Changes Coming

by Cynthia Belzl, RBJ VP and Operations Officer

There are changes coming that each escrow company must prepare for. We have already been discussing the Closing Disclosure, effective August 1, (and will continue to do so), but that’s not all. Many of our customers have been responsive to our encouragement of attending various webinars, classes, and conferences, but still, we are getting a lot of questions as to what it means to be CFPB compliant. The best advice we can give you is to get involved, get educated and get prepared.

To clarify, the CFPB is not mandating requirements of settlement companies. CFPB is regulating lenders and telling lenders that they are responsible for their service providers. With this in mind, you may be in a position to answer to lenders in order to be one of their settlement providers.

As a result, Escrow Institute of California (EIC) and American Land Title Association (ALTA) have created guidelines to help you address what the lenders may request.

EIC board members have done an exceptional job outlining best practices for the requirements of today. Here is a link to EIC’s Model Policies & Procedures document: http://www.escrowinstitute.org/2014/eic-model-policies-procedures/

To further help with your preparation, Jennifer Felten, Esq. was kind enough to share with me, and permit me to include in a recent RBJ email to our clients, her firm’s Escrow Policies and Procedures checklist.  Jennifer who was once an Escrow Officer/manager is now an attorney and principal of RELaw, APC. She is assisting escrow companies in these compliance matters. I am listing below four valuable resources for you as you work through these changes:

 

Jennifer Felten, Esq.

RELAW, APC

699 Hampshire Road, Suite 105

Westlake Village, CA 91361

Telephone: (805) 265-1031

Facsimile: (805) 265-1032

E-mail: jennifer@relawapc.com

Website: www.relawapc.com

 

Escrow Institute of California

Website: http://www.escrowinstitute.org/

ALTA’s website: http://www.alta.org/

CFPB’s website: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/

 

It is strongly encouraged for each settlement provider to get involved with an escrow association as the various associations are being proactive in educating its members.

This has been sent to only the contacts we have on record. Please forward to those who you feel would benefit from this information.

Note that RBJ will be holding another webinar regarding the Closing Disclosure. This one will be training on the form using RBJ Software. That will likely occur in May. Watch for the email notice that will be sent when the date is set!

Don’t be scared, be prepared!