InsightsMake quick work of replacing missing title policies

"The scale at which we can replace title policies is unmatched in the industry..." | ServiceLink

Securitization and sales transactions can grind to a halt when title policies are missing. Having the right title policy partner can make all the difference.

An increasing number of loans are changing hands right now in the mortgage lending, servicing and capital markets spaces, as higher interest rates and lower origination volumes are prompting strategic buying and selling activity nationwide. Fast, smooth transactions are key to the success and profitability of these transactions, so when a title policy goes missing, it’s important to address the issue immediately. Without a clean, current policy, the transaction cannot go through.

“There are several reasons a title policy may need to be replaced: The original title provider or underwriter is no longer in business, the policy has been poorly imaged or preserved, the policy documents have been lost over time, or a general servicing event necessitates title reissuance,” explains Jon Roventini, national sales executive, ServiceLink. “Regardless of the reason, a missing policy can slow the process of securitizing a pool of loans or selling mortgage servicing rights, which could in turn trigger financial penalties for missed commitment dates.”

With only two available options for rectifying the situation — replacing the title policy of that loan or trying to track down another loan that’s exactly like it to include in the bundle — most traders choose the former, because replacing a title policy is generally faster, cheaper and easier. Working with a reputable, experienced title policy provider can help you resolve the missing-title issue quickly to keep your transaction moving forward.

What to look for in a replacement title policy partner

Time is money when it comes to replacing missing title policies, so working with a partner that offers a quick solution at a low price is key. Scalability, stability and service quality are factors to consider as well.

Efficiency. Loans in a lender’s portfolio may have been closed in any number of states and counties, by any in a range of title companies and underwriters. Tracking down a particular title policy can be time-intensive and complex.

“The process entails going into the individual loan to identify the title company and then trying to reach the company to request a copy. Many times, a lender will find that that title company has gone out of business since issuing the policy, which complicates the process further,” says Roventini. “It can take days or even weeks to secure a title commitment from a local title company. Compare that with the speed and ease of ordering a replacement policy from ServiceLink, which can typically deliver in less than a day, thanks to our technology and nationwide access to property records.”

Price. Cost can become an important factor, especially if missing title policies are a recurring concern. As a centralized nationwide provider of replacement policies for high-volume banks, credit unions, and mortgage bankers and servicers, ServiceLink can offer pricing that is often far lower than local or regional providers.

“In today’s environment, where every dollar counts, knowing you’re getting the best deal is important for any lender looking to securitize or sell loans,” says Dave Howard, executive vice president, origination services, ServiceLink. “We issue all replacement policies at the lowest possible centralized rates.”

Scalability. Choosing a title policy partner with the flexibility to handle very large orders as well as smaller ones helps ensure that all your needs can be met in a consistently timely, professional manner. An agile technology platform, nationwide coverage and a national team of title experts give ServiceLink the capacity to handle any size project.

Howard explains, “The scale at which we can replace title policies is unmatched in the industry. No matter the size of the trader or whether they are working with a large or small pool of loans, we respond quickly and reliably.”

Stability. Indeed, reliability and stability are key to ensuring accuracy, efficiency and compliance. ServiceLink is backed by the resources of Fidelity National Financial, North America’s largest title insurance company. That backing, coupled with decades of title experience, gives ServiceLink an edge over smaller providers. “Lenders can sell with confidence knowing ServiceLink has covered every detail related to issuing a replacement title policy,” says Roventini.

Service. A flexible service style can help ensure that your missing policy issues are resolved through the process you are most comfortable with. “ServiceLink works with lenders in the way they prefer,” Roventini explains. “If they want to simply email us a spreadsheet requesting certain policies and data points, we’ll plug those into our system and produce the policies for them. If they prefer a direct integration, we can set that up quickly. Our onboarding team hosts a 30-minute call to go over the milestones the lender would like included, and then we customize the process to fulfill their needs.”

ServiceLink assigns a dedicated operations and service team to each lender, so that the people working on their orders are familiar with their deliverables and workflows, and that the lender always has direct access to points of contact they know. That team can be accessible seven days a week if needed and is available to any member of the lender’s team.

“We understand that the lender’s priority is to turn these title policies around quickly so they can move forward with whatever business they’d like to conduct. Everything we do supports that goal, from providing exceptional service and expertise to reining in costs,” says Howard. “We recognize that buying and selling servicing rights is an opportunity for lenders in today’s market. We’re here to back them up in any way we can.”

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