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ALTA Supports the National Mortgage Database

American Land Title Association pic

American Land Title Association
Image: alta.org

Real estate Attorney Kathleen Kilkenny owns and operates a private practice in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where she oversees all aspects of residential real estate conveyancing. Kathleen Kilkenny recently became a member of American Land Title Association (ALTA), a professional organization supported by most banks and title insurance companies.

ALTA advocates for a number of key changes in the real estate and insurance industries, including the creation of a national mortgage database. First proposed in 2012 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), a national mortgage database would provide a comprehensive listing of first-lien single-family mortgages. The two agencies would be able to use the information to draft effective policies and understand housing market trends.

ALTA believes that a national mortgage database will protect consumers in the residential mortgage market. Regulatory agencies can use real-time data from such a database to anticipate future crises and take the steps necessary to prevent them. However, ALTA argues that a national mortgage database should not compromise the title industry’s ability to facilitate transfer of interests in real property.

Important Compliance Issues for the Real Estate Industry in 2015

With nearly 15 years of legal experience, Attorney Kathleen Kilkenny practices real estate law at her office in Massachusetts, where she helps clients in the Cape Cod area during real estate transactions. Kathleen Kilkenny also stays current with changes in the real estate industry by maintaining membership with professional organizations like the American Land Title Association (ALTA).

ALTA recently publicized an article from HousingWire.com that reviewed some of the significant compliance issues for 2015, including the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and mortgage servicing and sub-servicing matters. The article noted that additional HMDA data-gathering standards will be initiated, but the ultimate scale, particulars, and implementation date have yet to be released. Although the details are still in progress, the article states that the range of the new data-collection field requirements will be extensive and add new challenges for banks and financial institutions.

The article also asserts that regulatory agencies have expressed that there will be continued emphasis on mortgage servicing and sub-servicing guidelines. According to the article, 2015 will most likely bring additional modifications in mortgage servicing standards, such as new security measures for surviving family members and homeowners.

Cape Cod Real Estate Trends for End of Year

As a real estate attorney, Kathleen Kilkenny draws on an in-depth knowledge of the Cape Cod market. Kathleen Kilkenny has represented numerous home buyers and is herself a resident of the town of Chatham.

According to the Zillow real estate network, Cape Cod is currently a buyer’s market. The home value index of $356,900 is likely to rise 1.6 percent over the coming year. Prices tend to vary by community, with the greatest increases happening in Chatham over the past year. In the longer term, Orleans home prices have experienced the greatest average year-over-year increase. By contrast, the town of Brewster has seen a 4 percent decrease in median sales prices in the past five years but experienced an increase of only $2,910 in the past year.

Home sales remained strong through the summer of 2014, though September saw an expected slowdown. Real estate sales tend to dip as the holidays approach and pick up again in mid-January, when new homes come on the market and sellers list for their asking price. This makes the slow season an ideal time for buyers to find a good value.