MISMO Releases ALTA-Supported Closing Instructions Templates

The Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (“MISMO“) issued new templates for closing instructions on October 18, 2019. The new templates are the result efforts by American Land Title Association (“ALTA“) and the Mortgage Bankers Association, who have been working with MISMO to create the common templates. ALTA formed a development workgroup to develop the templates in 2017.

The templates were developed through a collaborative effort across many sectors of the mortgage ecosystem, including title and settlement services companies, escrow companies, national and regional lenders, LOS vendors and document preparation vendors. ALTA’s Closing Instruction Working Group is led by James Lamphere, vice president of title and escrow for HomeServices of America, and Kate Steineman, vice president and business liaison manager for Wells Fargo.

There are two distinct templates included in the Closing Instruction Templates. The first is the “Master Closing Instruction Template,” which contains lender instructions that are common to all loans closed for that lender. It includes items such as instructions for conflicts of interest, data security and document destruction, verification of signer identity, and recording. The second template is the “Transactional Closing Instruction Template,” which includes information relating to a specific loan. It includes items such as borrower contact information, property information, critical dates, and conditions and stipulations. MISMO has also developed an implementation guide to assist with the adoption of the new templates.

The primary purpose of developing these uniform templates is to improve communications between parties, reduce errors, and ensure a better consumer experience. The benefits of common templates include efficiency, cost reductions, and fewer document changes for the loan operating system.

The Closing Instruction Templates will be available for MISMO member comment until Dec. 23. Send comments or questions to info@mismo.org.

The comment period is intended to afford workgroup participants who worked on the proposed closing instruction templates at least 30 days’ notice prior to final release to review the templates and disclose any applicable Patent Rights (as defined by MISMO’s 2018 Intellectual Property Rights Policy http://www.mismo.org/x242632).

The new closing instruction templates and implementation guide can be accessed here.