(PA 121086) PA_Emerging Settlement Best Practices
This is no secret: The Consumer Finance Protection Board (“CFPB”) has been and will continue to promulgate increasingly tight compliance rules for lenders as well as the settlement industry. This is not only a predictable trend towards transparency-oriented records/corporate compliance a la Sarbanes/Oxley but more recently the passage of Dodd-Frank designed to bind and keep lenders (especially) in line with sound lending practices.
As we all know, these compliance systems and practices are also designed to protect all of us—the consumer and the title companies-- against the incredible and growing amount of fraud in the title industry. That issue, of course, provides enough material for another seminar entirely. For now, we’ll focus on these “best practices,” which ALTA developed and published, in part, to establish a “benchmark” for the mortgage and real estate settlement industry. In developing these best practices, ALTA seeks to guide its membership the best procedures to protect consumers, promote quality service, provide for ongoing employee training and meet both legal and market demands.
We’ll first review ALTA’s Best Practices (Fall 2012) in some detail and conclude by discussing how you can improve your business not only through compliance (“best practices”) but through outreach and education programs for your REALTOR®s and loan officers. The work of bringing transactions together has always been, and perhaps now more than ever, the result of the cooperative and effective work of many team players in the real estate industry. As always, the need for excellent professional relationships too couldn’t be higher.
Ann L. Johnston, Esq
Ann is an attorney and a REALTOR® with over 26 years of experience in law practice (including especially insurance defense and risk management issues), title law and the real estate sales industry. She is licensed as a settlement agent and real estate salesperson in Virginia and as an attorney in the District of Columbia and North Carolina. Ann is currently working as Director of Professional Development at Monarch Title in McLean. She most recently served as Assistant General Counsel for Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. for almost 6 years where she developed a wide range of business and legal expertise pertaining to the practice of real estate professionals. She earned both her BA in English and her Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.