Did you know… that 54.5% of agents reported difficulty obtaining a closing disclosure form?

Last month, the National Association of Realtors© released the results of a survey that asked Realtors© how the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules are impacting their business. While overall the agents surveyed indicated that there has been minimal impact on closings, agents have made some adjustments in the way they handle transactions, which include having inspections performed earlier and providing the contract and contract amendments to title companies and lenders sooner. The major issue the survey uncovered was that the agents are not able to easily obtain the closing disclosure (CD) and, when they do, it often has errors.

Prior to the TRID rules going into effect, title companies would prepare and send the HUD to agents for their review. Now, lenders prepare and send the borrower’s CD to the borrower for their review and the title company prepares and sends the seller’s CD to the seller for their review. Most industry experts agree the CD cannot be sent to the agent by the lender or the title company because it contains the parties’ non-public personal information (NPI). Only the borrower or the seller can provide the agent with a copy of their respective CD. Some title companies are providing the ALTA settlement statement to agents in lieu of the CD. Many industry experts believe, however, if the ALTA settlement statement has not been modified to remove certain information, it contains NPI and should not be given to an agent by anyone other than the buyer or seller. The borrower’s loan information and the seller’s payoff information are part of the standard ALTA settlement statement. Thus many industry experts believe the ALTA settlement statement cannot be provided to agents either unless the parties’ NPI has been removed.

The best way for an agent to obtain the CD is to ask the party they represent to give them a copy of the CD as soon as they receive it from their lender. At closing, the parties can hand the agents a copy of the CD, but last minute changes may be difficult as the lender, not the settlement company, will have to make those changes. Also, the CDs are not always signed, and often agents’ brokers will require the agent to submit a document signed by all parties. To solve this problem, we provide agents with a letter signed by all parties including us (the settlement company), containing the pertinent facts (property address, sales price, commissions, brokerage fees and other necessary information particular to a transaction), but no NPI.