WFG Founder and Executive Chairman Patrick Stone cites five areas of concern.
In The Title Report, WFG National Title Insurance Company Founder and Executive Chairman Patrick F. Stone offers informed perspective on five areas that will impact the title industry in 2022 and beyond.
Cyber security – “I want to tell you straight up, if you haven’t had your system audited and looked at, please do so. Our subsidiary WEST provides cyber security audits. Use us or use somebody, but take a look at your cyber security.”
Technology – “We’re going to see a lot of automation. … I don’t think eClosings will happen as fast as people want them to, in part because we haven’t really quantified the time or cost savings that result from eClosings. There have been self-funded studies that indicate there is a time and cost savings from eClosings and RON, but lenders need to be able to verify and validate the savings and efficiencies for themselves.”
Consolidation in Title – “You’re going to see a tremendous amount of consolidation in our industry. It’s going to start this year within the title insurance industry. We have a tremendous amount of agents and underwriters, and I do think that the downturn in the market, with refis abating, is putting economic pressure on companies that will result in some consolidation.”
Consolidation in Real Estate – “You’ll also see real estate industry consolidation. Lenders, Realtors and title companies will become owned by a single entity. A lot of us have wondered why that hasn’t happened sooner, and there are a lot of reasons for it from the regulatory point of view. But I think you’re going to start seeing industrywide consolidation occur, probably within two to three years.”
Regulation – “You know that the title insurance industry candidly has benefited from the fact that we pay very low premium taxes. So consequently we’re not a large part of any insurance department’s revenue stream and we don’t get a lot of attention. I can guarantee you that will change as you see more consolidation in the real estate industry. And I do believe that you are going to see more data calls and more regulatory examination of our rates.”