Procedural Best Practices: Issue Policies within 30 Days of Closing

Best Practice #5: Adopt and maintain written procedures related to title policy production, delivery, reporting and premium remittance.

To conform to ALTA’s Best Practices, ATG is changing its policy issuance guidelines to require agents to issue both Owner’s and Loan Policies within thirty (30) days of closing. In addition, ATG’s Title Services Department will be issuing all final policies within thirty days of closing. Therefore, if you participate in a Title Services program, your policies will be issued within our thirty-day guideline.

If a release of a mortgage or other lien paid off at the closing has not been received within thirty (30) days after closing, you may nevertheless issue final policies, provided that payment of the mortgage or other lien has been made and you have proof of such payoff in your title file. If you conducted the closing, you may issue the policies immediately upon receiving your later date search report, because you recorded the documents and paid off the prior mortgages yourself.

Make sure your title file includes copies of the following documents:

1.      Payoff letter.

2.      HUD-1 Settlement Statement.

3.      Copy of the check used to pay off the mortgage. It is not necessary to wait to obtain a copy of the cancelled check, although you should obtain this copy later.

4.      Overnight mailing bill or wire transfer confirmation. If you hand deliver the payoff, make a note in your title file of who made the delivery, on what date and at what time, and who the payoff was handed to at the lender’s office.

If you did not conduct the closing yourself, you may nevertheless issue your policies so long as you obtain this same documentation from the closer for your title file to show that the payoff was made. If there is a closer you frequently work with, make sure the closer knows in advance that you will require copies of these documents for your file. Then, with those documents in your file, you may issue policies without exception for the prior mortgage within the timeframe ATG requires.

If you have a closing that poses a conflict between prudent underwriting procedures and timely policy issuance, please contact the ATG Underwriting Department to discuss the situation.

Thank you for your continued cooperation. For more information on ALTA’s Best Practices, and how they apply to ATG agents, please check our website frequently. 

Questions? Contact an Underwriter

Posted on: Thu, 05/15/2014 - 10:33am