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I don't need Title Insurance, I think...
Posted on 1/8/2015 by United One Team Member

'I don't need title insurance, I think.'

In an earlier post, I addressed the 16th President of the United States and his family's involvement in a somewhat unforgiving property dispute resulting in loss of land and money. Some of us might ask: 'Old Abe had title problems with his real estate, but that was over a century and a half ago. Surely I won’t have such title and real estate problems in this modern age of technology.'

Theoretically, that person may be 100% correct—a defective title may never arise in a residential or commercial purchase of real estate, period. In a perfect world, that would be totally accurate. In the same vein, when it comes to our hard earned income, we are somewhat reluctant to part with our funds for something that does not give us immediate feedback like, for example, a diamond necklace, new car or 58 inch television.

It is because of this we begrudgingly pay items on a settlement statement for an insurance we essentially do not understand-- why we are charged this fee at all. This is a legitimate question which I will answer in this line of posts as we will delve into this grayish hue known as title insurance.

Up to the Minute...

Prospects for the U.S. commercial real estate appear promising for next year, with broad rent increases as well as tighter vacancy rates in most major sectors, according to the National Association of Realtors.

'Solid economic growth in the third quarter proved that the second quarter wasn't an anomaly, as business spending increased, commercial construction rose and the labor market continued to make positive strides,' he said. 'Job growth is the catalyst to improved demand for commercial real estate leasing and new construction projects.' Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist.

I don’t understand why title insurance is needed.

In the title insurance industry, 'insurance' essentially has the same meaning as any other type of insurance—it is needed when a triggering event occurs thereby invoking immediate need for coverage.

Title insurance is risk-based in nature. A good analogy in the insurance industry is automobile insurance—you may never need its protections, but it is there when an event occurs requiring protection in the form of payment of losses associated with the accident. So too on a snowy day you may be the most careful driver and have never been involved in so much as a 'fender bender.' However, because another person does not see that ice patch in the road, their inattention results in an accident that is wholly not your fault. You, however, have to pay out of pocket a deductible that results in monetary loss to you.

Title insurance is based upon the same principle—someone you do not know has caused a defect or lien to be placed on the real estate you are about to purchase. If you did not take proper steps to protect yourself from the losses that spring directly from these defects, you could be held responsible for them and suffer a loss as a result of not finding them out beforehand (not swerving to miss the other guy). It is at this point title insurance takes the wheel. Don't let another's acts adversely affect your large investments—obtain title insurance on your property.

Do I make claims against anything that may be wrong with my title?

In further explaining title insurance and the need for it, we must bear in mind that Title insurance is not title Assurance. It does not assure you that you have immaculate and impeccable title to your land. It is actually a contract of indemnity. By its very terms, it only pays a loss when there is damage suffered. So if you refinance your property, and you find out there was a defect 30 years ago that does not affect the marketability of title, (say there was still due an inheritance tax payment to the PA department of Revenue of $110.00, the title company may continue to insure that property without clearing that small matter up or paying it at all). Thus, the company cannot be forced to clear items of record such as in this example. Additionally, an insured cannot make a claim against the title company for the value of their home ($100,000) due to the inheritance tax scenario set forth above because the policy pay for actual loss suffered by the insured.

Up to the Minute….CFPB Takes Enforcement Action Against 'Buy-Here, Pay-Here' Auto Dealer for Alleged Unfair Collection and Credit Reporting Tactics

On November 19, the CFPB announced an enforcement action against a 'buy-here, pay-here' auto dealer alleging unfair debt collection practices and the furnishing of inaccurate information about customers to credit reporting agencies. 'Buy-here, pay-here' auto dealers typically do not assign their retail installment sale contracts (RISCs) to unaffiliated finance companies or banks, and therefore are subject to the CFPB’s enforcement authority. Consistent with the position it staked out in CFPB Bulletin 2013-07, in this enforcement action the CFPB appears to have applied specific requirements of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to the dealer in its capacity as a creditor based on the CFPB's broader authority over unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts practices.

Caveat Emptor—I've heard of it, but how is it related to me getting title insurance?

This translated to English means: Buyer Beware.

As in the case of a seller offering to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge, the burden is on the buyer to make sure any defects in title and its ownership are not transferred from the seller (or their predecessor) to the buyer. Experts in title to land is not something all buyers cannot be. Thus, we turn to title insurance companies to locate any defects in the chain of title that may be 'inherited' by the buyer in a sale. Title insurance agents sift through countless documents to bring to light defects that may exist in the title chain. Thus buyers rely heavily on the insurance companies when purchasing a property—lessening the threat of the purest application of the doctrine of Caveat Emptor.

'I don't need Title Insurance, I think...' The Human Factor:

Searching title to real estate is both a science and art. Human error in data input and recognition causes us to experience bumps on that snowy road thereby detouring us from our once deliberate path in home buying. The potential information negatively affecting your home varies as much as the types of liens that can attach to your property (we'll get to those in subsequent posts). Even misspelled creditor names or parties to the transaction can result in your purchase not closing on time or at all.

Whenever the human factor is brought into the equation—just as the ice on a snowy day, insurance is there to cover the loss under the terms of the policy. In effect, title insurance shifts the burden of loss from the buyer or insured to the insurance company under the terms of the insurance policy.

Did you Know? About 95% of the time and resources necessary for a successful real estate closing occur before actual settlement?

'I don't need Title Insurance, I think...' The Agent’s role:

Many times at real estate closings all the time and effort going into the transaction happens before the actual sit down at settlement. As only about 5% of the real estate transaction activity occurs at the face-to-face closing, it is the agent's responsibility to coordinate not only the closing, but all activities in a similar way a conductor of an orchestra directs the symphony.

Each party to the closing is a musician in their own right, handling that aspect of what they have been trained for and are experts in themselves, while at the same time they feed information to the title agent like spokes on a wheel. Agents correlate all data in tandem with the schedules of the parties to ensure a seamless and efficient real estate closing.

An Agent's Role—Fraud

Are there levels of fraud that can be perpetrated at a closing? Well, from a realist answer, no—fraud is fraud. There are however situations that can arise in a real estate closing that may have a lesser gradient of fraudulent conduct. For example, a direct fraud is normally something we all can all spot when we are aware of it. However, even in direct fraud scenarios, we still may be deceived as we see in the following Life Lesson:

There was a guy that went on the 'World Wide Web' in its early days and visited an online auction site. He spotted an Abraham Lincoln picture and pounced with a buy it now feature for $76.95! After it arrived 3 days later he ripped through the bubble wrap and beheld it in all its glory-—a photocopy of an original with photo jet printer cardstock for a backing. With no insurance and a seller that disappeared into cyberspace, he was taken quite frankly he and mad. To this day I have kept that fake at the center of my Civil War collection to remind me that never again will I be taken by such an unethical transaction.

All of us may not have been a victim of fraud, but in the real estate industry, countless attempts at fraudulent transactions occur regularly. Fraud may also not be as direct as the Lincoln picture in the last post, but it can be hidden with more far reaching consequences than $76.95. It could take the form of a party hiding notices received for delinquent taxes, hidden liens against the property the seller is only aware of or an act of drawing on a line of credit immediately before closing, resulting with the property being encumbered with a lien for $50,000 nobody at the closing table was aware of—except the seller. Title insurance agents are trained to look out for these types of acts.

'I don't need Title Insurance, I think...' Acts of the parties that can jeopardize the entire transaction: Lesser forms of fraud that, on their face, may seem harmless, but their consequences can be devastating.

One example of a 'lesser' attempt at fraud by a party was from a closing about 10 years ago that involved signatures on the documents.

We were doing a refinance at the home of the owners in Pennsylvania at their rural farmhouse. Both borrowers were there. Both courteous and polite to me and even offered some fresh baked cookies. By the time we sat for the closing, I had within those five minutes noticed something about the wife that seemed odd—nothing blatant, just a feeling as to her only; her age. When I asked for the photo ids at the start of the closing, she indicated she left it at work. I proceed to tell her the other forms of id we accept, but she had none. At that moment the husband took me aside and explained that that was his daughter in law, and asked if we can have her sign for the wife as she was working the night shift at Walmart in town. How they thought I would not eventually know this is beyond me.

Well, you can guess what happened next: we closed the loan on the hood of his Dodge in the Walmart parking lot at 10:00 PM.

There is always that aspect of 'fraud' that we, as title agents and underwriters, must be cognizant of at every phase of the closing process. Had there been a loss due to a forged signature, the burden is shifted to the title insurance company to address its coverage from the terms of the policy—leaving the insured with something more than caveat emptor.

Up to the Minute...

CFPB recently issued proposed amendments to mortgage servicing rules in the 2013 Mortgage Rules under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. According to a Bureau, the proposal would:

  • Require servicers to provide certain borrowers with foreclosure protections more than once over the life of the loan;
  • Expand consumer protections to surviving family members and other homeowners;
  • Require servicers to notify borrowers when loss mitigation applications are complete
  • Protect struggling borrowers during servicing transfers;
  • Clarify servicers' obligations to avoid dual-tracking and prevent wrongful foreclosures;
  • Clarify when a borrower becomes delinquent;
  • Provide more information to borrowers in bankruptcy;
  • Provide flexibility for servicers to comply with certain force-placed insurance and periodic statement disclosure requirements;
  • Clarify several early intervention, loss mitigation, information request, and prompt crediting of payment requirements, as well as the small servicer exemption;
  • Exempt servicers from providing periodic statements under certain circumstances when the servicer has charged off the mortgage;

Another 'lesser fraud,' with substantial monetary loss...

Over the many years we’ve seen people ask the title agent notarize a document that was not signed in front of them. Sometimes they are harmless inquiries due to timing and locations of the parties, but sometimes they are not. To notarize a document not executed in front of you places all parties to the transaction at risk, especially monetary loss. This not only can cause the notary to lose their commission, but can also result in a substantial loss to a lender should defense counsel for the borrower raise at the foreclosure proceeding the fact that the borrowers did not sign in front of a notary. Make sure you choose a title company with experience in such matters and, even in these 'lesser' acts that present themselves, will follow protocol and protect the buyer and lender's property should such situations arise.

Did You Know? In the title insurance policy, Fraud is one of the coverages in relation to documentation recorded in the courthouse. Specifically, Forged documents is an item specifically addressed in the insurance coverage terms of the policy.

Bankrupt Parties in Title
Posted on 11/3/2014 by United One Team Member

As a long established title company, we’ve seen through the years in the title insurance industry many items that delay closings which, if detected early enough in the closing process, would have not delayed the settlement process at all.

Here’s a short rule of thumb to commit to memory — Merely because there is a discharge of a debtor in a bankruptcy, the discharge does not necessarily remove the liens of creditors against the debtor’s real estate.

To the contrary, a pre-bankruptcy lien attaches to the real estate just like any other lien, but creditors cannot execute (collect) the debt unless an automatic stay is lifted. After the bankruptcy runs its course through federal bankruptcy court, the debtor’s personal liability is discharged (assuming the court does not dismiss the bankruptcy petition altogether). However, the liens of any pre-bankruptcy judgments still attach to the real estate and must be addressed for clearing title.

When a title company uncovers a lien filed to a bankruptcy that attached to the real estate despite personal discharge of the debtor, a court order avoiding the effect of the lien on the property must be obtained to clear title. This can be done by petitioning the bankruptcy court to “Avoid the Lien” of the creditor so as to allow the property to be sold clear of the effect of the lien.

This process is sometimes overlooked until the latter stages of the settlement process, unfortunately leading to a postponement of closing which we all know is never in the best interests of any party involved.

Therefore, if your title company’s search shows a bankruptcy on title, ask the title company to promptly handle this item, and to accelerate the necessity for the court to avoid the effect of these lien(s) of record so your closing need not be delayed, allowing to you proceed to your next valuable client.


Title behind the scenes: Indemnifications
Posted on 10/14/2014 by United One Team Member

The caption for this commentary deals with a little known activity behind the scenes of a real estate transaction, which is sometimes entirely unnoticed by all involved. It deals with what is called inter-agency indemnifications between title insurance underwriters.

Say, for example, a search is performed on a property 10 years ago, and at the time of the search, there was inheritance tax due on a deceased owner who died 18 years ago. Today we are involved in a resale of the property to a new buyer. The present title company agent finds the “sleeping”* inheritance tax lien and calls for it to be paid at the upcoming closing. Sometimes, however, due to the imminent nature of the pending closing, the tax cannot be addressed properly or, because the lien may be nearing its 20 year life cycle under the statute of limitations, the current title company requests from the prior title underwriter an “indemnification” to address the lien.

What happens next is that the original title underwriter will draft a legal document essentially stating that if the lien of the tax rears its head at some future time, they will “step up to the plate” and have it paid and/or otherwise cleared of record.

This process allows these matters to be handled behind the scenes as to address the closing at hand with the intent of little or no delay of the subsequent closing. Indemnifications are not always given or received, and each case is fact-specific so as to dictate the rules and risks assumed by a title underwriter with such a process. In any indemnification process, exchange of information is key between the new and prior title insurance underwriter.

By utilizing this resource when applicable, we can continue our mutual goal with our lending partners to effectuate timely and seamless real estate transactions.


* A sleeping lien is one that does not necessarily have to be filed of record to maintain a lien status upon real estate

United One Is Exceeding ALTA’s Best Practice Requirements
Posted on 10/8/2014 by United One Team Member

More and more, industry regulations are focusing on lenders’ responsibilities to protect the consumer. Although lenders were always responsible for the actions of their third-party service providers, they are now expected to closely oversee their service providers’ actions. One response to this trend was the development of ALTA Best Practices. These were developed to guide title insurance agents to enhance their existing business practices, to protect their customers, ensure quality service, provide for ongoing employee training, and meet legal and market requirements. See http://www.stewart.com/cfpb/alta-best-practices.

Upon learning of the upcoming CFPB requirements, United One immediately responded by developing and instituting policies and procedures, not only to ensure that it would be compliant under CFPB standards, but would also exceed industry expectations. These policies and procedures include: Licensing Audit and Controls, Escrow & Trust Account Audit and Controls, Stringent IT Security Privacy Policies & Controls, Settlement and Title Policy Production Policies and Procedures, and E&O and Bonding Audit & Controls. As a result, United One has already been “vetted and verified” by its title insurance underwriters.

At United One, our processes and procedures have been audited by the largest regional and national lending institutions. We have always passed through these stringent audit processes with superior ratings. It is the learnings that we have gained through these processes that we share with all of our customers. The standards that the largest institutions are held to will soon apply to all banks and credit unions regardless of size and structure.

Wells Fargo Issues Guidance for their Network of Closing and Settlement Agents
Posted on 9/30/2014 by United One Team Member

Wells Fargo issues guidance for their network of closing and settlement agents in light of the upcoming closing Disclosure Rules which take effect August 1, 2015.

As a result of years of parlaying and feedback from both the lending and title insurance industries, in addition to other interested parties, Wells Fargo on September 24th issued direction to settlement agents on how they will handle the housekeeping roles of Wells Fargo and their network of title insurance agents.

Emphasizing the new Integrated Truth In Lending Act (TILA) Rules, Wells Fargo has established procedures on some threshold requirements of the new disclosures.

So as to clarify the roles of the interested parties (lender and settlement agent), the newsletter clarifies some distinct timing procedures involved in the closing process: the three day disclosures and their content.

  1. Wells Fargo will continue to work jointly with settlement agents in establishing the data and information in the disclosures;
  2. Wells Fargo will continue to be responsible for the TILA disclosure information;
  3. Wells Fargo will control the generation and delivery of the borrower’s closing disclosure in accordance with the new three-day requirement Rule;
  4. Should there be a change in the disclosures, Wells Fargo will handle any necessary re-disclosures;
  5. The settlement agent will be responsible for addressing the seller’s information and forwarding the documentation to the seller within prescribed time limits, and provide Wells Fargo with a copy of same;
  6. Scheduling the closing will be a collaboration between all parties as it is now, but greater emphasis must be placed on maintaining the three (3) day closing notice disclosure requirements (especially in multiple or piggy-back sale scenarios)
  7. Settlement agents will continue to be responsible for conducting the closings.

Wells Fargo sates it will continue to keep settlement agents advised on how they are addressing the new Rules and its impact their lending and title industry interaction. Other leaders in the banking industry will surely have their own or similar requirements and procedures tailored to streamline the closing process for the benefit of all parties involved.

As a title agent, we appreciate the necessity of open communications between all parties under the new Rule in every transaction and will continue to exceed our clients’ needs for successful real estate closings.

Stay tuned for further updates and information on this and other important topics affecting our industries.


The Credit Doctor is in and Helping Customers Reduce Fallout Rates
Posted on 9/17/2014 by United One Team Member

Mike McNamara, The Credit Doctor, will be sharing his proven methods for increasing borrower’s credit score because more qualified buyers = more home sales!!! The seminar will be held in conjunction with George Mason Mortgage, LLC on October 22, 2014. Credit seminars are a value add that we offer to our best customers. Contact your local sales manager to schedule a credit seminar at your location today. For more information, please see our invitation.

Factor Impacting Home Owners Insurance
Posted on 9/9/2014 by United One Team Member

Historically, Insurance Companies have looked at 4 factors when calculating homeowner insurance rates. 1. Age of Home 2. Home’s location 3. Risks factors on property (Pools, pets etc…) 4. Claims History.

More recently a 5th factor has been added to the mix- CREDIT SCORES. The higher the credit score, the lower the risk placed on the homeowner. The higher the credit score, the fewer number of claims filed. Therefore, buyers with the higher scores often obtain lower insurance rates.

United One Resources has worked with many of our customers to assist their applicants in clearing up credit files of inaccurate and/or outdated information, often times substantially increasing their scores. We have rapidly rescored thousands of borrowers utilizing proven methods resulting in dramatic results.

Over the past few months United One Resources successfully raised the scores of many borrowers. None more rewarding than this case mentioned in an email from one of our lenders to his customer: “Hi Steve, with the help of Mike McNamara at United One Resources your credit was re-scored to 722 and your wife’s is now at 740. My lock @ 5.125% rate assumed a credit score of 720, so paying down the balances as instructed by United One Resources was a success! Increasing your middle score from 692 to 722 eliminated a 1.25 point add-on or $4,450 to secure the 5.125% rate. If you had gone to the other lender you would have closed with the 692 credit score and paid the piper. Having Mike do the closing in 10 days was also a big plus!

United One Resources would like to assist you in creating your own success stories, help in reducing your fallout, and get more loans to closing! We have designed a series of seminars in which we meet with lenders, banks, or together with both lenders & realtors to discuss credit rescoring and the potential impact on a lenders ability to close more loans and for buyers to obtain both lower interest rates as well as lower homeowner insurance rates. For more information on how United One Resources can assist you with a credit scoring seminar in your office, contact Mike McNamara at 800-932-5673 ext 2840 or via email mmcnamara@unitedoneresources.com.

Coal, the old "King" in Northeastern Pennsylvania
Posted on 9/3/2014 by United One Team Member

Since the early 1800s, coal drove our country’s economy and built our industrial foundation.
Enter natural gas.

Since the late 1800s, natural gas has been tapped as a source for energy as an alternative to the less clean and cumbersome coal market. The recent natural gas boom in Northeast Pennsylvania is a talisman to such industry switch.

The title industry has also evolved with these changes. For many years, title underwriters have addressed mineral estates in land through endorsements. In Pennsylvania the Pa. 1030 endorsement (ALTA 9-06 as revised) represented the coverage given to a lender to address coal companies and their rights to and over the surface of land. There was a catch to this however. Nowhere in the endorsement were gas rights mentioned. It seemed this lack of reference had its roots in Pennsylvania case law because for over a century and a half, litigants pushed for the proposition that gas was a mineral, while their opponents theorized it was not.

Why is this important? In almost all deeds in Pennsylvania where there are coal veins and deposits, reservations of coal and other minerals were inserted into the deeds of conveyance, thus retaining ownership rights in the grantor. The issue of natural gas being a “mineral” was before Pennsylvania courts in several appellate jurisdictions and the Supreme Court.

To address this quagmire, the title industry reacted by changing their 1030 endorsement to add the following language: “…damage to the improvement resulting from the right to use the surface of the Land for the extraction or development of minerals or any subsurface substances.” (emphasis added) This language, of course, was intended to include natural gas.

Going forward, title underwriters continue to adapt their underwriting policies to offer the maximum coverage to the insured—in this case by including natural gas in their endorsement clause, thus keeping up with the ever-changing industry standards. Don’t forget to ask your title insurance agent if the 1030 endorsement would be applicable to your transaction.


HERA & HOEPA
Posted on 9/8/2009 by United One Team Member

The new federal laws under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) and the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) provide that, should the final APR increase more than 0.125% from the initial Truth In Lending disclosures, re-disclosure is required to be given to the buyer/borrower at least three (3) days prior to settlement.

This new law comes into play with a settlement service provider like United One Resources when the title insurance company changes their fees within 3 to 5 days of the scheduled closing date. If these fees when added to all other fees, raise and exceed the threshold for percentage deviation, the closing must be rescheduled to allow the lender sufficient time to provide the borrowers with a new notice of the increased fees.

To ensure there is no delay in closing as a result of changing settlement fees, we have taken affirmative steps to modify our procedures. We will now provide you with a preliminary settlement statement at the time the title binder/commitment is forwarded to you. This settlement statement will list our title fees that affect the APR calculations. By providing you with this preliminary settlement statement, you will have ample time to figure in our closing costs for your estimated TIL.

If you are aware your loan will require additional endorsements that affect the APR (e.g., a variable interest rate), please let us know as soon as possible so we can adjust the preliminary settlement statement well in advance of closing.

For more information on how United One Resources complies with these new regulations, please visit our website at www.united one resources.com

Closing Success Stories
Posted on 9/8/2009 by United One Team Member

"Hi Steve, with the help of Mike McNamara at United One Resources your credit was re-scored to 722 and your wife's is now at 740. My lock @ 5.125% rate assumed a credit score of 720, so paying down the balances as instructed by United One Resources was a success! Increasing your middle score from 692 to 722 eliminated a 1.25 point add-on or $4,450 to secure the 5.125% rate. If you had gone to the other lender you would have closed with the 692 credit score and paid the piper. United One Resources was then able to conduct the closing within 10 days which was also a big plus!"

United One Resources would like to assist you in creating your own success story, help in reducing your fallout, and get more loans to closing! We have designed a series of seminars in which we meet with lenders, banks, or together with both lenders & realtors to discuss credit rescoring and the potential impact on a lender's ability to close more loans.

United One Resources can assist you with a credit scoring seminar in your office. Contact Mike McNamara directly or visit our section on rescoring on our website at: www.unitedoneresources.com/rescore.

FEMA Map Modernization
Posted on 9/8/2009 by United One Team Member

Flood maps must be periodically updated to reflect changes to the floodplains that result from community growth, development, erosion and many other factors. A study conducted by the General Accounting Office during 2003-2004 revealed that 70% of the nation's flood maps were more than 10 years old and may contain inaccurate flood data. These findings prompted FEMA to launch a multi-year Presidential initiative, supported by Congress, called the Map Modernization Program, with its primary goal being the digitization of the maps.

In 2006, FEMA reviewed the progress of the Map Modernization Program, resulting in the Mid-Course Adjustment report. The focus was shifted to the assurance of flood boundary information being updated prior to the digitization of the maps. The focus would apply to the highest risk and most rapidly developing communities, covering approximately 92% of our nation's population.

The number of updated maps had doubled from 2006 to 2008; only 45% of the communities funded for new studies had new maps published by the end of 2008. As a result, communities funded for updated maps will continue until the end of 2010.

The most current and accurate Flood Zone determination should be very high on lenders' compliance needs. FEMA's ongoing flood map maintenance initiative has indicated that almost 20% of the average lender's portfolio may be affected by map and panel changes in 2009.

We provide the latest map updates for lenders to effectively manage the flood risks that can exist in a loan portfolio.

United One Resources' life of loan flood zone determination solution provides assurance that loan portfolios are in compliance and meet current regulations. For more information on our flood zone determination solution, please contact Jen Dennison directly or visit our website at www.unitedoneresources.com.

HERA and HOEPA Update
Posted on 7/29/2009 by United One Team Member

The new federal laws under HERA and HOEPA provide that, should the final APR increase more than .125% from the initial TIL disclosures, re-disclosure is required to be given to the buyer/borrower at least three (3) days prior to settlement.

As title insurance premiums and costs attendant to the closing are items that affect the APR, we have modified our procedures and will now provide our clients with a preliminary settlement statement at the time the commitment is given to you. This settlement statement will list our title fees that affect the APR calculations.

If you are aware your loan will require additional endorsements that affect the APR (e.g., a variable interest rate), please let us know as soon as possible so we can adjust the preliminary settlement statement well in advance of closing.

Thank you,
United One Resources

Flood Zone Determination Practices
Posted on 3/7/2008 by United One Team Member

You may review this bulletin by clicking on the link.

http://www.occ.treas.gov/ftp/bulletin/2008-4.html

United One Resources subscribes to FEMA for automatic updates of flood maps including LOMC's and LOMR's. We also verify the Community Status Book monthly and compare to prior months to ensure we have received any map changes.

In the comment section of all revised Flood Zone Determinations ordered through United One Resources, you will find the following comment:

"This is an amended report, due to a map revision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency - original number (Order Number), issued (Date).

United One Resources priority is to take all steps to ensure our clients are compliant with all regulations set forth by the governing agencies who monitor the lending community.

For additional information please contact us at 1-800-932-5673 ext. 2735 or email us at flood@unitedoneresources.com.

The Credit Doctor - January 2008
Posted on 1/8/2008 by United One Team Member

The fees are being added to the cost of the mortgage in order to handle the elevated risks involved in mortgage lending.

  • If the borrower's credit score is less than 620, a new 2% fee will be imposed.
  • If the score is between 620 and 639, the fee is 1.75% 
  • If the score is between 640 and 659, the fee is 1.25% 
  • If the score is between 660 and 679, the fee is .75%

The fees can be significant, $2,000 for a $100,000 mortgage of a borrower with a FICO score of less than 620. Lenders will need to take the new fee structure into consideration when pricing mortgage rates and fees for prospective customers.

A much more consultative sales approach must be taken to ensure that your customer's credit report has been thoroughly reviewed. Now is the time to consider utilizing United One Resources Expedited Dispute and Rapid Rescore Products. It is estimated that over 80% of all credit reports contain inaccurate information. The inaccurate information may have a negative impact on your borrowers FICO score. As you can see, FICO scores are increasingly important in the mortgage arena. A thorough review of your client's credit is a must.
 
I can personally assist you in closing more loans by providing proven methods in getting higher credit scores. We have done thousands of rapid re-scores and would be happy to suggest additional ways to get your desired results. Please call Mike McNamara at 410-715-5491 or via email at mmcnamara@unitedoneresources.com to schedule a credit scoring seminar or to discuss your title & settlement needs.

Life of Loan Property Tax Monitoring Service
Posted on 1/8/2008 by United One Team Member

United One Resources' life of loan property tax monitoring service allows lenders to keep track of the real estate tax status on their non-escrow accounts. Life of loan property tax monitoring identifies potential exposure due to property delinquencies. Life of loan property tax monitoring is available to lenders for properties in Pennsylvania.
 
On an annual basis, we can verify the status of property taxes with the county tax claim office on your non-escrow accounts and notify you if a delinquency exists. This service will continue for the life of the loan, from the date we receive the order until the property is sold, or will terminate upon refinancing.
In the event delinquent property taxes are reported by the county tax claim office, United One Resources will notify the lender of such, along with the amount due at that particular time. Written notification will be forwarded to the lender via first class mail.

An existing customer stated "this service is necessary for the maintenance of their portfolio and has been a huge help in monitoring the accounts they have on file, allowing them to focus on generating new business."
 
United One Resources' dedicated sales team is available to present a solution to your Property Tax Monitoring needs, please contact Jen Dennison at 570-706-2958, or via email at jdennison@unitedoneresources.com

Service Spotlight: Second Mortgage Lender's Services
Posted on 10/11/2007 by United One Team Member

We offer services that match the lenders needs from application through collateral verification and valuation, through closing and post closing activities.

"We have taken the burden of managing multiple vendor relationships off the lenders by designing our suite of services to fulfill their needs throughout the process of closing a second mortgage loan -- from application to collateral verification and valuation, right through closing and post closing activities," stated Jen Dennison, Regional Account Executive for the South Central Pennsylvania market.  
 
United One Resources offers Current Owner Property Reports, Appraisals, Flood Zone Determinations and Mortgage Filing/Satisfaction Services. We have recently supplemented our offerings with a Cascading Automated Valuation Model which provides an appraisal value on a residential property by utilizing 17 of the most widely known valuation models and combining them into one bundle. The Cascading AVM returns the model that offers the highest score relative to the subject property.

For More Information Contact:
Jen DeFalco
(570) 706-2839

The Credit Doctor - October 2007
Posted on 10/11/2007 by United One Team Member

Has lack of quality subprime mortgage lenders left a great void and created an underserved market within your customer base? Do you have potential borrowers with FICO scores that do not qualify for loan programs?
 
The market has necessitated taking second and even third looks at your applicants' credit reports and scores. We have found many instances where FICO scores are influenced by inaccuracies on credit reports. We have worked with many of our customers to assist their applicants in clearing up credit files of inaccurate information, oftentimes increasing FICO scores.
 
United One Resources would like to assist you in maximizing your clients' FICO scores. We have designed a series of seminars in which we meet with groups of lenders, individual lenders, or together both lenders & realtors to discuss credit rescoring and the potential impact on a lenders ability to close more loans.

For More Information Contact:
Mike McNamara
(410) 715-5491

The Credit Doctor - July 2007
Posted on 7/19/2007 by United One Team Member

The first step in generating credit scores is to create trade lines.  In most instances it requires at least 2-3 trade lines in order to generate credit scores.  We can make many recommendations for those who are immigrants, at a young age or have yet to establish a trade history.   One way young adults can get started is to be added to a few of their parents' accounts as authorized users. However, due to recent issues involving the selling/buying of accounts to be used as authorized user accounts, FICO has stated, that beginning in September, authorized user accounts will not be factored in when scores are calculated. Given this, it is still an important way to establish and begin to build a credit history. Another way is to obtain a secured credit card. When these steps are completed, one can begin the process of applying for additional credit, thus establishing a credit history and credit scores.

We can also help in many cases through the use of non-traditional trade lines.  With proper documentation, we can add trade lines to a United One Resources credit report to show an established payment history. While this process will not help in generating credit scores, depending on the loan program, it may satisfy the trade line requirements.

Additionally, I can personally assist you with the process by providing you with proven methods in getting higher scores.  I have done thousands of rapid re-scores and would be happy to suggest additional ways to get your desired results.  Please call me for more information on helping you borrowers establish credit or to schedule a credit score seminar.

For More Information Contact:
Mike McNamara
(410) 715-5491

United One Resources Has Made Cascading AVM Available For Our Second Mortgage Lenders
Posted on 7/19/2007 by United One Team Member

United One Resources, Inc. is constantly looking for ways to expand our offerings to better serve our clients while also keeping pace with the everchanging mortgage lending industry. As part of this effort, we have added Cascading AVM (Automated Valuation Model) to our list of services.

This addition continues the achievement of our strategic objectives - expanding our reach beyond the Mid-Atlantic States while enhancing our solutions to existing and prospective customers.

AVMs provide an estimate of the current market value for a residential property.  It derives a value estimate by running property and area sales information (such as square footage, lot size and sales price) through rigorously-tested statistical and mathematical models.  AVMs are updated on a regular basis (varying by county) to give the most accurate estimate available. AVMs can be used for pre-screening, underwriting, originating, and valuing loan portfolios.The Cascading AVM finds lenders the greater value of the home with the highest confidence level. It also reduces the probability of receiving a no hit, because it searches several databases instead of just one. 

Please contact your sales rep today to set an appointment to discuss how AVM's can benefit you.

United One Resources Offers Title Insurance in the State of Florida
Posted on 2/26/2007 by United One Team Member

Wilkes-Barre, PA – February 23, 2007 – United One Resources, Inc. has recently expanded its footprint  for title insurance and settlement services to include the state of Florida. United One Resources expansion into the Florida region continues the achievement of our strategic objectives; expanding our reach beyond the Mid-Atlantic States while enhancing our solutions to existing and prospective customers.

United One Resources services the title insurance and closing needs of Realtors® and local, regional and national lenders in the residential and commercial loans. Underwriting through LandAmerica and Ticor Title, United One Resources uses on-staff attorneys and an experienced processing team to handle your most difficult closing situations quickly and efficiently. United One Resources is currently licensed in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. 

The benefits that are offered by United One Resources include protection for your biggest investment, fast cost effective service, exceptional customer services, and flexible closing times.

United One Resources has quickly become a leader in title insurance and settlement services through our exceptional people, processes and personal customer service. United One Resources has provided FLAWLESS RISK MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SERVICES throughout the mid-Atlantic region since 1918.  They are able to customize a suite of offerings to meet the specific needs in residential lending, commercial lending, realty, and property sales.  For more information contact our sales department at 1-800-WE CLOSE ext. 2710 or visit our website at www.unitedoneresources.com.

United One Resources Acquires National Credit Reports, Inc
Posted on 9/1/2006 by United One Team Member

Wilkes Barre, PA - United One Resources announced today the acquisition of National Credit Reports, Inc. of Ellicott City, Maryland. The acquisition will ensure the lasting legacy of two premier Mortgage Credit Reporting Organizations; under one united brand.

Founded in 1986, National Credit Reports, Inc. has developed thousands of value-creating partnerships with leading national lending and real estate organizations.  Founded in 1918, United One Resources has supported the growth of the Mid-Atlantic lending and real estate community through cutting edge products, superior customer service and flawless risk management information solutions.

"National Credit Reports, Inc. is a recognized national provider within the Mortgage Credit Reporting Services Market which includes Residential Mortgage Credit Reports, Verification of Mortgage, Credit Xpert, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Integration, and more.  We are extremely excited to offer our representative clients the combined people, process and technology assets of National Credit Reports and United One Resources," said Louis J. Cesare, Chairman and CEO of United One Resources, Inc.

Michael McNamara has joined United One Resources, from National Credit Reports, Inc., as the Vice President of the Maryland Region to ensure seamless customer, product, and company integration and growth.  Michael has 19 years of delivering innovative product solutions and exceptional customer service to the clients of National Credit Reports, Inc.

United One Resources has provided flawless risk management information services throughout the Mid-Atlantic region since 1918.  They are able to customize a suite of offerings to meet the specific needs in residential lending, commercial lending, realty, and property sales.  For more information contact Sean Higgins at 570-706-2830 or visit our website at www.unitedoneresources.com.

United One Resources Acquires the Real Estate Research Services Division of CPSG
Posted on 2/28/2006 by United One Team Member

Wilkes Barre, PA—United One Resources announced today the acquisition of the Real Estate Research Services Division of CPSG of Harrisburg.  The acquisition will ensure the lasting legacy of two premier Mid-Atlantic Real Estate Services Organizations; under one united brand.

Founded in 1922, the Real Estate Research Services Division of CPSG has developed thousands of value-creating partnerships with leading national lending and real estate organizations.  Founded in 1918, United One Resources has supported the growth of the Mid-Atlantic lending and real estate community through cutting edge products, superior customer service and flawless risk management information solutions.

"CPSG is a recognized national provider within the Real Estate Research Services Market which includes Title Abstracting, Flood Zone Determinations, and Real Estate Appraisals.  We are extremely excited to offer our representative clients the combined people, process and technology assets of CPSG and United One Resources," said Louis J. Cesare, Chairman and CEO of United One Resources, Inc.

Jen Dennison has joined United One Resources, from CPSG, as a Regional Account Executive to ensure seamless customer, product, and company integration and growth.  Jen has 23 years of delivering innovative product solutions and exceptional customer service to the clients of CPSG.

United One Resources has provided flawless risk management information services throughout the mid-Atlantic region since 1918.  They are able to customize a suite of offerings to meet the specific needs in residential lending, commercial lending, realty, and property sales.  For more information contact Sean Higgins at 570-706-2830 or visit our website at http://www.unitedoneresources.com/. In addition, if you still need to access CAPPS, you may visit https://cappsonline.cpsg.com/capps/.

Mortgage Credit Reports Login
Posted on 6/30/2005 by United One Team Member

Our logon screen has a new look, but you can still access your credit information in the same way as before. If there are any questions, please call the credit services department at 570-824-7811 ext 2785.

Need a Higher Credit Score?
Posted on 11/17/2004 by United One Team Member

CreditXpert Essentials™ and CreditXpert What-If Simulator™ are currently available through United One Resources’ Mortgage Credit Link Software. Used in conjunction with our Mortgage Credit Reports and Expedited Dispute Process, these tools will allow mortgage lenders to obtain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Through proprietary technology, CreditXpert analyzes the risk score from each of the three credit reporting agencies through the CreditXpert Essentials product. This provides a detailed look at a consumer’s credit report and the positive and negative factors that are influencing its risk score. The product suggests changes to the credit report that will have a positive impact on the score, based on the consumer’s available funds.

The CreditXpert What-If Simulator then allows you to simulate changes at the account level to determine the impact changes to the credit report will have on the risk score.

After determining your course of action through the CreditXpert product line, United One Resources’ Expedited Dispute Process can be used to update the information reported to the three national credit bureaus. With the proper documentation, you will receive an updated credit score within three business days in most situations.

For more information on this product, please download our brochure.

Need an AVM for quick property valuations?
Posted on 11/16/2004 by United One Team Member

United One Resources is pleased to announce the addition of Freddie Mac’s Home Value Explorer® to our family of risk management information services. Freddie Mac’s Home Value Explorer® (HVE) has become the industry leader in a vital part of today’s home equity and mortgage industry. Since their introduction over ten years ago, Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) have become increasingly precise, reliable, safe and essential tools for all home equity and mortgage lending professionals. AVMs minimize cost, risk, and processing time, enabling your real estate lending success with a faster, less expensive property valuation than a traditional appraisal.

Although many AVMs exist in the market, they are not all created equal. HVE is the only AVM that provides national coverage in 2,400 counties in all 50 states. Using a combination of proprietary and public record data sources, no other valuation model covers as many states or Metropolitan Statistical Areas. This powerful tool is also very versatile, allowing you to order reports individually or in a large batch. Whether you are processing a mortgage or home equity loan or collecting a debt, HVE can provide fast, safe, quality information to enable your mortgage and home equity lending success.

A United One Resources sales representative would be pleased to meet with you to discuss this product in more detail. To schedule an appointment, please contact United One Resources’ sales department at 800-WE-CLOSE, ext. 2834.

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