New Penn Financial Announces Closing Portal

Standard

October 3Lender announcements are coming at a fast and furious pace now that we are within days of TRID’s October 3 deadline. Blogging about all of the broadcasts seems to be less than beneficial since most of them are repetitive at this point and since many of the regional lenders making announcements at this late date don’t appear to do business in South Carolina.

A new announcement from New Penn Financial, however, seems noteworthy for two reasons:  (1) this lender advertises it has an office in Murrells Inlet; and (2) the announcement includes news of a new closing portal and “closing agent portal job aid”. You can read the announcement in its entirely here, and follow its link to the “job aid”.

The lender indicates it has implemented the use of SmartGFE and Closing.com to provide more accurate fees to borrowers, and encourages all settlement agents (closing attorneys in South Carolina) to register with Closing.com as soon as possible. The initial and final Closing Disclosures will be sent to settlement agents through the DocuTech Closing Collaboration Portal (ConformX) for review and approval. No advance set-up is required to use this portal.

Interestingly, New Penn indicates it will offer both an E-signature process and a “wet” signature process as delivery and signing methods for the Loan Estimate and the Initial Closing Disclosure.  The memo states the disclosures will be delivered in accordance with CFPB’s timing requirements and that the delivery methods will ensure proof of delivery.

As we have spoken to closing attorneys and real estate agents across South Carolina in preparation for the new rules, there has been much speculation about whether lenders will shorten the six-day requirement by using methods of proof of delivery as an alternative to mail. This indication of an E-signature process would guessingsuggest that it may be possible to shorten the six-day delivery requirement with this particular lender. If other lenders follow suit, real estate professionals will be delighted that the waiting period can be shortened, at least under certain some circumstances.

I’m just guessing here (along with the rest of you), but I anticipate that the last quarter of 2015 may prove to be an interesting transition to our new normal, but after the first of the year, those of us who decide to remain in the closing “game” will have settled into a different, but manageable routine. Best of luck to all of you for getting through the next few months!  And remember, we will get through this together!

Advertisements

Still Need to Reach Out to Your Realtor® Partners About TRID?

Standard

toolboxSome new tools are available!

Residential dirt lawyers may still need to reach out to their real estate agent partners to discuss how the CFPB rules will affect closings after October 3. Some new resources are available to assist in that effort.

I previously blogged about five things real estate agents should know before the new rules become effective. Now there is more useful information in a format that is easy to share.

On September 17, Richard Cordray, Director of the CFPB, met with an officer of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) to unveil online tools designated to help consumers and real estate professionals navigate the new closing procedures.

The CFPB had previously developed an array of online tools for prospective home buyers, the most important of which is an interactive resource called, “Your home loan tool kit, a step-by-step guide”. This guide allows consumers to perform calculations and obtain information to assist them in understanding their financial prospects for obtaining financing and avoiding pitfalls associated with the process.

The CFPB encourages real estate professionals to consider linking the toolkit on their websites to position themselves as trusted sources of information for consumers.  I encourage residential dirt lawyers to do the same to position themselves for their consumer clients.

Last week’s announcement included a new resource called “Guide for real estate professionals”, the goal of which is to “ensure smooth and on-time closings”.  I encourage real estate lawyers to use this new guide to connect with their real estate agent partners.  Link it on your website. Send the link to you best real estate agent contacts.  Offer to meet with them to answer questions. Your goal is to be perceived as a thought leader and problem solver when questions begin to surface after October 3rd.

we are here to helpSouth Carolina residential real estate lawyers should also keep in mind that their title insurance companies have prepared to assist in the transition. Don’t hesitate to use your title insurance company friends as valued resources. They are ready! Their goal, like yours, is to give their very best customer service as we all navigate these new closing rules together.

National Association of Realtors® Reports on TRID Survey

Standard

Real estate practitioners should expect changes in contracts

NAR

The Research Department of the National Association of Realtors® surveyed members in August about their awareness and preparation for the changes in residential closings being implemented by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in October of 2015. The most dramatic change is eliminating the current disclosure forms in favor of a Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure, collectively called the TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID).

The results of the survey were detailed in an Executive Summary entitled “TRID: REALTORS® and the New Closing Process”.

The best news from the report is that 71.2% of the respondent members rated their level of preparedness as average or better. Many stated they are taking action and working with their industry partners to prepare for a smooth transition. More than 80% of respondents indicated they have taken some form of TRID training.

Dirt lawyers should expect to see changes in residential form contracts. More than half of respondents indicated they will adjust contracts to reflect longer closing time frames, and almost a third indicated they plan to adjust contracts to include new contingencies.

Take a look at the following chart for more information on how Realtors® plan to deal with the new rules.

NAR Realtors Chart

Although it is anticipated that the changes may introduce new burdens on lenders, closing attorneys and REALTORS®, many of the respondents indicated the number of delayed closings has been low in the past, and they will continue to work with their industry partners to help make the transition smooth.

Real estate lawyers who have not reached out to their REALTOR® contacts should do so soon and often to assist with the transition!

Same Sex Marriage Law May Require Tweaks in Title Search Practices

Standard

Males as well as females may change their names.

same sex marriage

On January 1, this blog discussed a South Carolina Department of Revenue Ruling (14-9) that impacts some areas of the real estate practitioner’s world. This Revenue Ruling was issued following the United State Supreme Court 2014 decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex marriage legal in all fifty states.

The most significant changes to our practices from the Revenue Ruling include:

  1. A same-sex legally married couple may be able to qualify their home for the 4% assessment ratio.
  2. If each member of a same-sex legally married couple owns a residence, only one of those residences may qualify for the 4% assessment ratio since as a married couple they may have only one legal residence.
  3. Transfers of property between spouses of a same-sex couple may now be exempted from the assessable transfer of interest rules.
  4. Transfers of real property from one same-sex spouse to the other will now be exempted from the deed recording fee.

Now that dirt lawyers have had a chance to think about how same-sex marriage may otherwise impact our practices, some of us have come to the conclusion that title examiners should now take into consideration name changes for men as well as women. This change in practice may affect every title examination for individuals holding title since 2014.

hello my name isWe have always cautioned that a woman who holds title with two surnames, should be searched under both names. For example, Hillary Rodham Clinton should be searched as Hillary Rodham and Hillary Clinton.

Now consider the name Neil Patrick Harris. Not knowing whether Patrick is a middle name bestowed by parents at birth or a former surname, consider whether he should be checked by both Neil Patrick and Neil Harris.

Undoubtedly, this extra step will lead to many “false positives” with judgments, tax liens and other public record items. As always, the hits that are uncovered should be addressed by paying them at closing or eliminating them with the use of identifying information such as full names, addresses social security numbers, etc. And, when in doubt, get your title insurance underwriter to take the appropriate leap of faith with you.

Remember that buyers should be checked for judgments and tax liens because those matters will attach immediately when property is purchased. And also remember that purchase money mortgages will take priority over tax liens and judgments against buyers.

Unfortunately, it appears that searching titles isn’t getting any easier over time, despite the use of new and improved technology.  It’s public knowledge and common sense that Caitlyn Jenner should be searched as Bruce Jenner. But I have no advice about similar name changes in title examinations. It’s a brave new abstracting world!

BB&T Issues TRID Announcement

Standard

BB&T LogoHome lender BB&T announced in August that it will communicate with settlement agents (closing attorneys in South Carolina) through Real EC’s Closing Insight™ once the TRID rules become effective on October 3. The announcement stated that there will be no exceptions to the rule that settlement agents must be registered with Closing Insight™ to close TRID-impacted mortgage loans.*

Registration is required even if the closing attorney’s software company is integrated with Closing Insight™. We understand, however, that RealEC does not require registration for each lender. Once a closing attorney is registered once with Closing Insight™, additional registrations are not required.

As we have heard from other lenders, BB&T stated that beginning Oct. 3, Closing Insight™ will be the only means of communication for completing the Closing Disclosure. E-mail, fax and other delivery methods will no longer be used.

Initially, title orders will continue to be e-mailed from BB&T’s mortgage loan officer to the settlement agent, but BB&T states that it is in the process of changing the title order request process so that it will be communicated through Closing Insight™.

follow the leader aLike other large lenders, BB&T will generate and deliver the borrower’s Closing Disclosure. Settlement agents will generate and deliver Closing Disclosures to sellers and will provide copies to BB&T.

BB&T states that it will monitor TRID-required timeframes and will attempt to begin collaboration with settlement agents ten days prior to scheduled closing dates.

BB&T has established a new settlement agent web page at www.BBT.com/settlementagent for updates and frequently asked questions.

 

*The memorandum pointed closing agents here for more information about the registration process, and here for the fee structure for Closing Insight™. For further questions, settlement agents were directed to reach out to RealEC by e-mail at ProviderRegistration@RealEC.com or phone at 877.273.2532.