Category Archives: News

2017: The Year of American Dreams!

Another year has come and gone and we are thrilled to have played a small part in many of life’s important milestones for many families. We know that every time we do a closing, in addition to the legal paperwork, research, funding transfers, and insurance that we provide, our work represents significantly more than what we can see. What is our work, truly?

It’s a newlywed couple buying a townhome together.

It’s a family’s legacy when the patriarch passes away and leaves the family home to his children.

It’s a retired couple who are downsizing now that their children have all grown up and left the nest.

It’s the single mom who is putting a roof over her children’s home after a divorce meant she needed to refinance or move.

It’s a new construction build for a family who is selling their first house and moving into their dream home –  right in time for their new baby to arrive.

It’s a veteran who has come home from serving our country and have saved enough to get into a starter home.

These are milestone moments. Every closing is a milestone, and our closings bring families home – where life happens. Check out the interactive map below to see exactly where these milestone moments took place!

PRESS RELEASE: Commerce Title compliant with ALTA’s Best Practices

HA&W, LLP, a nationally-recognized tax, audit and business advisory firm headquartered in Atlanta, announced today that the firm has deemed 20 title agencies compliant with ALTA Best Practices.

These agencies, along with more than 500 others, have partnered with HA&W through its ComplianceSuccess® Program. Developed in collaboration with ALTA, the AICPA and the industry’s top title agents, HA&W’s ComplianceSuccess Program assures lenders that a title agent or settlement firm meets the highest standards in compliance benchmarking, readiness and reporting across all seven ALTA Best Practices Pillars.

According to AICPA standards, lenders can fully rely upon attestation programs such as ComplianceSuccess to help meet their regulatory obligations. The standards, however, do not support “consulting engagement certifications” or other less rigorous programs that are offered by many in the ALTA Best Practices “certification” industry. For that reason, a CPA review or examination gives title agents a real advantage in the marketplace, as well as increased comfort in their own risk management.

HA&W provides a wide array of compliance reports including: CPA reviews, CPA examinations, SSAE16/SOC 1 and SOC 2 reports and ISO 27001 certifications. For a small agency, reviews start as low as $3,750, including a detailed readiness assessment. An examination adds HA&W’s CPA opinion along with increased onsite testing. SOC 1 and SOC 2 reports, along with ISO 27001 certifications, meet the needs of the largest and most sophisticated agencies.

Firms that have recently achieved ALTA Best Practices compliance through HA&W’s ComplianceSuccess Program include:

“These industry leaders are taking a proactive stance with regard to compliance with ALTA Best Practices,” said Lee Fields, managing director of Business Consulting Services at HA&W. “They recognize the importance of compliance to the overall operational efficiency of their business and chose to partner with a CPA firm that stands with their clients by only issuing attestation-level ALTA compliance reports which are the gold standard.”

For more information about HA&W’s ComplianceSuccess® Program, or any of the other services HA&W offers to the title industry, visit http://www.title.hawcpa.com or call 1-844-848-6529.

About HA&W’s Title Industry Services:
HA&W’s Title Industry Services group elevates the operational effectiveness of agents, underwriters and lenders across the title industry. The group pioneered ALTA Best Practices compliance testing and reporting and, as the industry leader, has continued to refine it. The depth of the team’s industry knowledge and business expertise allows them to offer a comprehensive range of products and services that go far beyond compliance and serve the industry with innovation available nowhere else. Whether in compliance, business valuation, cyber security, enterprise risk management, mergers and acquisitions or tax planning, HA&W protects its title industry clients and strengthens their businesses, delivering peace of mind.

To learn more about HA&W’s Title Industry Services, visit http://www.title.hawcpa.com.

PRESS RELEASE: Commerce Title and Abstract Company Named One of Best Places to Work in Baton Rouge

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BATON ROUGE, La.: Commerce Title and Abstract Company has been named as one of the Best Places to Work in Baton Rouge 2016, the company announced today.

“It’s a great honor to have been named one of the Best Places to Work in Baton Rouge,” said Commerce Title President, Walter Comeaux. “It reflects our company’s commitment to our team’s shared prosperity. Our culture of an extraordinarily high work ethic, commitment to great customer service, and humility is key to our success and allows everyone at Commerce Title to share in celebrating this award. It’s truly a pleasure coming to work every day.”

Fifty companies were honored at the Baton Rouge Business Report’s annual event which was held on September 28 at the Crown Plaza. Winners were determined through a regional survey which was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Baton Rouge. This year, Commerce Title and Abstract Company ranked number eleven in the small to medium-sized category, the only ranked title company among the designees listed.

Companies from across the capital region entered the two-part process to determine the Best Places to Work in Baton Rouge. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices and demographics. The second part of the process consisted of a confidential employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined score determined the top companies and the final ranking. The organization Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Baton Rouge and also analyzed the data to determine the final rankings.

Commerce Title has been providing excellent title services to real estate clients in the Baton Rouge area and beyond since 1983. The company primarily focuses on residential and commercial real estate. Commerce Title has 40 employees and permanent offices in Baton Rouge off of Perkins Road, Sherwood Forest Boulevard, in Prairieville off of Market Place Drive, and a pop up office in Brusly.

For more information contact Kati Hyer, Marketing Project Manager. kati@commercetitle.com

Welcome Bing Stewart to the team!

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Bing Stewart has joined Commerce Title and Abstract Company in the firm’s Perkins headquarters. He is a veteran of the title industry, bringing more than three decades of real estate law experience to the team. Before beginning his career in title, Stewart worked in his family law business specializing in probate, foreclosure, and real estate transactional law at Stewart, Stewart, and Stewart. We’re excited to have him join our team! Reach Bing at bing@commercetitle.com.

Now closing in Brusly!

Want to close in Brusly/Port Allen? Now you can!
If your clients or properties are located west of the river and you’d like a convenient West Baton Rouge closing, Commerce Title is ready to accomodate you!

Our “pop up” office is located at 1650 Beaulieu Lane, Port Allen, in the generously shared office of Jamie Fonenot and William Kleinpeter.

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Commerce Title’s Ashley Coco, a resident of Brusly, is spearheading the West Baton Rouge location. “It is clear that there’s a need for more title services in West Baton Rouge. We’re excited to be able to meet that need for our clients outside of the city.”

I want to close in WBR! 
Request your West Baton Rouge closing when you submit your title request. Call 225.292.9130 or email sherwood@commercetitle.com to get started today!

There are nearly 100 ways to lose your home… and one way to keep it

On moving day, you feel the bliss of new or first-time home ownership. And it’s an exciting day! But lurking in the shadows of all those moving boxes could be title issues that could cause you to lose your property.

But wait, you ask: Isn’t a title search supposed to prevent against ownership issues? Even the most thorough and careful search of public records won’t find dangerous threats to your title: hidden risks. Risks like forgery, falsification, deeds signed by mistake- each are all-too-common risks that could render your title unclear without title insurance from a reputable and secure company.

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The good news is that the rights to your home can be defended in court with one thing: proper title insurance. Check out title insurance rates here, and shoot us an email to talk about your property.

 

The TRID Delay: What it means for the industry now and in the future

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CFPB’s delay had serious consequence for companies that had been diligently working toward August 1, 2015.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) gave the mortgage industry quite the surprise on June 24 of this year. With only 27 working days until the August 1 effective date of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule (or “TRID” for short), it proposed to delay the rule’s effective date to October 3. The reason? The agency that holds the industry to the fire for compliance with its regulations missed one of its own compliance requirements for the TRID rule. The CFPB dubbed its mistake as an “administrative error.” But this administrative error had serious consequences, both good and bad, for the industry. Some are TRIDiculously happy; others are stuck TRIDing water on their project plans. And the proposed delay has repercussions for not only TRID, but for the CFPB’s future mortgage rulemakings as well.

Read the complete article by Richard Horn from dsnews.com.

Commerce Title Expands Baton Rouge HQ

Today is moving day for Commerce Title. To accommodate recent growth, the Baton Rouge-based title firm is expanding its footprint at its headquarters offices at 2051 Silverside Drive, Suite 160. Commerce Title, which has been in business for nearly 35 years, is moving into an additional 2,320 square feet of space at its headquarter offices. It previously operated in a 3,903-square-foot space. The company has added an attorney and six support staff members to its payroll in recent weeks, says a spokesperson. Commerce Title also has offices on South Sherwood Forest Boulevard and in Prairieville.