Category: Network News


Florida Agency Network at NS3

Early last month, a few of Florida Agency Network’s executive team checked out this year’s National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) in Detroit, MI.

NS3 is one of the title and settlement industry’s largest conference. Bringing the industry together to celebrate innovation,  recognize accomplishments, and discuss the future of the industry.

Here are a few pictures from the conference.











 

To see all the photos, click here.

The post Florida Agency Network at NS3 appeared first on Florida Agency Network.

Source: Flagency


FAN’s Cottrell Announcement Featured in The Title Report

Recently, we made an announcement about  partnering with Cottrell Title & Escrow. This news is starting to trickle out to the masses, and we’re excited about it! Our official announcement was featured in a recent The Title Report.

We are thrilled to see others taking interest in what we feel is a great move for the State of Florida.

To read the official announcement, click HERE.

The post FAN’s Cottrell Announcement Featured in The Title Report appeared first on Florida Agency Network.

Source: Flagency


Top 10 Reasons to Start Your Title Career in Florida

beach-waves-crashing

Have you considered moving to Florida for a career in title insurance?

We seem to have an influx of people moving into the state of Florida. The latest census shows upwards of 900 people a day move to Florida.  A lot of that has to do with our sunshine, our tax structure (no state income taxes), and our booming economy!

In several areas of the state, there are housing shortages, and with shortages comes opportunity, job growth, construction, a lot of real estate transactions, and more opportunities for a career in the title insurance arena. Think about it. Every piece of land sold needs a title company. Every mortgage given requires title insurance. Every new condo built, apartment complex constructed, or orange grove converted into a subdivision, a title insurance company is often times at the heart of the process.

We’ve put together this TOP 10 reasons why it’s worth moving to the Tampa Bay Area and starting your career with the FLORIDA AGENCY NETWORK:

1. Beaches

Lots of beaches. You know what a day at the beach has in common with a snowstorm in Minnesota? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING .

2.  The Tampa Bay Lightning

Yes, we  have hockey in Florida. Perhaps you’ve heard about this guy Jeff Vinik? He owns the Lightning, and has pledged nearly $3 Billion dollars in infrastructure, improvements, new development, and more into  Downtown Tampa and Channelside areas.

3. Did you hear Mosaic is moving its headquarters here?

Mosaic, a Fortune 500 company is moving its headquarters from Minnesota (sorry guys) to Tampa Bay. All those execs need housing and title work. Just sayin’.

4. Florida Winters

Also known as “Those 2 days in January the temperature gets into the 50’s.” Brrrr….bundle up!

5. Cryptocurrency and Blockchain

Currently, we are involved in numerous conversations nationwide on providing solutions in this space. And yes, we can transact on a home using Bitcoin.

6. Technology

We consider ourselves to be an IT/Software/Technology company cleverly disguised as one of Florida’s Largest Title agencies. Google FLORIDA AGENCY NETWORK to see our numerous releases and media coverage, like this one or this one.

7. Disney World

Need I say more? Seriously, anywhere in the state is a only few hours from The Happiest Place on Earth. Orlando offers so much to do you’ll never get enough. More parks, more rides, more attractions, and more FOOD!

8. Ybor City

This area is a MUST SEE! Loaded with food, history, culture, cigars, and possibly, the TAMPA BAY RAYS! Ybor offers a little something for everyone.

9. Bern’s Steakhouse

A signature staple in the Tampa Bay area, Bern’s Steakhouse has been rated the #1 steakhouse in Florida. Take a step back in time with it’s amazing atmosphere and private dessert room. Bern’s has the largest private wine collection in the world with over 600,000 bottles.

10. The FLORIDA AGENCY NETWORK

Our organization is an awesome place to work and call home! We have some of the absolute best people in the business here. Large company perks with small company culture. We are statewide, have some amazing systems and solutions, phenomenal leadership of people who truly care about you and our clients.

So if you are looking to be a title closer in Gainesville, a title processor in Naples, a licensed title agent in Destin, or an IT professional or programmer in Tampa, the Florida Agency Network may have the position for you.

Thanks to our growth, we are always looking for experienced closing agents, processors, and title curative positions. However, we also look for examiners, lien search processors, accounting personnel, and several other career paths not often found in a traditional title agency or law firm.

So….ready to move?

Click HERE for more information on the positions we have available, or send your resume to careers@FLagency.net.

The post Top 10 Reasons to Start Your Title Career in Florida appeared first on Florida Agency Network.

Source: Flagency


E-Closing, E-Notarization, Paperless Closings: Finally a Reality in Florida!

As with most things in life, everything starts with a vision.

“In the world of real estate settlement services, it’s a vision to buy, refinance, and sell a house on a tablet device. No pens. No paper. No rubber-stamped notary seal. No 100’s of pieces of paper to be purchased, printed, signed, shipped and scanned. Oh, and shredded, who can forget shredding? Don’t get me started,” says Aaron M. Davis, CEO of Florida Agency Network (FAN).

For the world of real estate closings, the vision has been for years to transform an industry’s archaic processes through innovation and new technology. Aaron has made FAN’s purpose to innovate and blaze the path for homeownership to become more seamless, paperless, and less cumbersome for the consumer. His passion for revolutionizing the title insurance industry started decades ago, sitting in his mother’s title agency in Plant City, Florida.

“I remember the days of hand balancing HUD statements. Policies in triplicate form. Our first fax machine, our first desktop computers, Novell servers, dial-up modems, and paper. Lots and lots of paper. 200 pieces of paper per file, 30 files per storage box, and lugging boxes of files in and out of storage.”

Settlement has come light years from those days, however one piece has been missing. Remote Online Notarization, or RON for short. The ability to interface remotely via safe, online portal, digitally signing documents, and affixation of the electronic notary seal, all on a tablet device.

Pat Kinsel started Notarize because he had one too many bad notary experiences. In his case, the last straw was a notary agent who forgot to sign his document just before he went on vacation. He didn’t learn of the error until he was gone.  Pat knew “there has to be a better way!”

Developing that better way required a sharp focus on innovating both in the areas of technology and public policy. In researching the process, Pat discovered the Commonwealth of Virginia had passed a law in 2011 to become the first state to allow remote electronic notarization, and all 50 states must recognize Virginia’s ability to transact business in this new way. Building upon these policies, and with cooperation from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Pat and his team have spent the past years developing an amazing product to fundamentally transform the notary process for consumers, businesses, and agents. Technology and policy have converged, and Notarize is bringing notary into the 21st Century.

When Aaron met the team at Notarize in mid-2017 and demoed their product, he knew he had just witnessed the missing piece to the puzzle, and the future of real estate settlement: Paperless, convenient, efficient, and best of all, secure.

Fast forward to today, thanks to a partnership and friendship with Pat Kinsel and Adam Pase of Notarize, FAN could collaborate with a company whose vision and innovative pursuit in the online closing space is revolutionizing the real estate closing process. One final element in the equation came down to the backing from Westcor Land Title Insurance. With Westcor’s support and Notarize’s technology, FAN conducted its first fully-digital, 100% paperless, remote online notarization closing in March 2018.

The vision didn’t stop there. “After completing our first fully-digital purchase transaction using an online notary earlier, we knew the next step would be utilizing the technology for a refinance transaction,” said Aaron.

Hillsborough Title, a proud member of Florida Agency Network, suggested to one of its borrowers, Mr. Gallagher, to close his refinance transaction digitally. During the closing, Mr. Gallagher exclaimed that his digital experience was “very efficient” and “superb.” That was the goal; It’s about providing convenience and ease of use to consumers. “Our borrower was thrilled at the efficiency throughout the entire process. This transaction was a keybreakthrough in providing our clients the option of a fully digital remote closing at the time and location of their choosing,” said Aaron.

As the Chief Operating Officer of Florida Agency Network, Mike LaRosa said, “We were fortunate to have all of the necessary parties willing and able to take this historic step for the Florida title insurance industry. The Notarize platform made the idea of a RON closing experience a legitimate possibility, and the forward thinking of Westcor made it a reality. Finally, combining the right real estate, lending, and title partners allowed for a cooperative experience for Mr. Gallagher, our mutual end-consumer. We were obviously thrilled to be a part of history, and also to be able to offer Mr. Gallagher, and our future clients, this unique experience.”

Everyone working on the transaction couldn’t help but celebrate how convenient it was to close, and how they had just witnessed the future of settlement. Jackie McNamee, the closing agent for Hillsborough Title said, “I am so excited and proud to have been a part of this first fully-digital loan closing experience.” While Nate Davis, Owner of Florida Mortgage Firm said, “The days of long drives to title offices, scheduling time off work for the sole purpose of signing docs, and overseas clients searching for U.S. notaries will soon be a distant memory with this platform.”

There will always be a time and place for physical closings, the coming together of buyers, sellers, real estate agents, and lenders to meet and sign at closing. This gives a great alternative should a party not physically be able to attend.

But won’t it be great to do it all digitally. All on a tablet.

WITHOUT ONE

PIECE

OF

PAPER!!! 

The post E-Closing, E-Notarization, Paperless Closings: Finally a Reality in Florida! appeared first on Florida Agency Network.

Source: Flagency


FAN and Cottrell Title & Escrow Join Forces Bringing Statewide Solution

Naples, Fla. – May 9, 2018 – Florida Agency Network (FAN) is joining forces with Cottrell Title & Escrow located in Naples, Florida. This partnership amongst independently-owned title insurance agencies aims at expanding the organization’s footprint into certain key Florida markets.

“We’re excited about bringing Cottrell Title & Escrow into the FAN family. We appreciate the way their organization does business, and feel Cottrell will make an excellent addition to our team,” says Aaron M. Davis, CEO of the Florida Agency Network. “Both of our companies share the same vision and commitment to industry compliance standards. Combining our energies and expertise to serve a broader range of customers will help deliver more efficient solutions across the state.”

“After having in-depth conversations with FAN Management about where the title industry is headed over the next 3-5 years, it was evident that both of our companies have similar goals and missions to provide the best closing experience for our clients,” stated Justin Cottrell, Esq. Founding Partner of Cottrell Law Group.

Cottrell Title & Escrow will use multiple back-office solutions provided by Florida Agency Network (FAN), with the goal of centralizing non-core title services and allowing for a sharper focus on servicing their clients and maintaining industry-leading security and protection of NPPI via added compliance controls. This relationship marks the second independently owned and operated partnership of its type for FAN, the first being SETCO Services in North Florida’s panhandle region. Both strategic partnerships provide valuable services to the partner entities, while providing FAN with additional geographic coverage throughout key Florida markets.

“Even more rare, and ultimately what attracted us to this opportunity, is that both brands have proven the ability to execute their ideas and innovations at a high strategic level. We are grateful to be able to put our resources together through the Florida Agency Network affiliation and continue to raise the bar and provide enhanced peace of mind for our clients and industry partners.” Stated James P. Schlimmer, Managing Partner of Cottrell Title & Escrow

 

 

About Cottrell Title & Escrow

Cottrell Title & Escrow is a settlement service provider located in Naples, Florida. Cottrell Title & Escrow’s mission and primary goal is to save real estate agents, brokers, lenders, and their clients time and provide enhanced peace of mind during the closing experience.

The post FAN and Cottrell Title & Escrow Join Forces Bringing Statewide Solution appeared first on Florida Agency Network.

Source: Flagency


Florida Agency Network Closes First Refinance E-Closing Using Remote Online Notary

Tampa, Fla. – April 3, 2018 – Florida Agency Network announced the completion of its first 100 percent paperless, fully-digital real estate refinance transaction with United Wholesale Mortgage and Florida Mortgage Firm. The closing was completed at the office of Florida Mortgage Firm. All closing documents were executed electronically, and the Electronic Notarization of mortgage and affidavits was performed by Notarize via an online interface.

“After completing our first fully-digital purchase transaction using an online notary earlier this month, we knew the next step would be utilizing the technology for a refinance transaction,” said Aaron M. Davis, CEO of Florida Agency Network. “Our borrower was thrilled at the efficiency throughout the entire process. This transaction was a key breakthrough in providing our clients the option of a fully digital remote closing at the time and location of their choosing.”

Hillsborough Title completed the transaction utilizing remote online notarization via Notarize, the first notary public platform allowing any person or business to get their documents legally notarized online, and Westcor Land Title Insurance Company, who underwrote and issued the title insurance policy.

“It is exciting to be a pioneer in the Florida market with the e-close experience. The days of long drives to title offices, scheduling time off work for the sole purpose of signing docs, and overseas clients searching for U.S. notaries will soon be a distant memory with this platform. Physical closing attendance will always be an option for consumers, but this added convenience will be a solution to a multitude of scenarios that will benefit our customers,” said Nate Davis, Owner of Florida Mortgage Firm.

 

The post Florida Agency Network Closes First Refinance E-Closing Using Remote Online Notary appeared first on Florida Agency Network.

Source: Flagency


Emergency Order on Roof Repairs

Recently, Florida Land Title Association sent out an update concerning emergency roof repairs after Hurricane Irma, and we feel it’s imperative to share it with you.

“As real estate transactions are being impacted and/or delayed by Hurricane Irma’s damages, it’s important for us to share the latest Emergency Order from, Jonathan Zachem, Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, in response to Governor Scott’s Executive Order.

Roofing contractors will be spread thin over the next several months and this will assist in accelerating the recovery and real estate closing process.

Zachem has ordered the following for counties identified in the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster declaration DR-4337 as it relates to roof repair:

  1. The provisions of section 489.113(3), Florida Statutes, are suspended to the following extent: A certified or registered, general, building, or residential contractor is not required to subcontract roofing work for repair and installation of any flat roofs and roofs made of wood shakes, asphalt or fiberglass shingles, tiles, and metal.
  2. The provisions of section 489.117, Florida Statutes, are suspended to the extent that local jurisdictions are authorized to issue local specialty licenses, without additional local ordinances, for the repair and installation of flat roofs and roofs made of wood shakes, asphalt or fiberglass shingles, tiles, and metal, conditioned upon the requirement that all applicants for the specialty roofing licenses shall provide an affidavit of competency from their original jurisdiction, within Florida, proof of compliance with applicable workers’ compensation as required by Chapter 440, Florida Statutes, and public liability and property damage insurance as required by section 489.115(5)(a), Florida Statutes.
  3. Departmental fees associated with relocating or reopening businesses regulated under Chapter 455, Florida Statutes, that were closed from damage caused by Hurricane Irma and its effects are hereby waived. Only fees assessed by the department, or by a board within the department, are waived.

The effective date of this Order shall correspond with the effective date of Executive Order No. 17-235, and any amendments, provided however that all jobs issued permits during this period shall be allowed to be completed.”

Please make sure to pass this along to any buyers, sellers, REALTORS, and industry partners you think could use this information. To view the complete Order, click HERE.

The post Emergency Order on Roof Repairs appeared first on Florida Agency Network.

Source: Flagency


Independent Audit Confirms FAN’s Internal Data Security Controls

Florida Agency Network completes SOC 1 Type 2 attestation

 

PLANT CITY, Fla. – Florida Agency Network, (FAN), the largest network of title agencies in Florida, has completed a meticulous third-party examination of its data security and privacy policies and procedures under the Service Organization Controls (SOC) 1 Type 2 standards.

The demanding third-party examinations were administered by the professional IT assurance and compliance staff at 360 Advanced, a respected national Qualified Security Assessor, HITRUST CSF Assessor and Certified Public Accountant firm based in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Companies that complete annual SOC 1 assessments can demonstrate a substantially higher level of security assurance and operational visibility as compared to those companies without an assessment. The assessment focuses on the internal controls impacting customers and the protection of their non-public personal information (NPPI).

“Proving up to date compliance with SOC 1 Type 2 is a rigorous process for all involved.  I am proud that FAN completed our annual assessment successfully and believe that it affords us a competitive advantage,” said Andrea Somers, Compliance Officer for FAN. She added that the staff at 360 Advanced is “knowledgeable, detailed, and a pleasure to work with.”

The post Independent Audit Confirms FAN’s Internal Data Security Controls appeared first on Florida Agency Network.

Source: Flagency


Florida Agency Network Completes SOC 1, Type 2 Assessment Report

November 3, 2016 — TAMPA, FL  — Florida Agency Network (FAN), the largest network of title agencies in Florida, has completed a rigorous third-party examination of its policies and procedures under the Service Organization Controls (SOC) 1 Type 2 standards, demonstrating its commitment to data security and privacy at all levels of its operations.

The demanding third-party examinations were administered by the professional IT assurance and compliance staff at 360 Advanced, a respected national Qualified Security Assessor, HITRUST CSF Assessor and Certified Public Accountant firm based in Tampa, FL.

Developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”), the Trusted Service Principles (TSP) Framework is based on criteria geared towards technology and cloud-based computing systems, and the TSP Framework is comprised of five standards by which a practitioner is required to examine and report on when analyzing the security of a candidate’s system.

Companies who complete annual SOC 1 assessments are able to demonstrate a substantially higher level of security assurance and operational visibility as compared to those companies who have not yet received their assessment. The assessment focuses on the internal controls impacting customers and the protection of their non-public personal information (NPPI).

Through its partnership with Premier Data Services, FAN is able to avail itself of a SOC 2, Type 2-assessed hosted environment with co-location backup and the most rigorous security controls in the industry. Premier Data Services is able to provide security measures as they relate to non-financial controls of an organization such as its IT network and processes, as well as protection of confidential data. As an IT/MSP, Premier Data Services specializes in compliance and security, overseeing its clients’ infrastructure and network solutions, and ensuring their software systems are not only healthy, but also optimized for performance.

“We are proud of this accomplishment and we feel our company has made a statement to our lender and real estate partners about how serious we take protecting and safeguarding our clients’ information. We value and protect NPPI as though it were money. Our goal is to become a vault for our clients,” said Aaron M. Davis, CEO of FAN.

“Having the SOC 1 Type 2 assessment completed puts us in the top one percent of agencies to reach this standard in our industry,” said Andrea Somers, Compliance Officer for FAN. She added that, “successfully completing the rigorous assessments provides FAN with a competitive advantage.  Lenders are asking more frequently for standards of protection for consumers’ NPPI.”

***

ABOUT FLORIDA AGENCY NETWORK

The FLORIDA AGENCY NETWORK (FAN) is made up of a network of title agencies that have formed a strategic alliance to provide shared back office services, pooled resources, and greater geographic coverage throughout the State of Florida. Resources of FAN include multiple on-staff attorneys, access to private title plant and ancillary services, IT company, centralized processes & post-closing, agency administration, compliance management and financial oversight. Powered by multiple national underwriters, FAN offers residential, commercial, builder, lender and investor services, experienced escrow staff, personalized customer service, offices throughout the State of Florida, and much more. For more information, please visit https://www.FLagency.net.

 ***

ABOUT 360 ADVANCED

Known for its responsiveness, experience and professionalism, 360 Advanced has clients in more than 35 states that are major service providers in various industries, including cloud and SaaS based organizations.  360 Advanced is one of only a few specialized firms in the U.S. that assist service providers as their independent IT assurance and compliance assessor in maintaining and communicating security and compliance to their clients.

360 Advanced’s services are provided, but not limited to, the following industries: Title Services, Hosted and Managed IT, Data Center and Colocation, Software as a Service (SaaS), Healthcare, Financial Services, Insurance, HR | Payroll | PEO, Legal and Collections, Bulk Mail Printing and Distribution, Background Screening, Business Process Outsourcing and Marketing.

Services provided by 360 Advanced include SOC 1 (SSAE 16), SOC 2, SOC 3, PCI DSS, HIPAA Security/HITECH, Microsoft Vendor Policy and other security and compliance services.

Contact:         Eric Ratcliffe

eratcliffe@360advanced.com

866.418.1708 ext.710

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Source: Flagency