Virginia Land Title Association

Myrna L. Keplinger
VLTA President 2014-2015
The Settlement Group, Burke, VA


August 2014

My first month as President of VLTA has been wonderful but busy. I have been out and about in Northern Virginia talking to our members, listening to their concerns and answering questions about the VLTA.   I thought I would share some of the questions.

            Q.  How much money does the VLTA Board of Directors make annually?

            A.  The Board of Directors volunteer our time, energy and ideas to the betterment of our title industry and association.  If we, the members, don’t work to maintain and improve our industry, who will? 

            Q.   Will VLTA keep members informed on the updates from CFPB?

            A.    Yes, we are working very diligently to keep up with all the updates coming from CFPB and will inform our membership as new information develops.   This week, the CFPB has posted two new comments periods.  The first comment period is a 30 day notice for Proposed Policy Statement Consumer Complaint Narrative Data.  This comment period closes on August 22, 2014.  As of now, the complaints are for issues with a financial product or service.  CFPB has proposed a new policy that would allow consumers to publicly complain about financial services companies. According to CFPB, “The purpose of the Consumer Complaint Database, as stated in the Bureau's two previous policy statements, is to provide consumers with timely and understandable information about consumer financial products and services, and improve the functioning, transparency, and efficiency of markets for such products and services. As a general matter, the Bureau believes that adding additional information to the Consumer Complaint Database, such as narratives, is consistent with and promotes this purpose”.   The Bureau believes that publishing consumer narratives could help people shop for financial institutions or let consumers know they are not alone in a situation. One of the concerns about the Consumer Complaint Narrative Data is the complaint may be published before the complaint is validated.  Trade groups have asked CFPB to extend the 30 day comment period to a 60 day comment period as the proposal raises legal and practical issues.

             The 2nd comment is a 90 day comment period for a rule to Improve Information About Access to Credit in the Mortgage Market. This ruling is about updating the reporting requirements of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.   Per Director Richard Cordray “The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act helps financial regulators and public officials keep a watchful eye on emerging trends and problem areas in the mortgage market. Today’s proposal would help us understand better how to protect consumers’ access to mortgage credit while simplifying the reporting requirements for financial institutions.”   

 

While these comment periods to do not have anything directly to do with the title industry, we never know what the outcome of these comment periods may produce.  It is important to be aware of all proposed actions so that the title industry is not taken by surprise by proposals that may affect us indirectly.   To become more informed on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau go their website http://www.consumerfinance.gov.

 

            Q.  Will VLTA have webinars regarding the 7 Pillars of Best Practices or anything on CFPB?

            A.   We will definitely be presenting information on ALTA’s Best Practices and how the CFPB affects our industry.  VLTA is in the process of planning all our webinars now.  We expect to have our first webinar ready by October.

            Q.   Will there be any sessions at the Fall Seminar regarding Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

            A.   Yes!  We have a very exciting Fall Seminar planned for October 9th and 10th at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. October 9th will be our Welcome Reception and October 10th will be our day of Education Sessions. The Events Committee and the Education Committee have worked tirelessly to make this Fall Seminar outstanding.  Our speakers for the Education Session are:

Anne Anastasi, Past President of the American Land Title Association, will present on the application of the New Rule to everyday business practices, the details of drafting a Best Practices Manual, and the nuts and bolts of moving forward in this new era of regulation. An amazing professional, and a nationally-recognized expert, Anne is the perfect person to help VLTA's members perfect their understanding of the changing landscape of the industry. (2.0 hrs. CE/CLE/VCTSA)

 

Diane Evans, President-Elect of the American Land Title Association will present on the toughest Pillars of ALTA's 7 Pillars of Best Practices. Covering pitfalls and policies, Diane will demonstrate how good planning can save you and your business a lot of time and trouble in the long-run. Diane will expand on her materials from the VLTA 2014 Annual Convention, and carry the discussion much farther in this 2-hour intensive session on the Best Practices. Hour 1 will focus on Pillars 4 & 7, and hour 2 will focus on Pillars 2, 3, & 5. Come prepared to take notes! (2.0 hrs. CE/CLE/VCTE/VCTSA)

 

Chad Perrine, underwriting counsel for WFG National Title Insurance Company, will present on the ever-interesting stumbling block of off-record title matters. If you're looking to write a sound policy and prevent claims, this session will cover those sticky issues some agents and examiners may miss. Have you run into a hand-written map stuffed in the back of a family Bible that might have changed your entire view of a title matter? Chad will talk about how to find these pieces of evidence, and how to handle them. (1.0 hrs. CE/CLE/VCTE/VCTSA)

Kevin Pogoda, Vice President of Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, and Northern Virginia State Manager for Old Republic, will be presenting on lessons learned from actions taken by CFPB since its inception. Keep your business from making the mistakes of others by learning about some of the pitfalls others have made. Kevin will help guide students through the specific mistakes made by various businesses across the US, and will talk about how CFPB responded to these mistakes. (1.0 hrs. CE/CLE/VCTSA)

I look forward to seeing you all at the Fall Seminar.   Come be part of our great VLTA!

If you have any comments or questions regarding VLTA or our title industry, please send them to us.

 

 July 2014

Wow!!    It is such an honor to be elected president of Virginia land title association and to be working for you, our members.  I have had the privilege and pleasure of serving on the board of directors for a number of years.    Following in the footsteps of many great past presidents is a challenge all in itself. 

I want to thank a few people, just like you would at the Oscars as this is the VLTA Oscars. My husband of 46 years, Steve, who has been my sounding board, my rock and my better half.    My children-Debbie, Brian & wife Bethany, Fallon and friend, Sean, Brooke and husband Josh.  Our grandkids Krysta, Harley, Justice, Patrick and Ethan with one great granddaughter-Kloe.   And yes, we do have 3 grand dogs. Brodie, Lovey and Henry.    All part of the family J

I also want to thank my TSG family. While I’m away from the office, my staff is there holding it all together.  I couldn’t do this without them. 

Let me tell you a little more about myself.  I was born in the Midwest.  I was taught that you treated people the way you wanted to be treated and that you lead by example.  I love to use the phrase “warm and fuzzy”     

Kevin Pogoda and I were laughing about how the title industry becomes your life.  He remarked he felt as though it was a calling. I agree with him wholeheartedly.   We are in an industry that changes daily.  We never have a boring day. We are blessed that we can   help people with their biggest investment of their life.   How wonderful is that!!!   

That being said, as an industry, we are facing new challenges every day. In the last few years we have seen the Dodd-Frank act passed which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2010

 In April 2012 the CFPB released a bulletin 2012-03 labeling the title industry as a service provider and assigning lenders for the liability of our work.

January 2013 brought the ALTA best practices guide, which gave us direction to be better able to comply with the CFPB requirements in protecting consumers, promoting quality service, providing for ongoing employee training and meeting legal and market requirements.

ALTA went on to release version 2.0 of the best practices in July of 2013. In November 2013, the final TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rule was released, all of its 1888 page glory. Just three months ago the CFPB released the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rule small entity compliance guide, which is meant to be an easy to use summary of 1,888 page TILA-RESPA rule.

Wells Fargo released in march 2014 a newsletter to its network of settlement agents stating “Wells Fargo supports ALTA’s best practices and considers them to be guidelines for sound business practices that should ideally already be in place for business providing title and closing services to our customers” which further reinforced the necessity of understanding and complying with ALTA best practices.

            In April, the CFPB released the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure guide to the loan estimate and closing disclosure forms. This lovely 95 page guide provides the instruction for completing the new loan estimate and closing disclosure.

With the dramatic changes the title industry is facing in the upcoming year, the word “education” takes on a new meaning.    We don’t know what the new normal will be, but what we do know for sure is that vlta is here to help our members as we go forward. Hopefully, your company is already working towards compliance in this area.  At the ALTA 2014 business strategies conference in Nashville it was stated that “compliance is not a destination, but a journey”. Let VLTA guide you on that journey! Let VLTA help you obtain the education that you need to face the future!

You spoke, we listened.  The new face of VLTA is working smarter for our members.   We are providing education in which VLTA has the Virginia certified title examiner (VCTE) course now online. This course was just recently approved for 16 CLE and the 16 CE credits are pending.

 The Virginia certified title settlement agent (VCTSA) course was just recently approved for 16 credit hours with the 16 CLE’s pending.    We are working on getting more of our educational classes on line, which means more convenience for you and less time away from your office.

VLTA will be conducting a contest this year.  One for Virginia certified title examiners and one for Virginia certified title settlement agents.  There will be prize money involved.  We are finalizing the rules for the contest and will have an email blast to all our members soon.

 Remember, VLTA is here to help you, our members.  Please let us know your ideas, wisdom, guidance or suggestions for VLTA, and thank you once again to everyone that has worked so hard to make this convention this best ever! Also, want to thank you for electing me to be your president. Thank you and have a great rest of the evening!

Virginia Land Title Association
14001-C Saint Germain Drive, Suite #822
Centreville, VA 20121
(tel) 800.929.8730
(fax) 703-995-0649 
email:  vlta@vlta.org

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