U.S. House Passes ALTA-driven TRID Hold-harmless Bill

U.S. House Passes ALTA-driven TRID Hold-harmless Bill

October 8, 2015

By an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 303-121, the U.S House of Representatives on Oct. 7 passed H.R. 3192. The bill would create an official hold-harmless period through Feb. 1, 2016 for companies making good-faith efforts to comply with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule. Sponsored by Reps. French Hill (R-Ark.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), the Homebuyers Assistance Act also would provide companies relief from civil liability during the hold-harmless period.

“We are grateful to Reps. Hill and Sherman for their leadership in getting this important bill passed in the House, and for all the representatives who recognize why a hold-harmless period benefits consumers and industry,” said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA’s chief executive officer. “We hope the Senate passes this bill soon so companies can focus on delivering quality service to consumers when buying a home or refinancing a mortgage.”

ALTA will continue to reach out to members of the Senate to encourage them to pass this important legislation. Our coalition will work with Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) to bring S. 1711, the Senate version of H.R. 3192, to the Senate floor as soon as possible. ALTA will provide updates on the progress of this legislation.

ALTA thanks members of the Title Action Network, Congressional Liaisons and state land title associations for contacting their representatives and helping to get H.R. 3192 passed in the House.

In the meantime, follow ALTA’s blog for more information about TRID.

– See more at: http://www.alta.org/news/news.cfm?newsID=29324#sthash.AYPxcPwp.dpuf

New Mortgage Disclosures Expected to Delay Closings

New Mortgage Disclosures Expected to Delay Closings

Real estate Q&A: Changes could double time to close on purchase

Sept. 25, 2015

By GARY M. SINGER Sun Sentinel – Tribune News Service

Big changes are planned for how homebuyers finance their mortgages, and that almost certainly means that closings will take longer. In some cases, closings that now speed through in 30 days probably will require at least 60 days.

The changes had been expected to begin in August, but the effective date was pushed back to Oct. 3.

After the housing crash, Congress felt that we needed a better system of mortgage disclosures and procedures so that Americans can better protect themselves and make the best choices when getting home loans.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created and charged with accomplishing this.

The bureau decided that the four existing disclosure forms required under federal law would be changed into two new, more comprehensive documents — a Loan Estimate and a Closing Disclosure.

These forms are known as the “TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure,” or more commonly, TRID.

In addition, the closing process was unified so that all 50 states use the same forms and procedures.

Who Do These New Rules Apply To? 

They apply to residential properties that include a mortgage as part of the transaction — both sales and refinancings.

The rules are designed to protect the buyer/borrower, but they will affect all parties to the transaction.

Lenders are bearing the brunt of ensuring compliance with the new rules, making the lender responsible for getting all of the other parties on board. The rules do not apply to commercial transactions or all-cash deals.

What is Changing? 

Buyers applying for loans will get a Loan Estimate (instead of the current Good Faith Estimate) within three days of applying for the loans.

The new form is designed to highlight key terms to enable borrowers to shop around for the best deals. It’s supposed to be user-friendly and almost certainly will be, considering how confusing the current form is.

The Closing Disclosure must be received by the borrower three business days before the closing. If the form is mailed, couriered or emailed, the lender must allow an extra three business days on top of that.

This means that the closing can’t occur for at least six business days after the lender sends out the completed Closing Disclosure.

This is a massive change from the way it is now, when some of the information is still being filled in on the closing day, sometimes even while the parties are sitting at the closing table.

The biggest issue I have with these new forms is that they significantly downplay the importance of getting owner’s title insurance policies, which is money well spent. I can’t think of any situation in which not getting this very important coverage would be a good idea. And I’ve seen many instances in which not having title insurance costs a buyer the home.

What do Buyers and Sellers Need to Do? 

Closing agents — used to finalizing the process at the last minute to accomplish everyones’ rush to close — now will need to get the final closing information to the mortgage lender at least 10 days before the closing date so that the lender can complete the Closing Disclosure in time to get it out six days before the scheduled closing.

Realistically, to accomplish this, buyers and sellers will need to add three to four weeks to their closing time lines.

To make matters even more confusing, all of the standard purchase contract forms have been recently changed to address the new rules.

That’s causing real estate professionals to learn the new forms.

Be sure your real estate agents and others on your team are aware of the new information and have been trained on how to deal with it.

Fortunately, the industry seems ready for this change, and there is plenty of training available for those in the business.

About the Writer Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He is the chairperson of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is an adjunct professor for the Nova Southeastern University Paralegal Studies program.  The information and materials in this column are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in this column is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction

Our New Website is Live – Launch Announcement


A & G Title and Settlement Services is excited to announce the launch of its newly designed website! Together with all the great features and functions found on our old website, the modern design is now mobile friendly and easily accessible from all your devices. You will find the Latest News about current real estate, title industry and company topics right on our Home Page, and/or by subscribing with your email address to receive notification of our most recent posts.

You will be thrilled to know that www.agtitleservices.com is a “one-stop-shop” for all your title insurance and settlement services needs with easy access to:

  • Online Ordering
  • GFE Calculator
  • Rate Calculator

and so much more!

Clients enjoy special privileges utilizing the Client Login portal:

  • Place an order
  • Track file status
  • Use fillable legal documents
  • Review order history

Among many other useful tools. Getting account credentials is easy. Just contact us.

Your feedback is always appreciated, so let us know what you think. We need it to make your experience better, so we look forward to hearing from you!

Gail B. Siesfeld

Welcome Toni!

We are happy to announce that Patricia A. Gatto-Chinery (Toni) has joined A & G Title and Settlement Services’ team of professionals as Title Officer. Toni is your “go to” person for any title issue – simple, complex, residential, commercial. She has worked for 30 years in every corner of the title industry and her vast expertise is now available to you in keeping with A & G’s commitment to excellent client service, and its goal to making it easier for clients to conduct their businesses. Toni’s contact information is:

Patricia A. Gatto-Chinery
A & G Title and Settlement Services
1122 Burden Lake Road
Averill Park, NY 12018
Phone (518) 674-1131
Fax (518) 674-4132

Please join us in welcoming Toni!

Welcome Paula & Nancy

We are pleased to announce that we have added two new members to the A&G Team.

Paula Tullar joined us in September of 2012 as a Production Coordinator. She provides the fuel to keep our offices running smoothly and efficiently to help facilitate the needs of our clients. Her outgoing personality and strong work ethic is a great fit with the rest of the team.

Nancy Heberger joined us as a Compliance and Media Strategist in January of 2014. She will apply the CFPB regulations and mold us into ALTA’s Best Practices compliance. You will also see big changes in our online and media presence. In addition, Nancy will take on a number of administrative responsibilities, working from her home-based office in the Thousand Islands area of NY.

We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome both Paula and Nancy!

News and Articles

It is our pleasure to introduce you to this new feature of our website. It is just one of the many updates designed to improve your overall experience while visiting our site. Here, we will post news and information to keep you up-to-date on happenings in the industry and changes occurring within our agency that have an impact on your business.

The first agency change we are very happy to report is that Pamela M. Elliott has joined our team as Client Services Executive. This is not only great news for A & G Title because of the twenty years of experience she brings, but it is wonderful news for all of you. Pam’s entire focus will be on client relations and business development. She will be calling on each of you to introduce herself, if you don’t already know her, and to show how A & G Title can serve you best. This will be your opportunity to discuss your ideas, comments and even criticisms, since Pam will work on your behalf with the rest of the A & G team. Pam will also familiarize you with the many benefits our website offers, and tell you about some other exciting advantages of being an A & G Title client. We hope you will join us in welcoming Pam. Thank you.