15.49 Privacy Issues

Privacy Requirements

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act (G-L-B) protects the privacy of nonpublic personal financial information relating to consumers and customers (Customer Information).  This law, and  regulations, impose requirements upon title insurance companies and title insurance agents to protect the confidentiality of the nonpublic personal financial information, and to retain adequate safeguards.   

You may see these requirements by reviewing:

  • Bulletin NL000103.   This Bulletin discusses G-L-B and your obligations.
  • Bulletin NL0000160.   This Bulletin discusses Safeguards Rules and other privacy issues. 
  • ·Information securing programs include safeguards used to dispose of nonpublic personal financial information.

Disposal Rule

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) adopted Disposal Rules (at 16 CFR §§682.1, et seq.) for proper disposal of consumer information by businesses.   Consumer information means a consumer report or any document that ?is derived from a consumer report.?   This may include information in a lender package.

A business with consumer information must use proper procedures when disposing of the consumer information.  The procedures must include reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of the information.      Examples of reasonable measures may include:

  • Implement and monitor compliance with procedures that require burning, pulverizing, or shredding of paper containing consumer information so that it cannot practicable be read or reconstructed.
  • Implement and monitor compliance with procedures that require destruction or erasure of electronic media containing consumer information so that it cannot practicably be read or reconstructed.
  • Enter and monitor compliance with a contract with another company engaged in record destruction consistent with this rule.  Due diligent investigation of the company could include review of an independent audit of the company's operation, several references or reliable sources, certification by a recognized trade association, review of security policies or procedures, or other measures to determine competency and integrity.

Persons subject to G-L-B and the Safeguards Rule of FTC must incorporate proper disposal of consumer information into their information security programs.   The above procedures are part of the SISCO security program, where applicable.  You may wish to consider incorporation of similar procedures in your security program.

Modified Disclosure Forms

Attached in Exhibit 1 are modified Privacy Notices.  These notices are not intended to replace state specific privacy notices in states such asCalifornia and Oregon.  The revised Stewart Privacy Notice should be used elsewhere. 

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF DEVELOPMENTS RELATING TO APPLICABLE LAW. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced: None

Related Bulletins: NL000010, NL000016

Underwriting Manual: None

Exceptions: None

Forms:  None

 


EXHIBIT 1

 

Revised Privacy Notice

 

SAMPLE PRIVACY FORM

(Modified June __, 2005)

 

[Insert name of title insurer and all affiliates of title insurer and/or name of agent]

Privacy Policy Notice

 

PURPOSE OF THIS NOTICE

 

Title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) generally prohibits any financial institution, directly or through its affiliates, from sharing nonpublic personal information about you with a nonaffiliated third party unless the institution provides you with a notice of its privacy policies and practices, such as the type of information that it collects about you and the categories of persons or entities to whom it may be disclosed. In compliance with the GLBA, we are providing you with this document, which notifies you of the privacy policies and practices of [insert name of institution and its affiliates mentioned in this notice]

We may collect nonpublic personal information about you from the following sources:

Information we receive from you such as on applications or other forms.

Information about your transactions we secure from our files, or from [our affiliates or] others.

Information we receive from a consumer reporting agency.

Information that we receive from others involved in your transaction, such as the real estate agent or lender.

Unless it is specifically stated otherwise in an amended Privacy Policy Notice, no additional nonpublic personal information will be collected about you.

We may disclose any of the above information that we collect about our customers or former customers to our affiliates or to nonaffiliated third parties as permitted by law.

We also may disclose this information about our customers or former customers tononaffiliated companies that perform services on our behalf.

WE DO NOT DISCLOSE ANY NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU WITH ANYONE FOR ANY PURPOSE THAT IS NOT SPECIFICALLY PERMITTED BY LAW.

We restrict access to nonpublic personal information about you to those employees who need to know that information in order to provide products or services to you. We maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with federal regulations to guard your nonpublic personal information. 

Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Stewart Title Insurance Company, Stewart Title Insurance Company of Oregon, National Land Title Insurance Company, Arkansas Title Insurance Company, Charter Land Title Insurance Company

Privacy Policy Notice

 

PURPOSE OF THIS NOTICE

 

Title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) generally prohibits any financial institution, directly or through its affiliates, from sharing nonpublic personal information about you with a nonaffiliated third party unless the institution provides you with a notice of its privacy policies and practices, such as the type of information that it collects about you and the categories of persons or entities to whom it may be disclosed. In compliance with the GLBA, we are providing you with this document, which notifies you of the privacy policies and practices of Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Stewart Title Insurance Company, Stewart Title Insurance Company of Oregon, National Land Title Insurance Company, Arkansas Title Insurance Company, and Charter Land Title Insurance Company

We may collect nonpublic personal information about you from the following sources:

Information we receive from you such as on applications or other forms.

Information about your transactions we secure from our files, or from [our affiliates or] others.

Information we receive from a consumer reporting agency.

Information that we receive from others involved in your transaction, such as the real estate agent or lender.

 

Unless it is specifically stated otherwise in an amended Privacy Policy Notice, no additional nonpublic personal information will be collected about you.

We may disclose any of the above information that we collect about our customers or former customers to our affiliates or to nonaffiliated third parties as permitted by law.

We also may disclose this information about our customers or former customers to nonaffiliated companies that perform services on our behalf.

WE DO NOT DISCLOSE ANY NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU WITH ANYONE FOR ANY PURPOSE THAT IS NOT SPECIFICALLY PERMITTED BY LAW.

We restrict access to nonpublic personal information about you to those employees who need to know that information in order to provide products or services to you. We maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with federal regulations to guard your nonpublic personal information.  Some states give you the right to access and correct nonpublic personal information.  You may contact us in writing at our Home Office, if your state law gives you this right.


 

15.49.1

Texas Statutes Dealing With Privacy and Clearing Liens

Title companies need to have sufficient information in abstracts of judgment to determine if a party to the transaction is the same party against whom the abstract was filed.  A large percentage of AJs do not contain any identifying information.  Chapter 30, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, was amended in 2007, by adding Section 30.014  requiring  that all AJs have the last 3 numbers of the judgment debtor's social security number and last 3 numbers of the driver's license number.  Partial numbers provide a significant measure of certainty when reviewing AJs while still providing arithmetic certainty against disclosing the full social security and driver's license numbers. Obtaining the numbers from defendants will be done by contempt orders brought by the other party or by the court. Effective September 1, 2007.

SB 512 relating to the attachment of a judgment lien to homestead property. This bill amended  Section 52.001, Property Code, to specify that a judgment lien does not attach and does not constitute a lien against a debtor's exempt real property, such as a homestead residence. This bill also specifies that a judgment lien would only become a lien against the homestead when the property no longer constitutes the debtor's homestead. A judgment debtor may, at any time, file an affidavit in the real property records of the county in which the judgment debtor's homestead is located that substantially complies with Subsection (f).  A copy of the affidavit is attached to this bulletin.  The AJ lien will not have retroactive effect since the property was homestead and exempt at the time the AJ was recorded. Effective September 1, 2007.Changes/actions required:  When you have satisfactory proof that the property in question is homestead, it is no longer necessary to obtain releases of the Abstract of Judgment for sale or loan transactions.  Satisfactory proof would be a homestead affidavit claiming the subject property and disclaiming other property when you have no reason to believe that the affidavit is false. Satisfactory proof would also be the affidavit filed in compliance with this statute. An inspection of the property to determine the homestead status is also allowed.Child Support LiensSec.157.3171. FAMILY CODE: RELEASE OF LIEN ON HOMESTEAD PROPERTY.This bill adopted the same procedure for clearing a child support lien against homestead property as the procedure for clearing an abstract of judgment against homestead property set out in Section 552.0012 Property Code. In essence, the owner of the homestead may file an affidavit in the public records where the land is located claiming the property as homestead and sending the copy of the affidavit to the lien claimant who can file a controverting affidavit disputing the validity of the homestead claim. Resolution of the dispute is in the district court.Also, a child support lien may only be enforced for 10 years against real property but may be renewed for successive 10 year periods.This law applies only to liens filed after September 1, 2009.Changes/actions Required: You may delete exceptions for child support liens when (1) the process outlined above has been competed; (2) you have no knowledge that the property is NOT the homestead of the Seller/Borrower and (3) the child support lien was filed after September 1, 2009.

See also Texas Bulletin TX2013006 – LEGISLATIVE UPDATES 2013 Part I relating to expanding the class of government employees that can restrict their personal information for public disclosure to include federal and state judges. 

See also Texas Bulletin TX2013006 – LEGISLATIVE UPDATES 2013 Part I relating to protecting medical examiners.