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New Tech Creates New Risks

By Marjorie R. Bardwell, Justin L. Earley, and Alan B. Fields

The title world has changed.  The quill pen was replaced by a typewriter, then by a fancy memory typewriter.  A short time later, computers replaced the memory typewriter.  Clerks’ records went from bound books, to microfilm to being readily available online at your desk.  Title plants no longer have that musty smell of old books and maps, or the glare of microfiche readers.  Each technological advancement enhanced our efficiency, and changed the way we do things.

Now,  we’re about to make the biggest change of all – moving from physically signed paper deeds, mortgages and promissory notes to electronically signed, electronically notarized e-documents with closings conducted by video-links across the country.  Promoters are promising great efficiencies, and huge savings – and they may well be right. 

But the question remains, have the laws caught up with the technology?  Do the relatively “ancient” real estate laws governing what it takes to have a valid conveyance or mortgage have enough flexibility to work with 21st century technology?

At this year’s ALTA ONE, you’ll hear three industry experts discuss how the law has – and hasn’t – kept up with the technology, and what they are doing to fix it.


Marjorie R. Bardwell is Vice President and Director of Underwriting Services for Fidelity National Title Group, Inc. Justin L. Earley is a Vice President in the Corporate Underwriting Department of First American Title Insurance Company. Alan B. Fields is Senior Vice President and Director of Underwriting Service for WFG National Title Insurance. All three title industry experts will speak more in depth about this topic during a session titled “New Tech Creates New Risks” at ALTA ONE in October. Click here to register for ALTA ONE.


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