Deborah Y. Allen
VLTA President 2013-2014
BridgeTrust Title Group - Virginia Beach
History. Everything and everybody has a history. We all have a story, a story that makes up the history of our lives. History is a chronological record of significant and insignificant events that tell the story of a nation, an institution, an organization or an individual. The Virginia Land Title Association has a rich history that began forty years ago in 1974.
In 1974 there were a lot of things that gripped or otherwise captured the attention of America. Patricia Hurst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (some of you may be too young to know this story but it was front page news). The World Trade Center opened in New York City. Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s longstanding home run record. The Miami Dolphins beat the Minnesota Vikings 24-7 in Superbowl VIII. President Richard Nixon imposed the 55 mile per hour speed limit and later that same year resigned the Presidency of the United States to avoid impeachment.
At the same time these events were headlining the news in our country, there were a group of land title professionals who decided to form the Virginia Land Title Association (VLTA). These pioneering title insurance underwriters and title insurance agents (which was all they were at that time) recognized the value of organizing and working together for the common good. The agents were entrepreneurial small business owners (still the backbone of this country). They understood the value of personal sacrifice and the value of partnership with title insurance underwriters.
VLTA has come a long way baby from the association that was born in 1974. Our membership has expanded to include title examiner/abstractor’s and associate members who supply us with the many tools we use in the performance of our trade. VLTA worked tirelessly to pass the Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection Act (CRESPA) which has evolved into the Real Estate Settlement Act (RESA) paving the way for Virginia title insurance agents to also wear the hat of title settlement agents if they choose to do so. VLTA has been the impetus behind much of the legislation that has the greatest impact on the day to day practices in our industry.
VLTA continues to provide stellar continuing education for title professionals. Currently, we are the exclusive provider of the pre-licensing education required to become a licensed title insurance agent. The Virginia Certified Title Examiner (VCTE) and Virginia Certified Title Settlement Agent (VCTSA) courses VLTA offers will help you to be CFPB compliant. VLTA is recognized by Virginia legislators, insurance regulators, Realtors, lenders and other real estate stakeholders as the “go-to” organization for information related to title insurance, title searches and lay settlements.
The evolution and ongoing growth of VLTA is too extensive to outline in this brief article but the vision of those pioneering title professionals from 1974 has expanded and is alive and well. The constant pursuit of ethics, excellence, advocacy, education and professionalism is encased in the VLTA baton that is passed with each successive year of the association’s existence.
2014 is a landmark year for VLTA. Forty years as an association, twenty years producing the VLTA Examiner, distinguishing this 40th year with the new face of VLTA. The Virginia Land Title Association provides benefits designed to enhance and empower Virginia’s land title professionals enabling them to deliver noteworthy customer service to real estate consumers across the state. VLTA, forty years and growing.
Happy New Year! We all have milestones in our lives when we stop to re-evaluate, look at ourselves in the mirror and think about making changes. Sometimes it’s on your birthday, at other times it’s an anniversary, or perhaps a new job or new home spurs new ideas for personal change. The New Years Day holiday is no exception, most of us at least consider making resolutions whether we follow through with them or not.
The Virginia Land Title Association is also no exception. In 2014 the new face of VLTA is chock full with new “resolutions” to offer greater value to you our members. We always remind you that this is “your” association. “You” have been talking to us and telling us what you need. You have told us what you like and what you don’t like. You have told us what you would like to see and what would really be helpful to you. You have let us know what you can afford and what you can’t afford and we have been listening to every concern communicated to us. We understand your interests are our interests. We are excited about the increased level of sharing between the VLTA board and the members we serve and strongly encourage you to keep voicing your needs for we are committed to meeting them.
The land title industry has seen a lot of changes in the last few years and VLTA continues to evolve to meet the challenges that come with change. We are absolutely thrilled to be starting our new year off with Dr. Kathleen (Katie) Herndon at the helm as our new Executive Director. Her infusion of energy, creative vision and commitment to hard work is the perfect fit for the development and enhancement of services we provide our members.
The new face of VLTA has tailored something just for you for the end of the 2013-2014 biennium. Our varied menu of superior education programs will include new online offerings sure to meet your continuing education credit needs.
The new face of VLTA has spread and/or deepened its influence with the Virginia Bar Association, the Virginia Clerk’s Association, the Virginia Housing Commission, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the Bureau of Insurance and the Virginia General Assembly to name a few. We are working with all of the stakeholders in the real estate industry to ensure the interests of land title professionals are addressed.
The new face of VLTA is working closer than ever with the American Land Title Association (ALTA) so Virginia Title Insurance and Settlement Agents are well versed in the Best Practices needed to remain compliant in the new regulatory environment that governs our industry.
Land title professionals who become Virginia Certified Title Settlement Agents and/or Virginia Certified Title Examiners are right in step with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Certification and ALTA’s Best Practices work hand in hand with one another.
The visionaries who founded the Virginia Land Title Association in 1974 could not foresee what our industry is like today but they had the foresight to put this association together, a unified force of land title professionals that would evolve with the industry providing a valued service for real estate consumers, advocating and educating wherever needed for the benefit of VLTA’s members.
The Board of Directors and Administrative Staff of VLTA wish each and every one of you a prosperous and Happy New Year and remind you to stay tuned for more facets of the many faces of the “new” VLTA.
Deborah Y. Allen