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May/June 2017 - Volume 8, Issue 3 (Web version)

agencyinsightsmasthead
  VOL 8, ISSUE 3, MAY/JUNE 2017   Click Here for a PDF of This Newsletter    
 


IN THIS ISSUE

FNF’s Chief Information Security Officer Jeff Foltz Shares Tips to Prepare Against Cyber Attacks

ALTA’s Advocacy Summit Culminates in Lobby Day for Industry

Back to Basics: Subordination of Leasehold Interests (Part III)


Congratulations to Our ALTA National Title Professionals!

Real-time Resources: Linking Agents to the Latest Resources and News

Share Your News With Us!



HAVE A SUBMISSION?

Agents can send a brief submission and any related photos to their agency rep. Agency staff can share submissions with Linda Grahovec, NTP, VP, National Communications, and Regional Director of Education and Marketing, FNTG, at linda.grahovec@fnf.com or 630.222.0778.
 

 
 

FNF’S CHIEF INFORMATION SECURITY OFFICER JEFF FOLTZ SHARES TIPS TO PREPARE AGAINST CYBER ATTACKS

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Cyber attacks are occurring at unprecedented rates. How can we effectively protect both personal and company information from the latest data breach or cyber attack? Agency Insights had the opportunity to speak with Jeff Foltz, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for FNF and ServiceLink, FNF’s national lender platform, to learn more about his role with the company and his advice to agents on how to be proactive and prepared against such attacks.

ABOUT THE INFORMATION SECURITY TEAM
Prior to joining the company nearly four years ago, Jeff worked for an Ohio-based bank for 16 years, serving as CISO for the last 10 years. In his current role as FNF’s CISO, Jeff’s top priority is to safeguard the company’s information using the “CIA Triad” — confidentiality, integrity and availability:
• Confidentiality: Safeguard data by ensuring it is kept confidential. No one but the intended and authorized user should be able to retrieve the data.
• Integrity: Ensure that data hasn’t been altered or manipulated either on purpose (by unauthorized users) or erroneously.
• Availability: Provide disaster recovery or business continuity relating to data. Make sure a system or process that the company relies on is available when needed, or allocate processes to get through a business disruption until the required system is back online.

Under Jeff’s leadership, the company’s Information Security Office (ISO) oversees information security policies and procedures, including password and encryption policies. “When a situation arises that causes our CIA Triad to be compromised, the ISO team implements our Incident Response program,” explains Jeff. This means that any time the company is dealing with a malware or ransomware situation, the ISO gets involved and performs an investigation which centers on determining:
1. how it occurred;
2. how to contain it;
3. how to recover from the situation; and
4. how to avoid the situation in the future or minimize any resulting damage.

Jeff has had the opportunity to connect with some of our agency community through his involvement with ALTA’s Cyber Security Council and through several ALTA-related speaking engagements. “Our involvement with ALTA Best Practices and as a governing vehicle has enabled us to help drive security programs for the entire title industry, including our valued agents,” he says.

TOP TIPS FOR AGENTS
According to Jeff, there are at least six important areas agents should focus on to protect their businesses against cyber attacks.

1) ALTA Best Practice Pillar 3 compliance: Agents should already be compliant with this pillar, and Jeff stresses that remaining compliant is an ongoing process requiring continual review. Click here to link to ALTA’s Best Practices.

2) Be mindful of NYDFS: “All agents — and especially those in New York — should become familiar with the New York State Department of Financial Services’ new cyber security regulation, which lays out cyber security requirements that must be met on an annual basis,” says Jeff. “Some smaller agents may not have to implement all of the regulation, but the NYDFS has created solid practices for cyber security that are worth looking into.” Click here to learn more.

3) Scan your network for vulnerabilities and proactively patch your systems: Agents should patch their systems within two to four weeks of a known vulnerability. “This is the only way to stay ahead of malware and ransomware attacks. If agents aren’t proactively patching their systems, their businesses are susceptible to being compromised,” warns Jeff. Patching should include all work stations, servers and third-party software. Be sure to use a tool or a third party to scan for any new vulnerabilities on a frequent schedule, and address any issues in a timely manner.

4) Automatic updates to antivirus signatures: “Having in place a program that automatically updates antivirus signatures is a must-do,” says Jeff.

5) Penetration testing: This requires bringing in a third party to test what your system looks like to someone on the Internet. It shows how penetrable your system may be toward cyber attacks and vulnerabilities.

6) Multifactor authentication: When signing onto a system, single-factor authentication (for example, a user name and password) isn’t enough. Multifactor authentication is a necessity. Multifactor authentication requires an additional component to access a system: for example, your user name, a password AND a time-sensitive code that is generated and sent to your phone. “This is a big issue for agents who use generic email systems such as Yahoo! or Gmail. There have been numerous data breaches where millions of email addresses and passwords have been compromised, enabling threat actors to access email systems and pretend to be a buyer, seller or real estate agent involved in your transaction,” says Jeff. His advice to agents: “Make sure you implement multifactor authentication on your email system. Many providers offer this as a free service, so do it today!”

TAKE A MOMENT TO ASK QUESTIONS
In closing, Jeff stresses the importance of trusting your instincts. “Be careful of people who are trying to exploit a trusted relationship that you have with someone,” he says. “With emails, be cautious of anything you receive that’s asking for something to be done urgently or in a way that would change your standard business procedures. Pause and take a moment to question it. If there are any red flags, pick up the phone and call the appropriate person.”

FUN FACT
Jeff and his family are active in Boy Scout programs. Both his son and daughter are in local troops and Venture crews, respectively. In fact, scouting is a family affair that extends three generations. Jeff’s father and uncle are Eagle Scouts; Jeff and his brother are Eagle Scouts; and Jeff’s son is close to joining the ranks of Eagles, while his daughter is to receive her Summit rank — the Venturing equivalent of the Eagle Scout. “We hope to continue the tradition into a fourth generation,” he says.

   
           
summit
 


Continue scrolling down for photo highlights from the event.

Highlights of this year’s summit included the Congressional Liaison Lunch; the Federal and State Advocacy Meeting; the keynote address by Secretary Ben Carson, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; as well as lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, which included sessions to prepare for “Lobby Day.”

 
 

ALTA’S ADVOCACY SUMMIT CULMINATES IN LOBBY DAY FOR INDUSTRY




For those who have not attended an ALTA Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C., it is an event that is certainly worth considering participating in. Several highlights of this year’s May summit included the Congressional Liaison Lunch; the Federal and State Advocacy Meeting; the keynote address by Secretary Ben Carson, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; as well as lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, which included sessions to prepare for “Lobby Day.”

The Congressional Liaison Lunch features a Capitol Hill update from a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and also provides information from other ALTA members on how they connect with their federal legislators in order to advocate on behalf of the title insurance industry. This year, freshman Representative Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN) spoke. Hollingsworth brings to the nation’s capital a background in real estate development and a business owner’s perspective.

The Federal and State Advocacy Meeting (comprising the Government Affairs Committee and State Regulatory and Legislative Affairs Committee) is always an informative session. I found the Federal Advocacy update to be most informative on what is occurring around the country, while also including issues that one may be dealing with on a state level. The meeting also provides an overview of what types of bills are gaining traction in states around the country. Hot topics at the state level included Predictable Recording Fees and Remote Electronic Notarization.

During his keynote speech, Secretary Carson spoke about lessons gleaned from his listening tour and the importance of understanding what didn’t work in the past to find future success. Carson concluded by talking about how strong communities are built upon a solid respect for property rights.

The Capitol Hill insider session with U.S. Representatives Dave Trott (R-MI) and Denny Heck (D-WA) was also informative. Trott, a former title agency owner and employee of a national underwriter, discussed his path from the title industry to Capitol Hill. Trott and Heck, who are both members of the House Financial Services Committee, discussed how Congress can come together on important issues and offered perspectives on regulatory and housing reform.

The Advocacy Summit culminates with “storming” Capitol Hill. ALTA’s Government Affairs staff does an excellent job of preparing both novice and seasoned participants. ALTA members had three asks of Congress this year:

1) help make the CFPB work better by requiring the agency to provide clear guidance and accurate title insurance disclosures;

2) ensure our tax code continues to incentivize investment in real estate; and

3) provide the 30-year fixed mortgage with strong underwriting standards when Congress reforms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Lobby Day is a full, invigorating and exhausting day. It is well worth the time and effort, and I strongly recommend giving it a try.

   
           
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leaseholds
 


FOR MORE
INFORMATION


Lesson 6 has been divided into three parts. Parts I and II appeared in previous issues of the newsletter, and Part III is included at right in this issue.
Part I: Leasehold Exceptions
Part II: Leasehold Insurance

 
 

BACK TO BASICS: LEASEHOLD ESTATES

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“Back to Basics” is an ongoing series of title tips. The information and directions are not exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with all local Company rules and guidelines. Since there is an abundance of material concerning title insurance and leasehold estates, Lesson 6 has been divided into three parts. Parts I and II appeared in previous issues of the newsletter, and Part III is included below.
Part I: Leasehold Exceptions
Part II: Leasehold Insurance



LESSON 6, PART III: SUBORDINATION OF LEASEHOLD INTERESTS



Part III of our series discusses four important topics regarding the subordination of leasehold interests.

1. Loan Policy Insured’s request to insure that an existing lease is subordinate
A lender who places a mortgage on the Land after a lessee has entered into a lease will have constructive notice of that lessee’s interest and will accordingly take a lien interest “subject to” that of the lessee for a number of reasons. These include recordation of an instrument, by occupancy or possession of part or all of the Land, or by other means of disclosure discussed in Part I. Lenders will generally prefer, or may be statutorily required, to have such liens be superior to other interests in the Land. The lender will insist each tenant subordinate its interest and, importantly, that we insure against loss by reason of any defect in said subordination. In order for us to do so, we need to examine the instrument or document by which the lessee does so, which is commonly a Subordination, or a Subordination, Non-Disturbance and Attornment Agreement (SNDA). It is rare to see lessees subordinate their position to a lender without requiring the lender to recognize their right to remain in possession.

2. Subordination, Non-Disturbance and Attornment Agreements (SNDAs)
Most subordination agreements include other provisions that are important to the lender and the lessee. Commonly, an assurance of “non-disturbance” for the lessee will allow the continued occupancy under the lease, so long as the tenant is not in default under any of the lease provisions, even in the event that the lender has stepped into the shoes of the lessor by reason of foreclosure or other means. Lenders who view the lease as desirable for continuation after a foreclosure will insist that the lessee agreement for non-disturbance requires the tenant to “attorn to” the lender if they succeed the mortgagor as lessor. This means the lessee recognizes the lender as lessor.

3. Insurance on Schedule B, Part II of the lessee’s subordination by an SNDA
ALTA form Schedule B, Part II allows us to show interests that exist but which we are willing to insure as inferior to the insured lender’s interest. In order for us to do so, we must consider whether the holder of the existing interest has subordinated their interest to that of the lender. Schedule B, Part II reads as follows:

In addition to the matters set forth in Part I of this Schedule, the Title to the estate or interest in the Land described or referred to in Schedule A is subject to the following matters, and the Company insures against loss or damage sustained in the event that they are not subordinate to the lien or charge of the Insured Mortgage upon said estate or interest.

If you have determined that a recorded or soon-to-be recorded SNDA is validly signed by the existing lessee, the lender will expect the lease to be reflected on Schedule B, Part II rather than on the regular Schedule B. We need to be sure that any Insured under a Loan Policy — including assignees or those who may by foreclosure have become Insureds — has knowledge that our insurance regarding subordination is conditioned upon the terms and provisions of the SNDA. One solution that has been successfully used is to amend the language of the standard Schedule B, Part II as follows:

In addition to the matters set forth in Part I of this Schedule, the Title is subject to the following matters, and the Company insures against loss or damage sustained in the event that they are not subordinate to the lien of the Insured Mortgage, provided however that such insurance is subject to the obligations of the Insured under the terms and conditions of any Subordination, Non-Disturbance and Attornment Agreement, if any, which may be noted:

If your state does not have a Part II to the Schedule B, the lease is shown as an exception, and additional coverage might be available by endorsement or as a separate clause of the exception. Your Company underwriting advisor will give you specific guidance on how to do this correctly for your state.

4. Automatic subordination language in leases — Do NOT rely on such language without conferring with your underwriting advisor
Some lessees have agreed to include a provision in the lease that “automatically” subordinates their interest to any mortgage subsequently entered into by the lessor. Such a provision often has language which makes the automatic subordination conditional to the agreement by the mortgagee to not disturb the possession of a tenant who is current on rent. Problematically, “automatic” language may be viewed as merely providing that the tenant will agree to enter into an SNDA with the lender in the future. Much litigation has occurred when an assertion is made that an automatic subordination is indefinite or overly broad and therefore unenforceable. Accordingly, reliance on automatic subordinations is extra-hazardous, and you must confer with the Company underwriting advisor on guidelines for reliance on an automatic subordination provision in a lease.
 

   
           
 


Congratulations to our agents and staff who have received ALTA’s prestigious National Title Professional (NTP) designation. The NTP designation recognizes land title professionals who demonstrate the knowledge, experience and dedication essential to the safe and efficient transfer of real property.

 
 

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR ALTA NATIONAL TITLE PROFESSIONALS!

We want to take a moment to congratulate our staff and agents who have received ALTA’s prestigious National Title Professional (NTP) designation. The most recent group of professionals to receive this designation was recognized at ALTA’s March Springboard meeting during a special reception.

The NTP designation recognizes land title professionals who demonstrate the knowledge, experience and dedication essential to the safe and efficient transfer of real property. NTP recipients have completed the required training and expertise in these areas:

• Industry, compliance and training prerequisites
• State/regional land title association professional certification or designation and involvement
• Industry experience
• ALTA attendance and involvement
• Involvement with professional organizations related to the land title industry
• Education and training requirements
• Professional qualifications, disclosure and attestation


Following is a list of our agents and staff who have received the NTP designation since its inception. To learn more about ALTA’s NTP program, click here.

AGENT NTP DESIGNEES
Paula J. Bachmeier, NTP, North Dakota Guaranty & Title Co., Minot, ND, year of designation: 2013
Cynthia D. Blair, NTP, Blair Cato Pickren Casterline, LLC, Columbia, SC, year of designation: 2014
Jeffrey A. Bosse, NTP, Bosse Title Co., Evansville, IN, year of designation: 2013
John P. Bruce, CTIP, NTP, Heritage Title Company of Austin Inc., Austin, TX, year of designation: 2013
Shonna S. Cardello, CLTP, NTP, White Rose Settlement Services Inc., York, PA, year of designation: 2015
Elizabeth A. Daniel, NTP, Continental Title Co., Overland Park, KS, year of designation: 2015
William J. Drobins, CTE, CLTP, NTP, Paradigm Abstract of Pennsylvania, LLC, Philadelphia, PA, year of designation: 2015
Joy Herndon, NTP, Cardinal Abstract Co., Warrenton, VA, year of designation: 2014
Sonia L. Kuppert, NTP, VCTSA, STA Title & Escrow Inc., Fredericksburg, VA, year of designation: 2015
Brent J. Laliberte, NTP, Bayou Title Inc., Terrytown, LA, year of designation: 2014
Nancy K. Landmark, NTP, Commercial Partners Title, LLC, Minneapolis, MN, year of designation: 2013
Daniel D. Mennenoh, ITP, NTP, H.B. Wilkinson Title Company Inc., Galena, IL, year of designation: 2016
Theresa A. Miller, NTP, H.B. Wilkinson Title Company Inc., Mount Carroll, IL, year of designation: 2016
Charles Nowicki, CLTP, NTP, World Wide Land Transfer Inc., Trevose, PA, year of designation: 2016
Michelle Null, NTP, Benchmark Title Company, LLC, Shiloh, IL, year of designation: 2014
John F. Robichaux, NTP, Ironclad Title, LLC, Lake Charles, LA, year of designation: 2013
Eric M. Schneider, NTP, Lakeside Title Co., Columbia, MD, year of designation: 2013
Chuck Sheffield, NTP, AmeriTitle Inc., Bend, OR, year of designation: 2013
Francine D. Wirsching, CLTP, NTP, Community First Abstract, Blue Bell, PA, year of designation: 2015

STAFF NTP DESIGNEES
Steven G. Day, NTP, Fidelity National Title Group, Jacksonville, FL, year of designation: 2017
Shari K. Foster, CTIP, NTP, Fidelity National Title Group, Dallas, TX, year of designation: 2013
Linda T. Grahovec, ITP, IEP, NTP, Fidelity National Title Group, Lombard, IL, year of designation: 2013
Cindy Immonen, CLTP, NTP, Fidelity National Title Group, Livonia, MI, year of designation: 2016
Marianne Mathieu, NTP, Fidelity National Title Group, Brooklyn, NY, year of designation: 2013
Martha K. McConnell, NTP, Chicago Title Insurance Co., Columbia, SC, year of designation: 2016
Richard Pierce, MTP, NTP, Fidelity National Title Group, Overland Park, KS, year of designation: 2017
Joseph E. Powell, NTP, Chicago Title Insurance Co., Birmingham, AL, year of designation: 2016
Roberta Schneider, CLTP, NTP, Fidelity National Title Insurance Co., Columbia, MD, year of designation: 2013
Candi J. Slobodnik, MTP, NTP, Fidelity National Title Group, Overland Park, KS, year of designation: 2017
Sarah M. Sutton, CLTP, NTP, Fidelity National Title Group, Fife Lake, MI, year of designation: 2013
Jeffrey S. Wolff, NTP, Fidelity National Title Co., Fort Collins, CO, year of designation: 2013

   
           
 


Linking you to real-time resources for you and your customers. Links are updated each issue, so be sure to visit often!

 
 

AGENT LINK






Check out FNTG’s National Agency Website (some sections are password-protected):

Recent Website Updates
Cyber Crime Updates and Information: Important resources and contacts for agents.
Cyber Insights Newsletter: The first issue in a new quarterly series.

Training & Education
2016 FNTG Fact Sheet: A great tool to share with customers and prospects that highlights the financial strength of your underwriter.
Want to Learn, We Love to Teach: The ALTA/FNTG-sponsored Title Topics webinars cover timely topics. Check out the latest:
Recruiting Talent: Blueprint for Staffing the Future Title Company
The Evolution of Best Practices: Tools to Aid Implementation


marketing

Co-branded Marketing Tools & Resources
FNTG offers agents a variety of sophisticated brochures and fliers to use with customers. The pieces can be co-branded with the agent’s underwriter logo and the agent’s logo. Contact your local account manager or rep for details. Available pieces include: marketing one-pagers; policy comparison fliers; state laws and area customs fliers; and a variety of other brochures, fliers and trifolds.


TRID resources

FNTG CFPB Website
FNTG’s CFPB website was created with agents’ customers in mind. It’s a tool agents can use for customer presentations.

Calendar Feature
This closing calendar (found on our CFPB website) helps real estate agents assess potential closing dates and helps customers know when they should receive their CD prior to a targeted closing date.

Lender Updates & Correspondence
This section provides a full listing of recent lender correspondence.




FNTG Solution Partners Website
Our Solution Partners website easily connects FNTG agents and their customers to more than 40 of our hand-picked service providers.

Solution Partners Listing (PDF)
Link to an alphabetized, printable PDF of FNTG’s Solution Partners listing.




FNTG’s NewsDesk
The NewsDesk provides industry news from a variety of resources. It’s a simple way to boost your social media efforts. Post one or two articles to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. We’ve done the work for you!




FNF’s Fraud Insights: Vol. 12, Issue 6
Fraud Insights is produced for company staff and agents. Click above to link to a recent issue. If you aren’t receiving the newsletter and would like to, contact your agency representative.




Websites, Programs & News
ALTA Website — Visit ALTA’s website for the latest on business tools, advocacy, education and news.
Upcoming ALTA Conferences and Events
ALTA Launches “Whatever You Call Home” Ad Campaign to help educate consumers about the closing process and the benefits of title insurance.
Home Closing 101 Website is dedicated to consumers and the buying process.
Homebuyer Outreach Program enables ALTA members to easily share the benefits of owner’s title insurance and includes a Spanish Language Suite. Click here for details.

   
           
 


Agents can send a brief submission and any related photos to their agency rep. Agency staff can share submissions with Linda Grahovec, NTP, VP, National Communications, and Regional Director of Education and Marketing, FNTG, at linda.grahovec@fnf.com or 630.222.0778.

 
 

SHARE YOUR NEWS WITH US!

lindagrahovecphoto

Agency Insights
is produced for our valued agents and staff. We’d like to hear from you! We invite you to submit write-ups of special events, achievements and activities, including:
• involvement in industry-related events;
• compliance or Best Practice stories; and
• involvement in community-focused activities.


Send your submissions to: Linda Grahovec, NTP, VP, National Communications, and Regional Director of Education and Marketing, FNTG, at linda.grahovec@fnf.com or 630.222.0778.
 

   
           
 

Agency Insights
 

 

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