In this episode of Commitment Matters, Mary speaks with Steve Gottheim, General Counsel for ALTA, whom you can contact via email at As a reminder, as with all our podcast episodes, this interview should not be considered as legal advice.

During their conversation, Steve or Mary mentioned:

In May of 2020, ALTA conducted a survey covering various digital closing options and adoption. Here is a recap of their findings. Plus, this November, 2019 ALTA survey indicates a growing interest in offering digital closings throughout the industry.

Steve mentioned his article unpacking why you can’t “just slap an eSignature on a pdf…”

Remember back when the CFPB first debuted the idea of a “whack the stack” initiative?

ALTA offers an informational pdf on the Secure Notarization Act and here is its official summary on the Congress website. Several articles, like this one from DLA Piper and JDUSPRA, offer more on its reintroduction in 2021.

Steve and Mary touched on how creative title agencies had to become to conduct closings in the early days of COVID-19. Here are two great episodes from agents on the front line about this very thing; listen to Erin Tracy Jenner and Brad Jones tell of their experiences back in season one!

Check out this industry brief from Docusign to learn more about its benefits.

Freddie Mac has created this helpful checklist to implement eClosing and Fannie Mae has developed this learning center on the topic. Plus, as Steve and Mary noted, the GSE’s have issued new guidance on RON.

The ALTA Title and Settlement Agent Registry now offers a RON-ready self-identifier icon for agents!

Mary and Steve reminisced on the readiness of the title industry during the run up to TRID. Were you active in the ALTA TRID Forum?

Keep an eye out here for future ALTA Advocacy Summit information.

Steve speaks of two goals playing in tension with the new administration: a desire for bipartisanship versus a democratic, progressive push. This article indicates most voters believe Biden wants bipartisanship but there’s some question as to how it’s defined.

Meet Marcia L. Fudge, the newest United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Janet Yellen, United States Secretary of the Treasury.

Here is a bit more on President Biden’s initial remarks on the bipartisan infrastructure deal. The White House also offers these fact sheets on the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan.

Steve mentioned the National Defense Authorization Act “always passes” in a bipartisan move. Here’s a quick overview of this series of laws. And, here’s a look at the latest authorization of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021.

The LA Times offers this look at the “tight rope act” for the widely-varied democratic caucus.

Steve and Mary talk about the possible elimination or capping of 1031 Exchanges. To learn more about this issue, check out our episode with Ted C. Jones, Chief Economist – Senior Vice President at Stewart Title Guaranty Company, plus this article originally linked in that episode’s show notes.

As noted, after a 50/50 vote, the confirmation of current director nominee, Rohit Chopra to the CFPB was first stalled because of an FTC vacancy and then due to allegations of partisan employment practices.

Steve noted the Supreme Court ruled last June the structure of the CFPB was unconstitutional.

Want to read what ranking Senate member, Patrick Toomy asked in his letter to Rohit Chopra?

The acting CFPB director, David Uejio outlined priorities and announced plans for more aggressive enforcement and supervision.

Here’s more on the outlook of fair homeownership opportunities for all.

Steve quotes this forecast from the Pew Research Center, which states there will not be ethnic majority in US by 2055.

Steve notes block chain can’t replace Title Agents. This article agrees!

Get to know Chief Justice John Roberts, whom Steve praises for his institutional concern against partisan ruling.

Here’s more on the Supreme Court’s ruling of No Concrete Harm, No Standing and the two cases mentioned in this episode: Spokeo, Inc. v Robins and TransUnion LLC v Ramirez.

Read up on OFAC Sanctions.

Former CFPB Director, Kathy Kraninger is credited for creating these RESPA FAQs.

Join the Title Action Network (TAN) to participate in ALTA’s advocacy actions.

Learn more about the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation!

Steve recommends connecting with ALTA’s SVP of Public Affairs Christopher Morton, or VP of Government Affairs Elizabeth Blosser and ALTA’s Director of Grassroots and Political Affairs, Leah Shimp Vass for industry political actions.

If you’d like to contact the Commitment Matters podcast, email

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