– Thaddeus, the American Land Title Association’s mascot, received a makeover after having the same look since 1964.
– The rebranding of ALTA was unveiled at the ALTA One conference.
– ALTA faced challenges in the title industry, including Fannie Mae’s title waiver pilot program.
– Fannie Mae decided to scrap the pilot program before it launched, resulting in a victory for ALTA.
– ALTA is preparing for future challenges with the GSEs and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
– Federal lawmakers have introduced bills requiring title insurance on mortgages purchased by GSEs.
– ALTA encourages members to stay involved and engaged in the housing market.
When Thaddeus, the American Land Title Association’s eagle mascot, landed in Colorado Spring at The Broadmoor Hotel after a month-long virtual journey across the country from Washington, D.C., he did so with a new look.
Thaddeus’ makeover is part of an overall rebrand of ALTA, which was unveiled Wednesday morning at the start of the trade group’s annual ALTA One conference. The animated eagle has had the same look since 1964. As Megan Hernandez, ALTA’s director of marketing and public relations put it, “he was due for a glow up.”
“We wanted to craft a brand that is impossible to ignore,” Jack Rattikin III, ALTA’s 2022-2023 president, told attendees gathered in The Broadmoor’s International Center.
ALTA’s new look comes after a year that saw the title industry deal with plenty of unprecedented challenges, the largest being Fannie Mae’s title waiver pilot program. Under the waiver program, the government sponsored entity (GSE) would bypass traditional title insurance by granting certain mortgage lenders a waiver on title insurance requirements for loans sold to Fannie.
In August, however, news broke that Fannie had decided to scrap the pilot program before it had even launched.
ALTA executives are still reveling in their victory nearly two months later.
“This was the biggest issue we’ve ever faced in my 40-year career in the title industry,” Rattikin said. “It was an unprecedented challenge for an industry our size. In the end no one wanted the title insurance waiver program, but it allowed us a chance to really articulate our value in the real estate transaction to several regulators.”
Rattikin credited ALTA members and staff, including the more than 200 ALTA members who met with members of Congress to relay their concerns.
“Our power and our influence are alive and well in Washington, D.C.,” Rattikin said to raucous applause. “But these issues aren’t going away anytime soon.”
According to Rattikin, ALTA is preparing for future skirmishes with the GSEs and the Federal Housing Finance Agnecy as the government agency looks to improve home affordability.
In recent weeks, federal lawmakers in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives introduced new bills requiring title insurance on mortgages purchased by GSEs, a sign that ALTA’s appeals to Congress did not go unnoticed by members on the House and Senate.
As Rattikin and ALTA look ahead to 2024, Rattikin commiserated with attendees over the challenging housing market conditions, but encouraged members to use the slower market to strengthen their position and to continue to stay involved and engaged.
“We are stronger together,” Rattikin concluded.
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