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Volume 89, 
April 2014



Ernst Award Seeks Nominations

You can provide for yourself or a colleague an opportunity for a one-year membership scholarship in PRIA, along with registration for one PRIA conference (Annual 2014 or Winter 2015).


The Carl Ernst Recognition Award is available for one government office and one business entity that meet the basic criteria.


Each scholarship recipient will be selected by a committee based on outstanding contributions to the property records industry and will be deemed eligible in one or more of the following ways:  

  • The recipients are not currently PRIA Members (and have not been members in the previous three years).
  • The recipients have demonstrated exceptional accomplishment in their chosen field.
  • The recipients have demonstrated exceptional service in local, state or national affairs.
  • The recipients have demonstrated exceptional service consistent with the mission and continued excellence of PRIA. 

Each award is valued at $2,000.


Click here for an application form and then forward that application to a colleague in another county or business that meets the award criteria, or use this for yourself.




News from PREP Chapters


In every edition of the PREP Newsletter, we highlight a PREP Chapter and post an abbreviated version of their most recent Chapter Meeting minutes.  You can also see what any of the PREP Chapters are talking about by going to PRIA's PREP Chapters webpage.  

Central Florida PREP

Co-chairs: Government, Holly Vaughn, and Business, Jason Somers,


The Central Florida PREP Chapter held a meeting on March 18, 2014.  The primary topic for this meeting was entitled:  Florida Land Title's Data Call and was given by Pat Hancock and Jason Somers from Fidelity National Title.  The presentation focused on how the Florida Land Title's Data Call captures Florida title agencies and underwriters statistical data which must be reported to the Office of Insurance Regulations.  Attorneys who do not own a title company and Clerks offices are exempt.  In 2015, it is mandated for the report to be filed electronically for data collected for 2014.  Failure to do so will result in fines, penalties and possible revocation of licenses.  The agenda also included discussion by Carol Foglesong and Ann Richards about the 2014 PRIA Winter Symposium presentation entitled: "The Age Curve".  PREP Co-chair elections were also held for the next two year terms for both the Government and Business Co-chairs.  Jason Somers, Fidelity National Title, and Holly Vaughn from the Lake County Clerk of Court's office were both unanimously elected as Business and Government Co-chairs respectively.  The next meeting for the Central Florida PREP Chapter will be held on May 20, 2014.(To read the entire minutes from this meeting, go to PRIA's PREP Chapter website.)  


PRIA Webinar:  "How eRecording Helps Address the ALTA Best Practices"

When:  3 p.m., ET, Thursday, May 8, 2014
Registration Fee:  Complimentary for PRIA Members; $25 all others  


PRIA invites you to participate in this month's webinar:  How eRecording Helps Address the ALTA Best Practices, presented by Jerry Lewallen, President, eRecording Partners Network; Mark Ladd, Director of Channel Sales, Simplifile; and Karl Trottnow, eRecording Development Manager, First American.   


This webinar will cover eRecording information from the submitter perspective. The session is intended to address questions from the title agents, banks and attorneys perspective. Topics to be covered include: 

  • How eRecording can help you address the ALTA Best Practices Pillar #4
  • The Business Case for eRecording from a submitter perspective
  • Things to consider when implementing eRecording 

To register for this webinar, click hereRegistrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until all seats are filled.  

Register Today! 


How eRecording Helps Address the ALTA Best Practices

 3 p.m., ET, Thursday, May 8, 2014

Complimentary for PRIA Members; $25 for non-members




CFPB Pushes for eClosings
excerpted from Housing Wire 4/23/14      

Housing regulators are attempting to further open the door to the greater use of technology in the housing industry and mortgage process. During the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's mortgage closing process forum in Washington, D.C., Ann Epstein, product development director of single family sourcing and servicing with Freddie Mac, jested that electronic mortgages have been three to five years out for forever now.


But this should be changing soon. This forum was created to usher in the beginning steps of getting the industry on board with electronic mortgages.


"As part of our Know Before You Owe initiative, we are making a commitment to work with the various stakeholders to use technology in order to improve the mortgage closing experience for consumers," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. "We strongly believe that electronic closing solutions - known as eClosings - can lead to more knowledgeable consumers and a much better process for everyone involved."


In late April the CFPB released guidelines for an upcoming eClosing pilot project to assess how electronic closings can benefit consumers as they navigate the mortgage closing process. (Read complete article.) 

Why the Housing Market is Still Stalling the Economy

If the economy still feels stuck, blame the housing market. That may not match how people in a handful of big, prosperous cities see things. After a disastrous and historic crash, housing is booming in places like San Francisco and New York. Bidding wars are back, and the question is not whether the real estate market is recovering but whether new bubbles are inflating. But there's another reality that is more important for the national economy. Except in a few booming markets, housing is nowhere close to pulling its economic weight.  


Consider this: Investment in residential property remains a smaller share of the overall economy than at any time since World War II, contributing less to growth than it did even in previous steep downturns in the early 1980s, when mortgage rates hit 20 percent, or the early 1990s, when hundreds of mortgage lenders failed.


If building activity returned merely to its postwar average proportion of the economy, growth would jump this year to a booming, 1990s-like level of 4 percent, from today's mediocre 2-plus percent. The additional building, renovating and selling of homes would add about 1.5 million jobs and knock about a percentage point off the unemployment rate, now 6.7 percent. That activity would close nearly 40 percent of the gap between America's current weak economic state and full economic health.


So what is holding housing back? Sure, a glut of housing was built during the last great mania, and in some markets buyers are still working through those supplies. Bank lending is only now thawing, both for home builders and buyers. But those restraining factors have eased a lot in the last few years. The bigger thing holding back housing is simply demand. Fewer people can or want to fulfill the American dream of starting a household of their own.


It may yet prove to be temporary, but for now at least, millions more people are doubling up with roommates, living at home with parents and otherwise finding ways to avoid doing the one thing that would get the housing economy back to normal: buying a home. (Read complete article.) 


Wakulla County, FL County Clerk's Office Implements Landmark Official Records System from Pioneer Technology Group
excerpted from PRWeb 4/17/14

Pioneer Technology Group announced that the Wakulla County Clerk's office is the latest to complete implementation on the new Landmark Official Records system, which will provide enhanced online public records access, eRecording, eCommerce and increased efficiency for the county clerk and recorder.

"A big thanks to the team at Pioneer for all of their efforts and making this launch successful," said Brent Thurmond, Wakulla County Clerk. "The Landmark system was head and shoulders above all of the other systems we evaluated. Going live was a culmination of choosing a vendor, set up, conversion, training, and frankly, there were many opportunities for this conversion to become stressful. However, thanks to the efforts of the team at Pioneer, the process has been nearly flawless." (Read complete article.)


ALTA NEWS:  2013 Title Premium Volume Increases 11.5 Percent


Title insurance premium volume written in 2013 increased 11.5 percent compared to 2012, according to ALTA's preliminary 2013 Year-end and Fourth-Quarter Market Share Analysis.

The title insurance industry generated $12.7 billion in title insurance premiums in 2013. During the fourth quarter of 2013, the industry reported $3 billion in title insurance premiums, down slightly when compared the same quarter the previous year.

"The title insurance industry continued to strengthen over the past year as the housing market maintained its recovery in 2013," said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA's chief executive officer. "Overall, 47 states and the District of Columbia reported increases in title insurance premiums written during 2013 when compared to 2012."

States Generating Most Title Insurance Premium in 2013

  • Texas ($2 billion, up 19.2 percent from 2012)
  • California ($2 billion, down 4.5 percent)
  • Florida ($1 billion, up 25.2 percent)
  • New York ($991 million, up 20.2 percent)
  • Pennsylvania ($567 million, up 12.1 percent)

States Reporting Largest Percent Increase from 2012 to 2013:

  • North Dakota (31 percent)
  • West Virginia (28 percent)
  • Florida (25 percent)

During Q4 of 2013, 13 states saw increases in title insurance premium compared to Q4 2012.

States with Highest Percent Increase in Q4 2013 Compared to Q4 2012

  • North Dakota (23 percent)
  • New York (20 percent)
  • South Carolina (17 percent)
  • Vermont (12 percent)

Market Share

  • Fidelity Family (33 percent)
  • First American Family (27 percent)
  • Old Republic Family (15 percent)
  • Stewart Family (12 percent)
  • Independent Underwriters (13 percent)

ALTA expects to release its first-quarter 2014 Market Share Analysis around June 1.



Links to National News


CNBC | April 25, 2014
The Senate Banking Committee next week will begin to mark up a bipartisan bill to reform the housing finance system by replacing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and giving the private mortgage market a bigger role.

Bloomberg | April 25, 2014
After a roller-coaster decade of boom-bust-boom, the U.S. housing market is going downhill just when many economists thought annual sales would be heading up.

The New York Times | April 24, 2014
The expiration of a federal tax exemption for forgiven mortgage debt appears to be scaring borrowers away from pursuing short sales.

The Wall Street Journal | April 24, 2014
Economists have been disappointed by a string of weaker-than-expected home-sales reports. Sales of existing homes dropped in March, including in parts of the country that weren't hit by cold weather this winter. Sales of new homes, reported Wednesday, were down 13.3% from a year earlier to their lowest level since last July. Is the housing recovery faltering, and if so, why?

Join the PREP Blog and the PREP LinkedIn Group


On most business days, we post national news articles, and PRIA and PREP Chapter information on the PREP Blog and the PRIA/PREP LinkedIn Group. You are able to stay in touch by subscribing to both sites and automatically receiving updates daily or weekly.



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The views and opinions expressed in the media, articles, comments, or links in this publication are those of the speakers or authors and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) or its members.  PRIA does not warrant the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information contained in this publication. If you have a complaint about something you have found in this publication, please contact PRIA by email at
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In This Issue
Ernst Award Seeks Nominations
News from PREP Chapters - Central Florida
PRIA Webinar: "How eRecording Helps Address the ALTA Best Practices"
CFPB Pushes for eClosings
Why the Housing Market is Still Stalling the Economy
Wakulla County FL Implements Landmark
Links to National News
PREP Blog and PREP LinkedIn
Advertise in PRIA's Newsletters
Examples of PRIA's Products 
PREP Chapter Meetings
    May - July 2014  


      Central Florida 


      Metro Minnesota 

      North Central Texas


      SE Minnesota

      SW Minnesota           


Contact Information

Do you have questions or suggestions for this newsletter or any updated information on co-chairs, emails, phone numbers, etc. please contact us:
Carolyn Ableman
PREP Coordinator

Mark Monacelli
PREP Committee Government Co-Chair, Recorder
St Louis County, Minnesota

Madeleine Nagy

PREP Committee Business

Co-Chair, ALTA

State Government Affairs


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