving Cooperatives

9/12/2017
 

In July, the CFPB finalized a uniform rule regarding the application of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) requirements for cooperative units

Under the existing rule, coverage of cooperative units depended on whether cooperatives were classified as real property under state law. Cooperatives are sometimes treated as personal property under state law and sometimes as real property. Because state law sometimes treats cooperatives differently for different purposes...

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NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM GRANTED 3 MONTH EXTENSION

September 8, 2017

President Donald Trump signed a three-month extension to the National Flood Insurance Program on Friday, giving Congress more time to come up with a long-term financial solution for the program.

Trump signed the extension, which was included in H.R. 601, after the House passed the extension in a legislative package on Friday that also provides funding for hurricane relief and other priorities. With this new extension, the program will now expire on Dec. 8, 2017.

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Freddie Mac: Unaffordability Everywhere

 

September 8, 2017

Freddie MacFreddie Mac announced a new enhanced relief refinancing offering intended to aid borrowers who are making their mortgage payments on time, but are unable to participate in the GSE’s “no cast-out” refinance program due to having a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio above maximum requirements. The new program will be effective for mortgages with applications on or after November 1, 2018.

In order to be eligible for the Enhanced Relief Refinance Program, mortgages must be owned or securitized by Freddie Mac, possess a note date on or after October 1, 2017, and not currently hold the status of being a Freddie Mac Relief Refinance Mortgage. In addition, mortgages must not have been...

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Draft Bill to Fix TRID Discussed During Congressional Hearing

September 7, 2017


A draft bill expected to be introduced by U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) that would correct the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance premiums on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) was discussed Sept.  7 during a Congressional hearing titled “Legislative Proposals for a More Efficient Federal Financial Regulatory Regime."

Called the TRID Improvement Act of 2017, the bill would amend the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to allow for the calculation of a simultaneous issue discount when disclosing title insurance premiums. It also would change the period in which a creditor is allowed... 

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Home prices 'overvalued' in a third of U.S. markets


Homes are now overvalued in more than a third of the nation’s 100 largest metros and nearly half of the country’s top 50 markets, CoreLogic reported.

As of July, home prices in 34 percent of the top 100 cities exceeded their long-run level, the company said. In the top 50 markets, 46 percent were overvalued. In these cities, the prices have risen by 10 percent or more...

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Lower mortgage rates push more borrowers to refinance, as Harvey mucks up the data

  • Total mortgage application volume increased 3.3 percent, from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
  • Volume is still 23 percent lower than a year ago,...

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PRIA Conference Discusses eRecording and Predictable Recording Fees

The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) held its annual conference last week in Nashville, TN. Attendees included county recorders, title professionals, lenders and vendors. Topics of discussion centered on emerging technologies and the modernization of property records. Online notary was the focus of many conversations, as documents notarized via webcam are now legal in a few states (including Montana and Virginia, and soon in Texas and Nevada). E-recording and predictable recording fees were also highlighted at the conference. According to PRIA, 1,700 counties around the United States are now e-recording. Predictable recording fees are also becoming more common around the country. Currently, 16 states and the District of Columbia have some sort of predictable recording fee structure. PRIA attendees participated in a workgroup meeting to discuss necessary steps in promoting adoption of predictable recording fees by state legislatures. If you have any questions please contact Elizabeth Blosser, ALTA's director of grassroots and state government affairs, at elizabethb@alta.org.

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TRID Fix a Topic in Congressional Hearing Thursday, September 7

 
TRID will be on Congress' radar Thursday at a hearing entitled, "Legislative Proposals for a More Efficient Federal Financial Regulatory Regime." The TRID Improvement Act of 2017, a yet-to-be-introduced discussion draft of a bill by Rep. French Hill (R-AR), will be a topic of conversation in the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee.

ALTA has been working closely with Rep. Hill's office on the legislation. The bill amends the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to allow for the calculation of a simultaneous issue discount when disclosing title insurance premiums. The bill also amends RESPA and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to change the period in which a creditor is allowed to cure a good-faith violation on a Loan Estimate or Closing Disclosure from 60 to 210 days after consummation to match the cure period for QM, or a Qualified Mortgage.

The text of the bill can be found here: https://financialservices.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-115_hillar013_pih.pdf

A committee memo on all the bills to be considered at Thursday's hearing can be found here: https://financialservices.house.gov/uploadedfiles/090717_fi_memo.pdf/

If you have any questions please contact Justin Ailes, ALTA's vice president of government and regulatory affairs, at justin@alta.org.

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CFPB Issues Support Material for 2017 Final TRID Rule

August 31, 2017


CFPB Issues Support Material for 2017 Final TRID Rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a summary of changes and clarifications to support implementation of its recently issued final rule for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID).

The document summarizes most of the final rule clarifications and changes, and provides relevant citations. Areas addressed include: ...

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Terminating Easements in States East of the Mississippi River

August 24, 2017

By Adam Leitman Bailey and Israel Katz

One of this century’s most common sources of real estate litigation in the states east of the Mississippi River is easements. In urban areas, entire development projects have been halted as a result of easement agreements, many of them ancient. In our nation’s  system of transferring title, in which each parcel of land is transferred with all of the rights of their predecessor owners (no matter how old), these disputes will continue. This article discusses how to terminate easements and...

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Feds target luxury real estate wire transfers in money laundering investigation

Nearly one-third of cash sales tied to "illicit activity

The federal government is again expanding its investigation into whether foreign buyers are using shell companies to buy luxury U.S. real estate to launder money after its investigation found that potentially illicit activity is behind more than 30% of cash...

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3 Things To Do If Phished

August 24, 2017

Title and settlement companies impersonated as part of an email phishing scam should notify customers as soon as possible, contact law enforcement, provide resources for affected consumers and review the company’s security practices...

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FinCEN Extends and Expands Money Laundering Prevention Effort, Adds Wire Transfers

August 22, 2017

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) renewed and expanded existing Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO) that require U.S. title insurance companies—along with their subsidiaries and agents—to identify the individuals behind companies used to conduct high-end, all-cash real estate transactions in certain major jurisdictions.

Following the recent enactment of the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act, FinCEN revised the GTOs to capture a broader range of transactions, including those involving wire transfers. The order also includes transactions above...

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Agent Has No E&O Coverage for Theft of Escrow Money by Email Impostor

August 22, 2017

A U.S. district court in Maryland recently ruled that an exclusion in a title agent errors and omissions policy for "insufficiency in the amount of escrow funds" has been held to negate the carrier's duty to defend or indemnify the agent for the theft of the seller's money by impersonation and fraud.

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Freddie Mac extends appraisal-free mortgage program to purchase loans

Creates “better experience” for lenders and homebuyers

Freddie Mac announced Friday it is making buying a home a better experience for lender and homebuyers – by cutting the appraiser out of the process.

The company is now offering a new product which will cut the appraisal process out of qualified home purchases and refinances. This could save borrowers... 

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The game changer for end-to-end digital mortgages:eClosings

Nearly everything about the industry’s prized digital mortgage is streamlined expect for the final, and one of the most important, steps at the end.

The entire online process comes to an abrupt halt when it's time to close a loan, forcing borrowers to still meet up and cross the T’s and dot the I’s ...

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Housing recovery suffers, but don't blame the millennials

  • Baby boomers are staying in their big suburban homes...

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Who Hacked My Cyber Insurance Policy?

August 17, 2017

By Andrew Agati and Derek Diaz

Hardly a day goes by without news of some new cyber attack. Less reported—but equally as concerning—are coverage denials under cyber-insurance policies for losses that were plainly caused by computer hackers. Here are some examples, and the lessons 

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TRID Amendments and Proposal Published in Federal Register

August 15, 2017

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s amendments and proposal to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule were published to the Federal Register on Aug. 11.

The official effective date of the amendments is Oct. 10, 2017. From that date until Oct. 1, 2018, each lending institution will get to choose which of the amendments to comply with. Title and settlement companies will need to be...

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CFPB Answers ALTA’s Request to Issue Consumer Alert on Wire Fraud

July 11, 2017

On July 7, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finally heeded ALTA’s advice and published a warning to help alert consumers about wire fraud schemes.

On its blog, the CFPB says “scammers attempt to steal the homebuyer’s closing funds—for example, their down payment and closing costs—by sending the homebuyer an email posing...

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ALTA BEST PRACTICES

August 3, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

This information is not a substitute for legal advice, is for your reference only, and is not intended to represent the only approach to any particular issue. This information should not be construed as legal, financial or business advice, and users should consult legal counsel and subject-matter experts to be sure that the policies adopted and implemented meet the requirements unique to your company.

General

  • Is there a recommended “look back” period when performing a Best Practices assessment?

    ALTA does not recommend a specific “look back” period for Best Practices assessments. When determining an appropriate look back period for assessments, it is important to consider...

https://www.alta.org/best-practices/faq.cfm

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PHISHING FOR WIRE TRANSFERS

August 1, 2017

As president and chief executive officer of Texas-based Rattikin Title Company, Jack Rattikin III has plenty of things that occupy his attention. Third-party vendor oversight and threats to the rating structure in Texas are two top-of-mind issues, but they’re not what keeps Rattikin up at night. Over the past year, a new threat has emerged to become the main reason for late-night tossing and turning for title and settlement professionals: phishing and wire fraud.

“I make it clear in every staff meeting and in front of our closing that wire fraud is our number one concern,” Rattikin said. “It’s not just closing deals and searching titles anymore. There’s a lot of risk that we have...

https://www.alta.org/news/news.cfm?20170801-Phishing-for-Wire-Transfers

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How Wire Fraud Starts

July 25, 2017

Criminals begin the wire fraud process way before the attempted theft occurs. Most often...

https://www.alta.org/news/news.cfm?20170725-How-Wire-Fraud-Starts

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Examples of Fraudulent Emails

July 25, 2017

Here are a couple of examples of the types of email you may receive from criminals attempting to steal funds for a real estate transaction.

Sometimes the email address looks correct, but the “reply-to,” which isn’t...

https://www.alta.org/news/news.cfm?20170725-Examples-of-Fraudulent-Emails

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Sample Wire Fraud Warnings You Can Use

July 25, 2017

 Title professionals are encouraged to remind clients about the risk of wire fraud. To combat this problem, title and settlement companies have:

  • put consumer warnings on websites and communications OO used secured email  communications...

 https://www.alta.org/news/news.cfm?20170725-Sample-Wire-Fraud-Warnings-You-Can-Use

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Red Flags to Protect Your Company Against Wire Fraud

July 25, 2017

 Title and settlement companies can protect themselves by increasing staff awareness of these scams. According to the FBI, businesses that deploy...

 https://www.alta.org/news/news.cfm?20170725-Red-Flags-to-Protect-Your-Company-Against-Wire-Fraud