November 2016 Newsblog


HAZARDS OF RUNNING AN ESCROW DESK (Back by popular demand!)

Setting the scene:

Our Seller came from San Diego to Los Angeles to visit and while here, he went to a Notary Public at his Bank to sign the Grant Deed for the sale of the property.

The signed documents were sent to us and we sent it to the Title Company so that we could close escrow within the next few days before the Buyer’s new loan expired. Then this happened, one day before closing:

Title Officer – “Uh, Juliana, we got your Seller’s Deed, and…..”

Juliana – Heart rate goes up – it’s never good to get a call from your Title Officer one day before closing.

Title Officer- “… it looks like the notary used the wrong notary form. We can’t use this to record.”

Juliana (having that heart attack) – “Okaaaay, let me see if I can find the Notary who did this and get back to you.”

Juliana (fingers crossed, heart palpitating, please, please, please) – “Hi, is Noreen XXXX, the notary public there?”

Bank – “No, sorry, she is not here and won’t be back until next week.”

Juliana, “Can I get a cell or other contact number for her? This is in regards to a notarization she did for one of your clients.”

Bank – “Sorry, we can’t release that information. She’ll be back next week.”

Juliana (sweating now, thinking of the next possible step, which is explaining to the Seller why we need him to re-sign and why the escrow is now delayed because we did not catch the error on the notarization form) – “Hello, Mr. XXXX, we ran into a small problem with the closing.

The Deed that you signed with Noreen at XXX Bank had the wrong notary form attached to it. We need you to re-sign. “Can we send a mobile notary to your home tonight to get this done?”

“Don’t worry, we won’t charge you the extra cost.”

We may have to delay the closing by one day though, so that we can get the re-signed deed back.

Juliana – “Hello, Maria, regarding the funding of my Buyer’s new loan on XXXX property, can you hold off funding the loan for one more day?

I had to get the deed re-signed by the Seller to correct the notary form.”

Juliana – “You can’t? The rate expired today? It already funded? Oh, no. Okay, will you then allow me to record the transaction the day after tomorrow instead?”. “Okay, get back to me.”

Juliana  – (please, please, please….) “Underwriter agreed? I can close the day after?”…. “Okay, no problem, we will reimburse the Buyer with the extra day’s interest.” Phew!

Juliana – “John, I have a notary job for you in San Diego this afternoon….”  “Yes, yes, I know, traffic is terrible, it’s 200 miles away, but it needs to get done, my professional integrity is hanging on your being able to do this…” “Oh, thank you, thank you! And did I tell you I need you to deliver the document back to Los Angeles tonight????”

So, five stress fraught hours later, the notary is arranged and the parties have been made aware of the issue. Two days later the transaction closes and Juliana is out $317.50: $150.00 for the L.A. to San Diego and back mobile notary and $167.50 for 1 extra day’s interest to the Buyer.

Oh, the hazards of running an escrow desk.


And now back to the normal programming…


So John Stumpf bailed. Boo to him. I guess he was done squirming on the hot seat under Elizabeth Warren’s eagle glare.

None too soon I guess, with Wells getting kicked out by Ohio, California and Oregon, with Chicago and San Francisco on the verge.

Also, they are losing their accreditation from the BBB – Better Business Bureau as they drop to a C- rating and, the latest news is that they have agreed to a $50 million settlement to defaulting Borrowers who were affected by their overcharge of appraisal fees.


However, I don’t think their stocks are doing too badly considering that their hole is getting deeper and deeper.

That is all due to their Lending side, propping up those crumbling pillars that are being battered by the tidal waves of fraud discontent.

So that was the first part of my headline.

The second part?

Our wonderful State of California is now looking into whether those individual employees who opened the fake accounts can be criminally prosecuted for identity theft.

Yesiree, pan, fire, jail.


October was designated as Cyber Security Month, and we saw the warnings and threats all over the place. Buy this! Install me! Use me!

Cyber Security Companies just came out of the woodwork hawking their wares and products.

Do they all work?

Are they all FOR THE REAL?

Apparently not and the Federal Trade Commission certainly has something to say about what is happening out in the marketplace.

It is ironic when a cyber security company is being charged for fraud and deceptive ads on the Internet against consumers. What is this world coming to when we can’t even trust pop up ads?


Shades of Charlie Brown! The CFPB, like the FTC, is also advertising that they are hanging up their shingle and the “doctor” is in and taking calls. One million complaints! Holy cow!

I am trying to figure out if there is just so much that is wrong with our systems that a million complaints are physically typed in and submitted, or, is it that as there now is this forum, folks are using it to type in their grievances, whether real or imagined?

Is a complaint site good? Is it bad?

Sure, many of these grievances led to investigations of unfair practices against the consumer, but I am sure others could be a matter of the consumer not fully understanding.

Back in June, the House of Reps put together a “CFPB Accountability Act.”

Haven’t heard more from it, but perhaps the Wells Fargo case has quieted things done on the passing of this legislation even though that case generated from complaints filed with the City of Los Angeles and not from any complaints to the CFPB, even though the CFPB got the bigger cut of the penalty.

If I were to ever retire from my present job, I would be interested to take up another profession and be a complaint reader for the CFPB.

Just think about it, all those Hazards of the CFPB Desk, to read and tell.


Sounds like the NSync song, doesn’t it? Now that we have come to the end of the year, it is time to look back and say, “Well, darn it, I should not have listened to my brother-in-law.

I should have bought that house in May!” Yes, we all struggle with the shoulda, woulda, couldas of life.

But listen, there is still time to make that investment decision and thumb your nose at the brother-in-law.

Although the months starting with May might be the traditional time to buy, nothing is “traditional” anymore and my crystal ball absolutely foresees that autumn is actually a better time to make that offer.

Prices drop after the first flush of summer fades away and the year-end looms for those who need to declare those taxes in this year.

As this article expounds, January and February may be even better months.

So how about it?

Make that offer, write in Viva Escrow to handle the transaction, and do your part in boosting the economy in the “slow” months. Plus show your brother-in-law how smart you are.


If you think you have angst about BUY BUY BUY, pity those people in that worst city in the U.S. to SELL SELL SELL.

No, its not a podunk place in the middle of the country; you might be surprised at which city has the worst track record for selling.

The housing market is only good as how quickly inventory turns around and is sold, right?

When it takes 33 months to find a buyer for a home in that city, you know it made the top of the list.

So, anyone want to move to Greenwich, Connecticut?

Housing Wire names it Numero One as the worst in the market and here is the why from Bloomberg.

So, you think you have problems, middle America?

Okay, don’t feel so bad for these poor homeowners as they wallow in their luxurious mansion homes and wring their hands in despair while waiting for someone to make an offer.


And if you think our 225 page Voting Package in Los Angeles was long, cumbersome and tedious in the Bay area, there are 17 ballot measures on affordable housing added to that.

Just think about going through that plus the other statewide Proposition.

Makes you want to immigrate to Canada…

I found this one on a blog that I subscribe to, and had to ask, were they talking about me?

As I grow older and wiser (?), I found myself setting these simple 3 goals: 

  1. Go to bed early
  2. Stay home, don’t leave the house
  3. Not going to a party

Yep, those childhood punishments have somehow become my adult goals.

1 thought on “November 2016 Newsblog”

  1. Yay! I’m so happy that Hazards of Running an Escrow Desk is back! Ugh I know the stress of a last minute grant deed/deed of trust error. A few weeks ago I was funding a loan, only for the funder to email and ask why the notary missed a signature on the deed of trust 🙁 Because I didn’t catch the error when I packaged out the loan docs to title and the lender, I offered to make the trip to Azusa to resign the deed of trust myself, as well as I hand-delivered it to title in Glendale right when they opened at 8am and then headed in to work. It was exhausting but better to be tired than for my client to murder me for the error!

    Thanks for another entertaining and informative newsletter!!

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