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ALTA Releases RESPA-Compliant Uniform Instructions to Aid Transition to New Mortgage Documents

December 14, 2009

Washington, D.C., December 14, 2009 — The American Land Title Association (ALTA) announced today it has created a uniform set of instructions to help facilitate the handling of new settlement documents that will become mandatory Jan. 1, 2010 due to changes to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

The Uniform Supplemental HUD-1/1A Instructions designed by ALTA will facilitate lender and settlement agent compliance with the new RESPA regulations. Among other things, these regulations require the settlement agent to obtain new information from the lender in order to create an accurate, compliant HUD-1/1A.

“Adopting a standardized format for transmitting the information from the loan originator to the settlement agent that is necessary for the completion of the HUD-1 will benefit all of the participants in the settlement process by improving the efficiencies and accuracy of the finished product,” said Dan Wold, chairman of ALTA’s RESPA Implementation Taskforce. “Uniformity will benefit the loan originator, settlement agent and consumer by reducing the incidence of errors, thereby eliminating problems at and after the settlement as well as speeding up the settlement process.”

By including this information in a standardized format, ALTA's Uniform Supplemental HUD-1/1A Instructions greatly reduce the burden on lenders and settlement agents related to preparation and approval of final HUD-1/1A documents. Lenders and settlement agents who seek a more efficient and compliant closing and funding process will adopt this form.

On Jan. 1, 2010, HUD will require that lenders and mortgage brokers provide consumers with a standard Good Faith Estimate (GFE) that discloses key loan terms and closing costs. Closing agents will be required to provide borrowers a new HUD-1 Settlement Statement that compares consumers' final and estimated costs.

“This uniform document will add to the transparency and efficiency of the new forms,” said Mark Winter, president of ALTA. “It’s obviously not mandatory, so lenders are free to use all of it, part of it or none of it; however, with all of them trying to figure out how to adopt the new HUD-1, its timing could not be more advantageous.”

Click here to view the Uniform Supplemental HUD-1/1A Instructions.

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