The American Land Title Association (ALTA) is a national trade association, whose members include title insurers, underwriters, and abstracters. In 1929, following outside interference on the industry, the ALTA created forms for the voluntary use of its members. In subsequent decades, the organization has expanded their forms and policies, and updated older forms periodically. The most recent overhaul of these forms was published in 2006.
After approval on June 9th, 2016, new forms were published, in their final version, and went into effect on Aug. 1st, 2016. So what do these changes, a decade in the making, entail?
First, new forms have been created and added, including ALTA Endorsement 23.1-06 Co-Insurance – Multiple Policies and ALTA Endorsement 18.2-06 Multiple Tax Parcel, both of which are replacing similar, outdated forms.
Perhaps more importantly, the new updates also include a revision of the ALTA Commitment for Title Insurance forms. The original commitment forms, dating back to 1966, were updated in 2006. The 2016 revision provides updates and changes, as well as consolidation of two older commitment forms: the ALTA Commitment Form and the ALTA Plain Language Commitment Form.
The most crucial part of this update, according to the ALTA, is that “the Committee recognized court decisions holding title insurers and agents liable for negligence or negligent misrepresentation in the preparation of title insurance commitments.” In addition to this, the previously mentioned ALTA Commitment forms are scheduled for decertification on December 31st 2017, to allow time for title insurers to put measures in place to address these changes.