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Signing Agents Discuss Life With The New Closing Disclosure

Closing Disclosure Update

(Originally published in the February 2016 issue of The National Notary magazine.)

For more than a year, lenders and title companies have been scrambling to implement the new Closing Disclosure, mandated by the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule, or TRID. After several months, here’s what Signing Agents have to say about whether the rule has hurt or helped their work.

The Bright Spots

Many Signing Agents said the new Closing Disclosure rule has made the loan-signing process smoother. Richard Acker, a Signing Agent in Denver, Colorado, said that providing borrowers with loan information well in advance of the signing appointment has had a positive effect on his work, with assignments being completed faster and more efficiently.

TRID requires lenders to get the Closing Disclosure to the borrower at least three days before the signing, and that has helped tremendously, Acker said. Now that borrowers have more time to review loan information, there are fewer delays during actual signings. Because they have more time to review their loan ahead of a closing, they also tend to be less stressed during the process, which also helps with signing assignments.

The Frustrations

However, the rollout of the new Closing Disclosure rule and forms hasn’t gone smoothly for everyone. John Axt, a Signing Agent from Melbourne, Florida, and the owner of the East Coast Signings signing agency, reported he’s had several signings canceled by lenders or title companies due to issues getting documents to borrowers by the new deadline. “I had one signing which had been scheduled for over a week,” Axt said. “As we got to within an hour of the signing time and no documents had arrived, I contacted the borrower to see if I could reschedule for later in the day.”

The borrower told Axt that the lender had canceled the signing two days earlier because the required closing forms could not be delivered three days before the signing. “The lender never informed the title company about the change in plans either,” he said.

Axt said these last-minute cancellations are frustrating because they disrupt his schedule and prevent him from taking other assignments, which affects his ability to earn income.

The Future

Another challenge NSAs faced immediately following the rollout was that many closings were still using older-format documents because the applications were submitted prior to the TRID rule taking effect in October. This meant a confusing process for many signing professionals because some signings used the new forms while others still included older closing documentation.

Acker estimated that around 20 percent of the closings he’s dealt with since October 2015 included forms using the old format. However, he expects that number to drop significantly as time passes.

That will largely depend on how quickly the lenders can fully implement TRID. Moody’s Investor Service in December reported that as many as 90 percent of the loans originated under TRID were out of compliance with the rule. While many of the violations were technical, the fact that there were so many is “significant,” the report noted. “The number of technical violations should decline over the next several months as lenders adjust their loan origination systems to comply with the rule’s nuances,” the report noted.

Rochester, New York, NSA Marcy Tiberio, who owns a national signing service, also sees things getting much better for Signing Agents. Because of the three-day rule, loan packages should be prepared well in advance of signing appointments and sent to NSAs.

“How many more signings can you complete in a day if you get all your packages the day before?” Tiberio said. “Think of how much better prepared you would be.”

Even though the TRID rule is going through its growing pains, Tiberio said there is light at the end of the tunnel. “We just have to wait a tiny bit longer.”

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.


Add your comment

Ben Luense

28 Mar 2016

Even with the three day Closing Disclosure, I've notice that the down loading of documents are not coming out earlier. I could schedule more closing if I knew I would get the documents at least 24 hours in advance. Many of the documents are not coming until three or four hours before signing. I'm located in a rural area and sometime distance is a major factor. On my last five signings I have accepted, two had to be canceled and one I had to reschedule for 3 hours later, all because they failed to get the documents out.

John R. McCoy

28 Mar 2016

On 2 or 3 occasions the final disclosure that I print does not match the figures on the advance disclosure. One final doc had a $1000. + check required which was not disclosed to the borrower. They were upset, but did write the check. Changes occur, but please notify the borrower!!

Darrell Guynes

30 Mar 2016

When the new disclosures started, it was great. I was getting documents anywhere from 3-5 days prior to the loan signing. As the lenders have become more used to the new disclosures, It is back to the old ways of not getting docs out to the title company until the day before of the day of the signing. So, we are back to receiving the loan docs 2 hours or less prior to the signing. If you are a signing agent that does several signings in a single day, it can be a major disruption to your business to keep running back to the office to print the docs. Also, I am seeing that the amount due is also changing and the borrower is just learning about it at the closing. Again, back to the old ways of doing business.

Joseph Reeves

31 Mar 2016

I have to agree with Ben Luense and Darrell Guynes. One of the benefits of the new Closing Disclosure as it was highlighted to signing agents was supposed to be that, as long as the borrower did not contest the Closing Disclosure they received three days before closing, docs would be able to be provided much sooner than was the practice with the HUD/TIL closings. That doesn't necessarily mean a signing agent will get docs a full 3 days in advance, but surely a day or maybe 2 in advance is possible. So why am I still getting docs 70 minutes before an appointment that will take me 40 minutes to drive to? I have nothing but praise for the new Closing Disclosure form - it's much easier to read and interpret, and borrowers I meet with seem to like it too. I deal with loan packages that range from 110 pages to *gulp* 225 pages, and can't really say the new CD does a lot to speed up the signing since the bulk of the package is agreements and disclosures that don't directly relate to the numbers on the CD. When printing/prepping multiple doc packages for closing appointments, the sooner I get the package, the better impression I can make on the borrower on behalf of the lender/title company.

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