How Closing Timeframes will be Impacted by the CFPB

Closing Disclosure Timeline - CFPB

When the CFPB rules take effect in October 2015, the closing timeframes on purchases and refinances will be impacted. As part of the final rule creating the new Closing Disclosure and Loan Estimate forms, the CFPB determined that borrowers would be better served by having a short time to review the new Closing Disclosure prior to signing their loan documents. As a result, in its rule the CFPB mandated borrowers have three days after receipt of the Closing Disclosure to review the form and its contents.

However, note that the three-day review period starts upon “receipt” of the form by the borrower. Unless some positive confirmation of the receipt of the form (i.e., hand delivery), the form is “deemed received” three days after the delivery process is started (i.e. mailing). As a result, the combination of the “delivery time period” and the “review time period” results in six business days from mailing to loan signing.

Below is an illustration of how closing timeframes will be impacted

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Timing references by day

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  • If a federal holiday falls within the Delivery and/or Waiting Periods, add an additional business day.
  • The three-day period is measured by days, not hours. Thus, disclosure must be delivered three days before closing, and not 72 hours prior to closing.
  • Disclosures may also be delivered electronically to start the Delivery Period and may be signed in compliance with E-Sign requirements.

Questions or comments? Please share below!

You’re Invited to Our Open House at Ticor Title in Seattle!

You are cordially invited to join us for appetizers and libations as we celebrate the relocation of our Seattle escrow branch.  The festivities will begin at 4:30PM October 24th.

We hope you will join us!

Ticor Title Seattle Open House


October 24
4:30 – 6:30PM


Ticor Title – Seattle Branch

1505 Westlake Avenue N
Suite 150
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 720-0114

Please RSVP

Via Phone: 206-720-0114
Or click here to RSVP online


Video Tour of Ticor Seattle

Video Tour of our Seattle Escrow Branch

It’s been a couple weeks since we relocated our Seattle escrow branch. The old location on Eastlake Avenue moved to West Lake Union Center on the corner of Westlake Avenue N and 8th Avenue N. We’re settled in and still very excited about the improved space, better parking, easier access, and upscale experience for our clients.

All are welcome to pop in and check out the fantastic new office, but in the mean time we wanted to share a quick video tour and photo gallery. We’re confident that buyers, sellers, real estate agents, and lenders will appreciate the improvement.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Where to find us

Ticor Title – Seattle Branch

1505 Westlake Avenue N
Suite 150
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 720-0114

Video Tour of Ticor Seattle

Condo or Co-op, What’s the Difference?

Seattle Condo or Co-op

Washington has a lot of condominiums, but also its share of cooperatives, especially in the Seattle metro area. On the surface they may seem similar. So what exactly is the difference between a Condo and a Co-op?

What’s a Condo in plain english?

A Type of Subdivision

Both condo and co-op units are a type of land subdivision but neither requires city or county review or approval as is done with a platted lot.

A condo unit is created by a state statute (RCW 64.34) which requires a complex and expensive survey to locate each unit as a “parcel” of land. The unit occupies airspace within the main parcel. The unit’s boundaries are in simplest terms a “box” with six sides (typically the walls, floors and ceilings of what looks like an apartment in a building). Everything within the box is the unit, owned 100% by the unit owner. Title to the unit automatically includes a percentage interest (as tenant in common with all owners) in the common elements – everything outside the box. The common elements are not a separately owned or taxed parcel. While a homeowners’ association manages the property pursuant to the recorded declaration, it owns no real property.

Each unit is taxed independently, and can be sold and mortgaged just like a platted lot. A failure to pay taxes or the mortgage on a unit has no bearing on the title to any of the other units, and thus no lien can arise solely on the common elements such that it would affect the title to any unit or the project if foreclosed.

What’s a Co-op in plain english?

A co-op unit is similar to a condo unit one respect: the space occupied by the unit owner is usually also a “box.” But, there is no survey defining the location of the boundaries, so there is no “legal” description of the unit that meets the standard of a condo unit or a platted lot. Also, all of the property, including the units and the common elements, is owned by a cooperative corporation, which also acts as the homeowners’ association. A co-op buyer gets stock in the cooperative corporation (only unit owners can own the stock) and what’s called a proprietary lease to the unit that allows exclusive possession. This unrecorded lease is often for a nominal monthly amount, although assessments can be significant.

“This means, of course, that if assessment collections fall short all unit owners risk losing title to their units in a foreclosure.”

The entire co-op property is a single tax parcel and especially in newer projects is often encumbered by a mortgage. It’s up to the association to pay the taxes and the mortgage, with a significant monthly homeowner assessment to cover those expenses. This means, of course, that if assessment collections fall short all unit owners risk losing title to their units in a foreclosure.

Co-op Membership

The documents creating a cooperative, unlike a condominium declaration, are not recorded, and in many cases the association does not want them to be. Most co-op boards also have stringent membership requirements, including significant financial assets that make it harder for first time buyers to qualify. And, in addition to pre-approval of buyers by the board, it often has first refusal rights when a co-op unit owner wants to sell. One advantage of all this is that co-op projects tend to be more stable in an otherwise changing real estate market. At the same time, it can be more difficult and time consuming to sell a unit even when market conditions are good because the pool of qualified buyers is smaller.

Condo vs. Co-op Seattle(Photo credit: Jeff Croft via Flickr)

Unit financing can be had, but it’s usually not a real estate loan. Rather, a bank might offer a personal loan secured primarily by the unit owner’s shares of ownership in the co-op corporation. Some banks do offer financing similar to real property loans, including some secondary market backing. But even with a good loan-to-value ratio (say 80%) the amount of any blanket co-op mortgage must be subtracted from the value of the land. A co-op owner cannot pay off a portion of the mortgage allocable to that unit, so the “equity” that is actually available for a real property mortgage on a single unit can be quite small. Title insurance, which may be available if the unit lease is recorded, is often not utilized or of limited value to a buyer or lender.

Co-op transactions involve specialized paperwork because of the transfer of the stock interest and lease (or a new lease from the association) and requires a Realtor® experienced in helping pull it all together.

Questions or comments? Please share below!

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REO Transaction? Watch for these details when setting client expectations…

Checklist for REO Transactions

Buying an REO (or Real Estate Owned) property involves a slightly different escrow process than your standard home sale. Realtors and Buyers need to remember that they are in escrow with a Bank/Lender (the “seller”) and the Bank/Lender has strict procedures in place that must be followed during the process.  Understanding certain details can help you set the proper expectations with buyers and help ensure that your REO escrow goes as smooth as possible.

Here is a glimpse of the details to look out for if you’re in an REO transaction.

Tips for smoother REO Transaction

Click the image above to download tips for REO transactions.

The Seller – In an REO transaction the Seller is an “out of state” Bank. The Bank contracts a 3rd party “Asset Management Company” which represents them in the transaction and approves the final escrow closing documents. All correspondence is done by email or by their website.

Title Commitment (prelim) – Escrow will handle ordering title to insure it is ordered from the appointed “title company”. This could be a local or national division depending on the arrangements the Seller has made.

Home Owners Association (HOA) – If you are aware of an active HOA, please be sure Escrow is also notified to insure all delinquent dues are paid current at time of closing.

Loan Documents – Should be delivered to Escrow five working days prior to closing. Once loan documents are received and Buyer’s Lender has approved the estimated HUD Settlement Statement, escrow can set an appointment for the buyer. The earlier the documents are available, the better the chances are of an on-time closing. A HUD Settlement Statement should be available to the Lender 24 hours after receipt of Loan Documents.

Proactive Communication

Our seasoned escrow staff believes that clear, early, and frequent communication with our clients is critical with every escrow closing.  With that in mind, we provide the information here to our clients immediately when an REO transaction is opened.  Being aware of potential roadblocks early in the process allows time for all parties to be better prepared and sets the stage for a positive closing experience.

Courtesy Signing – If the Buyer is unable to sign with the assigned Escrow Officer, an approved Mobile Notary will be required and an additional fee could be charged. Your Escrow Officer will arrange for the courtesy signing once the loan documents have been received.

“Seller documents cannot be sent until Buyers documents have been received.”

Seller Documents – Seller documents cannot be sent until Buyers documents have been received. The REO Seller and their 3rd party Asset Company may require 24-72 hours to approve the HUD after ALL demands have been received.

Courier Fees – Buyer courier fees will be “estimated” at time of signing and adjusted to the actual cost of courier fees at the time of funding.

Buyer / Lender Funds for Closing – To meet closing deadlines, we highly recommend wiring the funds. If you send a Cashier’s Check it will need to be held in the Trust Account overnight before we can record. If a Personal Check or Official Check is presented, it could require a 10 day hold before we could close and disburse funds.

Funding – Escrow will coordinate with the Buyer’s Lender on the Bank’s HUD approval before funding can occur. (Changes to the Seller’s side of the HUD require additional Seller approval).

Have you been a part of an REO transaction where one of these potential hurdles was cleared because an escrow officer alerted you? Please share by commenting beow!