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Mortgage Execs: Closing disclosure training will give NSAs a ‘competitive advantage’

Notaries can gain a competitive advantage by being trained on new closing disclosure forms before the 2015 deadline.

As the mortgage lenders and settlement services companies gear up to start using the new Closing Disclosures as of October 1, training and education about the new forms will be essential for Notary signing agents during this transition because it will give them a leg up on the competition, say industry leaders.

Taking part in a panel discussion of mortgage industry executives at NNA 2015 in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month, Ray Callahan, Chief Compliance Officer, Prospect Mortgage, LLC., said, “As Notary signing agents, if you read up on (the Closing Disclosure), ask questions, take some training, you will turn it into a competitive advantage.”

The Closing Disclosure is part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) Rule taking effect August 1. The Disclosure combines information from the existing HUD-1 Settlement Statement and final Truth In Lending Statement and is intended to help borrowers better understand the terms of their loans.

Co-panelist T.J. Harrington, vice president of vendor management for Bank of America, concurred with Callahan. “I would recommend taking the forms for a test drive — take a look at them,” Harrington said.

Closing disclosure educational resources

The CFPB has extensive resources on its website, but Callahan said that much of the material was highly technical. Harrington noted that there are a number of versions of the new Closing Disclosure available on the Internet.

The NNA has published a copy of the Closing Disclosure for the various fields.

Callahan also said that a number of educational courses are available, including the NNA’s Notary Signing Agent Annual Compliance Training. “I have taken the NNA’s course and found it very good, right to the point,” Callahan said.

The compliance training also offers additional competitive benefits to NSAs. Signing agents who are certified through the NNA and complete the Annual Compliance Training receive a priority listing on the directory — making their profile more visible to title companies and signing services looking for Notary signing agents.

Closing disclosures delayed

The CFPB initially set August 1 as the date to start implementing the rule. Essentially, lenders would be required to use the Closing Disclosure for most residential mortgage applications accepted on or after that date. However, the mortgage industry lobbied hard to push the deadline back because the rule required them to massively overhaul their internal procedures.

Earlier this month, the CFPB indicated that it would hold off taking enforcement action against lenders who made a good-faith effort to meet the deadline.

However, CFPB Director Richard Cordray announced last week that the agency was proposing to push back the deadline to October 1. The delay would allow the agency to correct an administrative error, Cordray said in a statement.

“We further believe that the additional time included in the proposed effective date would better accommodate the interests of the many consumers and providers whose families will be busy with the transition to the new school year at that time,” he said.

The delay will give NSAs more time to educate themselves about the Closing Disclosure.

More details about the new Closing Disclosure changes and how the changes will impact Notary signing agents are available in the Notary Bulletin.

Members also can read about the impact of the new Closing Disclosure in the June edition of The National Notary magazine.

David Thun is the Assistant Managing Editor with the National Notary Association.

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22 Jun 2015

Great article. Question: the NNA NSA certification course as of last month includes what this article speaks of? There was a good amount of detail in the training....but just want to confirm. Thanks.

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