Settlement Statement: Is the interest rate of the Note disclosed on the form?

It is routine for escrow departments of title companies and independent escrow firms to provide a Settlement Statement to a loan officer (and agents) prior to making appointments with clients to sign their paperwork.   Once loan documents are received by escrow the closing staff move to get this accomplished as quickly as possible.  This is done for a variety of reasons but mostly to assist in ironing out any discrepancies prior to meeting with the client.

If you reconciled a “yes,” the interest rate is on the Settlement Statement, you are correct.   So, where is it:

  • Line 901 of the Settlement Statement
  • If a borrower has a loan, it is on Line 901 to calculate interest (see screenshot)

Can this be missed even after escrow receives a HUD approval “green light,” “all OK,” “call the borrowers to make an appointment?”   Unfortunately, yes.   Hopefully this post will assist consumers and those in the business that were unaware that this is on the Settlement Statement and to prevent situations where escrow is meeting a client at their home at 8pm to sign docs and hear the client remark, “this is not the rate/program we were quoted.”

Interest rate on HUD

Twitter is AMAZING

Over this past week, I’ve had the misfortune dealing with cable (Comcast) being down and just today, my email being out (an issue with Network Solutions).   Both times, I vented with 140 characters (or less) on Twitter.  Of course, I had to use my Treo to whine about Comcast.  But what happened in both cases really surprises me.   Apparently these big corporations have their own “David G’s” out there with their own Twitter profiles and alerts set up to address issues brought up on the internet.

Here’s my Tweet:

pulling out my hair…network solutions email seems to be down…argh! No emails for me.

And the response I received minutes later.

netsolcares @mortgageporter Hi this is Gerry from Network Solutions. I’m sorry your having issues. If you’d like to contact me I’ll see what we can do

I just got off the phone (after holding for over 11 minutes) with Gerry @ Network Solutions and they narrowed down what my issue was (too technical for me to explain) and the good news is, everything is back up and working.   And it’s the weekend.  I’m amazed.

The Comcast response and issue was very similar.   A “tweet” from me saying Comcast is out…no email or internet and this reply from “Comcast Scott” within moments

comcastscott @mortgageporter how often has this been happening? Can we help

Along with this one

comcastcares@mortgageporter Keep us updated


comcastscott @mortgageporter glad to help! Keep those tweets coming

By the way, if you have Twitter and you find your Comcast or Network Solutions services not working, you can always tweet these fella’s…they react quickly.  I am impressed and would have never pictured large corporations utilizing social networking this way.

So for all of you who are not utilizing Twitter because you think it’s a fad, I encourage you to check it out.  It is what ever you make it.  I’ve found it to be real useful for communicating what I doing during the day, like providing live rate quotes, in a consultation, writing a blog post, etc.  And I’ll post something “non-business” every once in a while like what I’m cooking up for dinner.

If you do sign up (it’s free and easy to do) please “follow me” or at very least, send me a tweet!

Life in escrow: When we compete with American Idol.

There is only so much escrow can do when escrow receives loan docs at 5pm and the borrower must sign because an interest rate lock is about to expire and the rescission period puts their back against the wall, forcing them to sign the very same day (evening). Then the borrower (s), strangely unaware of the urgency, indicates:

1. Can you come to our house between 7:00-7:30 because American Idol is on at 8pm (like tonight, cough-cough) and we can’t miss it. Or, how about after the program is over?


2. I drop Billy off at Basketball at 6:30 and pick him up at 7:30, so I won’t be home until 8:15 pm. Will 8:30 pm work for you? Oh, my spouse needs to sign as well? He does not get off his shift until midnight. Is that a problem?

Will these transactions close on time? If you do what Ardell suggests in Step #2, it is a sure thing..

I’m beginning to muster up the courage to ask management for new business hours: M-F 8-5pm; quick hour break for a run to Panda Express, sprint any last minute disbursed loan Payoff’s to the UPS terminal blocks from our office to make it on an airplane to wherever, do banking before the bank closes at 6pm; hustle back to the office, quickly re-check e-mail for more “last minute” loan docs promised days earlier, and then re-open from 6pm until midnight for signings from Bellingham to Olympia to Ephrata. Sat. and Sun. leave wide open for signings too.

Humble Pie: how to lose a customer(s), forever.

Tuesday morning this week I spoke with an agent customer who called to speak with an employee who happened to be taking well deserved vacation time. The agent discussed sending over a transaction but only wished to work with this staff member. They had a great working relationship on prior transactions. After I indicated that our employee was away on vacation and that all e-mail sent to our employee would be forwarded to the appropriate staff, I offered to give an additional e-mail contact for Lynlee (owner) thinking this would put the agent at ease. The agent agreed and we waited for the transaction to come through. It did come through later in the afternoon and all staff members received the transaction virtually simultaneously with no problem. The agent’s e-mail remarks were generally, ‘here is the transaction with the attachment.’ No e-mail flags or return acknowledgement asked.

The following day around noon I received an e-mail from the agent. The agent stated abruptly that because there was no response to their e-mail they elected to move the transaction to the title company escrow department that was named on the purchase & sale agreement. To say that jaws dropped was an understatement and this situation was a first for Lynlee in all the years in escrow and for our office. Lynlee and I discuss how to diffuse difficult customers and clients all the time– something you have to have in your DNA if you wish to survive in escrow. She is a master of this just by her demeanor.

Immediately after receiving notice via e-mail that this customer was not pleased, I contacted the individual by phone. With my mind spinning I mentioned that we were confused, particularly after doing work for this agent before. The customer indicated that they moved the transaction because we had not immediately responded. Flustered, I focused on the act of the agent. The transaction was closing at the end of April and we had the transaction in our office for a matter of hours.

In the end, I asked Lynlee how she would have handled it any differently. She said, “first, apologize, and lastly, apologize. Then, get back to work on the important transactions at hand.” While I realize that it is impossible to please everyone, striving to please everyone is paramount. I lost my composure, essentially driving home the point by asking if this agent would like us to drop every other transaction we are working on to assist them with a transaction that never even started—a very poor decision on my part. In hindsight, I should have asked, “in the future, how would you like me to handle your communication and correspondence?