Published on February 22, 2018
Written by Debbie Mattson
At least five professionals help homeowners finance and secure clean title for their home. Though they often work at different companies, loan officers, processors, underwriters, and title professionals can coordinate and provide homeowners a truly amazing refinance experience.
With this article, we’d like to join your team as you work to create that kind of experience for homeowners by communicating some best practices for collaborating with your title company:
When you order title, let the title company know how many loans are being paid off and which companies have liens. This helps us understand the structure of the transaction. We can best meet closing needs when we know about lienholders – particularly old liens – when title work is ordered. If we just receive a title order with no direction given, it creates more questions, as we try to determine the actions we need to take. The same applies to existing liens that the lender will be subordinating.
If you are aware that the property belongs to a homeowners’ associations, identify the association on the order. Homeowners’ associations can foreclose on a property just like a lender can. We will need to gather a letter from the association stating that they do not intend to have a lien placed on the property. This type of information does not appear on lien searches because it may not be recorded with county at that point.
You can also prevent delays by informing the title company when a property has had any new construction, rehabilitation, the death of an owner (or spouse of an owner), or when a mobile home is located on the property before closing.
Depending on the state, the rabbit hole can get pretty deep when the borrower is divorced or remarried. Alert us as soon as possible when borrowers have these circumstances. It can happen, for example, that a previous partner is owed proceeds and needs to extinguish their interest in the property. It can also happen that the borrower has remarried. In that case, we need their new partner’s information if they want to be added as fee owner, and for the required title documents to be signed. Remember, it only takes one to buy, but it takes two to refinance or sell in “community property states.”
We also need to know if the borrower has open bankruptcies, tax liens, or unsatisfied judgments under a bankruptcy. If they do, they will need to satisfy them before closing. We are not able to assist with judgments or tax liens – the process must be completed by the borrower, typically with their bankruptcy attorney.
Relationships created by a great refinance experience are the single greatest advantage your organization has in winning return business. We can remove many possible negative experiences through communication. By eliminating repeat questions to your borrowers or staff, the process will be seamless and streamlined for efficiency, thereby creating a professional and satisfying experience for everyone. We are ready and willing to answer your questions and assist in delivering superior service your borrower.