The Year in Review



As we begin the final countdown to the year’s end, it’s always interesting to reflect on how things have changed over the past 12 months. This season kindly offers a chance to celebrate successes, milestones and positive experiences, or strengthen our resolve and hope the upcoming year brings the progression and prosperity we seek. The title industry has certainly experienced its share of changes in 2016. Here’s a glance at the year in review from a settlement standpoint.

Changes 2016 Brought to the Settlement Process

  • First Full-Year of TRID in Effect – The Truth in Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID) simplifies consumer disclosure information by improving readability of content regarding terms of impending real estate transactions. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau requires that lenders submit the Closing Disclosure Form to homebuyers three days prior to closing.
  • February 23, 2016 – The American Land Title Association/National Society of Professional Surveyors Survey Standards is enacted, bringing forth greater utility and clarity of survey items in terms of how they are displayed on the survey form, and the content of items included within the survey. A list of revised survey form topics can be viewed here.
  • March 21, 2016 – Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Service Members Act passes, extending the one-year foreclosure protection for military personnel through the end of 2017 (part of the Service Members Civil Relief Act).
  • July 1, 2016 – House Bill 393 (General Assembly of Virginia) takes effect, delegating that the designated license producer of a title agency must be a director, officer or employee of said company, dissolving the practice of an independent contractor fulfilling this role.


As we look forward to a successful 2017, we welcome any changes designed to make the entire settlement process more streamlined, transparent and ultimately more efficient for all parties. The team at Linear Title & Escrow remains committed to providing clients with the highest level of service in the industry, and wishes you and yours a very healthy, prosperous New Year.



New Year’s Goals and Resolutions: Have Them, Want Them, Despise Them?

news-years-resHave you sat down to construct your goals and resolutions for a very near and upcoming 2017? Are your personal and professional objectives on paper (or in a word doc), just waiting to come to life with that fervor and action you “commit” to each passing year? If so, you’re certainly ahead of the game.

Research suggests that fewer people these days actually make (and fewer still) carry out their New Year’s goals and resolutions. Even if you’re not so keen on making (or keeping) personal resolutions, setting them for your professional life isn’t such a bad idea.

Your Career in Preview

Staying static in your current career spot may be comfortable, but not likely to help you climb the corporate ladder or shatter that glass ceiling. Consider the following questions to help create your career-boosting resolutions so you hit the ground running as you ring in the new year:

  • How can you grow professionally?
  • What actions can you take to help grow your organization or business reach?
  • What opportunities are likely to rise throughout the year? For example, is someone retiring, moving or looking for a promotion?
  • Are you achieving career satisfaction? Why or why not? What factors would you change about your current position and what would, in fact, help you experience career bliss?
  • Create a career timeline. Look at where you started, where you are now and where you ultimately want to land. What steps can you take this upcoming year to propel your career in that direction?

Goals and resolutions, whether personal or professional, help drive us to achieve, succeed and become the people we ultimately wish to be. The key, however, is to use them to our advantage rather than allow them to foster disappoint, diminished self-confidence or feelings of coming-up-short when we fail to reach said objectives.

Be Realistic, But Don’t Sell Yourself Short

Though it’s important to remember is to set realistic and attainable goals, having a lofty goal or two won’t hurt. Big aspirations are often what drives us to achieve things we never thought we could. However, also keep in mind that life happens sometimes, and goals set December 31st may stretch, shrink or morph into something entirely different than what you expected.


Title Terms to Know: Part Two

In this post, we continue our breakdown of title terminology, specifically relating to the Closing Disclosure (CD) form.

Title Terms Continued

Unless otherwise noted, these terms apply to/appear on the buyer’s side of the real estate transaction:

  • Title Insurance: Protects parties against financial loss should clouds, liens or other claims on title arise. (See our Title Insurance page for more detailed information.)
  • Owner’s Policy: Title insurance covering the homeowner’s interests should a defect on title become apparent.
  • Lender’s Policy: Title insurance covering the mortgage lender’s interests in the event of title problems (required by lenders at the expense of the homeowner).
  • Settlement/Closing Fee: Amount charged by the title agency/closing attorney to process the close of property sale. (May also appear as “Title Services.”)
  • Title Search/Title Exam Fee: Amount charged to research history of title and identify any defects, liens or claims of ownership surrounding the property.
  • Recording Fees/Recording Charges: Fees charged to record the transfer of title from one party to the other with the appropriate municipality (split to satisfy that of both the deed and the mortgage).
  • City/County/State Tax Stamps: Revenue collected on the sale of a property, generally for the purpose of supporting community improvement initiatives.
  • CPL (Closing Protection Letter) Fee: Covers the cost of insurance issued by the title insurer regarding actions carried out by the title agent/underwriter/closer.
  • Grantor’s Tax: Amount remitted to the Clerk of Court for recordation of deed (typically paid by the seller).

At Linear Title & Escrow we remain steadfast in our commitment to excellence, providing exceptional service, streamlining communication, and facilitating a smooth and efficient real estate transaction. For more information on the title terms presented in our two-part series or questions regarding the settlement process, please contact us today at (757) 340.0340.