Michael P. Bell is a principal of Closeline Settlements, where he is primarily responsible for the design and implementation of Closeline's proprietary web-based software platform. Bell is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1987. He is also a member of the District of Columbia Bar. Bell is a former prosecutor with the Assistant State's Attorney office for Montgomery County, Maryland, and a member of the Montgomery County and Maryland State Bar Associations. Prior to co-founding Closeline, Bell practiced law with the real estate law firm Selzer and Roberge in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Bell also serves on an advisory board to Branch Banking and Trust (“BB and T”) which assists that bank in creating system operational efficiencies for national escrow clients as well as other multistate businesses.
Title companies are beginning to pool their resources with former competitors, forming alliances to leverage their resources and assets and thereby cutting costs (e.g. with “back office” functions). This is less likely a trend than it is a new “normal.” Together, the industry needs to seek ways to become even more efficient.