I feel uniquely qualified to answer this question, as, until about a month ago, I was an attorney in Florida (where I believe Ivylass still resides) conducting real estate closings in the same capacity as a Title Company, and I know lots of realtors, too. Plus, I just sold my house.
The answer to the OP: No, it’s not a scam. But it’s a breakdown in communication between your realtor and the title company that caused the title company to make the mistake.
When Ivylass started the transaction, she met with a realtor who would market her home and be responsible for the showings. Before that realtor began, though, she or he made Ivylass sign a Listing Agreement, which is a written contract for these responsibilities, in exchange for a commission based on the price of the home (usually 6%, which is customarily split in half with the Buyer’s realtor).
It has also become increasingly common to also include a transaction fee, which is a fee that the realtor’s office collects for their overheard, or somesuch. And $299 sounds about right.
If Ivylass truly owes the fee, it dervies from this document. She can review the Listing Agreement to confirm the debt.
As to why the title company called post closing, and the rest?
Well, the realtors are usually eager to convey their expected commissions to the Title Company (who creates the Closing Disclosure, or CD, that shows who gets what, and who also distributes the money). And it is customary that the Title Company distributes a draft to the realtor to review primary to closing; most realtors request it quite aggressively. So it’s a shock that it was missed.
But in this case it sounds like the Title Company sent a check to the realtor’s office, who called Title and told them, “you forgot my transaction fee.” D’oh! Cut to, some noob is calling Ivylass to ask her to cut a check, because her take should have been less based on the transaction fee going to her realtor.
But it also really sucks when you finish a file and you don’t have the money balance down to a penny (these people are audited!), so somebody felt like shit that day, I promise you. And based on the OP’s reaction, they probably should have just eaten the fee and moved on.
As to the CFPB changes, it is important to remember that they don’t define the Seller as a “consumer”; the CD is designed to protect the borrower on a mortgage loan. There’s not even really a Seller signature line on the long form; it’s all about disclosing the cost of financing a home. The Seller is lucky to get a one page summary of the transaction.