Best Business Practices in Land Title Insurance Law and Risk Management – Spring 2014 Paul

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Best Business Practices in Land Title Insurance Law and Risk Management – Spring 2014 Paul Drake After the housing bubble burst, everyone involved in the process was subject to severe criticism. From the realtors to the land title insurance agents to the banks, the housing industry underwent a major overhaul. In order to make sure that what happened less than a decade ago doesn’t happen again with the same veracity, the American Land Title Association (ALTA), which guides the conduct of land title insurance agents, published a “Best Practices” manual. ALTA seeks to guide its membership on best practices to protect consumers and to meet legal and market requirements. This paper will lay out the best practices used by ALTA for title…show more content…
Transactions must be conducted by authorized employees only, with former employees being immediately deleted as listed signatories on all bank accounts. Unless directed by the beneficial owner, Escrow Trust Accounts are maintained in Federally Insured Financial Institutions. Escrow Trust Accounts must have Automated Clearing House blocks and international wire blocks, if available. Finally, checks are completed in the hiring process and regularly conducted for existing employees. The third best practice is to adopt and maintain a written privacy and information security program to protect Non-public Personal Information as required by local, state and federal law. The ALTA manual states that: Federal and state laws (including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) require title companies to develop a written information security program that describes their procedures to protect non-public customer information. The program must be appropriate to the company’s size and complexity, the nature and scope of the company’s activities, and the sensitivity of the customer information the company handles. A company evaluates and adjusts its program in light of relevant circumstances, including changes in the firm’s business or operations, or the results of security testing and monitoring. This best practice is satisfied by maintaining physical security of Non-public Personal Information through restricting access to Non-public Personal Information to authorized employees who have
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