As president-elect of the Kentucky Land Title Association (KYLTA), I recently had the opportunity to attend the American Land Title Association (ALTA) Annual Convention. The event is the largest networking and education opportunity in the land title industry. With several major legislative and regulatory changes facing the real estate underwriting and settlement closing business, 2014 was a key year to attend.
My practice focuses on real estate law, so it’s important that I help my clients stay informed of the latest regulations. One of my key takeaways from the ALTA convention is that community bank lenders need to be proactive in addressing upcoming regulatory changes. Preparing now will make transitions easier down the road. Settlement closing agents are being tasked with new compliance responsibilities and helping lender clients comply is one of my top priorities. One of the biggest changes coming is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Integrated Mortgage Disclosure Rule.
The CFPB’s final rule, which goes into effect on August 1, 2015, will affect everyone in the real estate industry. The final rule establishes new disclosure and form requirements, and according to the CFPB, was issued to implement the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s amendments to the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
The goal is to make mortgage disclosures easier for consumers; but for lenders, it’s a new way of doing business and an ongoing learning process. The Final Rule for Integrated Mortgage Disclosures is so significant to the real estate industry that the ALTA has added a countdown clock on its website to count the number of days (and hours, minutes and seconds!) until it goes into effect.
The ALTA’s Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices are policies and procedures tailored to coincide with new regulations, like the CFPB’s final rule, for settlement closing agents. Morgan & Pottinger is implementing ALTA’s Best Practices, and as a leader of the KYLTA, I ensure that staying at the forefront of regulatory changes to protect our lender clients and their consumers is our top priority.
I’m also proud to note that the KYLTA took home an award from the annual convention this year for the largest growth of all the states at 180% from 2013!