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We have 2 ALTA Best Practices Certification & Re-Certification Options Available (check with your lender on which option is best for you):

  • Off-site Examination Certification: depends of volume:
    • Under 10 closings per month: $2,495
    • 11-30 closings per month: $2,995
    • 31-75 closings per month: $3,995
    • Over 75 closings per month or more than 2 locations will not be accepted for the Off-Site Examination
  • On-site Examination Certification: $5,495 one day on-site*

All prices continue to include a free "benchmarking" of your policies & procedures manual with recommended remediation. Prices are all-inclusive; there are no additionalcharges for related travel or for re-reviews of policies & procedures manuals.


The Off-site Examination Certification:

  • Contact Us to request and complete an ALTA Best Practice Certification Readiness Questionnaire and off-site checklist with documentation you will need to send to us.
  • Once we receive your questionnaire and documentation, the information will be reviewed, and any follow-up will be requested. A Certification with an Examination Report will be issued upon successful completion.

 

The On-Site Examination Certification($5,495*):

  • Contact Us to request and complete a Best Practices Readiness Questionnaire. This will help us benchmark your level of compliance and readiness for an on-site assessment.
  • Once we receive your questionnaire and review it, we will contact you to schedule the on-site assessment. We estimate that most companies will only require one or two days to complete the on-site portion of the review.
  • A Certification with an Examination Report will be issued upon completion.

*inside STS coverage area which includes most of the eastern half of the U.S. for one day on-site. Most smaller companies will only require one or two days. If additional days are required due to size or number of locations, additional days will be billed at $1,200


STS designed its compliance examination review program in conjunction with the independent CPA firm RSM US, LLP, www.rsmus.com, (formerly McGladrey, LLP), a leading provider of assurance, tax and consulting services.  RSM US’s Financial Institution Regulatory Compliance group provided direction to STS in developing an enhanced compliance review program that helps lenders meet  the requirements of the CFPB guidance on third party vendor management. The certification review tests for reasonable compliance with the ALTA Best Practices Framework. As a result of the review, you will be able to provide your lender customers with third party verification of adherence to ALTA Best Practices and consumer protection issues.


Haven't started your policies & procedures manual yet? CLICK HERE for templates!


Frequently Asked Questions - Best Practices Certification

Q: I am already certified. When do I need to get re-certified?

A: It'sup to the lender on how old of a certification they will accept, but the current standard is 2 years.

Q: How long will re-certification take?

A: We are asking clients to allow for 8 weeks, but the time it takes to recertify depends on any findings and remediation that needs to be made.

Q: What do I need to do to become re-certified?

A: Ensure that your company is still following all of the Best Practices when it was initially certified, and review the new ALTA Best Practices v2.5 to update your policies & procedures and ensure your compliance with the new standards.

Q: I did not originally get certified through Secure Title Solutions. Can I re-certify with you?

A: Absolutely! We welcome all clients, even if you originally certified through someone else. You'll see that you will save money recertifying through STS.

Q: Do I need to complete the Readiness Questionnaire?

A: Yes. This will help us identify any areas which may cause your company to fail the certification or recertification examination and cost your agency additional time and money.

Q: How much will a certification review cost?

A: Our off-site examination certification price depends on the size of the company and ranges from $2,495 to $3,995. Our on-site examination certification from start to completion is $5,495 for most companies, which includes one on-site review day. Additional on-site days are billed at $1,200 per day. Additional costs may apply if you are outside of our coverage area, which includes most of the eastern half of the U.S.

Q: What is the difference between an off-site review and an on-site review?

A: An off-site examination certification assessment is completed off-site and includes testing of the agent's existing policies & procedures as well as a thorough examination of extensive documentation related to the Best Practices and your policies and a remote view of your office. The off-site review program has been vetted by several lenders as an acceptable alternative to the more costly on-site examination. An on-site examination certification is completed on-site and includes a more detailed assessment and verification of your existing policies and procedures as well as a visual inspection of the company and the physical plant.

Q: Will the lenders accept the off-site certification?

A: Our off-site certification has been reviewed and approved by lenders currently requiring certification. We developed the off-site certification with input from lenders to ensure that it will adequately meet their third party vendor oversight requirements. Ultimately, each lender will decide what type of certification they will accept. We gather extensive documentation related to the company, its compliance, and its protection of Nonpublic Personal Information (NPI) as well as survey the site remotely to assure lenders that they only companies committed to compliance are certified by Secure Title Solutions.

Q: Which type of certification do I need?

A: It is at your lender's discretion what type of review will be be acceptable to fulfill their third party vendor oversight protocols. Typically, the off-site Examination Certification is suitable for companies closing less than 100 files per month. Contact us to discuss which Certification is best for your office and options available.

Q: How many days on-site will the review take?

A: We estimate that most reviews of small to medium sized companies will require only one or two days on-site. The number of days spent on-site is determined by a number of factors:

  • Number of employees
  • Number of satellite offices
  • Centralization and complexity of network
  • Number of fiduciary accounts
  • Preparedness for certification review

Q: How long with the off-site Examination take to complete?

A: The length of time it takes to complete the off-site examination depends on how ready your office is to undergo an Assessment and how responsive your office is to answering questions and providing documentation. The offsite examination requires the collection and submission of an extensive list of documents, some of which may take time for you to gather. And although we generally are able to review the documentation within a relatively short period of time, some lender deadlineshave peaked submission times, so we are encouraging companies to have documentation to us well before any deadlines to ensure that reviews and remedial actions can occur within the timeframe allotted. A typical off-site Examination takes between 3 weeks and 8 weeks to complete.

Q: Do you offer discounts?

A: We are able to offer discounts to some agents. Contact us today to see if your agency qualifies for a discount.

Q: Why do title agencies have to become certified with ALTA’s Best Practices v2.5?

A: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has mandated lenders to provide adequate oversight of their 3rd party vendors. Title agencies and settlement companies are 3rd party providers of services to the lenders, and as such, the lenders need to ensure that the companies they deal with are compliant. The American Land Title Association (ALTA) developed its Best Practices for the Title Industry, and title companies that become certified as following Best Practices will provide most lenders with assurances that they are doing business with a complaint company.

Q: My company needs help getting ready to be certified. Does STS offer any services to help me?

A: Yes, STS can help you put together your policies and procedures manuals as well as provide advice and resources to assist your company in becoming compliant. CLICK HERE to order our policies & procedures templates or Contact Us.