Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Virginia NSAs: Respond before 2/16/16

The State Corporation Commission of Virginia intends to change regulations that govern the requirements of settlement agents.

I don't know if this will impact Virginia notaries, or not. It's hard to tell what this overhaul of definitions is aimed at.  (Yes, I've read the proposed changes, the bulletin from the NNA, and the emailed bulletin in bold red letters, but Virginia signing agents on Notary Rotary are remaining calm,  refusing to be put into a state of alarm.)

In a nutshell:

The Bureau of Insurance has come up with a lot of new definitions that sound like notary signing agent appointments and receiving checks from borrowers to send off with the loan documents are being reclassified as tasks that only licensed settlement agents can perform.

If that's what they really mean*,Virginia's notary signing agents will have to be licensed settlement agents, bonded, and burdened with two kinds of bonds. My guess is that the expense will put most of them out of business.

The AAN is submitting comments to the Commission asking for clarification that this won't impact signing agents and objecting if it does.  They will also be sending a bulletin regarding this information to Virginia notaries. In it, you'll read that you'll be required to have:
  • A title insurance agent’s license by taking a course, passing an exam, and being appointed by a title insurance company. 
  • An errors and omissions policy of $250,000 or more per claim or occurrence 
  • A fidelity bond of at least $100,000 per claim or occurrence 
  • A surety bond of at least $200,000
Be sure you get the AAN's bulletin; sign up for emails and newsletters here.

In the meantime, read the proposed changes and send a message to the Commission.  

Virginia, your deadline is February 16.  

*I read on NR today that the Bureau of Insurance says this applies to signing agents, but the Virginia Bar doesn't.  See this message and this message.

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