Universal Title was founded in the late 1970s by David V. Mason. David graduated from George Washington University Law School in 1973, and went to work as a general practice attorney before opening his own firm and starting Universal Title in order to focus on real estate. Originally located on Richmond Highway in Alexandria, Virginia, Universal Title relocated to Annandale in the mid-1980s. For many years, Universal Title operated in what clients affectionately remember as “the little white house” in downtown Annandale. It was in this office that Universal Title grew to be one of the leaders in the Northern Virginia settlement and title insurance industry.
Like many industries, the title insurance and settlement industry experienced a historic shift in the way business was done during this period of time with the advent of the personal computer. David Mason, always a pioneer and visionary in the industry, developed one of the first software programs designed to generate HUD-1 settlement statements and process settlement files.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Universal Title proved to be a mainstay of residential real estate settlements in Northern Virginia. Riding every upturn and weathering every downturn of the real estate market, real estate agents and lenders were always confident that their buyers and sellers would receive exceptional service when Universal Title was conducting the settlement.
In 2003, David was joined by his daughter Jennifer Mason Halsted. During her first year at Universal Title, Jennifer learned the industry from the trenches acting as Universal Title’s senior processor. This period of time provided an important foundation that would lead to Jennifer’s success as the head of Universal Title’s operations. Under Jennifer’s leadership, Universal Title has stayed on the cutting edge of industry advancements. In 2010, Jennifer implemented a cloud-based processing system that allows for task management and collaboration amongst Universal Title employees. This system has been critical in the growth and expansion of Universal Title over the last decade.
In 2006 David K. Mason joined the Universal Title team, completing the family circle and making Universal Title a truly family-run organization. One of David’s first responsibilities was to help Universal Title adjust to the shifting real estate market in 2007. From 2007 to 2010, Universal Title became one of the leading settlement companies in the region for REO transactions, and helped solve a significant problem by managing thousands of settlements for bank-owned properties that had been foreclosed on. At the same time, Universal Title and The Mason Law Firm, PLC became one of the leading short sale firms in the area. Since that time, we have assisted thousands of homeowners avoid foreclosure and limit their liability through the short sale process.
In 2010, as the real estate market began to shift again, Universal Title once again proved to be up to the challenge. Under a new vision defined by Jennifer and David K., Universal Title has expanded their operations from a single office in Annandale, to over a dozen locations in the Mid-Atlantic region.
In conjunction with the vision and leadership of the Masons, Universal Title’s success has been supported by the incredible talents of its many team members. As Universal Title has expanded, the culture of family and service has endured. Not only do we continue to take great pride in serving our clients, many of whom are families buying or selling their home, but we also put great emphasis on family within our organization.