Financial Institutions and Banking

ALTA Best Practices Certification Services

Banks and mortgage lenders are under increased pressure by regulators to protect their customers’ non-public personal information (NPI)—especially within the context of their relationships with third-party vendors, including title  companies  and  attorneys.  This  pressure  has  resulted  in  lenders conducting due diligence on title companies and attorneys. The means of approaching due diligence has been inconsistent within the industry, with some  lenders  asking  vendors  to  complete  questionnaires,  others  asking vendors to submit their policies and procedures and still others conducting interviews  and  on-site  visits.  Lenders  have  struggled  to  find  the  “right” solution to conduct this due diligence.

The American  Land  Title Association  (ALTA)  responded  to  this  industry concern by developing a Best Practices Framework (ALTA Best Practices or the Best Practices). By choosing to pursue ALTA Best Practices, a title company or attorney can demonstrate to its mortgage lenders, underwriters and customers that it is following the industry’s established practices. This demonstration extends  beyond just  the protection of NPI.  As lenders have learned about the Best Practices, this guidance has quickly become their preferred method of conducting CFPB due diligence.

The Best Practices include seven areas of guidance known as pillars:

  • Licensing
  • Escrow Accounting Procedures
  • Privacy & Information Security
  • Settlement Procedures
  • Title Policy Production & Delivery
  • Professional Liability Insurance Coverage
  • Consumer Complaints

When  a  company  elects  to  pursue  Best  Practices,  it  must  first  develop policies and procedures to address each of the seven pillars. Once an organization has fully implemented its ALTA-compliant policies and procedures, it can then elect to work toward becoming certified. The certification must be performed  by  a  qualified,  independent  third  party  that  evaluates  the  title company’s compliance with its Best Practices policies and procedures.

ATA assists clients with:

  • The development of policies and procedures consistent with ALTA Best Practices.
  • Evaluation of previously prepared policies and procedures for compliance with the seven pillars of the Best Practices Framework.
  • Certification by providing an independent assessment of your organization’s operational processes, written policies, & procedures.


Contact partner and financial institutions expert Jack Matthis, CPA, CBA today at or by calling (731) 686-8371.

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