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Volume 85,  
February 2014



Best Practices in Title Make Perfect

excerpted from National Mortgage News 2/20/14   


With regulatory pressures and procedural scrutiny generally on the rise in the last few years, there has been considerable discussion within the lending community about the best way to regulate and certify title insurance agencies. Lenders are understandably motivated to ensure that their funds are secure and accounted for. Moreover, they have become increasingly aware of and concerned by issues related to information security. Additionally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's mandate requiring lenders to conduct "thorough due diligence" to ensure that service providers comply with Federal consumer finance laws has injected an additional sense of urgency.

Partly in response to that regulatory discussion, and partly in order to establish standard industry practices, the American Land Title Association has released a formalized set of best practices for its members. These best practices are in place to help member title companies highlight policies and procedures the industry relies on to protect lenders and consumers and ensure a compliant real estate closing, the trade group says. While most of these guidelines have been followed by credible title insurance companies and agencies for some time, the fact that they are now codified impacts all professionals who rely upon title companies and lenders in particular.  


At least in part, these best practices are designed to provide lenders with critical information about their title vendors. Understanding what these practices are and what they mean for lenders and their title partners is essential for any responsible lender. (Read complete article.) 




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.  

New York State PREP

Co-chairs: Government, John Ferretti, and Business, Robert Treuber, and Ben Sherman,


New York State held their first PREP Chapter meeting on January 15, 2014. This first meeting discussed the purpose of the Chapter which provides a forum to discuss issues concerning the land records industry in NY. There were representatives from several downstate clerk offices, as well as many folks from the land title industry. Following the meeting a lot of positive feedback was received and there was excitement about how the forum could help the property records industry in NY going forward.

There were numerous suggestions that were offered, including:  1) holding forums in other parts of the state; 2) holding 2-4 forums per year in each location; 3) finishing each forum with clear follow-up and steps that will be taken regarding the issues discussed; and, 4) having an email list where the industry could discuss topics by emailThis Chapter will hold additional meetings downstate as well as upstate, and meetings are scheduled in both May and September of this year in the NYC area. (Read complete minutes on PRIA's PREP webpage.)



MISMO Releases Residential Reference Model Version 3.3
excerpted from MortgageOrb 2/17/14 

The Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) has released version 3.3 of its Residential Reference Model, which will now undergo a 30-day intellectual property rights review.

The new version includes new data points and structures related to a number of recent regulatory and reporting requirements, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Integrated Closing Disclosures, HOEPA High Cost Loans, GSE's Uniform Mortgage Data Program, Federal Housing Administration's Automated Underwriting (TOTAL Scorecard) and Ginnie Mae's Pool Data Delivery dataset. A strengthened and enhanced Logical Data Dictionary format is also being rolled out with Version 3.3.

In addition, MISMO has released the official Version 3 Reference Model General Information Guide, which is designed to provide industry participants with an overview of the 3.x version of the Reference Model.

"In today's environment, it is particularly critical that the mortgage industry work together to facilitate a more efficient path to implementation via industry standards," says Mike Fratantoni, chief economist and senior vice president of research and industry technology at the Mortgage Bankers Association and president of MISMO, in a release. "Version 3.3 is a perfect example of this collaboration since the standard now includes all data points necessary to implement the CFPB integrated disclosures as required by RESPA/TILA. Now the industry can concentrate on implementing disclosure requirements by August 2015." (Read complete article.)


CT Lien Solutions Introduces Electronic Signing and Recording Capabilities for Mortgage Documents

CT Lien Solutions, a comprehensive provider of lien and document management solutions to mortgage servicers, financial institutions and law firms nationwide, announced the ability for mortgage servicers to eSign and eRecord critical mortgage documents like assignments or releases through its web-based mortgage document preparation and recording platform iLienRED™.


"Collecting and reviewing loan servicing files, documents and information is increasingly complex, inefficient and labor intensive," said Gene Lasky, general manager, CT Lien Solutions. "The increasing adoption rate by jurisdictions to accept eRecorded documents means mortgage servicing professionals have an opportunity to leverage technology to become more efficient, profitable and stay compliant with those jurisdictions, for example recording a Mortgage Satisfaction within a mandated timeframe after payoff."  (Read complete article.) 



Idaho Approves State Rules Governing Electronic Recording of Real Property Records
The Idaho State Affairs Committee recently voted to approve new Idaho State rules governing electronic recording of real property documents (IDAPA Title 06; Chapter 01) including PRIA Technical Standards for document formatting, document fields, implementation standards, and .xml formatting.  For more information, see the administrative rules.


Town of Westport Connecticut Begins eRecording with Simplifile
excerpted from PRWeb 2/17/14

The Town of Westport has made electronic recording (eRecording) of land documents  available to customers through Simplifile.

"We decided to start eRecording to accommodate the recording needs of our customers," said Westport Town Clerk Patricia Strauss. "It streamlines the process, eliminates paper, and seems to be very efficient," Strauss added.  Strauss also said this year she hopes to spread the word that "Westport is open for e-recording business." Connecticut now has a total of nine recording jurisdictions offering Simplifile's eRecording service. (Read complete article.) 


PA County Officials Certified as Class in Federal Suit

Montgomery County's recorder of deeds has won class status for all of the 67 recorders of deeds across Pennsylvania in a suit she filed against Merscorp for its alleged failure to file mortgage assignments with the county offices.

U.S. District Senior Judge J. Curtis Joyner of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that all of the issues to be weighed in considering the grant of class status tipped in favor of the move.  (Read attached article.)  



ALTA NEWS:  Financial Regulators Issue Final Guidance on Social Media


The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released final guidance on the applicability of consumer protection and compliance laws, regulations, and policies to activities conducted via social media by financial institutions, as well as nonbank entities supervised by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


The 19-page guidance, which is effective immediately, does not impose any new requirements on financial institutions. Rather, it is intended to help understand potential consumer compliance and legal risks, as well as related risks such as reputation and operational risks, associated with the use of social media, along with expectations for managing those risks, according to the FFIEC. The guidance provides considerations that may be useful in conducting risk assessments and crafting and evaluating policies and procedures regarding social media.

While financial institutions may use social media to market products, they must ensure that advertising, account origination and document retention are compliant with applicable consumer protection laws and regulations, including the Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

The guidance addresses privacy issues regarding social media as well. To protect non-public personal information, financial institutions should consider the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act privacy rules and data security guidelines. The rules have relevance when a financial institution integrates social media components into customers' online account experience or takes applications via social media portals.
Links to National News


USA Today | February 20, 2014
Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows roughly a year ago. The increase was driven by speculation that the Federal Reserve would reduce its $85 billion-a-month bond purchases.

HousingWire | February 20, 2014
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties fell to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.39% of all loans outstanding at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013.

Los Angeles Times | February 20, 2014
Retired aerospace engineer Owen Klasen was rejected last year when he sought a second mortgage to paint and re-roof his house.


New Regulations for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
DSNews | February 24, 2014
The GSEs will be required to file suspicious activity reports directly with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network rather than through their own regulator.

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
Best Practices in Title Make Perfect
News from PREP Chapters - New York State
MISMO Releases Residential Reference Model Version 3.3
CT Lien Solutions Introduces eSigning and eRecording Capabilities for Mortgage Documents
Idaho Approves State Rules Governing eRecording
Westport, CT Begins eRecording
PA County Officials Certified as Class in Federal Suit
Links to National News
PREP Blog and PREP LinkedIn
Advertise in PRIA's Newsletters
Examples of PRIA's Products 
PREP Chapter Meetings
     March - May 2014  


      Central Florida 

      Central Texas


      Metro Minnesota 

      Washington State

      North Central Texas


      SE 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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