326 5th Avenue South, Clinton, IA 52732 | Tel: 563.243.2027 | Fax: 563.243.6108

Fee Schedule for Clinton and Jackson Counties

December 1, 2014

Fee Schedule effective January 1, 2015

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its final rule on the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act

November 12, 2008

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its final rule on the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) November 12, 2008. The final rule and accompanying commentary is 341 pages long. HUD accepted many of the recommendations made by ALTA in its comments, testimony before Congress, and many meetings with the agency. Significantly, HUD has shortened the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and HUD 1/1A; dropped the closing script, volume discounts, and the “optional” reference to owners’ title insurance; extended average cost pricing to all settlement service providers; and provided a right to cure for amounts in excess of tolerances and for HUD 1/1A errors.

Most of the new rule’s requirements will become effective immediately. But the new GFE and HUD 1/1A won’t be required until January 1, 2010, although they may be used anytime before then. If the new forms are used, all requirements of the rule must also be followed, such as tolerances and the agent/underwriter split disclosure.

HUD Final Rule on RESPA

Good Faith Estimate


Marsha Hopkins has completed the Iowa Land Title Association course in Legal Descriptions

April 17, 2008

Marsha Hopkins has completed the course in Abstracter’s Legal Descriptions. Marsha is the manager of the Research Department of Abstract & Title Guaranty Company. Her department is responsible for providing accurate title searches in a timely manner. The department also is responsible for the posting of the company’s tract index and general index in both Clinton and Jackson County, Iowa. Marsha has been with the company for eleven years.

The hands-on course covers the basics of preparing a legal description, including: foundation and history, land measurements, types and parts of legal descriptions, drawing legal descriptions, and plats and subdivisions. The course was recently developed by the Iowa Land Title Association together with Des Moines Area Community College to provide continuing education for professional development. This course is the first offering in the Iowa Land Title Association’s Certified Land Title Professional program. This series of classes is designed to create recognizable standards and a goal of professionalism among title persons in the land title industry. The Iowa State Bar Association and the Iowa Realtors Association have approved this course for credit of their respective continuing education requirements.

Abstract & Title Guaranty Company has adopted the ALTA Principles of Fair Conduct

January 9, 2008

The Principles of Fair Conduct are a downloadable PDF file. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get Acrobat Reader here if you don't have it.

ALTA Principles of Fair Conduct

Kurt Pfotenhauer named CEO of American Land Title Association

December 12, 2007

Kurt Pfotenhauer has been named as the American Land Title Association's (ALTA) new Chief Executive Officer. ALTA President, Gary Kermott, made the announcement on December 12th.

According to Mr. Kermott, Mr. Pfotenhauer has a very impressive background and brings a wealth of experience to the organization. Most recently, he served as senior vice president of government affairs and public policy for the Mortgage Bankers Association. In that capacity, Kurt managed a staff of 27 and an annual budget of $5 million. He is the former Chief of Staff for a U.S. Senator Gordon Smith (R. OR), and served as Vice President of Public Affairs for United Parcel Service. He received a Bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master's degree from Yale University.

Mr. Pfotenhauer's focus will be on helping to grow and strengthen our organization, expand services to the association membership, and extend outreach to legislators, regulators, the consumer public, and the news media.

Having served in both the public and private sector, as well as for a nationally respected trade association, Pfotenhauer brings significant management and leadership experience to the association.

Founded in 1907, ALTA is a National trade association representing more than 3,000 title insurance companies, title agents, independent abstracters, title searchers, and attorneys. With more than 8,000 offices throughout the United States, ALTA Members provide services including title searches, examinations, closings, and insurance that protects real property owners and mortgage lenders against losses from defects in titles. ALTA member companies employ well over 100,000 individuals and operate in every county in the country, and several countries around the world. Abstract & Title Guaranty is a member of ALTA.

Merino attends halFILE Conference

November 21, 2007

Kay Lynn Merino, manager of Jackson County Abstract Company attended the 2007 halFILE User Group conference. The conference was held in New Orleans, Louisiana November 14 – 16, 2007. While she was at the conference Merino attended sessions on halFILE system administration, Crystal Reports, Data Verification, Workflow and Full Text Indexing. Merino also learned about the highly anticipated release of halFILE 3.0. Abstract & Title Guaranty Company maintains title plants, order entry and order tracking databases for both Clinton and Jackson County, Iowa using halFILE systems. It is anticipated that we will upgrade our system to halFILE 3.0 sometime in the first quarter of 2008.

halFile Systems Corporation provides software and hardware installations to title companies, banks and to county government across the United States. halFILE gives special recognition to companies that have more then one million images in their title plant operations. At the conference Merino accepted an award recognizing our company for having achieved the one million image milestone.

Mallicoat and Eisenman Attend Centennial Convention of American Land Title Association

October 15, 2007

Mark Mallicoat and John Eisenman attended the annual convention of the American Land Title Association (ALTA) in Chicago, Illinois. The event was held at the Hilton Chicago from Wednesday, October 10th through Saturday, October 13th, 2007. This year was the centennial celebration of the Association. Founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1907 ALTA is the national trade association and voice of the abstract and title insurance industry. ALTA members search, review and insure land titles to protect home buyers and mortgage lenders who invest in real estate. ALTA is headquartered in Washington, DC.

During the convention they attended educational sessions on the Drucker Principles as They Apply to the Title Industry, E-Recording, Mortgage Fraud, Sales and Relationship Building and Leading Your Business in Times of Change.

General Session speakers at the convention included Arte Johnson and Neil Howe. Johnson gave a humorous presentation about his life in the entertainment business, particularly highlighting his years on the television series Laugh-In. Howe, a historian, economist and demographer is a recognized authority on global aging, long-term fiscal policy and migration. He is a consultant to corporate and nonprofit clients. Howe’s presentation looked at the issues of multiple generations both inside and outside the workplace.

The keynote speaker for the convention was General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.). In a presentation filled with humor and anecdotes from his years of service, Powell, the former U. S. Secretary of State, described the delicate process of forging alliances and promoting universal human ideals of democracy and peace around the world.

Abstract & Title Guaranty Company Hosts Meeting of Iowa Hal Users Group

January 9, 2007

Abstract & Title Guaranty Company hosted the January 9, 2007 meeting of the Iowa Hal Users Group. The newly formed user group is made up of title companies located in the State of Iowa that use the title plant software developed by Hal Systems Corporation. The group was formed in 2006 for the purpose of collaborating on the design and use of Hal Systems customized title plant software.

The meeting included demonstrations by Abstract & Title Guaranty Company of their plant and general index, order tracking, invoicing and monthly billing using the Hal software. The company also discussed how it provides monthly mortgage reports on their website and the benefits of hosting title plant records at the website countyrecords.com.

Representatives at that meeting included title companies from Boone, Clinton, Crawford, Jackson, Marion, Polk, Poweshiek, and Washington Counties in the State of Iowa. The next meeting will be during the annual convention of the Iowa Land Title Association this May 6, 7 and 8 in Des Moines, Iowa.