Welcome to June, the beginning of summer, graduation parties, and summer fun! While strange weather patterns have caused some heavy storms across the country and continue to cause issues, I hope you are enjoying California’s moderate weather, whether that means sun or even June gloom on any given day.

As an escrow professional, you know that it is essential to stay up to date with industry information in order to thrive in today’s competitive market. As a member of CEA, you have access to a wealth of resources and information that can help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of the escrow industry. We keep our fingers on the pulse of things and bring you the latest developments that are crucial to your success.

You may have heard that the CFPB recently issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) seeking feedback from industry stakeholders on fees imposed on residential mortgage transactions. The CFPB states that closing costs have recently risen sharply, and the agency wants to gain understanding of why costs are increasing, who is benefiting, and how costs for borrowers and lenders could be lowered. Certain specific costs were called out, including credit reports and title insurance, and you can be sure that your miscellaneous escrow charges are also – or soon will be -- under their scrutiny. Your CEA Executive Committee is working on compiling information to submit a response to the CFPB and would love to hear from you about this as well. If you would like to be a part of the Subcommittee working on this topic, please let me know. Comments are due by August 2, 2024. If you would like more information, please check here.

It’s interesting to note that Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (“ICE”) recently came out with a White Paper on The Hidden Cost of Fee Cures, which outlines that TRID violations necessitating fee cures occur on about 35% of all loans. That’s a huge percentage of affected transactions. Out-of-tolerance changes to recording, title, and settlement fees were called out in the report. These fee cures are cutting into lenders’ origination revenue to the tune of about $1,225.00 per loan, or 9% of the average cost to produce a loan in the first quarter of 2023! Lender curative costs involve much more than refunding money to a borrower. There are also labor costs, having to reissue documents to borrowers and settlement agents, and frequently even requiring attorney review. It’s reasonable to ask: What can we, as settlement agents, do to avoid being part of the problem for our lender partners? If you are interested, you can find ICE’s report here.

Educational & Involvement Opportunities Abound!

Please consider attending CEA’s NorCal Escrow Education Conference. It’s right around the corner: Friday, July 12 through Saturday, July 13, 2024, at the DoubleTree Hilton in Burlingame, CA. Online registration is open now. You can find the registration form here. I’m on their agenda as a speaker and I’d love to see you there.

The dates and location of CEA’s 69th Annual Education Conference have been set and October will be here before we know it! Please block out your calendar and plan to attend: Thursday, October 17 through Saturday, October 19, 2024, at the Hilton Anaheim. Watch your email for program details, to follow. We always put on a great show! Bring an escrow buddy or two and have some fun while you’re learning! (Disneyland is walking distance away…) I hope to see you there!

Please also consider sharing your skills and strengths with us by becoming a CEA Director and/or Committee Member. Do you love to organize parties? Join our Conference Committee. Do you love digging into legislative issues? Join our Bill Review Committee. ‘Love to train? How about the Education Committee? And there are other options, as well. Check them out at Check us out as a guest at our August 3 Board of Directors Meeting at the Hilton Orange County Costa Mesa. Guests are welcome to observe, for the cost of lunch. Contact CEA HQ to RSVP if you’d like to attend.

I thank you in advance for being a part of our success!

Mickey Vandenberg
2024 (68th) President of the California Escrow Association

Join CEA Today!

Joining the California Escrow Association has many benefits. Network with your peers and connect with industry experts and stakeholders by attending, at a member discount, our many industry events. Gain insights into many facets of the industry through our exclusive publications. Enhance your career through our continuing education programs and professional designations. Join our supportive community today!

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CEA History

In 1924, six Los Angeles escrow officers and supervisors, meeting to discuss problems of mutual interest, decided to form an escrow association. By 1956, with the assistance of the Los Angeles group, six other associations were formed in Southern California, including Escrow Associates of San Gabriel Valley, Escrow Institute, Long Beach, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and Santa Barbara...

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