Closing Disclosure Quiz

The following is a Q&A on a few data/document sharing scenarios. Answers were provided by Richard Andreano and Kevin Leitao of the law firm Ballard Spahr.

 

QUESTION: You are leading a conference-style closing with five or six different parties in the room. Can you discuss the details of the buyer’s mortgage in the presence of third parties — including real estate brokers and the seller?

ANSWER: No. not without affirmative consent from the buyer or seller (if applicable).

  • Disclosure is disclosure. It does not matter whether it is in writing or read aloud.
  • Consider how to capture and retain affirmative consent.

 

QUESTION: The buyer’s real estate agent asks the settlement/closing agent for a copy of the buyer’s Closing Disclosure “to help make sure everything goes smoothly.” Can you provide the Closing Disclosure form to the real estate agent?

ANSWER: No, not without affirmative consent from the buyer.

  • The buyer’s Closing Disclosure has the buyer’s NPI (Non-Public Information).
  • The buyer’s real estate agent does not need to have this NPI as part of their role on behalf of the buyer.

 

QUESTION: The buyer’s real estate agent asks the settlement/closing agent for a copy of the ALTA Settlement Statement “to help make sure everything goes smoothly.” Can you provide the Settlement Statement form to the real estate agent?

ANSWER: No, not without affirmative consent from the buyer.

  • Like the Closing Disclosure, the ALTA Settlement Statement has the buyer’s NPI.
  • The buyer’s real estate agent does not need to have this NPI as part of their role on behalf of the buyer.

 

QUESTION: You are doing a closing where one of the parties is participating using email from another state. Is email an acceptable way to send closing documents with NPI back and forth?

ANSWER: It depends.

  • Regular email is not a secure way to transmit the consumer NPI in Closing Disclosures or Settlement Statements.
  • Better practices include secure email delivery and secure online portals.

 

For more on this topic, see TitleNews April 2016 edition, the official publication of the American Land Title Association, from which this quiz was derived.

The Longhorn Advantage

Longhorn Title Company is a locally owned and operated Title Insurance Agent servicing Williamson County, Texas, since 1972. All staff have deep roots in the central Texas hill country and combined experience of over a hundred years. We are active members of our community, contributing to Realtor Associations, Homeowner Associations, local charities and Chambers of Commerce in the region.

Being a small, family-owned business, we have necessarily developed long-lasting relationships with other business owners and community members throughout Williamson County, and continue to meet the needs of the community and to do our part in creating excellence in the place we collectively call our home.

Since we are a small business, there are things the large companies do that we simply cannot. For instance, we cannot view our customers as a dollar figure and a policy number. We cannot set modest orders on the back burner in favor of large, corporate ones. We cannot saturate local media with insincere and misleading advertisements. We cannot ignore the individual and unique needs of our customers to meet arbitrary production quotas.

What we can do, however, is match each customer with an Escrow Officer who will get to know them not as numbers, but faces and names and hopes and anxieties, while handling all of the needs of the customer from the minute a contract is received, to signing at the closing table. What we can do is be patient and understand that buying property can be extremely frightening and difficult, and provide contact resources to clear up misconceptions and assuage those fears. What we can do is carefully analyze and examine each and every factor of the property’s history to ensure the customer is well apprised of any claims or liens against the property. What we can do is everything in our power to ensure an accurate, timely and legally compliant closing, without any surprises at closing.

We can do these things because Longhorn Title doesn’t run with the herd of corporate automatons and title mills that come and go with the weather.

We can do these things because Longhorn Title is large enough to serve, but small enough to care.