First Title & Escrow Reaches Two Year-End Milestones

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First Title opens their Texas operation and successfully completes an SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type II audit.

First Title

"The demand from our clients and the incredible growth in this area supported our decision to further expand into the Texas Market” - Pamela Gibbons

First Title & Escrow, a leading nationwide provider of title insurance and closing solutions, announced today its expansion into Texas with the opening of its first location in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area this month, in addition to their completion of a SSAE 16 SOC1, Type II Audit of their processes, procedures, internal controls and technology infrastructure.

First Title’s new operation, Title & Escrow of Texas, Inc., will be managed by Nathan Wood, Texas Operations Manager, and serve the entire state. A licensed escrow officer, Mr. Wood was formerly Vice President of Operations for Patriot USA Settlement Services, and is a member of the Texas Land Title Association.

The opening of this Texas operation will allow First Title to meet the demand of their customers in this market for residential and commercial markets. “We are very excited to be offering title and escrow services to the lending and real estate community in this market. The demand from our clients and the incredible growth in this area supported our decision to further expand into the Texas Market”, states Pamela Gibbons, Senior Vice President.

First Title & Escrow offers a streamlined process and technology tools designed to ensure an efficient and compliant process, from title quote through closing, recordation and policy production. Their integration into various loan and middleware platforms, including Encompass, Point, RealEC and Equator, keep customers inside their main platform, while getting the value of First Title’s technology, FirstVision®, delivered through XML data delivery for the entire file lifecycle, including everything from exact transaction specific title, closing, recordation and transfer tax costs, through commitment, HUD delivery, title curative and subordination process management, and final documents.

“Through the use of our FirstVision technology, we will be able to help lenders and real estate professionals doing business in the Texas market increase their closings by improving the quality and delivery of title and closing services”, states Stephen Papermaster, President of First Title.

The new office will be located at 1400 Preston Road, Plano, TX 75093. More information on First Title & Escrow and their new Texas operations can be found at or by calling 866-484-8537.

SSAE 16 SOC1, Type II

Prior to opening their Texas operation in 2013, First Title & Escrow successfully completed an SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type II audit. The report not only confirms First Title’s meeting or exceeding compliance standards, but also ensures their credibility as a third-party title solutions provider.

The report comes shortly after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced new rules and regulations under the Dodd-Frank ACT. As a result, mortgage lenders and banks need to make sure that they are working with credible and regulatory compliant service providers by conducting a thorough vetting process. The first step is to look to a vendor’s compliance of SSAE 16 standards to fully understand their system management, controls and security procedures to protect customer related data.

First Title values building strategic partnerships with lenders and banks to ensure that they are receiving fully compliant, real estate title and closing services solutions. They consistently adhere to the latest CFPB standards and regulations, and continue to maintain their reputation as a highly reputable and trustworthy national title company.

“We always want our clients and staff to be fully aware of First Title’s commitment to compliance on an annual basis. The SOC1 Type 2 brings an even higher level of transparency in an environment where compliant practices are paramount,” stated Stephen Papermaster, President and CEO of First Title & Escrow. “The service report reaffirms the quality of our title and closing services, and our continued pledge to meet or surpass title industry standards.”

The SSAE 16 SOC1 Type 2 report was conducted and evaluated by a third party auditing and accounting firm, testing controls relating to vendor management, title review, post-closing and disbursement procedures, computer operations and backup, information security, data communications and change management.

Unlike a Type 1 audit, this report represented a presentation of management’s description of First Title’s system and the suitability of the design and operating effectiveness of their financial, systems and technological controls throughout a specified period in 2013.

The audit was performed by an independent, licensed Certified Public Accounting firm, Align CPAs. In its announcement, First Title said it believes the SSAE 16 certification is important for showing banks, mortgage companies, credit unions and real estate professionals the importance the company places on the processes and security of its escrow and related closing and settlement services nationwide.

The CFPB issued an alert to all banks and lending institutions that they will be responsible for proper oversight of third-party providers they employ. As further clarification of that regulation, the CFPB issued a list of steps institutions should be taking in regulating their third party vendors, one of which was the review of providers “Polices, Procedures, Internal Controls and Training Materials to ensure that the service provider conducts appropriate training and oversight of employees” that have ‘consumer contact’ and “compliance responsibilities.” The SSAE16, SOC 1 Audit Certification is a way to measure these controls in the title insurance and closing services industry. “It’s a statement to our customers that First Title has the financial and operational controls in place that’s important to the national lending community today,” stated Stephen Papermaster, President of First Title.

A main difference between SSAE 16 and SAS 70 is that SSAE 16 requires the management of the service company to provide a written assertion to the auditor that their description accurately represents their organizational “system.” The organization’s system description consists of the services provided by the organization and any and all operational activities that affect the service’s customers.

In addition, the organization must also assert that their description honestly describes their control objectives and the time period in which they are meant to be evaluated. The Type I report is specifically defined by the SSAE 16 guidance as a “report on a description of a service organization’s system and the suitability of the design of controls”, essentially, a determination of if a company’s controls designed appropriately.

First Title & Escrow is a national title and real estate settlement services company serving lenders, banks, brokers, servicers, asset managers and as well as government sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, through subsidiary company, Streamline Title & Escrow Services LLC.

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