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Welcome 2021! As both an industry and a nation, we experienced a number of unprecedented firsts in 2020 that challenged our resolve, ingenuity and at times, our sanity. Now, in January, we can definitively say we made it through. While we are excited for what the new year holds for both our company and clients, we also recognize it presents a daunting unknown—much of it stemming from the effect the pandemic has had on the mortgage and real estate industries.

 Despite last year’s February housing plummet and COVID-crash predictions, the “U.S. housing market will end the year as the most out-performing sector of the economy,” according to HousingWire’s Logan Mohtashami. Before we experienced the brunt of COVID-19’s hit to the economy, the housing market was seeing encouraging growth, with existing home sales numbers for February suggesting that we would end 2020 with 5,700,000+ home sales.

 But if anything will repeat in 2021, it will be the year’s ability to buck trends and upset forecasts in the same way 2020 threw everyone for a loop. What demand we seem to have lost in 2020 looks like it could be made up in the early part of the new year. In December, “[a]t a time of year when the housing market usually goes into hibernation, homebuyers [were] doing anything but hibernat[ing]” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather commented in a press release. Rates have stayed low, remote working has allowed families to move across the country like never before, and rural areas have piqued the interest of those eager for a little more “social space” and lower living costs.

 According to Fairweather, “[w]ith the coronavirus vaccine [rolling] out […] a combination of seasonality and the pandemic’s final chapter is likely to keep the housing market hot well into 2021,” which means homebuyers and investors alike are poised to take advantage, especially of REO inventory once moratoriums are lifted.

 With strong buyer demand and a surplus of properties predicted to hit the market, two things seem inevitable: 1) Underwriters, agents, REALTORS®, lenders and homeowners will have a busy year ahead, and 2) real estate transaction inefficiencies such as cloud and title defects will hamper the process for many. At a time when buyers are beginning to expect the same efficiency from the mortgage industry as they do from ride hailing and grocery delivery services, 2021 will see the continued epidemic of unreleased liens that inhibit property sales, lengthy lender dealings for release records, and lost time and money over clouded titles.

Now more than ever, clients and customers are eager for positive change and good news, and ready to shake off 2020.  If there was ever a time for the mortgage and lending industry to step up to help create a better experience and reputation, 2021 might be the year. As the leading lien release tracking company in the nation, we’re committed to working towards this positive industry change, and we hope the new year has you feeling as optimistic and eager as we are about new beginnings for everyone! 

CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Lynne Murphy Breen

ClearTitleLynne is the VP, Senior Underwriting and Agency Counsel for Chicago and Commonwealth Land Title in Boston, MA and the Director of ClearTitle.


Q: How long have you partnered with reQuire and why?
I started working with Linda Aparo and reQuire about 3 years ago with the concept of ClearTitle. Drawing on my diverse background in private practice and in the title insurance industry as an underwriter, claims counsel and agency representative, I wanted to develop a solution for title agents who needed to clear title quickly on pending closings. I have known Linda for years and have much respect for her in our industry. Coupled with the exemplary reputation reQuire has in the industry in curing title, it made sense to collaborate with reQuire to develop our ClearTitle program.

Q: Can you explain ClearTitle?
ClearTitle is an exclusive title clearing service currently offered by the FNF® Family of Underwriters in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island to their agents. ClearTitle offers a fast and easy process to submit your request and obtain authorization to issue title insurance policies without exception for the undischarged or improperly discharged mortgages, and the peace of mind knowing that title will be cleared and not just insured. This streamlined process allows our agents to close on time!

In addition to ClearTitle’s exclusive title curative services, we offer our discharge tracking service ClearTrack. ClearTrack makes sure the mortgages paid at closing are properly released.

2021 is the year for agents to re-imagine their practices—to examine the best use of their staff’s time. It is time to work smarter and not harder, to focus on growth and not office functions that do not differentiate them from their competitors.

Q: Why is release tracking important to you?
As an underwriter, I see the problems and delays when lenders do not send the correct discharges or send the discharge at all. Everyone gets so busy and tracking down the release can fall through the cracks. Unfortunately, the longer the delay in obtaining the release, the more difficult it can get to track. Timeliness is so important in this area and it is really easy to do, if you use ClearTrack powered by reQuire. Putting off discharge follow-up can result in title defects and closing delays. Lenders cease operations, are bought out or merged, leaving you scrambling for the release at the last minute. Resolving these discharge matters can be difficult, time consuming and can result in title issues and title claims. As a solutions partner, ClearTitle and ClearTrack powered by reQuire can help keep the closing on time and get the title issue resolved.

Q: Any last words of advice?
2021 is the year for agents to re-imagine their practices—to examine the best use of their staff’s time. It is time to work smarter and not harder, to focus on growth and not office functions that do not differentiate them from their competitors.

Don’t spend your valuable time tracking discharges and dealing with difficult lenders! Be the agent that closes on time, is not bogged down in escrow holdbacks and post-closing clean ups. ClearTitle is here to help agents be the best in the business!


release trackingSet your business up for success in 2021 by combining our Release Tracking and Title Curative services for greater efficiency and cost savings. Call or email us today to find out how.



Eager to get back into the swing of things in the new year? Join us at the 2021 National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) in Naples, Florida August 31– September 2, or RealtyConnect DMV 2021  in Ocean City, MD September 20-22.  You can also set up a meeting to get in touch with us about upcoming events.



If you haven’t seen, we improved our reQuest platform in late 2020.  In addition to a more simplified appearance, we streamlined the order-entry process and created a single-view dashboard that provides an at-a-glance look at your order activity, performance statistics and payment status. Learn More >

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