MISMO Issues Standardized Closing Instructions

MISMOthe Mortgage Industry’s Standards Maintenance Organization, announced issuance of standardized closing instructions. 

MISMO’s Closing Instructions provide templates that lenders can use to communicate with settlement agents. Templates create a common format for closing instructions and are intended to improve communications between lenders and settlement agents, thereby reducing closing errors. By using the same templates, lenders and settlement agents will save money, reduce operational overhead, have fewer compliance violations and provide better customer service.

“Participants across the industry have collaborated effectively to produce these closing instruction templates, which enable lenders to provide consistency in what’s included and where to find it,” said Kate Steineman, Senior Vice President and Business Liaison Manager with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “Closing instructions communicate important loan details and requirements, and these templates mean settlement partners will no longer have to search through pages of instructions for information they need. As a lender, we all win through increased efficiency, quality and happy customers.”  

The closing instruction templates include two distinct documents: the Master Closing Instruction Template and the Transactional Closing Instruction Template. The new templates focus on the format and organization of closing instructions, rather than legal language often included in instructions. MISMO has also developed an implementation guide to assist with adoption.

Click here to access templates and implementation guides.

“The new standardized closing instructions are a real game-changer,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, Vice Chairman of First American Title Insurance Co.. “Industry adoption will enable settlement providers to enhance the closing experience for borrowers, while reducing the potential for last-minute changes that impact efficiency.”  

The Master Closing Instruction Template contains lender instructions common to all loans closed for that lender, including items such as instructions for conflicts of interest, data security and document destruction, verification of signer identity and recording.

The Transactional Closing Instruction Template consists of information relating to a specific loan, including borrower contact information, property information, critical dates and conditions and stipulations. The templates were developed through a collaborative effort across many sectors of the mortgage ecosystem, including national and regional lenders, title and settlement services companies, escrow companies, LOS vendors and document preparation vendors.

Following a public comment period announced in November 2019, both templates are now upgraded by MISMO to “Candidate Recommendation” status, which means they have been thoroughly reviewed by a wide range of organizations and industry participants and are available for use. The templates and related implementation guide are available to MISMO members.  They are being made available to other organizations, including lenders, at no charge for internal and non-commercial use.   

For more information and to access the templates and implementation guide, visit: http://www.mismo.org/standards-and-resources/residential-specifications/other-residential/closing-instructions.

Release and use of MISMO standards and other resources are governed by the MISMO Intellectual Property Rights Policy. For more information on the policy, click here.

Industry participants who have comments or questions can contact MISMO at info@mismo.org. For more information about MISMO, visit www.mismo.org.


The Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) is the standards development organization for the residential and commercial finance industry. Today, MISMO standards are accepted and deployed by every type of entity involved in creating mortgages, and they are required by most regulators, housing agencies and GSEs that govern the exchange of information. Use of MISMO’s standards has been found to lower per loan costs, improve margins, reduce errors and speed up the loan process by reducing manual, paper-based processes. MISMO is managed by the Mortgage Bankers Association. For more information, visit www.mismo.org.