An Express Article from the California Land Title Association
A conference call will be held on December 3 at 2:00 p.m. EST to discuss the proposed uniform closing instructions that have been developed by ALTA, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the American Escrow Association. The new instructions are intended to improve efficiencies and lower costs to the industry and consumers by replacing countless sets of instructions with two standard sets. Comments on the instructions will be collected until early next year, after which they will go into effect. It is expected that the instructions will be one of the fundamental building blocks of the fully electronic mortgage process. To register and learn more about the online workshop, "Introducing the New Proposed Uniform Closing Instructions,” you can go to www.campusmba.org or call (800) 348-8653. Due to the contributions from the CLTA and other interested groups, participation on the part of callers is free.
The Notes to Potential Adopters that accompany the instructions states that it is intended that local traditions which have been observed for years, but add no value to the process will have to be modified to create the uniformity desired. The Notes also indicate that the instructions are intended to change industry behaviors that are inherently subject to the risk of fraud. In implementing the instructions adjustments to pre-closing procedures will be required so that new timing requirements of the instructions can me met in the normal course of business.
It is worth noting that the instructions have a section entitled FRAUD PREVENTION AND DISCLOSURE OF SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES. The purpose is not to broaden liability of Signing Agents or Settlement Agents but is intended to require notification of certain facts or suspicions to the Lender’s designated “Fraud Prevention Contact” named in the Specific Instructions.
The CLTA would encourage any of its members who want to participate in the call to do so. Drafts of both the Uniform General Closing Instructions and the Uniform Specific Closing Instructions can be found on the ALTA web site at: