Banks and Insurance Companies
Banks and insurance companies often require paralegal assistance. In some cases, paralegals are employed in a general counsel's office as in a corporation; paralegals may also be assigned to specific departments to assist with specific legal issues arising in that department.
The Banking Industry
The banking industry is heavily regulated, with audits and compliance reports required by federal and state agencies. Banks employ paralegals to assemble data for periodic reports, to keep track of regulatory changes, and to provide training for bank employees who must address regulatory issues. These paralegals often work under the supervision of a legal department.
Banks also employ paralegals in trust and mortgage departments. In a trust department, many trust officers are lawyers who are responsible for administering trusts established by clients of the bank. Trust officers also serve as personal representatives for probate estates. Paralegals working within a trust department may be called on to ensure compliance with court-ordered reporting and other administration requirements of the trust. The paralegal might also be involved in the process of calculating distributions from the trust.
Mortgage departments often use paralegals to perform required functions to comply with mortgage lending and foreclosure requirements. A paralegal might inspect title documents and opinions to assure that the mortgage lender acquires priority over other lenders, prepares the necessary promissory note and other loan documents, and ensures the necessary filing of documents with the county recorder. In the event of foreclosure, the paralegal is responsible for assembling the records necessary to demonstrate failure of payment, preparing the required notices and complaints for the court, arranging the sheriff's sale, and providing the required documentation of the sale to the court.
The Insurance Industry
Insurance companies employ paralegals in a variety of positions. Paralegals may assist the company with regulatory compliance — collecting, summarizing, and reporting data required by state agencies that oversee the operation of the insurance company. Paralegals are also employed to assist insurance companies process, evaluate, and respond to claims. A paralegal trained in gathering, organizing, and evaluating factual information provides valuable support to insurance professionals who deal with policy claims. In addition, insurance companies are often involved in legislative activities that require the research skill of a paralegal.