The American Land Title Association (ALTA) is an organization which represents the various title insurance and abstract of title companies in the country. Nearly every title insurance company and title company in the United States is a member of the American Land Title Association. This organization works to represent these companies and provide standards for the industry as a whole. There are also a number of associate members of this organization including lawyers, builders, and developers.
The American Land Title Association was started in 1907. The organization has headquarters in Washington, DC. In 2010, there were more than 3,000 members in this organization, and membership grows every year.
Members of this organization provide peace of mind to individuals who buy and sell real estate. For example, the title company will research the title to a property when a real estate transaction takes place. The title company will make sure there are no liens or claims against the property and that title to it can be transferred freely. A title insurance company will then back up this assertion and stand responsible if anything goes wrong during the ownership of the property.
The American Land Title Association works to set standards for the industry as a whole. To do this, the organization has designed several fair conduct principles for its members to follow. These include engaging only in legal business practices and keeping high ethical standards; giving customers timely and comprehensive information about services and products; and treating customers fairly and ethically.
In addition to having members within the title industry, the American Land Title Association also has a large number of associate members. These individuals are not necessarily in the title industry but they are in related industries and work in conjunction with title companies. For example, some of the most common associate members are lawyers, real estate developers, design firms, and real estate lenders. Other associate members could include surveyors, educational institutions, real estate brokers, consultants, and computer services firms. As a member of the American Land Title Association, associate members can work in conjunction with title companies, title insurance companies, and other associate members to network and promote fair business practices for the real estate industry as a whole.