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Volume 88, 
mid-April 2014



PRIA:  eRecording Key to Industry Compliance

excerpted from National Mortgage Professional 4/4/14        

The mortgage industry faces a liability that threatens both the accuracy of our public record and our ability to comply with new federal regulations, according to Myron Finley, chief legal officer for Nationwide Title Clearing and co-chair of the Business Processes and Procedures Committee for the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA).


"A significant amount of the liability in the industry exists in the gap between the closing of the loan and recording of the documents," said Finley. "That's why eRecording is so important in our industry. In our increasingly digital society, an entirely paperless process is the next logical step in ensuring accuracy, as well as compliance."


According to Finley, a number of sessions at the recent symposium further solidified the importance of adapting industry standards to fit the new compliance landscape, in general, and eRecording, in particular. eRecording differs from traditional recording methods because the original documents never leave one's possession - they are scanned and submitted within minutes, and are then returned electronically immediately after recording, making processing land records and property documents simple, fast and secure. Documents can be submitted 24/7, and the process is cost-effective, reducing paperwork.


PRIA, an organization which develops and promotes national standards and practices within the land records industry, holds annual conferences with a goal of providing a venue for industry officials to discuss how to meet local needs with national knowledge.


"Conferences such as the PRIA Symposium are the perfect forums in which proactive and professional leaders can educate themselves on issues that are impacting our industry," said John Hillman, Nationwide Title Clearing CEO. "PRIA sets standards, and that is, to a large measure, what NTC is all about; adopting practices that establish uniformity will help to protect our nation's land records, the mortgage industry, and homeowners."

(Read complete article.) 




News from PREP Chapters


In every edition of the PREP Newsletter, we highlight a 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.  

Washington State PREP

Co-chairs: Government, Melanie Muzatko, and Business, Mike Shelton,


The Washington State PREP Chapter held their meeting on 3/20/14 in conjunction with the Washington State Association of County Auditors Recording Conference.  The Chapter Meeting featured presentations from Marc Aronson, President of the Pennsylvania Association of Notaries, on eNotarization, from Patty Sandever, CSC (Computer Services Corporation), on PRIA and the recent 2014 PRIA Winter Symposium held in the Washington DC area, from a panel of eREET (electronic real estate excise tax) and eRecording experts including Steve Granlund from Thomson Reuters, Patty Sandever from CSC, and Mike Shelton from eRecording Partners Network,with discussion and questions from several County Treasurers and Recording Managers.  The next Washington State PREP Chapter meeting will be held sometime in the third quarter of 2014. (Read the full minutes of this meeting on PRIA's PREP Chapters webpage.)  


Mortgage Fraud Rises in 2013, Continuing Trend
excerpted from DS News 4/7/14

For the second straight year, Washington, D.C., is the place lenders are most likely to encounter mortgage fraud, according to the annual Mortgage Fraud Risk Report released by Interthinx.


Interthinx, a subsidiary of First American Financial Corporation, annually studies loan applications processed by its FraudGUARD system to determine the riskiest places in the country for mortgage fraud. What it found from its study of applications in 2013 was that fraud risk nationally rose by 4 index points to a total of 104. This continues the rising trend in fraud risk observed over the past three years as inventories shrink, prices rise, and markets stabilize.


More alarming is that nationally, the risk of occupancy fraud - whereby a borrower lies that a house will be occupied in order to secure a mortgage - rose 24 percent to an index rating of 135. Greeley, Colorado, was the riskiest for occupancy fraud risk, with an index of 227. According to Interthinx, this increase is likely due to a more purchase-driven market and continued investor interest in acquiring real estate.


The District of Columbia remained atop the list of riskiest states, with a mortgage fraud risk index of 142. California was a close second on the list with an index of 141, which is up 12 percent from 2012. Nevada, Illinois, Florida, Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, Maryland, and New Jersey rounded out the top 10 riskiest states. The least risky state in the report is Maine, which has a risk index rating of 55. Mississippi, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, West Virginia, Vermont, Iowa, and Kansas were the other nine least risky states.


Perhaps encouraging is Interthinx's finding that the geographic distribution of fraud risk was less dispersed in 2013 than it was in 2012. Still, California holds an unusually intense concentration of risks, claiming nine of the top 10 riskiest metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs; 18 of the 25 riskiest ZIP codes; five of the 10 riskiest MSAs for identity fraud; seven of the 10 riskiest MSAs for occupancy fraud; and eight of the 10 riskiest MSAs for income and employment fraud. (Read complete article.) 




Shadow Inventory Sees 23% Dip Nationwide in January
excerpted from National Mortgage Professional 4/3/14 

CoreLogic released its February 2014 National Foreclosure Report with a supplement featuring quarterly shadow inventory data as of January 2014. There were 43,000 completed foreclosures in the United States in February 2014, down from 51,000 in February 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 15 percent.


On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures decreased 13.1 percent from 50,000 in January 2014. National residential shadow inventory was 1.7 million homes as of January 2014 compared to 2.2 million in January 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 23 percent.


Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 4.9 million completed foreclosures across the country.


As of February 2014, approximately 752,000 homes in the United States were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared to 1.2 million in February 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 35 percent. Month over month, the foreclosure inventory was down 3.3 percent from January 2014. The foreclosure inventory as of February represented 1.9 percent of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 2.9 percent in February 2013. At the end of February 2014, there were 1.9 million mortgages, or 4.9 percent, in serious delinquency, defined as 90 days or more past due, including those loans in foreclosure or real estate owned (REO).


"Although there is good news that completed foreclosures are trending lower, the bigger news is the impressive decline in the foreclosure and shadow inventories," said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "Every state has had double-digit, year-over-year declines in foreclosure inventory, which is reflected in the $70 billion decline in the shadow inventory." (Read complete article.) 

Housing Showing 'Promising Signs' for Spring Buying Season
excerpted from Mortgage Orb 4/7/14

The majority of the nation is now running at normal levels of economic and housing activity, with 83% of metro areas showing an improvement over the past year, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and First American Leading Markets Index (LMI).

The index's nationwide score ticked up to .88 from a March reading of .87 - meaning that based on current permit, price and employment data, the nationwide average is running at 88% of normal economic and housing activity. Meanwhile, 28% of metro areas saw their score rise over the month, and 83% have shown an improvement over the past year.

Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Co., which co-sponsors the LMI report, believes that "stronger employment numbers seemed to be the driving force" for this month's improvements.

Baton Rouge, La., continues to top the list of major metros on the LMI, with a score of 1.42 - or 42% better than its last normal market level. Other major metros at the top of the list include Honolulu, HI; Oklahoma City, OK; Austin, TX; Houston, TX; San Jose, CA; and Harrisburg, PA - all of whose LMI scores indicate that their market activity now exceeds previous norms, reports NAHB.

"I think the big news here is that regions outside of the energy states continue to gain ground," comments David Crowe, chief economist for the association. "It's a promising sign to see areas like Los Angeles and San Jose joining the top 10 largest metropolitan statistical areas showing a recovery." (Read complete article.) 


Armstrong County (PA) Recorder Announces eRecording with Simplifile
excerpted from  PRWeb 4/4/14

Armstrong County Pennsylvania's Recorder of Deeds Marianne Hileman has implemented electronic recording (eRecording) of documents through Simplifile.


"There is positive growth in this industry and it is time for our recorder's office to be a part of the growth," Hileman said. According to Hileman, documents are currently sent to her office through USPS, FedEx and UPS, and if the document is rejected for any reason, it must be returned back to the submitter by mail, which can take a week if not longer before the document is resubmitted.


"With eRecording, a document can be submitted and placed on record immediately," Hileman said. "If rejected, it will be returned to the submitter and can be returned with corrections within minutes. Original documents never leave the submitters possession, leaving less chance of documents being lost or misplaced. eRecording simplifies the process."


Armstrong County is Pennsylvania's 28th recording jurisdiction to offer eRecording with Simplifile, joining more than 1,100 recording jurisdictions nationwide that have also adopted the service. (Read complete article.)   

ALTA NEWS:  CFPB Releases RESPA TILA Compliance Guide

excerpted from the ALTA Advocacy Update by ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo 4/7/14  


On 3/31/14, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released the first small entity compliance guide for its integrated mortgage disclosures rule. Using a question-and-answer format, the guide breaks down the rule and commentary.  The 88-page guide is required under federal law and is designed to highlight important implementation issues for small lenders and settlement agents.


"You may want to review your processes, software, contracts with service providers, or other aspects of your business operations in order to identify any changes needed to comply with this rule," the CFPB stated in the guidance. "Changes related to this rule may take careful planning, time, or resources to implement. This guide will help you identify and plan for any necessary changes."


The compliance guide contains several sections that address:

  • The rule's effective date
  • What transactions are covered by the rule
  • Delivery of the Loan Estimate
  • Good faith requirement and tolerances
  • Revising and correcting the Loan Estimate
  • Timing for revisions to Loan Estimate
  • The Closing Disclosure
  • Delivery of the Closing Disclosure
  • Revising and correcting the Closing Disclosure
  • Additional requirements and prohibitions

If you have any questions please contact ALTA's legislative and regulatory counsel, Steve Gottheim, at or 202-261-2943.


Links to National News


CFPB Monitor | April 3, 2014
The CFPB has announced that it plans to launch a new Community Financial Education Project in which it will work with public libraries across the country to help them provide free financial information and referrals.

Politico | April 6, 2014
Moscow officials hoping to boost the Russian housing market have been visiting the United States for more than a year to learn how the American mortgage machine works.

The Wall Street Journal | April 9, 2014
Mortgage originations in February fell to their lowest level in at least 14 years due to the months-long plunge in refinancing activity and weak demand for loans to purchase new homes.

DS News | April 9, 2014
The second-home mortgage market makes up only a small percentage of total mortgages, but the share of second mortgages has been on the rise since 2009, according to a recent report from Fannie Mae.
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In This Issue
eRecording Key to Industry Compliance
News from PREP Chapters - Washington State
Mortgage Fraud Rises in 2013
Shadow Inventory Sees 23% Dip in January
Housing Showing 'Promising Signs' for Spring Buying Season
Armstrong County PA Announces eRecording with Simplifile
Links to National News
PREP Blog and PREP LinkedIn
Advertise in PRIA's Newsletters
Examples of PRIA's Products 
PREP Chapter Meetings
    April - July 2014  


      Central Florida 

      Central Texas


      Metro Minnesota 

      North Central Texas


      SE Minnesota

      SW Minnesota           


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


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