Friday, December 31, 2010

Internet Archive Wayback!

Wayback when I killed my old Radical Title Talk blog.  I did not keep a copy.  Every once in while I did wish that I could take a peek.  I stumbled across this Wayback site and here for your enjoyment are some good ole Radical posts.  LOL

Enter the Radical era of days gone by.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

let me put it this a tiny mustard seed of a title agent who looked up into the guts of Full Spectrum from below, I'd say this suit sheds light on truth......

Allstate said that starting in 2003, Countrywide quietly decided to boost market share and ignore its own underwriting standards by approving any mortgage product that a competitor was willing to offer, in a "proverbial race to the bottom."

Countrywide then passed on the added risks to investors who bought debt backed by the mortgages, Allstate said.

Read more in Reuters.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

humans prevail over automatons...thanks, we win one ;)

New rules from the five federal bank regulatory agencies no longer accept technological tools like automated valuation models alone as a substitute for an appraisal, forcing vendors to upgrade these products with the required on-the-ground inspection and other data.

Automated valuation models provide property values using mathematical modeling and a database of comparable properties. The Financial Institutions Examination Council, which is made up of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of Thrift Supervision, released new guidelines on Dec. 2 that are impacting lenders that rely on AVMs.

Read more on Housing Wire.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

bait and switch? query via email from K

I have an unusual situation regarding a recent refinancing on my home that I would appreciate your advice on.
I refinanced to a lower interest rate.  This was a no-cost refinancing and there was no dispersion of cash to me.
I closed on November 20th.  I signed the appropriate paperwork and HUD statements electronically with a notary present.  As part of the final transaction I wired $400 to the title/escrow company (line 303 on HUD statement).
The HUD that I signed had a broker credit for NRCCs (non-reoccuring closing costs) of $6000 (lines 204 to 206).  My closing costs/settlement charges (line 103) were $8000.  The breakdown of the settlement charges included $4200 for an initial escrow account deposit, $1000 in daily interest charges, $800 origination fees, $1100 for title and title insurance, and $900 in misc charges (appraisal, recording fees, ...etc).
Here's where it gets weird.  Today I was contacted by my title company and my mortgage broker that the NRCCs credit that they placed on my HUD was incorrect and the actual amount should have only been $2800 -- enough to cover closing costs not including my initial escrow deposit and daily interest charges.  They sent me a "revised" HUD that basically had two changes, the new NRCCs credit and a new balance (line 303) on HUD that shows I now owe them an additional $3000.  This is all now happening approximately 1 month after I closed.
My questions are
1) Does this sound suspect to you? And what are the legal ramifications for me refusing to pay the additional $3000?
2) Does this give me right to void my contract and go back to my old mortgage? (Im weary of dealing with this title company and my mortgage broker anymore)
3) Can I apply the old NRCCs broker credits to my initial escrow deposit? or ask for the old NRCC broker credits in cash?
Thank you in advance for your responses.  
Two things come to mind when I read this.
  1. What did the Good Faith Estimate say? 
  2. Is the lender giving you another right to cancel period?
Considering both of those questions should help you decide which of the two HUDs most closely resembles the transaction you bargained for.  If based upon your review you think the lender is engaging in bait and switch, then contact HUD and report them.  You can also report them to state authorities.  Your rights under the cancellation rules would terminate the refinance and return your money to you.  If the lender gives you any grief about that, again seek assistance from HUD or state regulators or hire an attorney.

If after consideration you determine that the corrected HUD is essentially the deal you originally bargained for and not a bait and switch, then this is really a matter of human error.  You should still be entitled to your right to cancel, so either way, if you don't like the deal, in my opinion as a non-attorney title agent blogger you can get out of it.  [Seek the advice of a competent attorney.]

I hope this helps and thank for reading!


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Americans marked off property, courts recognized that property, and the people got deeds that meant everyone knew their property was theirs. They could then buy and sell and borrow against it as they saw fit.

This idea of a deed protecting property seems simple, but it's powerful. Commerce between total strangers wouldn't happen otherwise. It applies to more than just skyscrapers and factories. It applies to stock markets, which only work because of deed-like paperwork that we trust because we have the rule of law.

Read more on Reason.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

An attorney involved in several local mortgage fraud cases, including some involving Beechview developer Bernardo Katz, was sentenced in federal court today to 57 months in prison.

John Chaffo Jr. of Murrysville was the lawyer involved in 57 fraudulent property sale closings from 2000 through 2007, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan Conway told Senior U.S. District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose, who oversaw the July trial at which he was found guilty of 11 of 13 counts. "He obviously committed this massive mortgage fraud and he violated his fiduciary obligations to the bank," Mr. Conway said. "He violated every ethics rule in the book."

Read more:

Why would an underwriter have strict credit standards for agents?

I thank reader, David, for his inquiry today concerning becoming a title agent and having some trouble because his credit history is not good.

I suggested that he consider a different profession.

Title insurance agents have access to and control loads of cash.  What is the primary attribute you as a consumer wish to see in a person who manages money?  How about trustworthiness?

What is a credit history but a report card on the trustworthiness of an individual?

Yes, we understand that people make mistakes and get into trouble and then later recover. The point I am driving at is that the standard for being the person who holds in their hands lots of money on behalf of others is and should be a higher standard than standards for other types of work.

Title underwriters and consumers should expect and demand excellent money management skills in their title insurance agents.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

here's a few hmmms.... for ya ;)

hmmmm........ A lender requires a private road maintenance agreement.  Instead of hiring a competent attorney to draft a document, the buyer drafts his own and in the process creates a separate individual document for each person on the street to sign.  The whole project ended up costing close to $350 in recording fees when an attorney would likely have charged $150 for creating a document that might have costs $55 to record.  So, he paid WAY too much money and has a crappy, probably unusable agreement on record which will likely get lost in an indexing black hole.

hmmmmm......At two recent title insurance CE classes at least one attorney instructor recommended to attendees that they overlook the regulation in TIRBOP which compels a title insurer to accept as evidence an unsatisfied mortgage to establish a basis for discounted premiums.  What is it that these two attorneys do not understand about the word SHALL and do they really want to play footsie with class action suits and our new governor who has all eyes on title insurance?  I for one follow the rules and give the discounts.  When in doubt err on the side of the consumer.

hmmmmm.......Stand your ground sellers - most of the attorneys in the CE class yesterday said they pass on to sellers any cost which cannot be charged to the buyer.  Who compels a seller to pay the buyer's attorney anything?  No one.