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Volume 101, 
October 2014



Ernst Publishing Updates Real Estate Tech Solution
excerpted from Housing Wire 10/13/14

Albany, New York-based Ernst Publishing Company, a provider of technology and closing cost data for the real estate industry, updated its patented search engine technology, making it ready for lenders who must comply with the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Integrated Disclosure rule coming next year.


"Federal regulators are continuing the work of making it easier for consumers to 'Know before they owe' with the new Integrated Disclosure rule coming in a few months," said Gregory Teal, president and CEO of Ernst Publishing.


"The new rules require even more accuracy and will impose a high price on lenders that can't tell consumers exactly what they must pay when they get to the closing table. Fortunately, our fee search engines are ready to provide that information now," Teal added.


The updated solution automatically recalculates based on any change and simultaneously sends notifications to the lender and the closing agent. (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.  


Co-Chairs:  Government, Nancy Becker at and Business, Dallys Novarina at


The SE Pennsylvania PREP Chapter met on September 9, 2014.   Nancy J. Becker, Recorder of Deeds, Montgomery County welcomed everyone and thanked both Foveonics and PropertyInfo for co-sponsoring the seminar. Items on this seminar's agenda included: 1) an update on the Pennsylvania eRecording Commission which is very close to developing statewide Standards and Best Practices for eRecording; 2) the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds Office received the national "Model County Award" for its leadership in the eRecording industry from Corporation Services Company; 3) John Novarina of Dallys Associates shared some information on changes that will take place at the settlement tables in August, 2015; 4) Ken Milner, Esquire, of Kraut Harris, PC., spoke to the group about changes that will be required on POAs which was unanimously passed in July 2014 (Act 93) and effective January 2015; 5) State Representative, Kate Harper discussed pending legislation that may affect land records professionals. (Read more about PREP Chapters on PRIA's webpage.) 


A Message from PRIA's President Mark Ladd
excerpted from PRIA's In Touch Magazine October 2014 

"Just two short months into my presidency and I'm excited about several initiatives in which PRIA has been invited to participate. In September, PRIA received a call from the Uniform Law Commission (ULC), formerly NCCUSL, with a request to participate on a Study Committee to investigate the feasibility of a uniform law requiring county real estate recording offices to adopt compatible electronic search and retrieval software systems.


The ULC believes this act would be a logical next step for states that adopt URPERA and implement a uniform system of electronic recording.  Like URPERA, the proposed act would be an enabling statute. PRIA will name both a government and business member to officially participate on this ULC Study Committee, while at the same time creating a taskforce within PRIA to gather information about the effects of such a law on the industry.


In addition, PRIA has been approached by ALTA to consider discussions about flat-rate recording fees for every state.  Minnesota and Wisconsin have already adopted flat-rate fees and several other states are studying the possibility. PRIA has not adopted a position on flat-rate fees."



New Claim Against MERS 'May Have Teeth'
excerpted from Mortgage Orb 10/15/14

In recent years, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., or MERS, has been the subject of an onslaught of litigation challenging the validity of the MERS system; the authority of MERS to foreclose; the validity of assignments of mortgage from MERS to the foreclosing party; and the avoidance of recording fees. Because of the structure of the MERS system, borrowers and land recording offices in particular have swiftly been taking cases to court.

Though the list of these cases is expansive, the overwhelming majority of courts have decided in favor of MERS. These actions are beginning to define the scope and personality of MERS and, most importantly for practitioners, dictate how MERS is legally allowed to operate. Of interest, and the focus of this article, is how case law is developing in the State of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is a mandatory recording state. As the challenges to MERS' authority to foreclosure rose in number, Pennsylvania courts held that MERS has legal and record title to the mortgage and, therefore, vested authority to foreclose based on the clear language of the mortgage that borrowers explicitly acknowledge (MERS v. Ralich, 2009). The Superior Court of Pennsylvania held in Ralich, that "the mortgage vests MERS with the authority, as nominee, to enforce the loan" and that the borrower's insistence that the foreclosure proceedings should be set aside "is directly at odds with the explicit acknowledgement by [the] Ralich[s] at the time of refinancing that MERS would have precisely the authority [the] Ralichs[s] now contest."  (Read complete article.)


Another Refi Boom? Banks Champ at Bit as Mortgage Rates Dip
excerpted from Origination News 10/17/14

Just a few months ago, banks and mortgage lenders declared the refinance boom officially over. Not so fast. A wide swath of banks said on third-quarter earnings calls recently that they are seeing big increases in refi applications, sparked by falling interest rates.


Fifth Third Bancorp said daily refi volume had jumped 90% in the past few days from $20 million to $38 million. BB&T reported a 30% increase in refinance volume over just two days. SunTrust Banks, Huntington Bancorp and First Republic all reported higher refi activity as well. Interest rates on 30-year mortgages, which typically move in lock-step with the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes, fell below 4% this week to their lowest level since June of last year.


Granted, the uptick has only been for a few days but bankers already can barely contain their excitement. Refinancings dropped off a cliff for many lenders earlier this year, falling 60% to 70% from a year earlier. (Read complete article.)  


Indecomm Launches TRIP - The Recording Information Portal

Indecomm Global Services, a leader in business process outsourcing, learning, and technology solutions announces the release of its latest mortgage recording innovation, TRIP - The Recording Information Portal. TRIP integrates real time information and data by jurisdiction with Indecomm's recording solutions. The data needed for recording, either eRecording or paper recording, resides with the technology to use it. TRIP is a customizable product for accurate document creation by lenders, banks, title agents, and lawyers. It features advanced logic and ease of use in data collection and document creation.


"TRIP represents an important advancement in mortgage recording. It offers the industry a complete, real time, granular data set of county requirements, fee calculations, and document tracking," said Latha Parameswaran, Vice President Operations, Indecomm Global Services. "It is really a one stop offering in mortgage recording."  (Read complete press release on PRIA's webpage.)

ESRA Hosts eSignRecords2014 Conference

The Electronic Signature and Records Association (ESRA), of which PRIA is a member, is the premier trade association representing electronic signature and records industry adopters and providers.  Founded in 2006, the organization's primary mission is to educate its members and the public on legal, public policy, regulatory and operational issues in relation to the use of electronic signatures and records across various industries.


The ESRA Annual Conference is slated for November 12-13 in New York City.  Notable speakers at this conference include Pat Fry, Uniform Law Commission; Amelia Boss, trustee professor of law at Drexel University; Jennifer Grazel, global head of category development for financial services at LinkedIn; and Stephen Bisbee, president and CEO of eOriginal.


ESRA's eSignRecords2014 conference is a forum for professionals to exchange expertise with colleagues from around the world and build connections. Click here for additional information. 


GreenFolders Now Integrates with eRecording Partners Network

GreenFolders´┐Ż, a leading, paperless office management solution provider to the title and settlement services industry, announced today the integration of GreenFolders with eRecording Partners Network (ePN), a national eRecording service provider.

The new integration allows users of GreenFolders to electronically submit settlement documents for recording from within the GreenFolders application. Recording information and documents can also be sent back to GreenFolders, improving reporting and data management capabilities. (Read complete press release on PRIA's webpage.)


ALTA NEWS:  Regulators Release Final Qualified Residential Mortgage Rule    

excerpted from the October 27, 2014 ALTA Advocacy Update by Michelle Korsmo, ALTA CEO 


In mid-October, regulators released the final rule defining Qualified Residential Mortgages (QRM). The final rule requires lenders to retain at least a five-percent stake in loans they securitize unless the transactions meet the definition of Qualified Residential Mortgages. The final rule defines QRM to match with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's separate Qualified Mortgage or QM rule, which governs underwriting standards. ALTA had strongly encouraged regulators to modify earlier versions of the QRM rule and eliminate a proposed 20-percent down payment requirement.

The rule defines QRM as a loan that is a "covered transaction" under the general definition of a QM. The definition of QM requires that the loan must have:

  • Regular periodic payments that are substantially equal
  • No negative amortization, interest-only or balloon features
  • A maximum loan term of 30 years
  • Total points and fees that do not exceed three percent of the total loan amount, or the applicable amounts specified for small loans up to $100,000
  • Payments underwritten using the maximum interest rate that may apply during the first five years after the date on which the first regular periodic payment is due
  • Consideration and verification of the consumer's income and assets, including employment status if relied upon, and current debt obligations, mortgage-related obligations, alimony and child support
  • Total DTI ratio that does not exceed 43 percent

The rule was issued jointly by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).


The final rule will be effective one year after publication in the Federal Register for residential mortgage-backed securitizations (RMBS) and two years after publication for all other securitizations. If you have any questions about the QRM rule, please contact Steve Gottheim, ALTA's legislative and regulatory counsel, at


Links to National News
Reverse Mortgage Daily | October 27, 2014
State regulators are joining together in the launch of a mortgage servicing rights task force to help develop options and standards for non-bank mortgage servicers.

Tight Credit and High Prices Slow Home-Buying Plans
The New York Times | October 27, 2014
The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes increased only slightly in September, as it remained difficult for some potential buyers to qualify for mortgage financing.

HousingWire | October 28, 2014
CoreLogic estimates that applications representing approximately $3.3 billion in mortgage debt contained elements of fraud or serious misrepresentations in the second quarter of 2014.

Bloomberg TV | October 29, 2014
Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow, discusses the state of the U.S. housing market with Bloomberg's Mark Crumpton on "Bottom Line."
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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
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In This Issue
Ernst Publishing Updates Real Estate Tech Solutions
News from PREP Chapters - SE Pennsylvania
A Message from PRIA's President Mark Ladd
New Claim Against MERS 'May Have Teeth'
Another Refi Boom?
Indecomm Launches TRIP
ESRA Hosts eSignRecords2014 Conference
GreenFolders Now Integrates with ePN
Links to National News
Advertise in PRIA's Newsletters
PREP Blog and PREP LinkedIn
Examples of PRIA's Products 
PREP Chapter Meetings
    November - January 2015   

      Central Florida 

      Metro Minnesota 

      North Central Texas

      SE Minnesota

      SW Minnesota 

      Central Texas

      Central Lakes MN






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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