The recent $25 billion national mortgage settlement is expected to cause a spike in foreclosures nationwide this year, according to industry tracking firms RealtyTrac Inc. and Fitch Ratings. As banks process the backlog of foreclosures that have been shelved for the last eighteen months, Notaries will increasingly be called on to perform more transactions.
In addition to a higher volume of transactions, the processes will be highly scrutinized for trusted and legal procedures, placing notarizations conducted for mortgage servicers under the microscope. The Federal government is also paying closer attention to mortgage and foreclosure document preparation procedures and compliance. President Obama’s recently created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is designed to oversee consumer credit-related practice and has announced its intentions of closely monitoring mortgage lending practices at all levels.
“Mortgage servicers, lenders, and all of their vendor partners are facing huge risks if their procedures aren’t in order,” says Chris Sturdivant, the National Notary Association’s Business Outreach Executive. “Notaries, their supervisors, and policy makers all need to be vigilant and thorough moving forward.”
This trend affects a wide scope of Notaries including Signing Agents, those working for mortgage servicers and lenders, and Notaries employed at financial institutions. To prepare for the influx of transactions, the NNA offers resources for Notaries and their supervisors designed to promote professional standards and strengthen document processing practices.