ALTA, the national trade association that represents thousands of title and real estate professionals, maintains a list of Best Practices for the title and real estate industries, often referred to as the Seven Pillars. Below is an abridged description of these, as written by ALTA. The full text is in the Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices PDF, available via ALTA’s website. Their website also contains extensive information and resources about these Best Practices and many other industry issues.
Pillar 1: Licensing
Establish and maintain current license(s) as required to conduct the business of title insurance and settlement services.
Pillar 2: Escrow Trust Accounting
Adopt and maintain appropriate written procedures and controls for Escrow Trust Accounting allowing for electronic verification of reconciliation.
Pillar 3: Protecting NPI (Non-Public Personal Information)
Adopt and maintain a written privacy and information security program to protect Non-Public Personal Information (NPI) as required by local, state and federal law.
Pillar 4: Settlement Processes
Adopt standard real estate settlement procedures and policies that help ensure compliance with federal and state consumer financial laws as applicable to the settlement process.
Pillar 5: Title Opinions
Adopt and maintain written procedures related to title work, final title opinions, reporting and premium remittance.
Pillar 6: Insurance Coverage
Maintain appropriate professional liability insurance and fidelity coverage.
Pillar 7: Consumer Complaints
Adopt and maintain written procedures for resolving consumer complaints.
Through properly vetting our employees and providing them with ongoing training, Goosmann Rose Colvard & Cramer, P.A. fosters a secure and compliant environment. Our Firm follows all appropriate standards to meet the Seven Pillars. We have established policies and procedures based on each Pillar that are constantly reviewed and revised as appropriate.
The Firm and/or its Principals hold and maintain all necessary professional licenses and insurance policies. Properly designated, documented, and compliant financial structures and relevant standard procedures to safeguard client funds are in place. GRCC is compliant with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations and performs regular audits to ensure continued compliance, updating protocols as necessary.
Protecting NPI is paramount at GRCC and a number of SOPs exist to keep our clients’ information safe. We have office-wide physical and network security policies as well as an established disaster management protocol. Encrypted, redundant backups of appropriate data and systems are maintained.
Client feedback on the Firm’s staff, attorneys, and closing process is encouraged. Forms for this purpose are available on our website. Please let us know about your experience with GRCC. We take these Best Practices seriously and work diligently to iron out any wrinkles as they are discovered.