The closers’ duties are truly a balancing act, as they are always walking that fine line to keep the lender, underwriter and borrower satisfied through various points of the transaction. And many factors can play into how a closer fulfills its obligations to the various parties involved.
In 2011, title insurance professionals not only dealt with the tough economic conditions, but were also faced with a number of new difficulties that impacted the way they conduct business with the parties to the transaction. Recent agent defalcations, the robo-signing foreclosure debacle, new and existing regulations, expansion of closing protection letter liabilities and other strains all put pressure on how a settlement agent fulfills its obligations to the lender, the underwriter and the borrower.
What are the obligations and how have recent developments affected the closer’s duties?
In this 90-minute training Webinar, hosted by The Legal Description, four key industry professionals will answer these important questions by thoroughly examining the title agent’s obligations. The featured speakers, a regulator from Nebraska, an attorney that specializes in mortgage fraud, a title agency owner and an executive from a national underwriter, have teamed up to provide an in-depth training program for the title insurance professional.
They will cover several topics that have influenced the closer’s duties and provide detailed examples of how agents can fulfill their obligations.
Topics covered include:
- The title agent’s liability to the lender and fulfilling the lender obligation;
- Mortgage fraud and what to look for;
- Red flags on the settlement statements;
- When you should stop a closing in its tracks to protect the borrower, the lender and the underwriter, and what to do if suspicion should arise;
- Fiduciary duty;
- How new legislation and regulations are impacting the lender/closer relationship, and RESPA forms and increased liability on the lender;
- Handling difficult lender requests;
- Expectations of the underwriter;
- How underwriters have reacted to the recent agent defalcations;
- Liability for CPL loss, CPL cases and theories of CPL liabilities that are expanding by the minute;
- The underwriter’s liability to lenders under current and former versions of CPLs;
- Problems between the underwriter and the agent and what is being done to address those problems;
- Underwriter liability for the agent’s work;
- Expectations of the borrower; and
- Contractual obligations provisions under state law and best practices to follow.
Join us for this important Webinar. Register today and you will learn about these important topics and how to better fulfill your obligations as a closer.
Founder and Partner, Figari & Davenport, L.L.P.
Mark Davenport is one of the founders of Figari & Davenport. In 1986, he and Ernest Figari, Jr. left Johnson & Swanson, then one of Dallas’ largest law firms, where they were senior litigation partners. Mark left to form a top-notch “boutique” commercial litigation firm rivaling the commercial litigation sections of the larger established firms, but with less structure and politics and more energy, enthusiasm and humor.
Mark has significant trial experience, having handled thousands of cases and tried over 150 through verdict in state and federal courts, both in Texas and throughout the United States. He is one of the lead trial lawyers for several of the nation’s largest title insurers, with much of his recent attention focused on defending those companies in cases involving wide-spread mortgage loan fraud schemes orchestrated by third parties. He also serves as one of the lead trial lawyers for many of the nation’s largest life and disability insurers, defending select high-end cases and the bad faith claims that always accompany them.
Mark earned his law degree from the Southern Methodist University School of Law. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, listed in The Best Lawyers in America under Business Litigation since 1992 and has received numerous honors from a number of groups and publications. He is a frequent speaker at seminars on litigation matters, and mortgage loan fraud and title insurance. His full biography is accessible here.
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Stewart Title Guaranty Company
John Killea is executive vice president and general counsel for Stewart Title Guaranty Company, where he has overseen the company’s underwriting, claims, litigation, regulatory and agency contract administration areas since 2008. Prior to this role, John held a number of positions with Stewart Title Insurance Company in New York, including working as counsel in the claims and agency underwriting areas, as chief claims counsel and then as general counsel and chief claims counsel. From 1980 – 2005, John operated a private practice, specializing in real estate transactional work.
He is a featured speaker on claims, litigation and underwriting topics and admitted to practice law in the state of New York, as well as the Eastern District of New York and the Southern District of New York. John earned a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College and a law degree from the Fordham University School of Law.
President, Prairie Title Services Inc.
Prairie Title President Frank Pellegrini has been in the title insurance business since 1978. He has been a practicing lawyer in Illinois since 1976. Frank, together with his wife, Mary, founded Prairie Title in 1983 in response to a recognized need in a niche market area, which had been largely ignored by other title companies in the Chicago area.
Frank has maintained his law practice while growing Prairie Title. He practices with his partner, Maria Cristiano under the firm name Pellegrini & Cristiano. The law firm concentrates on transactional matters with an emphasis in all aspects of real estate law. Conducting an active law practice while running the title company gives Frank a view from all sides of the real estate transaction. This perspective includes contractual issues, real estate brokerage issues, disclosure and mortgage lending concerns. The dovetailing of a hands-on law practice with title and escrow operations serves to enhance the breadth of experience, which he is able to bring to the service of the title company’s clients.
Frank is active in industry, community and social organizations. He has been very involved with the Illinois Land Title Association, serving as its president from mid-2004 until mid-2005 and currently serving on its board of directors. Frank is also a member of various committees of the American Land Title Association and has served on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Mortgage Bankers Association. He has also served the Illinois Mortgage Bankers on the Legislative Committee and as chairman of the Political Action Committee.
Bruce Ramge, CPCU, CIE
Director, Nebraska Department of Insurance
Bruce Ramge graduated from Dana College in 1979 and received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1982.
He joined the Nebraska Department of Insurance Market Conduct Division in September of 1984. Bruce accepted the position of chief of Market Regulation in 1999, overseeing the efforts of various divisions within the Department of Insurance, including the Consumer Affairs, Market Conduct, Producer Licensing, Property and Casualty, Life and Health and Nebraska Senior Health Insurance Information Program Divisions. In January 2008, he was appointed deputy director of the Nebraska Department of Insurance. On Nov. 15, 2010, he was appointed by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman to serve as Director of Insurance.
Bruce has assisted various workgroups of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). He currently is a member of the NAIC Market Analysis Working Group and chairs the NAIC Market Conduct Examination Standards Working Group. Bruce is a past president of the Insurance Regulatory Examiners Society and he received the 2007 IRES Foundation, Paul L. DeAngelo Teaching Award and the 2007 IRES Al Greer Award.
Editor, October Research
Chris Crowell is the editor of The Title Report, a publication of October Research and sister publication to The Legal Description. Chris brings tremendous research and social media skills to his position as editor, and also acts as a moderator for October Research Webinars. He received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Walsh University in Canton, Ohio, and a master’s degree in magazine journalism from Kent State University. He has been a trade journalism editor for more than three years.