Visit PREPVisit PRIA

Volume 111, 
March 2015



Mortgage Mess Drags on Over Destroyed Oso, WA Homes  
excerpted from The Seattle Times 3/24/15 

Many survivors are still in mortgage debt a year after the deadly Oso landslide turned the Steelhead Haven neighborhood into a burial ground. Stuck with worthless property, they and their advocates are engaged in a delicate dance with trustees, mortgage servicers and investors.


Of 35 families with lost or damaged homes that are working with nonprofit housing-counseling agency Parkview Services in Shoreline, only five have reached a settlement on their debts. Fifteen households have tentative agreements with banks and other debtholders, while the rest are still gathering documents and in negotiation, said Parkview compliance director Randy Lowell.


There have been miscues and misunderstandings on all sides. One homeowner needlessly used a life-insurance settlement to pay off a mortgage on a destroyed house, he said. At the other end, two weeks ago, "one of the largest national servicers here in the United States told me they didn't even know the disaster had occurred," said Lowell. "There's a disconnect between the disaster occurring and the investors and servicers taking action on that."


After the March 22, 2014, disaster - the deadliest landslide in U.S. history - banks large and small made donations to relief agencies. JPMorgan Chase donated $100,000; Bank of America's foundation, $50,000; Wells Fargo, $30,000. (Read complete article.) 



News from PREP Chapters


In every edition of the PREP Newsletter, we highlight at least one PREP Chapter and post an abbreviated version of their most recent Chapter Meeting minutes.  You can also see what any of the PREP Chapters are talking about by going to PRIA's PREP Chapters webpage.  

PREP Chapters Under Formation:


Several people from Virginia are trying to set up a PREP Chapter in their state.  If you are in their vicinity and are interested in helping them with these efforts, please contact Terri Stitzer, DTS Titles, Inc. at

And to find out how easy it is to start your own PREP Chapter, contact the PREP Coordinator or take a look at PRIA's PREP webpage to find all materials, power-point presentations, topic suggestions and sample invitations/agendas.


It Will Take a Village to Close a Mortgage in 2015
excerpted from Inman 3/19/15 

Home loan regulations will change in August, and we should change, too. The amount of time and effort it takes to close a mortgage is incredible. Many participants in the process work overtime, sometimes for over a month, or several months, per closing to make sure the customer is happy.

Everyone involved in the mortgage process has to deal with the fundamentally flawed system. For example, having the same conversation five different times is often accepted in the real estate agent's line of work as simply part of the job description. First they might have to call the lender, then the title company to relay what the lender said, then inform the buyer and so on. This constant duplication of effort is exhausting, expensive and time consuming. On average, there are 25 individuals working on a single closing, and each of them are affected to varying degrees if the deal falls through.  


Each failed closing can also create a chain effect impacting another closing. Let's say person A is in negotiations to move into person B's house, and person C is moving to person A's house. If person A's closing falls through, then person C has no place to go and the person moving into person C's house, and so on. Each of these failed closings affects another possible 25 people.


The process is broken because everyone finds out whether or not the deal will go through at the last possible minute. That's what the regulators are trying to change, so the consumers aren't harmed. (Read complete article.) 



'Catch Me If You Can' Con Man Says Technology Makes Fraud Easier      
excerpted from Bloomberg 3/13/15

Technology makes it a lot easier to cheat today, according to reformed con artist Frank Abagnale. The man who made $2.5 million in the 1960s as a teenager faking identities as an airline pilot, lawyer and doctor now works with the FBI and others on cybercrime. He even had a role in the investigation into last year's JPMorgan Chase & Co. hack, he said in an interview this week near Trafalgar Square in London.

Abagnale became famous after the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie "Catch Me If You Can," starring Leonardo DiCaprio, based on his autobiography. He's spent the past four decades working with the FBI spotting fraud, and says the advances in technology and the over-sharing trends propagated by social media sites like Facebook have made it much easier to create false identities with a few personal details. When he did it, he had to assume an entirely new identity and life.


"What I did 50 years ago as a teenage boy is 4,000 times easier to do today because of technology," Abagnale said. "Technology breeds crime. It always has, and always will." (Read complete article.) 

There's Still Time to Comment on PRIA's eRecording Best Practices     

PRIA's Board of Directors have approved the eRecording Best Practices for Recorders paper for the required 30-day comment period. This document is the culmination of more than a year of meetings, via conference call and face-to-face at conferences, and includes input from dozens of members who participated in the eRecording eXcellence Best Practices Work Group.


This document will be available for review and comment through April 8, 2015. Comments should be submitted to the work group co-chairs, Jerry Lewallen and Chris Walker.
California Federal Court Holds in MERS' Favor
excerpted from Housing Wire 3/20/15

The Central District of California federal court held in a ruling Thursday that as the named beneficiary under a recorded deed of trust, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems has a statutory right to notice.


In Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., et al. v. Daniel Robinson, et al., MERS filed suit to vacate a quiet title judgment obtained by the defendant in a separate state court action that purportedly extinguished the deed of trust identifying MERS as beneficiary.


"California law requires a quiet title plaintiff to name as defendants those persons 'having adverse claims to the title of the plaintiff against which a determination is sought,'" the court held. As such, "defendants were required to name MERS as a defendant in the quiet title action..." since the deed of trust was recorded against their property at the time they filed their state court suit.  ( Read complete article.)


New Record Retention Requirements under the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule
excerpted from JDSupra 3/23/15

As the August 1, 2015 effective date for the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule approaches, we would like to alert you to an important aspect of the new rule that has not received much attention: record retention. Among other requirements in the rule, creditors must retain copies of the new Closing Disclosure for five years, and if the creditor sells, transfers, or otherwise disposes of its interest in a covered mortgage loan and does not service the mortgage loan, the creditor must provide a copy of the Closing Disclosure to the new owner or servicer as a part of the transfer of the loan file.


The new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule promulgated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") consolidates certain mortgage loan disclosure requirements under the Truth-in-Lending Act ("TILA") and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"). This new rule is effective August 1, 2015 and applies to most closed-end consumer credit transactions secured by real property for which the creditor receives an application on or after that date. The new rule does not apply to home equity lines of credit, reverse mortgages, or loans secured by a mobile home. 


Electronic record keeping is permitted, but not required. The documents may be maintained by any method that reproduces records accurately, including computer programs. (Read complete article.)



CSC Adds Counties in ND, TX, GA and OH
excerpted from 3/24/15

Burleigh and Cavalier Counties in ND, Robertson County, TX,  Fannin County, GA, Putnam and Miami Counties in OH, are all now electronically recording real estate documents through Corporation Service Company (CSC).  (Read complete articles.) 


ALTA Announces Simplifile as an Elite Provider
excerpted from PRWeb 3/24/15 

Simplifile, the nation's largest electronic recording (eRecording) service, has been named an Elite Provider  by the American Land Title Association (ALTA), joining a program of premier service providers promoting the highest industry standards and benefits to the title and settlement services industry.


"I am happy that Simplifile has joined our growing ALTA Elite Provider program," said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA's chief executive officer. "We are constantly working to provide our members with the resources to find businesses with a proven track record of trusted products and services. The Elite Provider program connects ALTA members with technology and service providers across the land title insurance industry." (Read complete article.)


ALTA NEWS:  CFPB Issues Semi-Annual Supervisory Report, Highlights Origination Violations             
excerpted from ALTA Advocacy Update 3/17/15 by Michelle L. Korsmo, ALTA CEO 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its semi-annual Supervisory Highlights Report. The report provides a broad overview of findings from recent CFPB examinations of lenders.

While the report focuses on a number of lending issues from student loans to overdraft fees, it does include a section on mortgage lending that has some findings that may be relevant to settlement agents. According to the Report, "at one or more institutions," CFPB examiners found amounts disclosed on the HUD-1 that improperly exceeded those disclosed on the Good Faith Estimate. Specifically, the report cites instances of lenders altering lender credits to prevent a consumer from receiving excess cash back during a no-cost refinancing. The problem, according to the Bureau's report, is that the lenders did not document the changed circumstance that led to the changes. Additionally, the Bureau found problems with lenders' controls for determining when an application was received for purposes of meeting the GFE's timing requirements.


During the six-month period covered by this report, the bureau assessed restitution of $19.4 million to more than 92,000 consumers. The report also indicates that the bureau continues to take non-public supervisory actions which are not listed in the report.


As the industry gears up for August 1, it can be helpful to review these reports to understand how the CFPB supervises lenders. If you have any questions about the report, please contact Steve Gottheim, ALTA's legislative and regulatory counsel, at or 202-261-2943. 


Links to National News
U.S. Home Sales Perking Up, but for How Long?
Los Angeles Times | March 23, 2015
A key measure of the nation's housing market picked up speed in February as sales of previously-owned homes climbed 1.2% and ran ahead of last year's pace for the fifth straight month.

Mortgage Apps See Near 10 Percent Weekly Rise
National Mortgage Professional Magazine | March 25, 2015
Mortgage applications increased 9.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 20, 2015.

House Marking Up Key Mortgage, Regulatory Reform Bills
HousingWire | March 25, 2015
A hard slog of a markup day continued on March 25th as the House Financial Services Committee moved ahead with the often tedious work of marking up 11 key regulatory relief bills, of which several could have a big impact on mortgage lending and mortgage finance.

U.S. Home Prices Are Surging 13 Times Faster Than Wages
Bloomberg | March 26, 2015
For most people, buying a home is no cheap venture. That's especially the case when the growth in U.S. home prices is beating wage increases 13 to 1.

Advertise in all of PRIA's Newsletters for One Bundled Rate

Consider advertising in the two PRIA publications, In Touch and PREP's "Working Together" Newsletter. In Touch is produced and distributed 12 times each year, while PREPs "Working Together" is distributed 24 times a year.  It's a lot of exposure with a wide audience, now up to 13,000 readers, for just a few dollars. To claim your space click here
Join the PREP Blog and the PREP LinkedIn Group


On most business days, we post national news articles, and PRIA and PREP Chapter information on the PREP Blog and the PRIA/PREP LinkedIn Group. You are able to stay in touch by subscribing to both sites and automatically receiving updates daily or weekly. 


The views and opinions expressed in the media, articles, comments, or links in this publication are those of the speakers or authors and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) or its members.  PRIA does not warrant the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information contained in this publication. If you have a complaint about something you have found in this publication, please contact PRIA by email at
This publication may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. PRIA believes this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this publication is distributed without profit, to those who have expressed a prior interest in such information, for comment and nonprofit educational purposes.
Newsletter Sponsors

If you'd like to advertise in this newsletter please contact:
In This Issue
Mortgage Mess Drags on Over Destroyed Oso, WA Homes
News from PREP Chapters - Chapters Under Formation
It Will Take a Village to Close a Mortgage in 2015
Abagnale Says Technology Makes Fraud Easier
There's Still Time to Comment on PRIA's eRecording Best Practices
CA Federal Court Holds in MERS' Favor
New Record Retention Requirements Under TILA-RESPA
CSC Adds Counties in ND, TX, GA, and OH
ALTA Announces Simplifile as an Elite Provider
Links to National News
Advertise in PRIA's Newsletters
PREP Blog and PREP LinkedIn
Examples of PRIA's Products  
PREP Chapter Meetings
  March -  June 2015    

      Central Florida


      Metro Minnesota 

      SE Minnesota

      Idaho (new)

      SE Pennsylvania 


      Virginia (new) 



Contact Information

Do you have questions or suggestions for this newsletter or any updated information on co-chairs, emails, phone numbers, etc. please contact us:
Carolyn Ableman
PREP Coordinator

Mark Monacelli
PREP Committee Government Co-Chair, Recorder
St Louis County, Minnesota

Madeleine Nagy

PREP Committee Business

Co-Chair, ALTA

State Government Affairs


Join Our Mailing List
Find us on Facebook
View our profile on LinkedIn