eClosings: An Underwriter’s Perspective

By Katherine C. Crawford, Southern Virginia Counsel, First American  and By Kris Sleeth, Virginia Agency Counsel, First American Electronic closings are the future.  Also known as digital closings or eClosings, the transition from wet settlements to hybrid closings to a completely paperless closing has begun. We are seeing increasing demand from the public to deliver … Continue reading eClosings: An Underwriter’s Perspective

Virginia Settlement Services – A Practical Review

Introduction Non-attorney settlement agents are governed at the state level by the Virginia Code[1], the Virginia State Corporation Commission Bureau of Insurance[2], and the Virginia State Bar RESA guidelines[3], legal ethics opinions[4], and unauthorized practice of law opinions[5].  The rules and regulations are not necessarily complex, but may be open to interpretation. The Seller’s Side … Continue reading Virginia Settlement Services – A Practical Review

How to have a successful Real Estate Settlement Agent Audit

Once a year you get notified that the agency’s RESA audit is due to be conducted. What will the auditor be looking for? According the Virginia Code § 55-525.24(A): All funds deposited with the settlement agent in connection with an escrow, settlement, or closing shall be handled in a fiduciary capacity… What does fiduciary capacity … Continue reading How to have a successful Real Estate Settlement Agent Audit

Claims, ALTA Risk Codes and Lessons from the Great Recession

By Skip Sacks, Virginia State Counsel Stewart Title Guaranty Company Our story begins in the spring of 2011. I was reviewing Stewart Title Guaranty Company’s Virginia claims totals for 2010 and it was clear that the recession was causing a huge increase in claims volume and losses. My colleagues at competing underwriters confirmed that they … Continue reading Claims, ALTA Risk Codes and Lessons from the Great Recession

TSA Close-Out Requirements

Licensed title insurance agents and agencies who are RESA registered (“TSAs”) have certain responsibilities when ceasing business operations.  These responsibilities include, but are not limited to: notifying the Bureau of Insurance prior to closing, handling escrow funds in a fiduciary manner, and filing a close-out audit with the Bureau.  Sixty days prior to closing shop, … Continue reading TSA Close-Out Requirements

Agency Admin & Audit: Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery

by Don Delgado, Vice President, Agency Administration Hurricane Harvey has left a path of devastation and destruction in Texas and beyond.   Our hearts go out to everyone in that area of the country whose lives have been impacted.   Harvey will no doubt have been catastrophic to many businesses.   According to FEMA, 40% of businesses do not … Continue reading Agency Admin & Audit: Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery

Foreclosure Fails…What happens when the system breaks down

By Palma J. Collins Those of us title folk who lived through the bursting of the real estate bubble and the great recession may have flash backs when contemplating the kinds of things that can go wrong with foreclosure titles.  With record high foreclosures came every kind of title problem, some of them so byzantine … Continue reading Foreclosure Fails…What happens when the system breaks down

Know Before You Owe Final Disclosure Rule 2017

(a/k/a TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule, a/k/a TRID) Those of us that have been involved with residential real estate settlements for a while, remember RESPA reform of 2010 and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) “Know Before You Owe” rules that became effective October 3, 2015.  July 7, 2017 CFPB issued the Final Rule dealing with … Continue reading Know Before You Owe Final Disclosure Rule 2017