Lori Renberg Brown, Owner, Ambergate Escrow, Inc.
The changes in the RESPA guidelines that resulted in the new HUD 1 and GFE have had a very big impact on escrow providers. The intentions of the change, to simplify and protect the consumer, are definitely not being born out.
Every lender we work with wants their HUD done a certain way, all different. There are so many more variables in the way items can be shown on the HUD that there seems to be an infinite number of ways the same information can be presented. As such, we, the escrow officer is asked to change the HUD over and over again. The amount of time that is wasted is HUGE!
Many of the underwriters and funders, even at the same company, want things shown in different ways. Sometimes the investor that will be buying the loan wants things shown differently.
The consumer is supposed to have seen and okayed the final GFE, since there is no signature line, nor are you allowed to add one, we don't know for sure if the consumer agreed to THIS GFE. Too often the borrower is surprised at the amount of funds they need to bring in to close. Why is that, if they saw the GFE, and we must match the HUD to the GFE, and the amounts either cannot change (except to go down) or have only a 10% change tolerance?
Escrow is a black and white, dot the i and cross the t, give me written instructions kind of business. This new HUD is so arbitrary and subjective it is really contrary to how we provide our escrow service. If the RESPA regulations really accomplished what they set out to do we would whole heartily support the change. Unfortunately all that is really accomplished is more confusion, lack of clarity, and a LOT of wasted time for your escrow officer.
Martha Morrow, Owner, Mor Escrow Services
The first few weeks of preparing the new HUD I were difficult primarily due to the lenders interpreting the requirements differently. All seems to have settled down now, although some lenders have specific quirks about the preparation. We were lucky because our software company had been working on the changes for about 1 year.
Tom Papac, Coldwell Banker C&C Properties-Westside Office
There are stricter guidelines now in place and that is a good thing. We needed to get back to more conservative guidelines for qualifying buyers which in the long run will keep more qualified home owners in their home.
Cindy Peeples, Owner/Broker
I think it is slowing down the process in some escrows but it doesn’t really affect my business.