… And a denial from the CFPB.
Bank of America answered several frequently asked questions from settlement agents by memo dated June 9.
Significantly, BofA indicated that agents will not be allowed to accept its title or closing orders if they are not registered with Closing Insight™. Because BofA and several other lenders will require Closing Insight™, South Carolina closing attorneys who have not yet registered should follow this link to do so.
Asked whether BofA will require the use of ALTA model settlement statements, the bank responded that it prefers the ALTA model form if a closing attorney chooses to use a settlement statement to supplement the Closing Disclosure (“CD”), but specified that the settlement statement figures must reconcile to the CD and a copy of the settlement statement must be provided to BofA. The memo also stated that all revised fees and costs will require both bank approval and an amended CD. In other words, fees and costs cannot be revised by simply supplementing the CD with a settlement statement.
ALTA’s settlement statements are available for review and use at this link.
The memo confirmed our thinking that separate CDs will be provided to the buyer and the seller. BofA added that the buyer and seller will not sign the same form nor see the contents of the other party’s CD. Further, BofA will instruct the closing attorney to prepare and deliver the seller’s CD and to provide copies of CDs to the real estate agents.
Finally, the bank clarified its process for making post-disbursement fee modifications. If the closing attorney identifies the need for a change in the numbers reflected on the CD, the attorney must request that the “collaboration session” be reopened in Closing Insight™, and the bank will review the update made by the attorney to determine whether a revised CD is necessary. The party in possession of any excess funds will be responsible for sending the funds to the buyer/borrower, while BofA will prepare and send the revised CD to the buyer/borrower. The closing attorney will be responsible for revising and delivering the seller’s revised CD, if necessary.
In related news, on June 3, the CFPB released a fact sheet in response to “much information and mistaken commentary” surrounding perceived closing delays that will be caused by the implementation of the new rules. The CFPB denied that the new CDs will delay closings “for just about everybody.” In response to the belief that any change in the CD will cause a new 3-day review period, the CFPB clearly stated that only the following matters will trigger an additional 3- day wait:
- The new APR (annual percentage rate) increases by more than 1/8 of a percent for fixed-rate loans or ¼ of a percent for adjustable loans. A decrease in the APR will not require a new 3-day review if it is based on changes to interest rate or other fees.
- A prepayment penalty is added, making it expensive to refinance or sell.
- The basic loan product changes, such as a switch from fixed rate to adjustable interest rate or to a loan with interest-only payments.
The following circumstances will not require a new 3-day review, according to the fact sheet:
- Unexpected discoveries on a walk-through such as a broken refrigerator or a missing stove, even if they require seller credits to the buyer.
- Most changes to payments made at closing, including the amount of the real estate commission, taxes and utilities proration, and the amount paid into escrow.
- Typos found at the closing table.
The CFBP’s denial notwithstanding, we are all naturally concerned about other matters that will cause delays during the transition period, particularly the steep learning curve that must be overcome by everyone involved in closings. But we will all work hard to get through the transition period together! We’re predicting that closings will be much smoother by the beginning of 2016.