MOUNTAIN LAKES, N.J. (3/14/08)--Professional Assurance Limited (PAL), an independent consulting service that verifies the credentials of real estate settlement agents and closing attorneys, has created an independent verification service for credit unions. The service, which was developed to help mitigate mortgage fraud and encourage good closing practices, will verify that credit unions are working with professionals who are experienced and insured. Lenders sign a provider agreement and modify their closing instructions to conform to PAL’s pre-closing verification requirements. Approvals are faxed or e-mailed to PAL, which researches the information before notifying the credit union’s closing department of the results. PAL also stores closing agent records, keeping an updated list of qualified and excluded professionals. PAL’s $195 transaction fee is paid by the borrower as a third party charge. “Credit unions probably will wire millions of dollars over the next few weeks directly into accounts and into the hands of perfect strangers, the closing agents,” said Andrew Liput, PAL president and managing attorney. “Our goal for credit unions is to provide an independent verification service that provides the information they need to prevent negligence and fraud in this marketplace.” PAL also provides credit unions with closing practice forms to place into their closing packages. The forms include an attendance sign-in sheet, closing agent evaluation form, settlement-check disbursement list and a closing-attorney checklist.