Title Companies Form Alliance To Resolve Multi-Jurisdictional Challenge

Posted by Patrick Barnard on February 12, 2016 No Comments

In order to help mortgage companies more easily navigate the patchwork quilt of state laws pertaining to title and settlement services, a group of title insurance agencies and settlement services law firms have aligned as a national consortium to be called “The 12th Floor Group.”

The alliance will comprise independent firms, with the requirement that each member have a physical, brick and mortar location in the state or states in which it operates.

So far, the group’s 12 members have 40 of the 50 states covered.

The idea is that by requiring firms to have a physical location in the states where they do business, they will tend to be more focused and well-versed in each state’s laws. This, in turn, should provide a competitive advantage for lenders that use these providers.

“The approach is intended to address the widely varying legal and regulatory schemes from state-to-state governing title and settlement services,” the consortium says in a press release.

“In the traditional model, the lender had only an independent notary/signing agent,” explains Stephen Papermaster, a member of The 12th Floor Group and president of First Title & Escrow. “However, with this new model, The 12th Floor Group has strategically created a consortium of companies which are domiciled with brick and mortar in even the most difficult jurisdictions. Its members actually live in their respective states and employ local closing agents, attorneys and title agents who are part of the local economy, political structure and culture.”

Papermaster notes that lenders and banks doing business with The 12th Floor Group will be able to place orders and make status inquiries through a single, cloud-based portal.

All initial members of the group have at least a SOC type 1 certification and have adopted and implemented the basic requirements set out in the ALTA best practices.

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