The Mortgage Report - Mortgage Tips & News

I am constantly contacted by mortgage and title related businesses wanting me to add a link to their website or tout the services they offer.  I'm extremely picky about what I put on my web pages or mention here.  I only want truly relevant information.  I want information that's useful for others in the mortgage/title industry, other signing agents, or consumers.  One site that I'm happy to mention here is The Mortgage Report.  They provide daily articles and tips for consumers looking to purchase a home or refinance a mortgage.  Their articles are well-written for consumers.  Plain English without overwhelming mortgage jargon.  Check them out here:

The Mortgage Report

UPS Box vs. UPS Store

A few title companies that use UPS are strongly urging signing agents to return documents by taking them to the UPS Store instead of using drop boxes.  At least one title company considers it a signing agent error to use a box and will give you a naughty demerit on your service record with them if UPS delays or loses a package and you used a drop box instead of a store.  The argument for this is that packages are more likely lost using a drop box then using the store.

In my almost 15 years as a mortgage signing agent, I've only had one package misplaced by UPS when using a box.  It apparently slipped behind a seat and wasn't found for two days.  In every other instance (and there have been too many to count), it was the UPS Store that lost or misplaced a package, usually because the desk clerk was busy and ended up setting aside the package and forgetting about it.  So personally I don't agree with their assessment and I have certainly had a different experience.  

However, my biggest beef is the additional time it takes to go to a store.  My UPS Store is 15 minutes away, that's a 30 minute round trip.  I'm then told not to just drop off the package.  I must hand it to the clerk and get a receipt.  Have you EVER walked into a UPS store and NOT had a line of at least a few people?  I haven't.  So another 10 to 20 minutes minimum waiting in line?  And any additional pay for the extra time I'm spending driving past 5 or 6 UPS drop boxes and waiting in line?  Of course not.  So with all due respect, I decline. 

Wayne County Notaries Beware - Wayne County Is At It Again

If you've ever had the pleasure of dealing with the folks at the Wayne County Register of Deeds or other Wayne County offices, you know how, um, challenging it can be.  Service is not their forte, and it seems like they will find any reason to reject recordable docs like deeds and mortgages.  They've recently found a new excuse to reject these documents.  

As most notaries are aware, when performing a notarization in a county other than the county of our commission,  we're required to indicate that we are acting in that county.  Most notary stamps already have a line included in the stamp to address this, we just add the county we're in like this:

Alex G. Yvonnou
County of Wayne
Acting in the County of: Oakland

Simple enough.  "Acting in" is required when you're in another county, but NOT when you're performing the notarization in the county of your commission.  So if I'm notarizing a signature in Wayne County, I'm not ACTING in Wayne County, I'm already commissioned there.  But tell that to Wayne County Register of Deeds.  They are now rejecting documents for not having the "Acting in" portion filled out, even if you are commissioned in Wayne.  Correct?  No.  Logical?  Nope?  Try to fight with them about it?  Don't bother.  It's their way or the highway.  So Wayne County notaries better start filling in "Acting in"  even when you're in Wayne or you'll be getting a call from your hiring party about your "error". 

And dear Wayne County, here's the link to the Michigan Notary Act, specifically Section 55.287, which indicates that "Acting in" is only required when in a county other than the county of commission: 55.287.  Not that you actually care. 

Don't Miss That 4506 Form Checkbox

The checkbox is a recent addition to the 4506 Tax Form.  It appeared without warning.  And the lender's head will explode if you miss having it checked (if lender's had heads).  It's right above the signature line:

Signature of taxpayer(s).

I declare that I am either the taxpayer whose name is shown on line 1a or 2a, or a person authorized to obtain the tax return requested. If the request applies to a joint return, at least one spouse must sign. If signed by a corporate officer, 1 percent or more shareholder, partner, managing member, guardian, tax matters partner, executor, receiver, administrator, trustee, or party other than the taxpayer, I certify that I have the authority to execute Form 4506 on behalf of the taxpayer.  Note: For tax returns being sent to a third party, this form must be received within 120 days of the signature date.

--> X <--  Signatory attests that he/she has read the attestation clause and upon so reading declares that he/she has the authority to sign the Form 4506.

Sign Here >  _________________________________________________________________

Who Gets A Copy Of The Closing Disclosure?

Although the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules started last year, it seems title companies are just recently having issues with who gets a copy of the Closing Disclosure (CD) and ALTA forms in a buyer/seller transaction.  Though TRID doesn't make any changes to the privacy rules that apply to real estate transactions, the CD provides detailed loan information that wasn't found on the old HUD-1 Settlement Statements.  Parties involved in these transactions are under increasingly strict interpretation of The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act regarding the Privacy of Consumer Financial Information.  As a contract closer that represents various title companies at the signing, I've seen title companies handle copies in many different ways.  However, I believe most companies have now settled in on a standard that seems to make the most sense. 

Buyer - copy of their CD and their ALTA form

Buyer's Realtor - copy of the buyer's ATLA form only

Seller - copy of their ATLA form only

Seller's Realtor - copy of seller's ALTA form only

Buyer's Title Company - original buyer's CD and buyer's ALTA form, copy of seller's ALTA form

Seller's Title Company - original of the seller's ALTA form and copy of the buyer's ALTA form

So the buyer sees all their numbers and terms, the seller sees their numbers, the agents only see the numbers for the client they represent, and the title companies see the numbers pertinent to the transaction.  Note that buyer and seller can share their forms if they choose. 

TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule implementation

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act

Finally, a much needed facelift for detroitsigningagent.com / detroitnotary.com.  A cleaner look, updated profile information, and an updated notary resource page.  Next up, I'll be adding some Detroit area photos to the site, thanks to Anthrophotology