New Partnership with Giveback Homes!

Giveback Homes Pango GroupWe are excited to announce our new partnership with Giveback Homes. Giveback Homes was founded with the goal of bringing a new giving model to the world of real estate. Founded by former employees of Toms, Giveback Homes saw an opportunity to infuse social responsibility into the real estate industry. The company has grown rapidly over the past two years and has built over 50 houses in areas where housing is desperately needed including NicaraguaHaiti and El Salvador.

We are the first escrow company to partner with GBHs in the country.  This year we’ve committed to raise $20,000 and help build 4 homes through build projects in LA, OC, SD and the Desert.

Read more here!

TRID Closing Timelines

We did an analysis of what effect the ‪#‎TRID‬ implementation had on the median days to close for all closings before the 10/3/2015 implementation of TRID and all closings under the new rule which were opened after 10/3/2015.

Here’s the data for Refis (R) and Resales (S).

We have seen no significant closing delays since the TRID rule was implemented.

How have your transactions been going since the TRID rule rollout?

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Owner’s Title Insurance Policy Update

New RegulationThe CFPB is requiring that the owner’s policy be disclosed as “optional” due to the fact that unlike the lender’s policy which is required by most institutional lenders in the country, an owner’s title insurance policy is not a transactional requirement nationwide.

This new descriptor was written to and applied nationwide with no allowance for customary contractual requirements in Southern California. Some parts of the country do not have the risk and liability of real estate transactions as we do in the highly populated State of California and thus Owner’s policies are considered optional and not a contractual obligation as they are here. As a reminder, the Closing Disclosure is a lender document and does not release the seller of any obligation to provide the buyer with required items per the mutually signed purchase agreement.

Here is a consumer friendly link on title insurance that might be helpful to your clients: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/eregulations/sxs/1026-38-g-4/2013-28210?from_version=2015-01321

LexisNexis® Discontinues The Sale of C.L.U.E.® Reports

news-1C.L.U.E.® Home Sellers Disclosure Reports will no longer be available through American Trust Escrow or any other disclosure companies. LexisNexis®, the company that owns the C.L.U.E.® Report, has decided to discontinue the sale of the report through third party vendors such as California disclosure companies. Should a buyer request this report, sellers can obtain one free copy of his/her consumer file during each twelve month period. If a second report is needed in a 12 month period, a $19.50 fee will be charged. Proper C.L.U.E.® Reports can be ordered here.

Happy Holidays from American Trust Escrow

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New Los Angeles Seismic Retrofit Ordinance

LA Seismic OrdinanceOn October 9, 2015, the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance to establish mandatory standards for earthquake hazard reduction.

Article1, Division 93 – Existing Buildings of wood-frame construction

Applies to buildings where a permit for construction was applied for before 1/1/78 and the ground floor portion of the structure contains parking or other similar open floor space that causes soft, weak or open-front wall lines, and there exists one or more stories above.

Compliance Requirements 

If a building is within the scope of this division and receives an order from the city, the owner must:

1.) Within 1 year provide a structural analysis demonstrating that the building meets or exceeds requirements as is OR will meet or exceed requirements after structural alteration OR plans for demolition

2.) Within 2 years, obtain all necessary permits for rehabilitation or demolition

3.) Within 7 years  complete construction or demolition under all necessary permits

 

Article 1, Division 95 – Non-Ductile Concrete Buildings

Applies to buildings where a permit for construction was applied for before 1/13/77.

Compliance Requirements

If a building is within the scope of this division and receives an order from the city, the owner must:

1.) Within 3 years, submit on the form provided by the Department a completed checklist for the Department to review and approve

2.) Within 10 years, if deemed ductile, submit an evaluation of the building documenting whether the building meets or exceeds requirements (click link below to see details of evaluation)

3.) Within 25 years, complete all necessary demolition or retrofit work on the building

To read the full ordinance, please click here.

Pango Group Passes It’s SSAE 16 Type II Audit

2015-SOC-Service-Org_B_Marks_2c_WebPango Group, American Trust Escrow’s parent company, has successfully completed a Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagement No. 16 (SSAE 16) SOC 1 & SOC 2 Type II audit.

With the ever-evolving regulations mandated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Pango Group is proud to be one of the first independent escrow companies in California to complete this Type II audit. By establishing and implementing systems that meet the guidelines of ALTA Best Practices and Escrow Institute Model Policies and Procedures, Pango Group is in the best position to be compliant with many of the lender requirements as a result of the CFPB regulations.

Read more here.

Happy Thanksgiving from American Trust Escrow

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 2.02.46 PMMay the good things of life be yours in abundance not only at Thanksgiving but throughout the coming year.

TRID Training

While we are a couple weeks into the new TILA-RESPA Rule implementation, there’s still plenty to learn on how it affects your upcoming escrows!

If you’re feeling like you need a refresher course on the new Closing Disclosure, transaction timelines, or other general TRID facts, contact us today to attend one of our training sessions or to set up a training session for your organization.

We’re Ready, CFPB!

businessman hand show 3d mobile with padlock as Internet securitCFPB Regulations are the hottest topic in our industry right now. When the TRID rules take effect, there will be industry-wide changes that will alter the way you will process your sales and run your business. Not to be overshadowed is the risk of identity theft, which has exponentially increased over the past couple of years, requiring a need to exercise tighter controls. Learn how American Trust Escrow has been proactively putting systems into place to protect your client’s money and identity!

  • Centralized banking procedure (wire fraud protection)
    Secure files: Locking and securing all files, client statements of information, bank statements, and proof of funds etc.
    Encrypted emails with non-public information (NPI)
  • Cell phone email security
  • Background checks on employees and vendors

In addition to these measures, American Trust Escrow carries the following insurance policies to protect clients:

  • $3,000,000 in Errors and Omissions (Commonly referred to as E&O)
  • $2,000,000 in Cyber Liability
  • $2,000,000 in Commercial Crime

Lastly, American Trust Escrow has successfully completed a Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagement No. 16 (SSAE 16) SOC 1 and SOC 2 Type 1 Audit. The audit is helpful for Service Organizations to gain an understanding of the quality and type of controls and processes that are in place. It has been considered the gold standard in compliance in our industry.
Let us show you how we combine compliance and security with service! Call today to open your next secure escrow.