THE SEVEN BEST PRACTICE PILLARS: #1
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The policy is to maintain current license(s) as required to conduct the business of title insurance and settlement services.
Purpose : To maintain state mandated insurance licenses and corporate registrations, which ensures that the company remains in good standing with the states.
1. Establish and maintain applicable business licenses.
a. Electronic file to be maintained and updated annually or as changes arise, listing all states we are licensed in with attached business licenses for applicable state, county or city as required.
2. Establish and maintain compliance with licensing, registration, or similar requirements with applicable state regulatory department or agency.
a. All individuals performing duties which require Insurance Department Licensing shall maintain a current license.
b. Database of Licensees and copies of licenses with expiration dates to be maintained by company and reviewed monthly for accuracy with State Insurance Department websites.
3. Establish and maintain compliance with ALTA'S policy Forms Licensing requirement.
So Pillar # 1 says: we insure that our title, escrow agents and marketing and sales representative maintain current title licenses and current continuing education hours within the states where they work. That may be obvious, but did you know that we must see that out attorneys maintain current licenses including current continuing education hours? In addition, we must see that each office has a current operating license for each city in which they are located and see that our people, offices, and facilities are current and operational. ( 1 )
Well gee; I thought that was always done! Did you know that in the State of Utah one company has already been fined $75,000.00 (5.12.2014) for issuing title insurance direct to consumers without using agents or direct operations in the State of Utah? There was a failure to file a schedule of escrow rates. Did you also know that another title agency in Utah was fined $100,000.00 (3.26.13) because they failed to establish and maintain a trust account with a banking institution in the State of Utah? They failed to establish and maintain a trust account with the licensee’s federal employee identification number, failed to have signatories on trust accounts who were licensees or employees with specific responsibility.
So, you see it is paramount to maintain Best Practices for the company and the consumer.
- by Douglas D Boulden