The A-LIGN Difference = Peace of Mind + Trusted Advisor + Competitive Advantage
Most lenders/stakeholders now ask title insurance and settlement companies to demonstrate compliance with ALTA’s Best Practices. There exists a lot of uncertainty and confusion in the industry as to how a title insurance and settlement company can demonstrate compliance with ALTA’s Best Practices and some agents are concerned about cost and preparation, but industry experts speculate that demonstrating compliance with ALTA’s Best Practices will become a requirement in the near future.
The business environment is tainted with security breaches, scams, embezzlements and many other malpractices, and lenders and consumers are seeking peace of mind. Peace of mind that:
- The lender’s reputation will not be tarnished by a security breach of a consumers’ non-public personal information (NPI)
- Due diligence will be performed during the search and examination of the property
- Escrow funds will not be misappropriated during a closing transaction. It all boils down to protecting the investment of the lender and the asset of the consumer.
ALTA Best Practices Assessments
On that account, title insurance and settlement companies should shift their mindset of demonstrating compliance with ALTA’s Best Practices from a cost or compliance concern to a peace of mind attitude for lenders, consumers, and for the title insurance and settlement company itself. From this angle, the new question should be “What level of peace of mind and assurance do title insurance and settlement companies want to provide to lenders and consumers?” The title insurance and settlement company can either perform a self-assessment using ALTA’s Best Practices certification package, or have an independent third party perform an attestation or consulting engagement against the ALTA Best Practices.
Attestation engagements are performed in accordance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA’s) Attestation Standards and can only be performed by an independent CPA. There are three level of attestation engagements; an examination, a review, and agreed-upon procedures. An examination provides the highest level of assurance to the lender and ultimately the consumer. Consulting engagements are performed in accordance with the AICPA’s Consulting Section 100 standards and can be performed by a non-CPA. A consulting engagement does not provide an audit opinion or assurance.
A-LIGN has performed over 30 ALTA Best Practices assessments, became an ALTA member firm in early 2014, was awarded approval as an Elite ALTA Provider early 2015, and has engagement team members that serve on ALTA’s Title Action Network and Technology Committee. We are involved with the CFPB in other industries (such as banking, collections, mortgages) and our team members meet with numerous title and settlement professionals, underwriters, and lenders of all sizes during different ALTA, State Land Title Associations and Mortgage Bankers Association conferences. This industry knowledge allows us to educate and provide value-added services to title insurance and settlement companies, so they can in-turn provide peace of mind to their lenders/stakeholders and consumers while gaining a competitive advantage.
As a trusted advisor, A-LIGN is committed to understand its clients’ procedures and operations, educate them on best practices, and make recommendations to help improve any control deficiencies. We also take the time to determine the nature of any specific requirement from our clients’ lender/stakeholder, which allows us to deliver what the client needs in a timely, efficient and effective manner. This is what many of our clients call the A-LIGN Difference.
If you would like to learn more about the different engagement types and the A-LIGN Difference, please contact our title industry professionals: