THE CLOSING GUIDE / Press
February 17, 2016
National Title “Super-alliance” Opens Doors for Busniness
Single entry technology portal among differentiators for The 12th Floor Group
New Orleans, LA, February 11, 2016 –– A dozen national title insurance agencies and settlement services law firms have aligned as a national consortium to be called “The 12th Floor Group.” The alliance will be
comprised of independent firms, with the requirement that each member have a physical office (brick and mortar) in the states in which it operates.
The 12th Floor Group was conceived in response to the challenge of building a settlement services firm with truly national coverage in several states which have traditionally posed significant barriers to entry. The group was conceived after close consultation with many of the largest national banks, mortgage lenders, reinsurance companies, mortgage insurance companies, government regulators, and members of the secondary market. The 12th Floor Group covers in excess of 40 States through the combined licensure of its members.
Unlike many centralized national settlement services firms, The 12th Floor Group will not be built around a centralized operations center, but instead, state-focused operations centers. The approach is intended to address the widely varying legal and regulatory schemes from state to state governing title and settlement services. “In the traditional model, the lender had only an independent notary/signing agent,” said Stephen Papermaster of First Title & Escrow, President of The 12th Floor Group. “However with this new model, The 12th Floor Group has strategically created a consortium of companies which are domiciled with brick and mortar in even the most difficult jurisdictions. Its members actually live in their respective states, and employ local closing agents, attorneys, and title agents who are part of the local economy, political structure, and culture.”
Stephen Papermaster also notes that lenders and banks doing business with The 12th Floor Group will be able to place orders and make status inquiries through a single, cloud-based portal.
What sets the 12th Floor Group apart from the rest of the industry is its commitment to State and Federal compliance. Each of its members have distinguished themselves by maintaining cutting edge technological and compliance measures, and an expert knowledge of local custom, rules and conditions. In addition, the 12th Floor Group has retained RESPA expert, Marx Sterbcow, Esq. as Outside General Counsel to ensure compliance with RESPA and other related federal regulations, and Richard Horn, Esq. to provide TRID counsel and guidance, the benefits of which are ultimately realized by both consumers and corporate clients.
Each group member must undergo an intensive internal vetting process and audit by the group’s General Counsel. In addition, each member must maintain, at a minimum, an AICPA Service Oriented Company Certification of some level. All initial members of the group have at least a SOC type 1 certification. All group members have adopted and implemented the basic requirements set out in the ALTA Best Practices. Over the past 12 months the initial members have met and developed an innovative set of additional proprietary “pillars” including: Third and Fourth Party Vendor Management Best Practices; Social Media/ FFIEC best Practices; REO and Loss Mitigation Best Practices and OFAC/Anti Money Laundering/Mortgage Fraud Best Practices.
About The 12th Floor Group
The 12th Floor Group is a national consortium of independent title and settlement services firms with brick and mortar operations in their respective states. The group offers a new alternative to the status quo in the title insurance and settlement services industry, providing a feasible solution for a severely underserved sector of the national mortgage industry. By pooling the extensive knowledge, experience, and local expertise of its members in the national and local title and settlement industry, in addition to leveraging each member’s compliance management program, technological capital, understanding of the secondary market, and each member’s commitment to personalized customer service, the 12th Floor has created the definitive answer for an undefined title and settlement industry – a single outlet for lenders to look for servicing of all their transactions nationally with actual local knowledge and one portal, and minimal relationships to manage.
For a complete list of the 12th Floor Group members, see below and visit: www.12thfloorgroup.com.
2442 Devine Street
Columbia, SC 29211
137 Main Street
Bay Saint Louis, MS 39520
1605 S. Alexander St. #102
Plant City, FL 33563
3595 Grandview Pkwy Ste. 600
Birmingham, AL 35243
7361 Calhoun Place, Ste. 200
Rockville, MD 20855
11 Middle Neck Road, 4th Floor
Great Neck, NY 11021
1820 Belle Chasse Highway, Ste. 205,
Gretna, LA 70056
5583 Murray Road Ste. 120
Memphis, TN 38120
Grand Rapids Office 250 Monroe
Ave. NW Suite 400
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Kent County
185 Plains Road, Ste. 108E
Milford, CT 06461
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