The American Land Title Association, founded in 1907, is the national trade association and voice of the abstract* and title insurance industry. ALTA members search, review and insure land titles to protect home buyers and mortgage lenders who invest in real estate. ALTA is headquartered in Washington, DC.
Members of the association are in business in most counties across the nation. Nearly all title insurance companies hold ALTA membership, in addition to abstracters* and title agents. Nearly 3,000 title agents, abstracters, and title insurance companies are Active members, ranging from small, one-county operations, to large national title insurers. Title insurers or underwriters also conduct business internationally in nearly 100 countries worldwide. Associate members of ALTA may include attorneys, builders, developers, lenders, real estate brokers, surveyors, consultants, educational institutions, computer services firms, and related national trade associations.
The eleven-member ALTA Board of Governors is responsible for creating association policy, managing the financial health of the association, overseeing the work of 33 committees, and ensuring the overall welfare of the association.
The organization's best known function is the promulgation of standardized forms for the terms and conditions of title insurance policies: these forms are adopted by all major title insurers except where state law requires the issuance of different terms, although most of the state-regulated forms are similar or identical to the ALTA forms.
ALTA's headquarters are located at 1828 L Street, NW Suite 705, Washington, D.C. 20036.
On September 18, 2007 ALTA launched "The Title Industry Consumer Initiative," which details the association's five-point strategy for improving industry oversight and educating and protecting consumers. The initiative was developed in response to the recommendations by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a report it issued in April 2007. The Title Industry Consumer Initiative includes a consumer education program, the adoption of "Principles of Fair Conduct," plans for member education on regulatory compliance and ethical standards, and a plan for working more closely with state and federal regulators to ensure that the title industry is meeting the needs of consumers.
The Land Title Institute (LTI) is the educational subsidiary of the American Land Title Association. LTI started with one correspondence course more than 30 years ago and has evolved into an organization which offers comprehensive, title industry specific training through various mediums. LTI offers several online educational courses and educational videos on the title industry.
An ALTA survey is a boundary survey prepared to a set of minimum standards that have been jointly prepared and adopted by the ALTA/ACSM. Additionally, an ALTA survey shows improvements, easements, rights-of-way, and other elements impacting the ownership of land. An ALTA Survey is often prepared for commercial properties, as it will provide the title company with the information required to insure the title to the land and improvements to the high degree that a commercial development may require. In addition to the minimum standards set forth, a table of optional elements is included in the ALTA/ACSM standards. A careful review of the elements from the optional "Table A" is helpful in delineating a clear scope of the land surveyor's services.
A current title commitment is required before an ALTA Survey can be completed. The surveyor will refer to the title commitment for the legal description of the property and for the legal description of any encumbrances (exceptions). Areas of ownership, improvements and encumbrances will be shown graphically. If the survey discovers any encroachments, they should be shown graphically, and a note indicating the nature of the encroachment may also be added.
The certification language of the ALTA Survey should include the names of the affected parties, including as appropriate the buyer, seller, title company, and lender. The surveyor must work in close association with the title insurance company, as the surveyor and the title company are relying on each others work to show the matters affecting the ownership of the land and improvements in a comprehensive manner.
An ALTA land survey has especially stringent requirements as developed by a joint effort of the American Land Title Association and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. The ALTA standards are a nationwide uniform set of standards. Sometimes referred to as "the Cadillac of surveys." The survey is specifically designed to satisfy the needs of lenders, corporations and title companies when dealing with valuable commercial properties.
American Land Title Association Applauds U.S. Representatives for Introducing Bill Protecting Consumers from Harmful Private Transfer Fees.
Oct 16, 2010; First graph, first sentence of release should read: applauds U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (sted applauds U.S. Rep. Maxine Walters and...
American Land Title Association Honors Senator Landrieu and Representative Perlmutter with 'Protecting the American Dream Award'
May 25, 2013; By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Real Estate Business Journal -- The American Land Title Association (ALTA) will honor...