Attendees who travel to Charlotte, N.C., June 6-8 for the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) will be in for a treat. Or three treats, as the case may be.
This year’s NS3 will feature three panels of leading underwriter and lending executives, including a panel with representatives of the Big Four underwriters; another with mid-size underwriters that includes Agents National Title, Alliant National Title, Connecticut Attorneys Title Insurance Co. (CATIC), and North American Title Insurance Co. (NATIC); and a lender panel that includes Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Quicken Loans and Evolve Bank and Trust.
The first underwriter panel includes Fidelity President of National Agency Operations Erika Meinhardt, along with First American Executive Vice President John Hollenbeck, Old Republic Executive Vice President Jeffery Bluhm and Stewart Group President Patrick Beall.
This panel of the national’s largest title underwriters will talk about deepening the relationships that have been forged during implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, along with topics such as cybersecurity, lender liability, and more.
Bluhm, the executive vice president of agency services and administration for Old Republic, was on the underwriters’ panel last year, discussing compliance and lender liability. He told the crowd of title agents that finding and adhering to industry standards and best practices was vital to their company’s success.
“You do these practices every day in your office,” he said. “But you probably aren’t writing them down so someone else can come along and take a look at them. Do the easy ones first. Get some help. If you’re uncomfortable or don’t know where to start, start with some of the easy ones. Do one every two weeks. Talk to your underwriters. Talk to your professional advisors.”
New to NS3 this year is a second underwriters panel, called the Rise of the Mid-Cap Underwriters. Here, representatives from a number of nimble mid-cap underwriters will talk about how their companies have forged their own paths in the industry, and what their success and increasing market share means for the future of title insurance.
Featured on the panel are Agents President and CEO David Townsend, CATIC President and CEO James Czapiga, NATIC President Emilio Fernandez and Alliant CEO Bob Grubb. Grubb spoke at the 2015 NS3 event about the need for agents to maintain appropriate standards for their lender clients.
“Talk to the lenders you do most of your business with and find out where they’re headed,” Grubb said. “Try to stay a step ahead of them. Understand the different options for assessments and pick the one that’s right for your business based on the needs of your lenders.”
For the second consecutive year, NS3 features a panel of lenders set to discuss compliance expectations of their settlement services providers, as well as regulatory scrutiny, TRID communications, and more.
Featured on the panel are Quicken Loans Vice President of Servicing Michael Malloy; Evolve Bank and Trust Senior Vice President Jason Brown; Bank of America Vice President, Business Controls Manager Ben Harpenau; and Wells Fargo Vice President – Strategy and Financial Reform Penny Reed. The panel will be moderated by Prairie Title President and CEO Frank Pellegrini.
In the panel last year, which was conducted months before the implementation of TRID in October, Reed was asked to look ahead to a post-TRID world. She replied that the date was going to come, and little would be heard. She estimated it would be six weeks until closings were done using the new process.
Harpenau agreed with panelists who said the process would bring some confusion. And as the panelists predicted, mortgage lending did not stop after October. Although there were some rocky patches since implementation, particularly with technology and training challenges, loans have continued to close. And a recent study showed that after closing dates for loans continued to rise through February, they fell drastically in March to levels not seen since the spring of 2015.
TRID was not the only focus of the lender panel, though. The lenders discussed areas such as third-party liability, cybersecurity, and attestations. Reed told agents not to lose focus on other areas, such as state regulations or privacy concerns, as they spent time and effort preparing to comply with TRID form regulations.
“One of the things we try to emphasize is the other regulations don’t stop just because TRID begins,” Reed said. “All of those rules are still there. When you change something on the Closing Disclosure you could (be in conflict with) one of those other rules.”