Last year, True North Title partnered with Earnnest to make the delivery and deposit of earnest money easier and trackable. Earnnest allows for a fully digital transfer of funds from the buyer’s bank account, to our escrow account.
How does Earnnest work?
True North Title, or the real estate agent, uses the Earnnest app to create an EMD request from the buyer:
Once this is done, the buyer creates an account on Earnnest, verifies their bank account information, and sends the earnest money deposit. All parties then receive a receipt with proof of deposit. The buyer’s bank account information is never stored, nor disclosed to anyone else in the transaction. Best of all, there’s no need to deliver a paper check in-person or get a money order!
For more details, here’s a video of how Earnnest + True North Title works!
There has been a lot of talk lately about forbearance of mortgage payments. Housing Wire recently discussed the topic and what is means for borrowers. To get an opinion on the topic, we asked our friend and local mortgage loan officer, Marianne Washington with Movement Mortgage for her take. Here is what Marianne had to say:
“If there is a job loss or income reduction in your home and you have exhausted all means to make your house payment, forbearance is a way to keep your home. While forbearance may be an option, it is vitally important you understand the terms you agreed upon – is there no obligation for three months and on the fourth month all past payments are due at once? Is the amount due added on the balance of your existing mortgage? What happens with the property taxes and home owners insurance premiums due while in forbearance? These are just a few of the questions needed to be asked.
But – it’s in your best interest if you have the ability to make your house payment you do. Lending guidelines require at the time of application payments on existing mortgages must be current. If you opted in on forbearance and want to refinance, or are selling your home with the intent to buy a new one, you may not be able to get a new mortgage. There are also guidelines on late/missed payments in the last 12 months for current mortgages. If you are in either of these situations it is best to talk to a lender and know where you stand before you do anything.
Federal Housing Finance Authority director Mark Calabria hopes that people who apply for forbearance actually need the help.
“We’re operating on the honor system,” says Calabria. “… This is supposed to be limited to if you’ve lost your job, you’ve lost income. Please, if you haven’t lost your job, continue paying. If you can pay your mortgage please do so because we really need to focus on the people who can’t.””
Thanks to Marianne for taking the time to give us the real deal on this topic. Be sure to contact her if you have any questions or are looking for a mortgage professional!
For the past 3 years, True North Title’s Blacksburg office has partnered with the United Way of the New River Valley and student interns at Virginia Tech to give back to the community by collecting needed food items.
Around this time of year, student interns would be working on the “Don’t Throw Before You Go” social marketing campaign. This campaign collects non-perishable food that becomes depleted, since most food donations come around Thanksgiving. This campaign usually stocks the emergency food pantry until the holiday season rolls back around.
With COVID-19 moving school online, student interns had to become creative with this year’s food drive. Since Virginia has a stay at home order in effect until June 10th, students came up with a campaign that adheres to Social Distancing guidelines.
If there is a positive impact COVID19 has had on our industry, it is the way it had forced some areas to embrace technology and implement e-recording of land records. Below is the latest list of areas in which we can currently electronically record documents in Virginia and North Carolina.
After a buyer and seller sign their closing documents, the recordable documents (very often, a deed and deed of trust) are put to record at the applicable courthouse. At many courthouses in Virginia, we can now electronically (e-record) these documents. Our post-closing department handles e-recording by updating the title search, uploading the documents and paying the applicable recording fees and taxes to the courthouse. The land records department then reviews and accepts the documents.
Frequently asked questions:
How does e-recording work? Using a secure interface, True North Title uploads recordable documents directly to the courthouse. The courthouse then examines the documents, accepts them and processes the documents for recording in their system.
What if the documents aren’t accepted by the courthouse? Normally, if the documents aren’t initially accepted, it’s due to a transmission error and we are able to promptly resubmit for acceptance.
At what point will you disburse the transaction? Once the documents are in the “received” stage with the courthouse (which means the courthouse has acknowledged the receipt of our transmission), we are able to disburse the transaction. Keep in mind, that the same guidelines apply regarding recording and disbursement in that we must have all funds from all parties cleared in our escrow account before we can record the transaction.
Are there documents that cannot be e-recorded? Yes, each courthouse has a list of documents which still require paper recording. For example, Montgomery County will not accept an e-recorded power of attorney. Most courthouses require surveys to be paper recorded, UCC documents, lis pendens, etc.
Is there an additional cost to e-record? No, in fact, it’s just the opposite. There is a $5 per document charge to paper record at courthouses that are now accepting e-recordings (unless we are recording a document that requires a paper recording).
Are there challenges with e-recording? Yes, as with all newer technologies, there is a learning curve. Smaller courthouses may have just 1 or 2 employees in their land records department and sometimes, those employees work in other departments within the courthouse. Even though we send the documents to them promptly, that doesn’t mean they will get recorded immediately.
When can you e-record in Virginia jurisdictions not currently accepting e-recorded documents? We are in regular communication with our vendor and they are working with other courthouses to get the e-recording system setup. As we are notified of new jurisdictions accepting e-recordings, we will communicate with agents and lenders.
As of today, we are able to E-Record in the following jurisdictions in Virginia: