Best Practices

ALTA Best Practices 7 Pillars

At M.S. Title, we are dedicated to providing an excellent customer experience.

That’s why we are proud to announce that we have implemented the American Land Title Association (ALTA) Best Practices into our business operations. These seven best practices ensure that our business policies, processes and procedures protect the security and privacy of our clients and customers, while also ensuring a positive and compliant real estate settlement experience. While our title agency has historically maintained most of these business practices and also understanding that these ALTA guidelines are strictly voluntary, M. S. Title has chosen to ratify and embrace all of these Best Practices on behalf of our customer’s and business partner’s real estate transactions.

Pillar 1: “Establish and maintain current licenses(s) as required to conduct the business of title insurance and settlement services.”

  • M.S. Title ensures that the Company and all required employees possess all the necessary licenses and registrations.

Pillar 2: “Adopt and maintain appropriate written procedures and controls for Escrow Trust Accounts allowing for electronic verification of reconciliation.”

  • M.S. Title ensures that the Company and all required employees possess all the necessary licenses and registrations.
  • M.S. maintains access and authorization restrictions to the escrow trust accounts and related functions.
  • M.S. maintains appropriate written procedures for daily recording and reconciliation of the escrow trust account disbursements and receipts and monthly three-way reconciliation of the escrow trust accounts.

Pillar 3: “Adopt and maintain a written privacy and information security program to protect Non-Public Personal Information as required by local, state and federal law.”

  • M.S. Title adheres to an Information Security and Privacy Program to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations relating to protection of non-Public Information (NPI).
  • M.S. Title maintains appropriate internal controls and policies to ensure compliance with applicable laws and to ensure NPI is properly safeguarded.
  • M.S. Title routinely performs risk assessments and vulnerability testing to identify risks to customer physical and electronic NPI.
  • M.S. Title ensures all personnel are adequately trained and have the resources necessary to follow company Privacy and Information Security policies and procedures.
  • M.S. Title maintains and executes a Records Retention and Destruction Schedule for all physical and electronic documents and files.
  • M.S. Title takes reasonable steps to select and retain service providers that are capable of appropriately safeguarding NPI.
  • M.S. Title monitors, investigates, and reports all data breaches.
  • M.S. Title maintains a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan to protect critical business processes from failures and disasters and to ensure their timely resumption.

Pillar 4: “Adopt standard real estate settlement procedures and policies to help ensure compliance with Federal and State Consumer Financial Laws as applicable to the Settlement Process.”

  • M.S. Title adheres to document recording policies and procedures to ensure the timely recording of all settlement documents.
  • M.S. Title ensures that customers are charged the correct title insurance premium and other rates for services.
  • M.S. Title ensures all identified personnel are adequately trained and have the resources necessary to properly record documents, accurately determine fees, and perform other settlement functions.

Pillar 5: “Adopt and maintain written procedures related to title policy production, delivery, reporting and premium remittance.”

  • M.S. Title issues and delivers title insurance policies to all insured parties in a timely manner according to statutory, regulatory, or contractual requirements.
  • M.S. Title reports and remits title insurance premiums and policies to its underwriters according to statutory, regulatory, or contractual obligations.

Pillar 6: “Maintain appropriate professional liability insurance and fidelity coverage.”

  • M.S. Title maintains appropriate errors & omissions insurance and fidelity bond coverage to ensure the Company has the ability to stand behind its professional services and ensure compliance with state and underwriter requirements.

Pillar 7: “Adopt and maintain written procedures for resolving consumer complaints.”

  • M.S. Title maintains a process for taking in and recording all complaints and directing them to the appropriate personnel to respond according in order to ensure a timely and suitable resolution to all complaints.
  • M.S. Title maintains a Customer Complaint Log for tracking all customer complaints.
  • M.S. Title periodically reviews and analyzes customer complaints to identify if any business operations or procedures need improvement.