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Real Estate Law Blog

Blog

COVID-19 UPDATE

Posted on March 21, 2020 at 6:52 PM Comments comments (606)
COVID-19 Update:

At the Law Office of Jeanne Reardon, the health and safety of our staff and clients is our top priority.  Since you rely on us for your legal needs, we remain ready to help you in this difficult time as we face many health and financial challenges.  Accordingly, we are taking a number of steps to minimize health risks during this health crises while serving our current clients as well as new clients coming on board.

Our law firm will be adhering to the guidelines presented by the Centers for Disease Control and our local health officials, and we continue to monitor them for updates as they are released. We have implemented a plan to protect the safety of our work environment while allowing us to continue to service all of our clients.

We are taking precautions with respect to non-essential meetings and face-to-face interactions. That includes telephone consultations and conference calls whenever possible. With respect to our real estate practice, we will endeavor to utilize Powers of Attorney, pre-signed deeds, and Escrow Closings, where available, in order to close title when the transaction permits us to do so.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding your current real estate transaction or if you are just getting started and are looking to hire a real estate attorney for an upcoming sale or purchase of a home.  As always, we are committed to handling our clients' matters with the utmost care and respect, and are available to assist both current and new clients.

We hope that you and your family remain safe and healthy!

Jeanne Reardon, Esq.

New TRID Rules

Posted on April 2, 2017 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (38)
On October 3, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new mortgage disclosure law, also known as the TRID went into effect. TRID will help consumers be more informed regarding the closing cost.

Here are 11 things you should know about the new law:

1. Initial Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and Truth in Lending disclosure (TIL) are now combined into one new form called the Loan Estimate (LE).

2. Instead of the old forms such as the HUD-1 and Final TIL we now have the Closing Disclosure (CD). Most major lenders will prepare the CD for the borrower; some however may rely on settlement agents. The new form will describe the loan terms, projected loan payments, closing cost at closing, loan features such as assumption, escrow details, borrower’s liability at foreclosure and others. The Sellers will also have a CD statement.

3. The CD will be provided by the Lender to the consumer/borrower at least three days prior to the scheduled closing date but can be waived if consumer has a “bona fide emergency”.

4. The Lender will now provide the borrower with list of closing service providers so that they can shop for services.

5. If the following changes occur then a new CD must be issued with an additional 3 day waiting period:
  • APR changes 1/8 of a percent
  • Pre-payment penalty added to your Note
  • Loan is changed from fixed to variable, negative amortization

6. Closing fees subject to zero tolerance unless otherwise excepted.
  • 10% tolerance for charges paid to third parties-charges cannot increase by more than 10%
  • no tolerance-charges can increase without limits if originally disclosed
  • 0% tolerance- charges cannot increase at all

7. How do you determine what category you fall in?
  • Does lender allow borrower to shop for the third party services? If third party provider is on the bank list, there is a 10% tolerance, if not on the list there is no tolerance.

8. Fees that can’t increase:
  • fees to brokers or creditor
  • charges to an affiliate of broker or creditor
  • charges to an unaffiliated third party – if consumer not allowed to shop
  • transfer taxes

9. Any variation of the above must be refunded no later than 60 days after closing.

10. Seller will receive CD by or at closing. This will be prepared by the bank attorney in addition to the statement provided by the Seller’s lawyer.

11. TRID will not apply to: HELOCS, Reverse Mortgages, Commercial Loans and lenders who make 5 or less loans per year.

The Closing process will be more organized, with all the numbers worked out about a week prior to closing so there are no surprises on the closing day.
 

Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer When You Buy or Sell a House

Posted on May 17, 2016 at 11:06 PM Comments comments (48)
Whether you are buying or selling a home, your team of expert advisers should include a real estate closing attorney.  Real estate closings  are complicated matters and require a thorough knowledge of the law.  With a decision as serious as buying and selling real estate, it is important that you are guided throughout every step of the closing process by an experienced and knowledgeable real estate lawyer.  The purchase of a home is often the single largest financial transaction you will ever make in your life. Why not ensure that all your bases are covered by retaining a closing lawyer to represent your interests and guide you through the process.


How a Closing Lawyer Can Help

The real estate attorney performs many time consuming tasks preparing for a closing.  A real estate closing involves a series of complex phases: contract drafting and negotiation, document review, examination of the title, completion and explanation of legal documents, and resolution of any possible title difficulties.  An experienced real estate attorney oversees the entire process so that you are not overwhelmed by the paperwork involved, the disclosures that need to be made, inspections, loan documents, title insurance and affidavits, and unforeseen issues that can suddenly turn a sure sale into a disaster.


Drafting and Negotiating the Contract of Sale

Since real estate attorneys have sophisticated experience with many types of real estate transactions, it is prudent for a buyer or seller to ask their real estate lawyer to negotiate the terms and conditions of their real estate deal. Once the negotiations are complete, the real estate attorney drafts the real estate contract, also known as the Contract of Sale, which incorporates all the terms of the transaction as negotiated. There are also other numerous documents associated with a real estate closing. It can be hard to review and understand all of them. Missing even one clause can change an entire legal document so it is important to have a trained real estate attorney aid in the process so that no issue is overlooked and everything is done in your best interest.


Title Issues

A real estate attorney examines the title records for prior conveyances, unpaid mortgages, liens, judgments, easements, and other encumbrances and clouds on title. They verify that the seller has the authority to convey a good title to the property and that no errors exist in the deeds in the chain of title.


Closing Documents

A real estate attorney prepares all relevant information into one set of closing documents.  A closing statement should be prepared prior to the closing indicating the debits and credits to the buyer and seller. An attorney is helpful in explaining the nature, amount, and fairness of closing costs. If the attorney is representing a seller, the attorney would also prepare the deed and state transfer tax documents.  At the closing, the attorney provides detailed explanations of the documents to insure that the parties understand all issues involved in the transaction and the disbursement of the funds.    


Attend the Closing

The actual closing day is the most important phase in the purchase and sale transaction and having a real estate attorney there to represent you is critical. Title passes from seller to buyer, who pays the balance of the purchase price. The deed and mortgage instruments are signed, and your attorney can assure you that these documents correctly reflect all the terms of the transaction and are appropriately executed. There may also be last minute disputes about issues arising during the final walk-through and delivering possession or the adjustment of various costs, such as fuel and water. If you are represented by an experienced real estate attorney you can rest assured that these issues will be properly addressed and your interests protected which might not necessarily be the case if you are not represented by an attorney.


Retain Closing Lawyer Jeanne M. Reardon

Jeanne M. Reardon is a Long Island real estate attorney who has handled thousands of closings during her over 20 years of practice. She has dealt with any possible issue that may arise in a real estate transaction and will advise you regarding your selling or purchasing of a home during each step and phase of a real estate transaction. Call her today if you plan to sell or buy a home in the Long Island or the Greater New York area at (516) 314-8433.
 







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