December 16th, 2015
          As everyone is well underway with the new TRID processes, we’re finding ways to assist our lender clients with compliance matters including proper quoting on Loan Estimates.   Some lenders have engaged systems that automatically populate quotes for certain charges such as title insurance, settlement fees, recording fees, and transfer taxes for example.  We’re finding that these systems may not be quoting properly due to variables such as property type and location, title underwriter, type of loan and  required title endorsements.  Additionally, recording fees are impacted by several varying circumstances such as the number of pages in a legal description, riders to a mortgage, and the need to record ancillary items such as a Power of Attorney or other documentation unknown at time of Loan Estimate.  Until a title search has been completed, a recording fee can only be estimated upon determination of the legal description length.
       To provide the most accurate quotes possible, contact Signature PRIOR to providing a Loan Estimate. And please remember to include the Loan Estimate with the title order so we can ensure accuracy early on in the process.
         If you have any questions, please contact Monique Shevlin at

“Man-in-the-email” Scams

April 17th, 2015

Businesses across the country including many in our footprint are seeing an increase in “man-in-the-email” scams. This occurs when email accounts are compromised and fraudsters impersonate a legitimate business or individual (CEO, CFO, etc.) for purposes of stealing data or committing financial fraud. Businesses are then fooled in to sending funds to accounts managed by criminals rather than their legitimate business partners. To help mitigate this, Signature verifies all significant account or transaction change requests by vendors, business partners, and customers through alternate means (calling them using the phone number we have on record), and never accepting an email alone no matter who it is from.  This is a practice in which we engage to protect our business and you and your clients’ funds and personal information.


Signature’s Monique Shevlin Made The News!

January 9th, 2015

From Retail to Real Estate

By Morey Stettner

Monique Adjami Shevlin has built a career around an obscure part of property transactions: title insurance. She runs Signature Escrow & Title Services, a Portsmouth firm with 10 employees.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Shevlin, 55, shifted from retail to real estate and then landed in the title business. After helping grow Signature Title as a minority partner starting in 2000, she became its full owner one year ago.

Click here to read the entire article from the Portsmouth Herald.

20th Anniversary Celebration

December 3rd, 2014

Signature is celebrating its 20th anniversary and we want to thank YOU for being an integral part of our success!

We will kick off the celebration December 1st and running through December 18th. We will be hosting a ball toss game at our Portsmouth office. 

For a chance to play, bring in a canned good or non-perishable item. The 3 highest scores will receive a cash prize of $250, $100 and $50 respectively! In the event of a tie, winners will be chosen by random draw. Winners will be announced by email on December 19th. 

Anyone can participate and, if you or your clients are here for a closing, we encourage all to play! 

All canned goods and non-perishable items we receive will be donated to the End 68 Hours of Hunger campaign which is a private, not for profit, effort to confront the approximately 68 hours of hunger that some school children experience between the free lunch they receive in school on Friday afternoon and the free breakfast they receive in school on Monday morning.

Take a moment to stop by and join in our anniversary celebration and also help support a great cause at the same time.   We look forward to seeing you soon!

When Listing a Property within a Homeowner’s Association

September 23rd, 2014

As lender’s underwriting requirements tighten, one of the conditions may include providing information about Homeowner’s Associations (‘HOA’). Many subdivisions were created with HOA covenants and, if so, the seller must obtain and provide the contact information for the HOA so that certain items can be verified. Such items include:

-The amount of the (annual/quarterly/monthly) fee.
-What period of time it covers.
-Who collects it and how.

Although this seems simple enough, many HOAs are loosely managed and others are completely inactive, meaning there is no fee, no annual meeting and no one who can verify this information.

When taking the listing and reviewing the deed and covenants with your seller, if there is a reference to an HOA, collect such information up front from the seller so as to not delay the financing and/or closing process.

Closing Out a Home Equity

April 2nd, 2014

When a borrower takes out a Home Equity Line of Credit or ‘HELOC’, a mortgage/lien is recorded for the full loan amount available to the borrower, even if it was never used or balance due. All HELOCs, as well as first mortgages, will be paid off and closed at the time of sale of the property. Any remaining HELOC checks or credit/debit cards associated with that account are to be destroyed. Any attempt to use or access a HELOC after closing would be considered theft.

Personal Representatives

February 4th, 2014

When a property owner dies, the estate is usually probated by the court and a Personal Representative (‘PR’) is appointed to act on behalf of the estate of the deceased. The PR will typically list and sell any properties owned by the deceased and distribute the proceeds to the heirs. Things can get ugly when there are multiple deceased owners to a single piece of property and different personal representatives are appointed. Know who your sellers and representatives are! If you have questions, contact Jaime Lynch at

Foreclosure Claims

January 6th, 2014

Signature has been notified of an increase in foreclosure-related claims which have been filed by the new insured owners who have purchased bank owned real estate or properties at foreclosure where such properties have not been vacated. The foreclosed mortgagors or their families remain in the properties after the foreclosure and refuse to vacate the premises claiming that the foreclosure is defective and the lender’s right to evict is, thereby, compromised.

Real estate professionals should confirm that the properties their buyers are purchasing have been vacated by the mortgagor/occupants or tenants by doing a walk-through of the property prior to closing.

Does a non-titled spouse need to be at closing?

November 29th, 2013

We frequently field questions on whether a non-titled spouse needs to be at closing to sign documents.

New Hampshire is a homestead state, therefore:

If a married person is purchasing a primary residence, the non-titled spouse MAY OR MAY NOT need to be at closing. A purchase money mortgage may be used. Some lenders MAY still require the spouse to sign.

If a married person is refinancing a primary residence, the non-titled spouse must be at closing to sign various loan documents.

If a married person is selling a primary residence, the non-titled spouse must be at closing to sign the deed to release homestead rights.

Maine is NOT a homestead state therefore a non-titled, non-borrowing spouse does NOT need to be at closing to sign documents.

Questions or comments?   Contact Jaime Lynch at

Tips for Realtors

November 4th, 2013

Be prepared for your next closing

Here is a list of items we commonly ask Realtors to provide to ensure smooth communication and coordination of a closing:

  • Legible copy of Purchase and Sales Agreements and any addendums
  • Contact information for all parties (Real Estate Agents, Buyer, Seller, Loan Officer, Insurance Agent or Condo Association)
  • Commission statement. Who is holding the deposit and will it be brought to closing or retained?
  • Invoices or bills to be paid at closing
  • Special circumstances (POA, Trust, Mail-away)

Questions or comments?  Contact Jaime Lynch at