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ALTA Releases New Tools for Implementation of Best Practices

When planning for the future, it can be helpful to start by looking at the past. It’s hard to fathom that just one year ago (August 20th to be exact) the ALTA Board Governors met in Chicago to start the process of drafting ALTA’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices.” Since then, ALTA has not only finalized the Best Practices but also made improvements with Version 2.0. The Board also went on the road to talk with agents and underwriters about why we developed the Best Practices, the Best Practices Task Force met with both national and warehouse lenders to explore how the Best Practices can meet their needs and help them know the partners with whom they do business. Most recently, we created a set of assessment procedures and a model certification.
While we have done a lot in the past year on the Best Practices, we recognize that there is much for ALTA to do to help our members adopt the Best Practices. That is why we are pleased to kick off the second year of the Best Practices with ALTA’s “Best Practices Assessment Preparation Workbook.”
The Best Practices Workbook provides ALTA members with a tool to help gauge their company’s readiness with ALTA’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices.” This invaluable tool lets companies identify issues that should be addressed to meet the requirements of the Best Practices and provides an easy framework for collecting all the documentation necessary to prepare for a Best Practices Assessment. Best of all, we are pleased to offer this tool free to all ALTA members.
Over 400 people attended our Best Practices webinar last Thursday (Aug. 22) in which we launched the Best Practices Workbook. Right now, only Chapter 1 (Licensing) is available. Over the next month we will release the other six chapters, which correspond to each of the Best Practice pillars. The Best Practices Workbook can be found at www.alta.org/bestpractices/workbooks.cfm. If you missed the webinar, here's a recording:
The Best Practices Workbook is available as a Microsoft Excel document. It is a series of questions about your company’s current business practices.  Each question should be answered with either a yes or no. Some questions may require a narrative response. In addition, the Best Practices Workbook asks you to indicate whether the practice is documented in your written procedures and whether your company has a system for determining whether you and your employees are following those procedures.  Included with the Best Practices Workbook is an instructional video and welcome letter to help you to get the most value out of the Workbook. Here's the tutorial video:
One aspect of this workbook I highly recommend is the automatic “Action Items” report of controls and procedures that identifies issues your company should work on or put in writing to meet the Best Practices. This Action Items report can only be produced if you complete the workbook electronically. We think ALTA’s “Best Practices Assessment Preparation Workbook” is a great tool and we hope that members find it to be helpful not only as you prepare for a Best Practices Assessment but also in the day-to-day running of your company.
For more information on ALTA's "Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices," go to www.alta.org/bestpractices.


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