Clipping Increased Closing Costs For Title Agents

First American Title recently released their Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI) report for 2016, and it indicates significant increases in title agents’ cost to close a transaction. On a national average, title agents reported their costs had risen by $210 per transaction in the third quarter of 2016. Regional variances were significant, with New York agents reporting increased costs of $539 per transaction, while in Oklahoma, agents reported a modest $25 increase. These increases, though, come on top of a national average increase of $184 per transaction in the second quarter of 2016.

What’s Driving These Increases?

The 2014 amendment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Regulation X provided for routine compliance audits by the CFPB, and holds lenders accountable for the quality of work of their subservices. ALTA Best Practices were developed and title agents voluntarily adopted them in order to assure lenders of the reliability of their work. The Best Practices are broadly-defined, though, and there are many different ways in which title agents could choose to implement them.

It would be easy to say that TRID is the force behind the increases to the costs to close, and in an indirect way, that is true. It’s actually the fact that lenders are all responding differently to TRID and implementing a wide variety of policies in order to achieve compliance, and their expectations of how ALTA Best Practices should be implemented also vary.

Unfortunately for closing agents, these circumstances mean they can either scramble to comply with all of those lender demands, or bid farewell to the lenders whose requirements they can’t feasibly meet. Creating different closing procedures for each lender is burdening title agents with costs that are getting out of control.

How Are We Supposed To Keep Up?

Especially in solo practices and small firms, title agents are finding time and profit in decreasing supply as skittish post-TRID lenders keep setting up new hurdles. Until or unless the mortgage industry agrees on a uniform set of practices, standards, and policies, title agents will have to work more efficiently in order to keep up.

Easy Soft Real Estate Closing Solutions is a suite of applications designed specifically for real estate attorneys and closing agents to automate form generation, increase accuracy and compliance, and work with the demands of various lenders efficiently. Enter data once, and when you choose a form for a transaction, it will fill itself out from the database in the blink of an eye. Forget about filling in the wrong fields or making typos. There are more than 200 forms already in the library, and you can create custom forms to satisfy the requirements of the specific lenders you work with. EasySoft Real Estate Closing Solutions is regularly updated with any regulatory changes and standards like ALTA Best Practices, so you’re always up-to-date. Try Easysoft Real Estate Closing Solutions free and see how fast and simple it is to generate fully compliant closing documents and fight increased costs for title agents, closing agents, and real estate attorneys.