There are changes soon to come for loan disclosure documentation. The Truth in Lending Statement and the Good Faith estimate will be replaced in August 2015. According to sources, the three-page Loan Estimate will replace the Good Faith Estimate and the initial Truth in Lending Disclosure. The five-page Closing Disclosure will replace the HUD-1 and final Truth in Lending Disclosure. In addition to the changes in documents there will be a requirement that the borrower receive accurate Closing Disclosures at least three business days before closing.
According to RIchard Horn who was quoted in The Legal Description Newsletter, May 12, 2014: "....the hope is that it will foster a more competitive marketplace for lenders and other settlement service providers and will ultimately allow consumers to make better financial decisions for themselves and their families."
What can a Notary do to prepare
* Make contact with the companies you do business with and enquire as to what their game plan is for the changes that are coming
* Ensure the privacy of the borrower. Verify fax numbers and e-mail addresses before faxing or emailing any type of loan document back to the Title Companies.
* Keep your background checks and certifications updated.
* Maintain your Errors and Omissions Insurance.
* Determine how to handle emails that have attachments and any residual paperwork. In my opinion any personal borrower information should be discarded (shredded) and emails deleted when the transactions are completed and the Signing Company gives the green light.
Notary Certified Signing Specialist
I am hearing is that instead of notaries being referred to as a Signing Agent, we will be referred to as a Certified Signing Specialist. Michael Lewis in the November 2013 issue of National Notary magazine related two reason for this:
1) When a Notary is referred to as a Certified Signing Specialist conveys to the borrower that you possess the qualifications and expertise needed for the transaction
2) Lenders prefer not to call you "agents" because the term carries a specific legal meaning that implies you have the authority to act on their behalf as though they were personally present.
Remember: Change can be a good thing. Most of the changes are welcome and hopefully will bring a semblance of uniformity in loan documents in the days to come.
Fifteen million U.S. residents have their identities used fraudulently each year with financial losses that exceed 50 billion dollars. A recent article indicated "U.S. citizens listed financial security and personal security as their two top concerns with the most worrisome threats being credit-card theft and identity fraud". Click to read article in Eweek.com
Notaries are asked to provide personal information, including their Social Security Number (SSN), to Signing Services to receive payment. However, Notaries may apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the government in setting up a business structure for their Signing Company business. The EIN should be used in place of your SSN.
Protect yourself from identity theft of your SSN. Click here to apply for an EIN.