Loan Officer FAQ
Who do I contact with questions?
We have dedicated a team to your account. Your team and their information are listed in the contact section of your app. Feel free to email them or call. If you place the call directly from the app, the call will go straight to your team. Talk to you soon!
Do you review the final figures with my client?
That’s up to you! We do this for some of our clients, and can certainly do it for you. That’s what’s great about working with Equity National Title, we customize our process to match the way you do business.
Who does my client make the cash in check payable to?
The CD will give you the Settlement Agent name to whom the check should be payable. Or, your client can wire the funds in. Just remember any cash in funds over $1000 need to be certified to ensure we can disburse in a timely manner. For wire information, just contact the team.
In a pinch, you can always have your client make their check payable to Equity National Title and Closing Services, Inc. We will make sure to get the funds where they need to be.
How will my client get their cash out?
At closing, your client will be able to choose whether to receive their funds via check or wire. To receive funds by wire, your client must provide a voided check to the Closing Professional they meet with at the closing. If your client decides to receive a check, for purchase transactions, a check will be at the table. Otherwise, anything over $250 will be sent via FedEx and under $250 will be sent via USPS.
To receive funds by wire, your client must provide a voided check to the Closing Professional they meet with at the closing. Their bank account will credit those funds on the day of disbursement. In some cases, banks have early wire cutoff times. In those cases, the funds will be there following morning. If there is a question, we can provide you with the FED ID number of the wire transaction.
Can you accept wired funds from my client?
Absolutely, we can accept wires. In fact, that is usually the best way to securely transfer funds and ensure timely disbursement. We take your clients’ information security seriously and would recommend that they give us a call prior to wiring the funds to confirm they have the correct wire information. We do the same verification when we wire funds. It’s a best practice in our digital age.
How do I know status of my file?
Great question! Your Equity mobile app will send you push notifications at all critical status points. Hate notifications? No problem, you can access your files’ statuses at your convenience within the app. No app for you? We can send status updates via email as well. Or log on to our website to see your files as well. Again, how we do business together is totally up to you!
Who will be closing my loan?
Equity National Title has built a network of notaries and attorneys across the country. Our network of Closing Professionals are screened, vetted, trained and measured to ensure your client has an awesome closing experience. As soon as we schedule your transaction, you can find the Closing Professional by clicking the Closing or Contacts icon. We have confidence our Closing Professional Network will take good care of your client.
How do I get a quote for your fees?
If your company is integrated with Equity National Title, you can get a quote directly from your loan origination system. Our calculator is available right in our mobile app and also our website home page. Or just give a call, and we would be happy to give you a quote. Sometimes your borrower is entitled to discounted title insurance, and we can help with that assessment.
Do you guarantee your fees?
Equity National Title stands by its quotes. We understand the pressures you are under to price your loans correctly for disclosure, so we have refined our calculators to be both easy to use and ask the questions necessary to get an accurate quote. That’s why you can trust us with your deals, we are stand up guys and gals!
How do you pay non-lienable items like credit cards?
Credit cards checks are made payable to the creditors listed on the Closing Disclosure settlement statement and mailed directly to your client to submit with their latest bill. This is the most effective and efficient way to pay these, since the credit card companies need the bill to process the payment correctly.
Another question you may be asked by your client is what to do if the check is for more than they owe the credit card company at that time. We strongly suggest that they pay the card and get the refund from their credit card company. We say this to save your client recut check fees and time. We would want our money quickly too if we were them!
How do marital rights impact my loan?
Homestead: Spousal rights apply in
No spousal rights apply in these states
Community property & Homestead
Community Property: Spousal rights
apply in all properties acquired while
Dowry: spousal rights apply in all
The various spousal rights rules are defined below. Although these rules have very specific meanings, what’s most important to remember is that in these states a spouse is likely required to sign the mortgage. Failing to include the spouse in the mortgage when it is required would make the mortgage unenforceable. Therefore, when the property is located in one of these states, be sure to confirm the marital status of your borrower and the availability of the spouse to sign the mortgage documents.
- Community Property States: If the borrower lives in a community property state, such as Texas and California, the law provides that all assets acquired during marriage are considered property of the marriage, which means they are owned equally by both spouses regardless of who purchased the asset. For example, if a married person purchases a home in California and that person’s spouse is not on the deed the spouse is still an equal owner of the property and must sign off on all transactions concerning that property, including all mortgages. Any mortgage not signed by the spouse would be unenforceable and the lender would be unable to foreclose. While there are some notable exceptions to the community property law, including property acquired prior to marriage and property acquired through inheritance, the best and safest practice is to have the spouse sign the mortgage.
Dower States: In a dower state when the owner of the property dies his or her spouse can claim a right to the property. While most states have abolished dower rights, there are certain states where it still exists, such as Ohio and Kentucky. In these states the spouse must sign the mortgage or the lender will not be able to foreclose. It may be possible for the spouse to sign over a release or waiver of dower as an alternative to signing the mortgage, but not all dower states allow for this practice. The best and safest practice is to have the spouse sign the mortgage.
Homestead States: Homestead states, such as Florida, grant spouses certain rights and protections in their homes. The most important of these is the protection against forced sales for nonpayment of debts. In the context of a mortgage transaction this means that a spouse must sign the mortgage on a principal residence or the lender will not be able to foreclose. While there may be certain situations where the spouse’s signature is not required, the best and safest practice is to have the spouse sign the mortgage.
I just a loan and I heard the borrower had to have a ‘witness’ at their closing? What is a ‘witness’?
No Witness Requirements
Witnesses required to sign Deed ONLY
Witnesses required to sign Deed &
Mortgage (*Cannot be Notary in LA)
Most states do not have a ‘witness’ requirement, but in the five states that do, it is important for loan officers to know about them to properly prepare their borrowers for the closing.
A ‘witness’ is an adult – must be at least 18 years of age – and who has no legal or financial interest in the property or the transaction. So for example a loan officer attending the closing could not serve as a witness as he/she has a financial interest in the transaction. The purpose of the ‘witness’ is to serve as a witness to the signing of the documents by borrowers and the notary. The ‘witnessing’ validates the document signing.
There are only five states with a ‘witness’ requirement for either/both the mortgage and the deed. In CT, GA and SC, two witnesses are required for mortgages, one of which can also be the notary. In FL, two witnesses are required for a deed, one of which can also be the notary. However in LA, two witnesses are also required for mortgages, however neither can be the notary.
When operating in these ‘witness’ states, it is important that you inform your borrower of the witness requirement as early in the process as possible so as to give your borrower ample time to secure the witnesses.
At Equity, we reinforce this and always make sure we have this covered with the borrowers, or with our closing professional (notary), who would bring a witness with him/her.
What does a bankruptcy on title mean?
How often has your borrower said to you, “but it was discharged in my bankruptcy!”
What is and what is not discharged in bankruptcy is often a source of great misunderstanding.
When someone declares bankruptcy they effectively surrender all of their assets and liabilities to the bankruptcy court. The instant bankruptcy is declared, creditors must immediately stop all debt collection activities. This is known as the automatic stay protection and is one of the hallmarks of bankruptcy. Depending upon the type of bankruptcy filed, a person can either restructure their debt by entering into new repayment plans with their creditors (chapter 13) or they can seek to be totally discharged of their debts by selling off whatever assets they own (chapter 7). Upon the conclusion of a bankruptcy case, a discharge is filed releasing the person from further responsibility for those debts.
But what if a debt was secured by a lien? Is it also discharged by the bankruptcy or does it survive?
The answer turns on timing. If the lien securing the debt was filed before the bankruptcy then it would survive the bankruptcy. If it was filed during or after the bankruptcy then it would not attach. The easiest way to remember this is that a lien going into bankruptcy is a lien coming out of bankruptcy.
There is a process by which a lien can be released in the bankruptcy case, but a specific motion must be filed with the bankruptcy court in order to achieve this and all too often bankruptcy attorneys fail to do this. When a lien was not properly dealt with in a bankruptcy case, the only options left are to satisfy it or reopen the case and petition the court to discharge the lien. While neither of these options is terribly appealing, until the lien is released by the creditor or the court, it remains attached to the title.
As your title company, we run bankruptcy checks on all of your borrowers as a part of our clearing process. We do this to confirm that there are no open bankruptcies involving your borrowers and that all liens were properly addressed.
What if someone on title has died?
Almost nothing can put the brakes on an otherwise ordinary transaction more quickly than the death of an owner. But this isn’t always the case. In fact, quite often the death of an owner is nothing more than a very small speed bump on the road to the closing.
It’s all about the tenancy, which simply means how the owners held title together. And there are really only two possibilities. Did they hold in survivorship or not? If they did, then all that’s needed to pass title to the surviving owner or owners is evidence of death, which is typically the death certificate. If they did not hold in survivorship, that’s where things become both complicated and time-consuming as the estate of the deceased owner will need to be probated, and that is what often delays a transaction.
As your title company, that’s the very analysis we are performing when we learn that one of the title holders is deceased. We look to the deed to determine the manner in which title was held. In most states, if a deed vests the owners as “jointly” or as “joint tenants” that is enough to create a right of survivorship, and all that would be needed is a death certificate for the deceased owner.
If, on the other hand, the deed is silent as to tenancy; meaning it says nothing at all, or says that title is to be held as tenants in common, then there is no right of survivorship in which case a probate would be necessary.
Also, it’s worth noting that there is a specific tenancy afforded to married couples which is known as a tenancy by the entirety. It’s really a joint tenancy but for married people as it also involves additional protections for the individual spouses. Not all states recognize tenancies by the entireties but in those that do quite often simply being married at the time of purchase is enough to establish the tenancy. It is not always necessary that the deed specifically state that the title shall be held in a tenancy by the entirety.
So, in short, while it is true that the death of an owner has the potential of creating significant challenges, quite often it is nothing more than a minor issue that can be easily and quickly resolved.