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Where are the Closing Documents?

New rules governing the settlement process were introduced in the 4th quarter of 2015. NAR Research surveyed its members to gauge the impact of the new regulations and found a modest, but significant impact on volumes, but more insidious problems with REALTORS® ability to support their clients.

On October 3rd 2015, the Know Before You Owe or TILA-RESPA Integrated Documentation (TRID) rules went into effect. The rules were intended to better protect consumers, while streamlining the documentation required for settlement. One of the principle changes was the replacement of the HUD-1 form with the closing document or “CD”. The closing document describes the fees, charges, and APR the consumer faces. In the past, REALTORS® often aided their clients by answering questions about the HUD-1. 54.5 percent of REALTORS® who were surveyed indicated that they had problems getting the CD for transactions and half found errors when they did get access.

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When REALTORS® did get access to CDs, they frequently found missing concessions and incorrect names or addresses, but incorrect fees, commissions, and taxes were also reported. Finally, REALTORS® were more likely to have issues getting access to the CDs, when settlement was delayed.

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REALTORS® advise their clients on many aspects of the home purchase process. With TRID changes causing issues for some transactions, REALTORS® can seek out lenders who are up-to-speed on the TRID rules and who are attentive to the long-term relationship between these transaction partners.

Ken Fears, Director, Regional Economics and Housing Finance

Ken Fears is the Manager of Regional Economics and Housing Finance Policy. He focuses on regional and local market trends found in the Local Market Reports and the Market Watch Reports . He also writes on developments in the mortgage industry and foreclosures.

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