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Volume 95, 
July 2014



PRIA's Indexing Standards White Paper Final Draft Available for Review 

PRIA's Business Processes and Procedures Committee is announcing the final draft of a paper on Indexing Standards.  This paper was the result of a collaborative effort which included recorders, title company representatives and LRMS (Land Records Management System) vendors. 


The paper was initially presented for discussion during a working session at the 2014 Winter Symposium and has undergone several updates since then.  It is now ready for a 30-day comment period. 

Comments should be submitted back to Kathi Guay  or  Myron Finley, two of the principles on this paper, by Sunday, August 24, 5 p.m., ET. To access the paper, click here.


News from PREP Chapters


In every edition of the PREP Newsletter, we highlight at least one PREP Chapter and post an abbreviated version of their most recent Chapter Meeting minutes.  You can also see what any of the PREP Chapters are talking about by going to PRIA's PREP Chapters webpage.  


Co-chairs: Government, Holly Vaughn, and Business, Jason Somers,    


The Central Florida PREP Chapter met on May 20, 2014. Topics of local interest were discussed, including, current recording volumes, and recording best practices guidelines. Carol Foglesong, past PRIA President, discussed the many benefits of joining PRIA (Property Records Industry Association), and she explained the many different types and levels of membership available to both the government and business PREP participants.


The primary speaker at this meeting was Shanna Cole, an Underwriter at Fidelity National Title Group. Her presentation was entitled: "What do you think of when you think of the American Dream?" She discussed how the recording of documents and having title insurance promote the American Dream.


Suggestions for topics for the next meeting were discussed, including, having a roundtable of discussion from the different vendors, counties and underwriters regarding the pros and cons of having a Grantor/Grantee indexing system. The next meeting for Central Florida will be held on August 19, 2014. (Read complete meeting minutes from this Chapter on PRIA's PREP webpage.)  


PRIA Awards Two Ernst Scholarship Awards
excerpted from The American Surveyor 7/22/14

The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) has presented two Ernst Scholarships Awards for the 2014-15 membership year which begins on August 1, 2014. The Ernst Scholarship Award was established by Ernst Publishing Co., in conjunction with PRIA, in recognition of the late Carl Ernst for his contributions to PRIA and the extended property records industry. This year marks the first time the awards have been bestowed.

The recipient of the government scholarship is Chad Airhart, Recorder, Dallas Co., Iowa. In his first term as Recorder, Airhart digitized and indexed all real estate records in the county back to 1971 and recently imaged and indexed all military discharge records.

The business scholarship recipient is Susan Stewart, Investors Title Insurance Co., Southeast Regional Office, in Columbia, S.C. Stewart is the past president of the Palmetto Land Title Association, served on the board of the Mortgage Bankers of Greater Columbia (MBGC), received the MBGC "Member of the Year Award" and was the "2004 Better Business Bureau Arbitrator of the Year." (Read complete article.)




Deadline Approaching for PRIA Group Room Rates in Long Beach, CA for Annual PRIA Conference (August 25-28)

More than 85 percent of the PRIA room block for the upcoming Annual Conference in Long Beach has been reserved.  Better hurry and book your room while the PRIA room rate of $135, plus tax, is still available. The room block will be available until August 4, while rooms last. Once the block has been sold and/or the August 4 deadline has passed, room rates will increase dramatically.


We hope you will not miss this year's Annual Conference.  Here are just a few of the great topics on the agenda:

  • Legal and Regulatory Roadblocks to eRecording
  • CFPB and Title Companies
  • Title Companies Role in Preventing Property Fraud
  • PREP for Success - The California PREP Chapter Story
  • Prosecuting Property Fraud Cases
Take a look at the schedule of events and REGISTER now to reserve your room at the early-bird PRIA group rates. Hotel reservations can also be made by calling 800.468.3571 (Renaissance Central Reservations) or directly with the hotel at 562.437.5900.


Vote for the 2014 Lenders' Choice Mortgage Technology Awards
excerpted from National Mortgage News 7/24/14 
The online ballot is now open for mortgage lender and servicing professionals to vote for their favorite technology and services vendors. The deadline to submit ballots is 6 p.m. EDT, Thursday August 21.  Click here to access the Lenders' Choice Award Ballot.

The Lenders' Choice Award is the one category of the Mortgage Technology Awards where professionals from mortgage lending and servicing companies get to pick the vendors that will be named the finalists and winner of the award. Voters are asked to rank three vendors based on their combined, overall assessment of the following criteria: best customer service, value proposition and overall user experience.


In previous years, Lenders' Choice Award voting was limited to the mortgage companies named to MT's "Top Tech-Savvy Lenders & Servicers" list.  For 2014, voting will be open to confirmed employees of any mortgage lending and servicing institution. (Read complete article.)



Alexandria City, VA Begins eRecording with Simplifile
excerpted from PRWeb 7/26/14
Virginia has added its 12th eRecording jurisdiction, Alexandria City, to Simplifile's eRecording network, enabling both local and national customers to submit documents online for faster, more efficient recording.

Alexandria City joins several other recording jurisdictions in Virginia including Virginia Beach City, Prince William County, and Chesterfield County, to name a few. (Read complete article.) 


ALTA NEWS:  CFPB Proposes Adding Consumer Narratives to Complaint Database (by Michelle Korsmo, ALTA CEO)

excerpted from the July 22, 2014 ALTA Advocacy Update


At a public hearing on July 17th, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a proposal  to provide consumers with the option to include a detailed description of their complaint to be posted on the Bureau's website. In announcing the proposal, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said that the change would make the database more useful to consumers because "the narrative supplies vital information about why the consumer believes they were harmed, and how the problem has affected the consumer's life."

Under the proposal, which is open to public comment, the Bureau would remove any personally identifiable consumer information from the narrative before it is posted. Additionally, the company that is the target of the complaint would be able to post public responses alongside the narratives.


Since it started accepting complaints in 2012, the Bureau has received over 400,000 submissions from consumers about credit cards, student loans and mortgages. Comments on the proposed policy are due 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. If you have any questions please contact ALTA's legislative and regulatory counsel, Steve Gottheim, at or 202-261-2943.



With Some Lenders Hurting, Could Double-Pledging Fraud Resurface?

A lot of home lenders' bottom lines have been under pressure recently, and that makes it more tempting for mortgage companies to fraudulently double-pledge loans, potentially increasing warehouse lending risk.


The risk has certainly dropped compared to 2009, but it looks likely to have increased compared to about a year or so ago. Since then, profit from loan volume has become harder to come by due to a jump in rates from historic lows, and lender expenses have gone up due to major regulations that took effect early this year. Lenders have shown some signs of desperation for cash in the wake of these developments. Loan volumes have picked up a bit from earlier this year, but they are still below some estimates. And there is yet another sweeping and potentially costly regulatory change on the horizon requiring lenders to provide new disclosures  to provide to borrowers in originations.


The main protection against double-pledging today is warehouse lenders' use of the MERS System. But these smaller warehouse lenders are probably the only players that might not be using it, said Michele Perrin, an industry consultant who has served as an expert witness in double-pledging cases.


"The warehouse lender can name themselves in MERS, in the MERS chain of title, as interim funder, so once anyone has named themselves as interim funder, that's in MERS. If somebody else tries five minutes later or five days later to name themselves as interim funder on that same loan, it's going to pop up as a duplicate right away to get notified that there's already a party in that position," she said.


Some warehouse lenders used MERS when double-pledging abuses were rampant. The problem was the use wasn't widespread or frequent enough, said Perrin. "You need to know where your money is moment by moment. So hopefully people are using it all throughout the day as they're funding loans," she said.


"MERS has had its challenges relative to accurately recording information," he said. "It will eventually be accurate and eventually work out, but these particular cases of fraud are perpetrated so quickly." He advises warehouse lenders to be wary of the risk even if they use the system. Past challenges at MERS related to user delays in registering loans are addressed by tighter MERS policies regarding those members, said Janis Smith, a spokeswoman for MERSCorp Holdings in Reston, Va., which owns and runs the system. (Read complete article.)  



Links to National News


Inman News | July 24, 2014
Having weathered a soft patch that lasted through the fall, winter and early spring, housing markets are showing signs of a rebound that should continue for the rest of the year, according to the latest forecast by economists at Fannie Mae.

Goldman Sachs FHFA Settlement Could Reach $1.25 Billion 
DSNews | July 27, 2014
Multiple reports surfaced recently that Goldman Sachs may be nearing a deal with the federal government to settle claims that it sold faulty mortgage backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to people with familiar with the negotiations. If a deal is reached it is expected to come in between $800 million and $1.25 billion.

HousingWire | July 25, 2014
Two analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch are celebrating the 4-year anniversary of Dodd-Frank, the financial reform law, by calling it "persistent financial repression."

Zillow Set to Acquire Trulia for $3.5B in Stock
Inman News | July 28, 2014
Zillow announced on 7/28/14 that it's entered into a definitive agreement to acquire its chief competitor Trulia for $3.5 billion in stock. The companies will maintain their separate brands, with Trulia CEO Pete Flint staying on board and reporting to Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff. Although the deal has been approved by both companies' boards of directors, it's not expected to close until sometime next year.
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On most business days, we post national news articles, and PRIA and PREP Chapter information on the PREP Blog and the PRIA/PREP LinkedIn Group. You are able to stay in touch by subscribing to both sites and automatically receiving updates daily or weekly. 


The views and opinions expressed in the media, articles, comments, or links in this publication are those of the speakers or authors and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) or its members.  PRIA does not warrant the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information contained in this publication. If you have a complaint about something you have found in this publication, please contact PRIA by email at
This publication may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. PRIA believes this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this publication is distributed without profit, to those who have expressed a prior interest in such information, for comment and nonprofit educational purposes.
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In This Issue
PRIA's Indexing Standards Available for Review
News from PREP Chapters - Central Florida
PRIA Awards Two Ernst Scholarship Awards
PRIA Annual Conference - August 25-28
2014 Lenders' Choice Mortgage Technology Awards
Alexandria City, VA Begins eRecording
Could Double-Pledging Fraud Resurface?
Links to National News
Advertise in PRIA's Newsletters
PREP Blog and PREP LinkedIn
Examples of PRIA's Products 
PREP Chapter Meetings
        August - October 2014  

      Central Florida 

      Metro Minnesota 

      North Central Texas


      SE Minnesota

      Central Texas

      Central Lakes MN



      Southern California   

Contact Information

Do you have questions or suggestions for this newsletter or any updated information on co-chairs, emails, phone numbers, etc. please contact us:
Carolyn Ableman
PREP Coordinator

Mark Monacelli
PREP Committee Government Co-Chair, Recorder
St Louis County, Minnesota

Madeleine Nagy

PREP Committee Business

Co-Chair, ALTA

State Government Affairs


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