Just passing along information from a phone conversation this afternoon with an attorney at the CFPB regarding whether to complete the "Settlement Agent" column in the Contact Information table on page 5 of the closing disclosure when no settlement agent is used.
Paraphrasing the conversation - The regulation doesn't require that you make an entry in that column if there is no settlement agent, nor does it say you should not. Some banks identify themselves in that column when they close a loan themselves (I was at one time a proponent for doing so). Most don't. The CFPB attorney cautioned that in some states there are legal requirements that a settlement agent must be an attorney, and if the lender identifies itself in that column there could be ramifications.
I have concluded that not making an entry is the better option when there is no settlement agent. But leave the heading in place unless you omit the column entirely or replace it with contact information for another person ("A creditor or settlement agent may also omit a column on the table that is inapplicable or, if necessary, replace an inapplicable column with the contact information for the additional person" - last sentence in comment 38(r)-1).
John S. Burnett
Fighting for Compliance since 1976
Bankers' Threads User #8