Landmark's Seven Best Practices | ALTA Guide
Best Practice #4 | Settlement Policies & Procedures
If you’ve ever thoroughly read a complete set of closing instructions from a given lender, you will understand the minute and finite details which are imperative for a title company to follow.
It is Landmark’s policy to follow said written instructions to a “T”, and document each step of HUD approval in any & all communication between the processor/closing department representative.
Our pre-closing staff is meticulously trained to follow the lender instructions, purchase agreement (if applicable), and review title information contained in each abstract.
Staff has been instructed to follow all HUD regulations as to funding and disbursement of each transaction and to reflect these in the present correct areas of the HUD-1 Settlement Statement.
Seller proceeds must match and be disbursed only to the deed holder with vested title interest at closing. Multiple disbursements to the same payee, for example, in increments of $10,000 or less are not permitted by our company.
We will, upon written authorization, only wire or direct deposit proceeds into a seller’s bank account or the specified account of a borrower in a cash-out refinance.
Extreme thought and detail are given to every payoff or encumbrance related to a settlement transaction. Our sellers and/or builders never hand deliver their own payoff checks. Instead checks are wired or overnighted with a tracking number as a receipt of funds.
Additionally, we are cautious with HELOC or Home Equity Accounts where such accounts must be paid off and closed or satisfied. We obtain a “close out” letter from the borrower signed to give the lender strict instruction that the account may no longer be used and must be satisfied of record.
On both primary and secondary mortgages, it is mandatory for all payments to include the homeowner’s full names, address of subject property, account number, and recording information as well.
If the property is in foreclosure, we make certain that our payoff includes all related attorney fees and filing fees for court costs.
When we are handling a short sale, we only take written instruction from the short sale lender. We assist the client with early preparation of a preliminary HUD-1 and uploading necessary documents via the Equator system, as required.
Whenever there are several liens against an owner, we flag the file as “run-down and record” which we cover later in our title section of Best Practices.
When handling incoming funds from a borrower in the form of Cashier’s or Certified checks, each of our closer staff possesses restrictive stamps for “Pay to the Order of Landmark Title Escrow Account”.
For the complete structure outline of our settlement policies and procedures, please see pages 27-36 of our Best Practices guide as posted on this page.
Landmark Title Agency’s Seven Best Practices
(click on image to review full document)