What Does a Closing Attorney Do?
Massachusetts requires that a Lender be represented by an Attorney. This really is to the benefit of the borrower. Often referred to as “Closing Attorneys,” they will be in charge of reviewing all loan documents and explaining them in a common sense way to the borrower/s.
There can be as many as three Attorneys in a transaction. Lender’s Attorney (Closing Attorney), Buyer’s Attorney and Seller’s Attorney in one sale transaction. Each kind of Attorney has a different role. Many times the Buyers will elect to have the Closing Attorney also represent them in the transaction. This is usually the most cost and time efficient option for borrowers/buyers.
Our office can assist you with any of these roles.
In most cases, the very first step that a Closing Attorney undertakes is to conduct a title search on the property in question. The title is looked over to make sure that there are no claims, liens on the property, or any other issues which would prevent a sale from going forward. In some instances, a title search can go back as much as 50 years. This also ensure that the Seller does indeed own the property and has the right to sell it. Would you believe people have tried to sell homes they do not own? (well, they have). All the more reason to have a qualified Attorney reviewing your title.
A Closing Attorney will be able to issue a title policy for the Lender and the Buyer. A Lender requires title insurance be issued for any sale or refinance. Though a Buyer is not legally required to purchase an Owner’s policy it is highly advisable to purchase one. There can be matters outside the scope of the title exam that can impact the title and the insurance will cover expenses associated with that.
Your Closing Attorney is doing a lot of behind the scenes work on your behalf. After your purchase and sale is signed you might not hear from the Closing Attorney for a bit and to that I say—No news is usually good news.
Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of tasks a Closing Attorney performs:
- Getting Payoff Information for existing loans and liens
- Paying off and allocating any real estate taxes, and or last utility bills
- Paying the realtor, if applicable
- Paying closing costs and lender’s fees
- Funding the escrow account for the funding of the mortgage
- Paying the title transfer fees and recording fees
- Paying any pre-paid interest due
- Distributing any proceeds from the sale
- Distributing various certifications
- Signing at closing
- Processing the loan funding
- Getting you into the House of your dreams!
Contact our office to see how we can help make your buying, selling or borrowing process seamless.