March 7, 2016. Atlanta, GA. Frazier & Deeter, one of the nation’s largest CPA firms, announced today that seven Georgia law firms have completed testing and earned certification under the American Land Title Association (ALTA) Best Practices certification program administered by Frazier & Deeter.
The following firms have all achieved certification by demonstrating compliance with the seven pillars of ALTA’s Best Practices:
- The Graham Law Firm,
- The Law Office of Sam Maguire, Jr., PC,
- Rashfal & Associates, LLC,
- Rubin Lublin, LLC,
- Sellers & Warren, PC,
- Smith, Tumlin, McCurley & Patrick, PC, and
- Tilley, Deems and Trotter, LLC
“These firms have procedures in place that fully meet the standards of the ALTA Best Practices framework,” said Tracey Webb, leader of Frazier & Deeter’s ALTA compliance practice. “By seeking certification via a third party CPA firm, these firms have submitted their procedures for a thorough review and proven they have the internal practices in place to protect consumers and lenders throughout the real estate settlement process.”
Frazier & Deeter’s ALTA certification practice is led by Tracey Webb. Webb is a CPA who joined Frazier & Deeter in 2015 after 27 years with Stewart Title, where she served in a variety of leadership roles. Webb is a frequent speaker at title industry events regarding ALTA Best Practice Compliance.
In April of 2012, the American Land Title Association (ALTA) issued a very extensive, detailed framework of Title and Settlement Services Best Practices. The Best Practices were developed to help the industry as a whole respond to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s expectation that lenders would oversee and ensure compliance for the actions of their settlement service providers. Settlement service providers include title companies and law firms who perform real estate closing transactions.
The intent of ALTA’s Best Practices framework is to “highlight policies and procedures the industry exercises to protect lenders and consumers, while ensuring a positive and compliant real estate settlement experience.” The ALTA Best Practices gave structure to a somewhat nebulous situation set forth by the CFPB.
The best practices incorporate the following areas of settlement service providers’ daily operations:
- escrow trust accounting,
- information security,
- settlement procedures,
- title policy and premium,
- insurance and
- consumer complaints.
Each of the law firms mentioned above underwent extensive testing to show their compliance with the seven areas. The testing performed is based upon the ALTA Assessment Procedures which have been approved for testing by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in their Technical Questions and Answers communication Section 9540 issued in April 2015. The testing performed by Frazier & Deeter included reviewing the law firms’ written procedures for these seven areas and testing closing files, bank accounts and related documents to ensure compliance with the written procedures. The testing is in a Pass/Fail structure, meaning all items must Pass in order for the law firm to receive their certification.
About Frazier & Deeter
Frazier & Deeter is a nationally recognized CPA and advisory firm headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The firm provides tailored services across a wide range of tax, audit, accounting and advisory needs to achieve each client’s unique financial goals.
Frazier & Deeter has been named one of the top Accounting Firms to Work For, the 57th largest CPA firm and one of the Fastest Growing CPA firms among the top 100 firms in the U.S. by Accounting Today magazine. Frazier & Deeter has also been named a Best of the Best CPA firm by Inside Public Accounting and a best firm for Women Leadership Equity by Project MOVE.