Closing attorneys and the closing process - what you should know
Your application to your lender for a home mortgage loan leads you inevitably to the closing attorney’s office. You undoubtedly have questions as to what the role of the closing attorney is, what tasks the closing attorney will perform and what will take place at the closing. First, understand that the closing attorney represents the interests of the lender. If your loan is a standard secondary market type loan, the loan transaction and loan documentation are uniform throughout the state.
At our firm it has always been our practice to be as helpful as we can to assist borrowers in the mortgage loan transaction. Sometimes issues arise regarding the record title to a property. If there are title issues, problems in a sale transaction, or issues involving inaccuracies, we endeavor to keep the borrower informed of all relevant issues. When possible, we seek to resolve title issues and disputes, many times without any additional fees. This usually ensures that the loan and, if applicable, the sale of the property being mortgaged, proceeds forward to close with the borrowers being satisfied with the result.
The closing fees quoted to you by your lender include a variety of items. Those which involve our office include the following and are standard transactional items for representing the lender in residential loan transactions:
Legal Fee - Includes ordering and obtaining a title examination from title examiners at the various Registry of Deeds, title review, obtaining municipal lien information & survey information, loan document preparation, title certification (if a purchase transaction), communications with borrowers, sellers, broker, etc., conducting the closing, final rundown of title, recording of documents, payoff of liens and sundry other matters relating to the loan closing.
Title Abstract - Includes the physical review of the title to your property in the Registry of Deeds and Probate, including bankruptcy and tax matters where available.
Mortgage Survey Plan - Sometimes referred to as a plot plan, this is a tape measure survey of the land to be mortgaged in order to determine that it was not in violation of zoning when constructed and that no buildings or improvements encroach upon the property or over its lot lines. We may not have been instructed by your lender to order such a plan for this transaction. However, we do recommend that one be obtained in a purchase transaction and in such instances we will obtain one in any event for your protection. In a Condominium transaction we will generally not obtain such a plan.
Municipal Lien Certificate - Obtained from the city or town where the property lies, this document shows all outstanding tax and utility liens.
Title Insurance - The lender requires a loan policy of title insurance for the loan amount in order to protect their interests from issues relating to the title to the property that could not be determined from an examination of the record of the title. In a purchase transaction an owner’s policy can be purchased at the same time at substantial savings over the rate if not issued simultaneously with the loan policy. Owner’s title insurance is highly recommended by our office. We can supply you with information regarding this insurance and the cost.
Recording Costs/Courier & Certified Copy Fees - These include the cost to courier the mortgage payoff and loan documentation for safe and timely delivery, to record the mortgage and other transactional documents and obtaining Registry certified copies that may be required in certain transactions.
This is a list of some of the items that you may be asked to pay for in a normal residential loan transaction. In some instances your lender may pay some or all of these costs if your loan program so prescribes. This explanation should serve as a brief overview of the items described above. For a further explanation please contact our office. We look forward to seeing you at your closing.