Attorneys who perform residential closing and settlement services are now required by the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau established under the Dodd-Frank Act to inform consumers of their policies regarding privacy of their information. We have been and continue to be bound by professional standards of confidentiality that are in most respects even more stringent than those required by this new law. In the course of providing our clients and other consumers with residential real estate settlements, we typically receive significant personal information and/or financial information from various parties. If you are a party to a settlement at Ramsey, Baxley & McDougle (“RBM”), you should know that all information we receive from you is held in confidence, and is not released to people outside the firm, except as agreed to by you or as set forth herein. We respect the privacy and security of your non-public personal information (“NPI”) and protecting your NPI is one of our top priorities. This Privacy Statement explains RBM’s privacy practices, including how we use the NPI we receive from you and from other specified sources, and to whom it may be disclosed. RBM follows the privacy practices described in this Privacy Statement and, depending on nature of the services performed, RBM may share information as described herein.
We may collect NPI about you from the following sources:
- Information we receive from you or your representative such as your name, address, social security number, tax identification number, asset information, and income information;
- Information we receive from you through our Internet website or via email, such as your name, address, email address, Internet Protocol address, the website links you used to get to our websites, and your activity while using or reviewing our websites;
- Information about your transactions with or services performed by us or others, such as real estate contracts, information about your home or other real property, information from lenders, real estate agents, homeowner insurance companies, accountants and other third parties involved in such transactions, account balances, and credit card information; and
- Information we receive from consumer or other reporting agencies and publicly recorded documents.
Disclosure of NPI:
We may provide your NPI (excluding information we receive from consumer or other credit reporting agencies) to various individuals and companies, as permitted by law, without obtaining your prior authorization. Such laws do not allow consumers to restrict these disclosures. Disclosures may include, without limitation, the following:
- To insurance agents, brokers, representatives, support organizations, or others to provide you with services you have requested, and to enable us to detect or prevent criminal activity, fraud, material misrepresentation, or nondisclosure in connection with an insurance transaction;
- To third-party contractors or service providers for the purpose of determining your eligibility for an insurance benefit or payment and/or providing you with services you have requested;
- To any regulatory authority in connection with legally required reporting such as IRS 1099 forms, or to a law enforcement or other governmental authority, in a civil action, in connection with a subpoena or a governmental investigation;
- To lenders, lien holders, judgment creditors, or other parties claiming an encumbrance or an interest in title whose claim or interest must be determined, settled, paid or released prior to a title or escrow closing.
- We may also disclose your NPI to others when we believe, in good faith, that such disclosure is reasonably necessary to comply with the law or to protect your safety as well as the safety of our clients, employees, or property and/or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order or legal process. In addition, we will disclose your NPI when you direct or give us permission, when we are required by law to do so, or when we suspect fraudulent or criminal activities. We also may disclose your NPI when otherwise permitted by applicable privacy laws such as, for example, when disclosure is needed to enforce our rights arising out of any agreement, transaction or relationship with you.
Confidentiality and Security of NPI:
We restrict access to NPI about you to those employees and support staff who need to know that information to provide products or services to you as well as to safeguard your information. We maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with federal regulations to guard NPI.
Requests for Correction, Amendment, or Deletion of NPI:
As required by applicable law, we will afford you the right to access your NPI, under certain circumstances to find out to whom your NPI has been disclosed, and request correction or deletion of your NPI. However, we assume no responsibility to maintain your NPI for longer than the State of Alabama’s required attorney record retention requirements. For your protection, all requests made under this section must be in writing and we may require your notarized signature to establish your identity. Where permitted by law, we may charge a reasonable fee to cover the costs incurred in responding to such requests. This Privacy Statement may be amended from time to time consistent with applicable privacy laws. When we amend this Privacy Statement, we will post a notice of such changes on our website (www.rbmlaw.org). The effective date of this Privacy Statement, as stated above, indicates the last time this Privacy Statement was revised or materially changed.