Title Insurance Best Practices
Essential Title proudly meets and exceeds the industry standards in the American Land Title Association’s (ALTA) Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices.
These important standards ensure that lenders, consumers and investors have increased faith in their title insurance and settlement service providers, such as Essential Title.
Some may view these industry best practices as mandates but Essential Title sees compliance as a good business procedure, and we’re proud that many of our policies and procedures met or exceeded these standards before they were formalized by ALTA.
The seven pillars of ALTA’s Best Practices include: maintaining proper licensing; ensuring proper procedures for escrow services; protecting non-public personal information; maintaining proper closing procedures; guaranteeing proper delivery of title insurance policies; being properly insured; and appropriately handling consumer complaints.
Ensuring Proper Protocols
Essential Title keeps separate escrow and operating accounts in its markets. Escrow accounts are prepared with trial balances and reconciled at least monthly but frequently more often than that using trusted RynohLive software.
The duties of our closing and escrow departments are segregated so that employees involved in reconciliation duties have no signing authorities on those accounts.
In addition, only authorized employees can conduct closings/settlements and only those team members with satisfactory credit reports and background checks are authorized signatories on escrow accounts. In addition, our closing and settlement employees are always learning more skills to do their jobs better and more efficiently.
Consumer Security is a Top Priority
Only authorized Essential Title employees can access the non-public personal information (NPI) of consumers. But our security goes much farther than that. If data is stored electronically, it is done only on our secure servers, and Essential heavily restricts what information can be put on cell phones and portable storage devices to further safeguard consumers’ information.
Documents containing NPI is transmitted from our offices using a vendor specializing in safe delivery of documents with encryption and password protection. Sensitive documents at all Essential Title locations are promptly shredded and disposed of when they need to be discarded and the company regularly tests and updates its Disaster Recovery Plan.
Essential Title: Closing Experts
Essential trains its closing and settlement employees regarding the preparation and proper execution of settlement documents to comply with state and federal law. Employees are trained to follow the terms of the contract between the parties to the transaction, and the directions provided by customers or lenders to complete the closing. All of Essential’s signing professionals possess the appropriate state licensing and insurance to notarize documents, perform the settlement, and safeguard NPI.
If requested, settlement documents can be signed via remote notarization. Essential has selected remote notarization platforms authorized by the state in which the notary public is located and which platforms are capable of meeting the minimum requirements of the state, including retention of the video and the safeguarding of NPI.
Once the deal has closed, closing documents must be submitted for recording within two business days of disbursement, according to company policy. Such documents are also to be submitted via eRecording when possible so that they can be tracked electronically throughout the transaction. Essential uses an online rate calculator giving consumers the peace of mind that they are being charged fair and appropriate premiums.
Striving for Perfection
Even after the deal is done, Essential Title knows its job is not complete. All documents must be delivered to our customers as quickly as possible. Title policy production and delivery is done within 30 days and the insurer’s premium is delivered within 45 days.
Essential knows that customers want their documents in a quick manner, and underwriters need their funds in a similarly quick fashion. Closing documents can be delivered electronically. Adopting appropriate procedures for the production, delivery, and remittance of title insurance policies ensures title companies meet their legal and contractual obligations. Plus, we think smooth delivery is great customer service too.
Essential Title carries the insurance needed to ensure a financial capacity to stand behind our professional services and we utilize a customer-friendly system to resolves any customer complaints if work ever falls short of our standards. We believe that a streamlined process for receiving and addressing consumer complaints is important to ensure that any instances of inadequate service doesn’t go unaddressed.