Mers, The Core Concepts

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MERS operates an electronic registry, the MERS® System, for tracking servicing rights and beneficial ownership interests in residential mortgage loans, and MERS® Commercial for the commercial mortgage‐backed securities (CMBS) and multifamily marketplace

Expert

In April 2012, Mike Skalka relocated to Virginia to join MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., parent company of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), as Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer. He also serves as Corporate Secretary for MERSCORP Holdings and MERS.  MERSCORP Holdings, which operates an electronic registry of mortgage loan servicing rights and ownership on behalf of the lending industry, is presently addressing the challenging issues associated with foreclosures and mortgage record holding – areas in which Mr. Skalka’s background and knowledge is uniquely suited. 

 

Mr. Skalka received his B.A. degree from C.W. Post College of Long Island University and his J.D. degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Skalka began his career in the title industry and then went on to private practice; subsequently, reentering the title industry years later.

 

Mr. Skalka joined Stewart Title in 1988 as the founding president of Stewart Title Insurance Company, domesticated in New York. Shortly thereafter, in the early 1990s, he helped establish Stewart’s operations in Canada and theUnited Kingdom, and then relocated from New York to Houston, in 1993, to serve as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Stewart Organization until 2005.

 

As Stewart continued to seek opportunities outside of the U.S., Mr. Skalka led those efforts by becoming Chairman of Stewart’s International Group in 2005. In 2007, he became the first person outside of the Morris and Stewart families to be appointed President and Managing Director of Global Underwriting Services of Stewart Title Guaranty Company, where he remains a member of its Board of Directors. Mr. Skalka had also helped to lead the National Title Services Division of Stewart since 2009.

 

With his more than 35 years in the title and real estate industries, Mr. Skalka has established himself as an admired member of the real estate community. He has had the honor to be appointed to the Board of Governors of the American Land Title Association®, as well as to serve upon its various committees; and, is a past President of the New York State Land Title Association.

 

In the spring of 2007, the Houston Chronicle published a feature article about Mr. Skalka and his international activities on behalf of the Stewart Organization.  He also has been quoted in Continental Airlines Magazine concerning the real estate market in Latin America.  Mr. Skalka has spoken before numerous bar association, land title association, and related industry functions throughout the United States and England and has had articles published by the Bank Lending Institute, the New York Law Journal, the Practicing Law Institute and the National Register of Commercial Real Estate.

ALTA Best Practices Pillar 4 – Settlement Procedures approved in Alabama

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2 credits

This course is one in a series of Courses that discuss ALTA Best Practices. This one covers Pillar 4. The objective of the course is for the learner to complete the section of their policy and procedure manual for the pillars discussed in the course. Also, upon completion the learner will be confident that they will be able to pass an ALTA Best Practice audit for the pillars discussed in the course.


Pillar 4 is about adopting standard real estate settlement procedures and policies that help ensure compliance with Federal and State Consumer Financial Laws as applicable to the Settlement process. The course covers the 34 questions asked in the ALTA Pillar 4 Workbook so that the learner understands what is expected to by compliant. The course covers the Action Items report, Assessment Readiness, and Certification

Adopting appropriate policies and conducting ongoing employee training helps ensure the Company can meet state, federal, and contractual obligations governing the Settlement.

Streamline Consulting has done the research and put together the content for the course. Streamline Consulting is a privately owned company that was formed in order to meet the personnel, technical and business needs of Title Insurance Companies. They are advocates for their clients in all aspects of the title insurance industry.

While the nature of the business is the same in all states, the nuances of each title company, even within the same city, can be very different. Streamline customizes every project and product for each title company, regardless of size, location or products and services provided to their customers.

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Fraud in the Title Industry Course Approved in Alabama

4 Credits

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This course is a comprehensive discussion Fraud in the Title Industry. It covers fraud for property and fraud for profit schemes that have been around for a long time. The majority of the presentation centers on Cyber Fraud. The Business Email Compromise has become a major threat to businesses in general and are of significant concern to title agencies. The course will cover in detail;

  • Types of fraudFraud
  • Red Flags indication fraud
  • Legislation
  • Cyber Fraud
  • Wire Fraud
  • Protecting Bank Accounts
  • Safer Use of the Internet
  • Cybersecurity for Business
  • Personnel Policies and Employee Training
  • Security for Mobile Devices

The course is approved for 4 continuing education credits

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How to create a strong password

ALTA Best practices encourages the use of strong passwords for your computer systems. Passwords provide the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your computer. The stronger your password, the more protected your computer will be from hackers and malicious software. You should make sure you have strong passwords for all accounts on your computer. If you’re using a corporate network, your network administrator might require you to use a strong password.

Check the strength of your password here

What makes a password strong (or weak)?

A strong password:

  • Is at least eight characters long.

  • Does not contain your user name, real name, or company name.

  • Does not contain a complete word.

  • Is significantly different from previous passwords.

  • Contains Uppercase letters, Lowercase letters, numbers and symbols

A password might meet all the criteria above and still be a weak password. For example, No1password! meets all the criteria for a strong password listed above, but is still weak because it contains a complete word. N01 p@ssw0rd! is a stronger alternative because it replaces some of the letters in the complete word with numbers and also includes spaces.

Help yourself remember your strong password by following these tips:

  • Create an acronym from an easy-to-remember piece of information. For example, pick a phrase that is meaningful to you, such as My daughter’s birthday is 28 October, 1974. Using that phrase as your guide, you might use Mdbi28/Oct,74 for your password.

  • Substitute numbers, symbols, and misspellings for letters or words in an easy-to-remember phrase. For example, My daughter’s birthday is 28 October, 1974 could become MiDauBrthd8iz 281074 (it’s OK to use spaces in your password).

  • Relate your password to a favorite hobby or sport. For example, I love to play basketball could become ILuv2PlayB@sk3tb@ll.

If you feel you must write down your password in order to remember it, make sure you don’t label it as your password, and keep it in a safe place.

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ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey Standards Course Published

2 credits. Members of the American Land Title Association® (ALTA®) have specific needs, unique to title insurance matters, when asked to insure title to land without exception as to the many matters which might be discoverable from survey and inspection, and which are not evidenced by the public records. This course discusses the standards associated with those surveys.

For a survey of real property, and the plat, map or record of such survey, to be acceptable to a title insurance company for the purpose of insuring title to said real property free and clear of survey matters (except those matters disclosed by the survey and indicated on the plat or map), certain specific and pertinent information must be presented for the distinct and clear understanding between the insured, the client (if different from the insured), the title insurance company (insurer), the lender, and the surveyor professionally responsible for the survey.

In order to meet such needs, clients, insurers, insureds, and lenders are entitled to rely on surveyors to conduct surveys and prepare associated plats or maps that are of a professional quality and appropriately uniform, complete, and accurate. To that end, and in the interests of the general public, the surveying profession, title insurers, and abstracters, the ALTA and the NSPS jointly promulgate the within details and criteria setting forth a minimum standard of performance for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys.

A complete 2016 ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey includes:
(i) the on-site fieldwork required pursuant to Section 5,
(ii) the preparation of a plat or map pursuant to Section 6 showing the results of the fieldwork and its relationship to documents provided to or obtained by the surveyor pursuant to Section 4,
(iii) any information from Table A items requested by the client, and
(iv) the certification outlined in Section 7.

Gary KentGary Kent is Director of Surveying at The Schneider Corporation, a 42-year-old consulting firm based in Indianapolis providing solutions in surveying, GIS, 3D graphics, architecture, and civil, municipal and transportation engineering. A past-president of both ACSM and the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors, Gary has a BS degree in Land Surveying from Purdue University and is registered to practice surveying in Indiana and Michigan. He is chair of both the NSPS/ACSM committee and the ALTA committee on the ALTA/ACSM Standards. He currently sits on the Indiana State Board of Registration for Land Surveyors and is also a member of the adjunct faculty at the Purdue campus in Indianapolis where he teaches Land Survey Systems, Legal Descriptions, Boundary Law and Property Surveying.

ALTA Best Practice CE course

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Stephanie Fullerton of Streamline Consulting discusses the 7 Pillars of ALTA Best Practices. Not only is each Best Practice defined but an explanation is included that gives the reasoning behind it. Steps for implementation and the cerification process are also discussed. Below is a brief outline.

This course has been approved in several states now. Most recently in Pennsylvania. Choose your state below to enroll





  • Overview   
    • ALTA
    • 7 Best Practices of Best Practices

    Best Practice #1    

    • Best Practice 1: Licensing
    • ALTA’s Policy Forms Licensing Requirement

    Best Practice #2    

    • Best Practice #2: Escrow Trust Accounting
    • Best Practice #2: Steps to Compliance

    Best Practice #3    

    • Best Practice #3: Protecting NPI
    • Best Practice #3: Steps to Compliance

    Best Practice #4    

    • Best Practice #4: Settlement Processes
    • Best Practice #4: Recording Procedures
    • Best Practice # 4:Pricing Procedure

    Best Practice #5    

    • Best Practice #5: Policy Production

    Best Practice #6    

    • Best Practice #6: Insurance Coverage

    Best Practice #7    

    • Best Practice #7: Consumer Complaints

    Implementing

    • Implementing

    Assessment    

    • Assessment Procedures
    • Assessment Preparation Workbook

    Certification   

    • Certification Package
    • Certification Package Part 1
    • Certification Package: Part 2

    Conclusion

This course has been approved in several states now. Most recently in Pennsylvania. Choose your state below to enroll





Streamline Consulting, LLC was founded in 2004, born naturally, based on the experience of its founders and a need within the industry for bridging gaps between software and title and insurance functionality. Streamline became an effective, non-biased and neutral third-party, to help make decisions, implement policies and procedures and in utilizing production software to its fullest capacity; all of which needed to be specific to the individual/respective organization.

We take the human resource and the title/escrow capabilities contained within client offices and apply them to the software to bring out the greatest utility in both. Streamline Consulting has team members and resources that focus on documents, reporting, system setup, project management solutions, data conversions, remote or on-site training and implementations, as needed. We function as the main software administrator for many of our clients, by working hand in hand with the client and applying workflow goals and management parameters to customize the software to meet your needs. Communication is not limited to just management. By sitting with client staff, we draw out the reality about how they actually spend their time, what applications they are using, how they use the production software and also work around inefficiencies.

This full bodied engagement is not necessary for everyone. Streamline is also equipped to work with clients on individual projects on an as needed basis. In addition to these professional capabilities, Streamline team members genuinely enjoy taking part in adding value to the client organization which is why we consider ourselves to be your Value Added Partner. We believe every company deserves the opportunity to shine regardless of its size and that in order to be successful, you must empower those around you to be the same. Streamline prides itself on providing innovative solutions, alternatives and opportunities for real estate title insurance companies nationally.

This course has been approved in several states now. Most recently in Pennsylvania. Choose your state below to enroll