In The News2019-02-04T17:11:56+00:00

JUNE 6 – 8, 2016 | CHARLOTTE, NC

In The News

As the old saying goes, change is constant and inevitable. Change, albeit an untimely disruption should be looked upon as an opportunity to make positive changes. That’s especially true in the world of sales, to get people invested and more educated and enhance their businesses. It then becomes important for individuals to tap into the knowledge of those devoted to implementing plans to ensure success and increase productivity.

Orange Leaf Consulting CEO Cynthia McGovern, along with Florida Agency Network CEO Aaron Davis, will discuss change in a presentation at the 2016 National Settlement Services Summit June 6-8 in Charlotte, N.C., titled Business NOT as Usual.

“All we want to do is to help companies (title and related service companies) to advance and grow their revenue,” McGovern said. “We work with underwriters, direct shops and vendors in the title industry as well. Everybody has various emotions when it comes to change. These changes, though, have been a gift to our industry. It has allowed us to make other changes.”

The areas of change McGovern and Davis will focus on will include sales, customer interaction and engagement, compliance and certification, and IT and cybersecurity.

McGovern said there are opportunities for leaders, owners and managers to create positive changes that can be reflected in their wallets.

“I’ve been on a soap box for some time with regard to change in our industry being a great opportunity for change with regard to sales efforts and other operational changes,” McGovern said. “Since the TRID and compliance issues came along, we want to get title agents and underwriters to understand when there is a disruption, that’s the time to do something positive.

“There are so many guidelines and regulations that tell people how to do their business. That’s not the issue. It’s how we conduct ourselves and use this opportunity to tell our story to grow our business and our industry. It’s not business as usual, and it shouldn’t be.”

McGovern also will have plenty of tangible materials for session attendees to look over and study as it applies to their potential business growth. Both speakers will be putting together outlines identifying areas where individuals can take steps to achieve positive changes.

McGovern will emphasize how you can increase sales during this time of change. With no down time in the world of business, she hopes to help people increase revenue as the world around them continues to move forward. Davis will provide information on the overall process, the flow of data digital transactions, and leadership aspects to manage the change curve.

“We will definitely give people something they can take back to their companies,” McGovern said. “This will be a very active panel discussion, with me asking a lot of questions and looking for a lot of hands to be raised. I think people learn when they are engaged and when it is fun.”

To get more information on the 2016 National Settlement Services Summit in Charlotte, N.C., June 6-8, including the agenda and a list of speakers, click here. You can register for NS3 online or click here to get information on how to register via mail, fax or phone.

A dog is smarter than its tail, right? It usually is, until it doesn’t pay close enough attention to the details.

At this year’s National Settlement Services Summit (NS3), October Research, LLC will be hosting “TRID Tails,” where a panel of experts will review the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule’s various conflicts and problems that they have seen arise out of the normal workflow between creditors and settlement agents.

“We’re looking to create a kind of meeting of the minds between [creditors and settlement agents] to ensure that there is a certain level of appreciation between the parties as to each other’s obligations and to get everybody to work a little bit better together,” panelist John Levonick, director of regulatory compliance at Clayton Holdings LLC, said.

Complying under TRID involves the correct interplay among people, technology and process. Levonick added that he and the other panelists will be discussing how the connections among these three elements might lead to unintended errors and providing actual circumstances where breakdowns in communication or other scenarios led to unanticipated errors.

Levonick will be joined by Deborah Boyd, vice president and senior underwriting counsel at Fidelity National Title Group, and Richard Horn, founding attorney of Richard Horn Legal PLLC, who also is credited with leading the TRID rule while a special adviser to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

“We can speak to the multiple perspectives for which challenges arise, whether it’s from the settlement agent’s perspective, whether it’s from the creditor’s perspective or whether it’s from an independent third party assessing where, in fact, an error does exist, why the error exists and prescriptions on how to reduce the reoccurrence of such errors to ensure that the creditors don’t have unnecessary errors that are impacting the salability of the loan that are going to expose them to supervisory or enforcement risk,” Levonick said.

The panel not only will address regulatory and litigation risks, but also secondary market and servicing risks, and how errors might occur in an attorney-state versus a title/escrow state.

“We’re going to highlight common errors that occur, discuss best practices methodology around how a creditor and effectively a settlement agent can interact better to reduce instances of unintentional errors, and assist the audience in learning from the experience of the industry from October 2015 until now,” Levonick said.

The panel session, “TRID Tails,” will take place from 11:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7.

To get more information on the 2016 National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) in Charlotte, N.C., June 6-8, including the agenda and a list of speakers, click here. You can register for NS3 online or click here to get information on how to register via mail, fax or phone.

Escrow practices across the country vary dramatically already, but state and federal regulatory changes, market developments and fraud considerations promise to further complicate matters.

“One of the biggest issues right now is getting to be wire fraud,” said Philip Dryden, president elect, American Escrow Association. “People are spoofing email addresses and taking wires, intercepting the wires. Even our state regulator is now weighing in on it and warning our licensees here in Washington state that we need to create a program where we are warning customers through the program where they can call and confirm that we’ve received wires, and call and confirm our wire instructions when they receive them.”

He said Washington state is starting to monitor safe and soundness and security issues with it to become escrow agents, making sure the escrow agents have privacy policies in place, secure emails, secure servers, etc. Dryden said this is a relatively new endeavor of theirs to watch and make sure agents have these policies and programs in place.

Dryden will be speaking at the State Escrow Developments session at the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) with Richard Reass, CEO and founder, RynohLive, and Nancy Silberberg, president, Escrow Institute of California. During the session, they will explore the latest trends impacting escrow functions in various regions and learn how to keep your operation safe and successful in a charging marketplace.

“Even smaller operations are now being forced to get security policies in place and if they are not they are being questioned if they should be viable in the marketplace,” Dryden said. “It’s not just lender vetting, which has been going on now for over a year, but regulators are stepping in to make sure too.”

He said he believes the industry will see this happening more frequently as the years go on. Although Dryden can’t comment on what is done on the East Coast, he said his multi-state agency has seen West Coast regulators working to protect consumers’ funds.

“Our regulators are stepping it up because we do have quite a few independents in Arizona, California and Washington,” Dryden said. “You can see where the regulators are starting to get into that area where before it was all about ‘Are you balancing your trust account? Are your records in good order?’ Now they want to see the security policies, the employment screening policies and all these other things to make sure that we are covering all our bases.”

The session will take place at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 8. To get more information on the 2016 National Settlement Services Summit in Charlotte, N.C., June 6-8, including the agenda and a list of speakers, click here. You can register for NS3 online or click here to get information on how to register via mail, fax or phone.

This year at the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) New Homes Solutions Consulting founder Kimberly Mackey will be speaking at the “Title Agents, Realtors and Builders: Why Can’t We Just Get Along?” session 2:10 p.m. Tuesday, June 7.

She will be talking about the importance of the maintaining the long-term relationship with Realtors and builders to drive sales and grow your business.

“Really the focus is about building that relationship instead of just trying to market to the Realtors or market to the brokerages,” Mackey said. “It’s about building those one-on-one strategic relationships and being able to grow our businesses together.”

Communication is key to building and maintaining these relationships, she said.

“The more we work to build that relationship with the Realtor, the less panic there is for the client, and the better the experience ends up being for everybody involved,” Mackey said.

Although title agents and Realtors have many contact points throughout the transaction, it’s the way that connection happens that can seal the relationship, such as picking up the phone.

“We’re all busy and we all want to email everybody,” Mackey said. “Email is great for some flat communication, short facts and bullet points. But if it’s something that might involve a misunderstanding, you have to go back to actually talking to people. I know we’re all trying to get away from talking to anybody, but we have to actually pick up the phone and talk if we want that experience. It’s doesn’t take that much time. It just takes a focused effort.”

She said the goal of the program is to talk about innovative ways to grow relationships and do more business with these partners. The presentation will allow for plenty of Q&A and will challenge the audience members to think differently about these relationships.

To get more information on the 2016 National Settlement Services Summit in Charlotte, N.C., June 6-8, including the agenda and a list of speakers, click here. You can register for NS3 online or click here to get information on how to register via mail, fax or phone.

Title agents and attorneys are expected to adhere to the highest ethical standards, especially given Dodd Frank’s ban on unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP), which gave the CFPB broad authority to root out questionable activities. This makes it critical to understand what constitutes ethical or unethical conduct while still remaining compliant with federal law.

Luckily, October Research, LLC’s National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) has you covered.

The three-day conference will be featuring a discussion on “Ethics: UDAAP, Reverse Vendor Oversight and Legal Malpractice” June 8 in Charlotte, led by Charles Cain, executive vice president of agency at WFG National Title Insurance Co., and Marx Sterbcow, managing attorney at Sterbcow Law Group LLC.

Phillip Schulman, partner at Mayer Brown LLP, will offer a high-level overview of the legal landscape surrounding marketing service agreements (MSAs) and RESPA Section 8, while Mitchel Kider, managing member of Weiner Brodsky Kider PC, will be reviewing current legal developments surrounding AfBAs, MSAs and RESPA Section 8 compliance.

At the “Ethics: UDAAP, Reverse Vendor Oversight and Legal Malpractice” session, attendees can learn what exactly UDAAP requires of as well as how it could make vendor liability and oversight a two-way street by challenging the bounds of legal malpractice and requiring title agents and notaries to be on the lookout for client compliance issues.

In particular, attendees should pay special attention to changes in reverse vender management oversight, Sterbcow says.

“This is something that is new. No one realizes it’s new because they think that vendor management is coming from the top down. But the bureau now expects it to go from the bottom up. The general sense is that the lender is responsible for the title agent and the lawyer, but if the title agent or lawyer knows that the lender is participating in something illegal, then reverse vendor management oversight means that the attorney is now responsible for reporting bad acts by their clients,” Sterbcow explained.

He went on to point out that CFPB enforcement in this area already is beginning to take place, citing the recent enforcement action against the co-founders of T3Leads.

“The CFPB alleged that Dmitry Fomichev and Davit Gasparyan (also known as David Gasparyan) co-founded and operated T3Leads, a lead aggregator that bought and sold payday and installment loan applications without properly vetting buyers and sellers,” the enforcement action stated (emphasis added).

“That’s reverse vendor management oversight,” Sterbcow said.

Sterbcow and Cain will share real-world examples, and attendees will walk away with actionable tips for remaining UDAAP compliant in an increasingly active enforcement environment. Sterbcow says that the two also will discuss examples of potential ethical issues regarding RESPA, as well.

“Let’s say an attorney is violating RESPA,” Sterbcow said by means of example. “Does the law firm now have an obligation to report that to the bureau or notify their client of any issues, and how do they stop this practice without violating attorney-client privilege?”

The session will take place from 10:10-11:10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 8. To get more information on the 2015 National Settlement Services Summit in Charlotte, N.C., June 6-8, including the agenda and a list of speakers, click here. You can register for NS3 online or click here to get information on how to register via mail, fax or phone.

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.”

This year at the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) June 6-8 October Research, LLC will be offering an all-new feature called the Lender Oversight PACE Lap. It will feature four high-impact sessions examining a range of third-party compliance issues.

Turn 1, Best Practices and Self-Certification, will be hosted by American Land Title Association (ALTA) President John Hollenbeck. He will discuss what Best Practices compliance looks like at a foundational level and how to conduct a self-certification.

Turn 2, Conquering Third Party Certifications, will be hosted by Bayou Title President Brent Laliberte. Having gone through an SSAE-16, SOC 1 audit himself, he will be discussing which certifications and attestations are appropriate for your organization.

Turn 3, Supercompliance, will explore the latest in advanced lender oversight compliance. Brady & Kosofsky, PA Managing REO and Closing Attorney Jaime Kosofsky and BakerHostetler Partner Anthony Sharett will discuss what the future may hold for title and settlement agents.

In Turn 4, Kate Steineman of Wells Fargo and Kenneth Pack from the Bank of North Carolina will speak directly to agents about current and future compliance expectations.

Although many agents might not have been told they need a certification or third-party attestation, Laliberte says they are important.

“I think of it (SSAE-16) as a marketing tool,” he said. “It separates us from the competition. At the end of the day if something goes wrong, I’m the guy responsible for it, so if I can get as many safety features as there are, it will make me sleep better.”

And he said he actually enjoyed the process. He said it gave him a chance to stop and re-assess his operation.

“It’s a good opportunity to realize where your strengths and weaknesses are,” he said. “It gives you an opportunity to make sure you’re doing things the way you’re supposed to do things.

“Look at it is a positive, as something that’s going to allow you to run your business more efficiently and remove a lot of issues. I think this is a way for us to get better at what we do and trumpet that to our clients.”

To get more information on the 2016 National Settlement Services Summit in Charlotte, N.C., June 6-8, including the agenda and a list of speakers, click here. You can register for NS3 online or click here to get information on how to register via mail, fax or phone.

February 26, 2016, Cleveland, Ohio –Erica Meyer, CEO and publisher of October Research, LLC, announced today that SoftPro will be the exclusive sponsor of the Networking Reception to be held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on June 7th from 5:30 – 8:30 pm in Charlotte, NC, as part of the 2016 National Settlement Services Summit (NS3).

Networking Reception Sponsor:softpro_lg

“SoftPro is looking forward to hosting the networking reception for October Research’s NS3 Summit again this year,” said SoftPro president, Joyce Weiland. “A huge part of the success of any conference is the collaboration and relationship-building among attendees, and the networking reception at NS3 provides the perfect atmosphere for business leaders to do just that.”

“We are delighted that SoftPro will be the exclusive sponsor of the Summit Networking Reception for the fifth consecutive year,” Meyer said. “SoftPro has an exemplary record of creating and fostering long-term business relationships that are helping move the industry forward. The Networking Reception provides the perfect opportunity for professionals to engage with existing clients and make new connections.”

The Summit will draw professionals from across the country for unrivaled education and networking on June 6-8. Charlotte is the home of NASCAR, and this year’s Networking Reception hosted at the NASCAR Hall of Fame will allow Summit attendees to experience this high-octane sport first hand while enjoying drinks, hors d’oeuvres and friendly head-to-head competition.

This year’s theme, Knowledge In Action, will deliver educational and relationship-building experiences designed to help attendees attain greater levels of success. The Summit agenda will blend both business and regulatory content to provide innovative strategies for remaining profitable and compliant in a changing marketplace.

About October Research, LLC:
Founded in 1999, October Research, LLC is the nation’s leading provider of market intelligence, industry news and regulatory information for professionals in the real estate, settlement services and mortgage industries. Publications include The Title Report, The Legal Description, Valuation Review, RESPA News and Dodd Frank Update. Located in Richfield, Ohio, the company also produces educational seminars, webinars, special reports and custom publishing which can be purchased at www.OctoberStore.com.

About SoftPro:
SoftPro is the nation’s leading provider of title, closing and escrow software. Offering an award-winning suite of products designed to increase volume and revenue, SoftPro delivers innovative technologies to streamline the closing process. SoftPro has been recognized by the American Business Awards every year since 2007 – winning awards for superior customer service, support and product development. To learn more about SoftPro and its products and services, call 1-800-848-0143. Or visit www.softprocorp.com.

February 5, 2016, Cleveland, Ohio – Erica Meyer, CEO and publisher of October Research, LLC, announced today that WFG National Title Insurance Company (WFG National Title) will be the presenting sponsor for the 2016 National Settlement Services Summit (NS3).

Presenting Sponsor:

“Core to the WFG business plan is the partnership with independent agents to provide a complete national footprint for our clients,” said Patrick Stone, Chairman and CEO for WFG National Title. “NS3 is the conference that specifically targets agent needs. It is an honor to sponsor this event and to be associated with October Research in providing agents with a functional update on the title business and a clear view to the future of real estate.”

More than 700 professionals from across the country are expected to attend the Summit, which will be held in Charlotte, N.C., June 6-8. The Summit will offer three days of educational sessions focused on innovative solutions to help attendees identify and capitalize upon opportunities in a changing business and regulatory environment.

The Summit will deliver the educational and relationship-building experiences necessary to ensure attendees attain greater levels of success in their markets by putting Knowledge In Action.

“We are excited that WFG National Title has signed on as the Summit presenting sponsor,” Meyer said. “WFG is breaking the mold as a real estate service provider, and we believe this is a fantastic fit for agents looking to the future of the industry. The Summit would not be possible without the support of partners like WFG National Title.”

About October Research, LLC:
Founded in 1999, October Research, LLC is the nation’s leading provider of market intelligence, industry news and regulatory information for professionals in the real estate, settlement services and mortgage industries. Publications include The Title Report, The Legal Description, Valuation Review, RESPA News and Dodd Frank Update. Located in Richfield, Ohio, the company also produces educational seminars, webinars, special reports and custom publishing which can be purchased at www.OctoberStore.com.

About WFG National Title Insurance Company:
Portland, Oregon-based WFG National Title Insurance Company, a Williston Financial Group Company, is a national provider of premium real estate and mortgage related services. The fastest growing national title underwriter, the WFG family was the nation’s sixth largest provider of title insurance after 3Q, 2015. (Based upon market share. Source: American Land Title Association). WFG National Title also delivers a wide variety of residential and commercial mortgage lender services, including default and real estate owned transactions. The company enjoys a Financial Stability Rating of A’ (A prime) as assigned by Demotech, Inc. Built around the directive to “communicate, collaborate, coexist,” WFG National Title Insurance Company is committed to applying a new philosophy to the traditional mortgage and real estate industry, working to meet the changing needs of its clients, agents and associates. For more information, please go to www.WFGNationalTitle.com.