Who You Gonna Call?


Even five months into TRID implementation, there is still confusion about
who is allowed to receive the CD and Closing Statement

paperwork confusionWe’re all crystal clear that the borrower must be provided with the new CFPB compliant Closing Disclosure. We’re clear that there are very specific rules about when that document must be delivered to facilitate the scheduled closing. We know that most of the large national lenders are preparing and delivering the Closing Disclosure themselves while many of the local and regional lenders are still relying on closing attorneys to prepare and deliver this document.

What remains uncertain in some areas is how to deliver the necessary closing numbers to real estate agents, sellers and, when it comes to seller numbers, to lenders.

Real Estate Agents: There is no doubt that real estate agents need the numbers. They typically provide valuable guidance to their buyer clients on the accuracy of the numbers in advance of and during closings. They are also required to retain copies of closing statements in their files. But the Closing Disclosure now contains much more information than the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, and it is a common belief that delivery by a lender or closing agent to a real estate agent violates the buyer’s right to protection of personal information.

What is the solution?  There are two lines of thought. Some believe the buyer should sign a waiver allowing the lender and settlement agent to provide the Closing Disclosure to the buyer’s real estate agent. Several lenders, however, have stated that they will not act on waivers of this type.

The other line of thought is that the real estate agents (both the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent) can be provided with a closing statement without violating anyone’s privacy. All of the closing software programs have closing statements available for this purpose. American Land Title Association has created forms for this reason, and most lawyers also have versions they have previously used for commercial and residential cash transactions.

Real estate lawyers in South Carolina need to prepare separate closing statements regardless of this dilemma. Our Supreme Court has made it clear that all the numbers in a closing must be properly disclosed to the parties. It took many of us months to wrap our brains around the fact that a Closing Disclosure does not contain all the numbers. It is not a closing statement and it is not a replacement for the HUD-1. It is also not a document from which we can disburse. We need a settlement statement that balances to a disbursement analysis to assure that our numbers are correct.

Sellers: The seller should be provided with the seller’s Closing Disclosure, which is prepared by the settlement agent and not the lender. But, again, this document does not reveal all of the numbers relevant to the closing, so the seller should also be provided with a settlement statement.

Lenders (as to Seller’s numbers): We have heard that lenders are having difficulty obtaining seller information from closing attorneys, but under TRID, settlement agents are obligated to provide the seller’s information to the lender. Lenders need this information to test the accuracy of the buyer’s information, for audit purposes and to be able to provide proper information to investors.hang in there

Five months out, we are all still working our way through TRID, and we will continue to work our way through the various issues as they arise. South Carolina lawyers can rely on friendly real estate lawyers on the Bar’s Real Estate Practices Section ListServ, which can be found here. And title insurance companies continue to obtain and disseminate information as issues arise. We’ll get through it!

Collaboration is King!


ALTA’s CFPB webinar emphasizes that the exchange of data will be the biggest challenge to the closing process after August 1, 2015.

American Land Title Association’s value to closing attorneys grows each day as August 1, 2015 approaches. Closing forms will change dramatically later this year, and ALTA is valiantly attempting to keep those of us who plan to remain in this game ahead of the learning curve.

pawns king crown - small featheredSouth Carolina has strong representation in ALTA! Cynthia Blair, a real estate attorney in Columbia, sits on ALTA’s board and participated in this webinar. Each time Cynthia said, “In my state” we knew we were about to receive information specific to us. This local support at this critical time is invaluable, and I strongly encourage South Carolina closing attorneys to join ALTA.

Yesterday, ALTA hosted an excellent webinar entitled “5 Key Areas to Prime Your Operation for the New Closing Process”. The webinar was attended by more than 1,100 of us! The strong message was “Collaboration is King”.

Closing attorneys and lenders will work more closely together than ever to manage and share information. Some lenders have indicated they will deliver the Closing Disclosure to the borrower, but others will require the closing attorney to deliver it. The seller’s form will be prepared by the closing attorney, and a copy of it must be provided to the lender.

The underlying information for the closing documents will be located in two systems: (1) the lenders’ loan origination systems (LOS) will contain the loan-centric information; and (2) the closing attorney’s systems (sometimes referred to as the “title platform”) will contain the property-centric information. Large lenders are likely to utilize entirely electronic systems that will avoid rekeying of information to reduce the possibility of errors. The two systems will talk to each other via platforms that are now being developed.