Real Estate Attorney: What They Do And If You Need One
If youre planning on buying or selling your home in the next year, then you know how important it is to seek out the advice of an expert. After all, you wouldnt sell your home without a real estate agent, and you wouldnt purchase a new home without having it appraised and inspected.
And anytime youre engaging in a real estate transaction, you can benefit from working with a real estate attorney, a lawyer who specializes in real estate transactions and can ensure youre legally protected through the process.
Keep reading to learn more about what a real estate attorney does and why you should consider hiring one.
What’s Not Included In Our Legal Fees
Our fees do not include the following:
- Ordering an estoppel certificate and/or insurance certificate
- Registration of more than one mortgage
- Encumbrance reviews
- Discharge of more than one mortgage or other debts, such as lines of credit and credit cards
- Title insurance, if required
- Obtaining or updating the Real Property Report and obtaining a Certificate of Compliance, if required
Should I Refinance If Interest Rates Are Low
When interest rates fall, the possibility of getting a lower mortgage rate is a strong reason to consider refinancing if you need additional funds. A reduction in your mortgage rate could lead to significantly lower monthly payments.
However, you must factor in the costs of ending your current mortgage, including any prepayment charges, as well as how long you expect to live in your home. Only then can you determine whether its worthwhile to refinance at a lower rate.
You May Like: Mortgage Rates Based On 10 Year Treasury
Do I Need A Real Estate Lawyer When Applying For A Mortgage Refinance
The answer to this question depends on your experience level and how complicated your mortgage transaction may be. If you have solid credit and want to refinance, you may be able to do this on your own however, a first-time homebuyer or someone seeking to quickly close a transaction may need the assistance and advice of a mortgage agent or real estate lawyer. If you are unfamiliar with the process involved in mortgage refinancing, a broker can advise you on how you can get a loan and will give you a fair estimate of the cost. A real estate lawyer will also identify and explain any fine print details you should be wary of.
Do I Need My Own Attorney During Mortgage Refinancing
I’m refinancing my mortgage with a well-known lender. I assume the lender’s attorney will review the closing documents. I know the documents are pretty standard, but still wondering if I need to hire my own lawyer too.
If you have refinanced your mortgage, did you hire your own own lawyer to review the closing documents?
If yes, how much did your lawyer charge? Was your lawyer present at the closing, or did he/she review the documents with you some time prior to closing?
- 2Can you clarify: what state, how is title held presently, and are you making any changes to how title is held as part of the transaction . If this is a vanilla refi with no title changes and you have a big lender then probably overkill to bring in your attorney.Dec 9, 2020 at 18:16
- 1Dec 9, 2020 at 22:08
- North Carolina, USA. Vanilla refi.
Note the original purchase of real estate is typically far more complicated, and I would definitely encourage having an attorney in that case.
- Just as you say, you may want to do this using a power of attorney, so that, you won’t be there. That would be pretty unusual for refinancing, though.Dec 9, 2020 at 13:19
- 2 blankipDec 9, 2020 at 21:36
- @blankip good point, I shouldn’t have necessarily assumed it was US, but it looks like the question was updated to say US about 10 minutes after I answered it, so lucky guess on my part. I doubt anyone in the US would need an attorney for a refi .
Read Also: Who Is Rocket Mortgage Owned By
Your Loan Servicer Violates State Foreclosure Laws
State law governs the foreclosure process. If your servicer violates state law while foreclosing on your home, your attorney might be able to use the violation or violations as leverage in getting you a loan modification. Keep in mind that servicers often make mistakes when servicing loans and in the foreclosure process. A lawyer could uncover errors that you won’t even notice.
Getting A Lower Interest Rate
Refinancing to get a lower interest rate can save you a lot of money over time, depending on the prepayment penalty and the size of your outstanding mortgage. If you hold a variable rate mortgage, then expect to pay a penalty of three months interest, and if you hold a fixed rate mortgage, then you will pay the greater of three months interest or interest rate differential penalty . Donât let penalties deter you – understanding the numbers helps you calculate whether a refinance will save you money.
You May Like: 10 Year Treasury Yield And Mortgage Rates
What Documentation Is Typically Required To Process My Mortgage Refinancing
Depending on the quality of your credit and the amount of equity you have in your property, you may need to provide one months current pay stubs, T4 slips for the previous two years, and bank/investment account statements for the previous two to three months. If you are self-employed, additional documentation may be required.
You Don’t Know How To Fill Out The Modification Paperwork
Hiring an attorney may be a good idea if you want a mortgage modification, but you don’t understand the application process or have a complicated situation. For example, it might be worthwhile to hire an attorney if you’ve spoken to your loan servicer about a modification but are confused about:
- how to fill out the application
- what documentation you need to submit along with an application, or
- how to explain your financial hardship or situation in the application.
An attorney can help you fill out paperwork and make sure you present your situation in the best light possible. You can also get free help with your application package from a HUD-approved housing counselor.
You May Like: Does Rocket Mortgage Service Their Own Loans
Reasons To Hire An Attorney When Refinancing Your Mortgage
Homeowners may consider refinancing a mortgage loan for a variety of reasons from obtaining lower interest rates to adjusting the duration of the loan. As with many legal and financial transactions, refinancing a mortgage can be a daunting task. While not required, its important to protect your interests by hiring an experienced mortgage refinancing attorney.
Things To Consider When Looking For A New Mortgage Lender:
- Break fees. If your existing mortgage has a fixed interest period which has not ended, you will be charged break fees on any period remaining. This fee is paid on the change over day.You will need to find out this break fee as it may not be worth changing
- Kick backs. Some banks will offer you a kick back in the form of cash for borrowing from them which may help to cover your legal costs and/or any break fees incurred. Our fees for our work are fixed irrespective of what the kick back may be.
Don’t Miss: Reverse Mortgage On Condo
Im Refinancing My Mortgage Do I Need To Hire An Attorney
Q. I’m refinancing my mortgage for the first time. Do I need to hire an attorney in the same way I did when I first bought my house?
A. A refinance is a bit different.
Generally, most refinances in New Jersey can be handled directly between the borrower, the mortgage lender and a settlement agent – usually a title company – thats been approved by the lender, said Jason Rittie, a partner and real estate attorney with Einhorn Barbarito in Denville.
A vast majority of borrowers do not hire an attorney to oversee or assist in the refinance process because the mortgage lender will prepare all closing documents and ship them to the settlement agent so that the settlement agent can prepare a closing statement, obtain payoffs, clear title and conduct the closing, Rittie said.
However, he said, neither the mortgage lender nor the settlement agent can represent a borrowers legal interests during the process to make sure legal documents and the process are conducted in accordance with laws.
The ultimate decision whether to hire an attorney for refinances rests solely on borrowers level of trust and comfort with the mortgage lender, he said.
Email your questions to .
Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.
What Should I Watch Out When Refinancing
10 Mistakes to Avoid When Refinancing a Mortgage
- 1 Not shopping around.
- 2- Fixating on the mortgage rate.
- 3 Not saving enough.
- 4 Trying to time mortgage rates.
- 5- Refinancing too often.
- 6 Not reviewing the Good Faith Estimate and other documentats.
- 7- Cashing out too much home equity.
- 8 Stretching out your loan.
Recommended Reading: Reverse Mortgage Mobile Home
How Will I Know My Closing Costs And What To Bring To The Closing
Within 10 days of your application for refinancing, your lender must provide a good-faith estimate of your closing costs. This figure may not be completely accurate, but it will give you a good idea of the amount of money you will need on your closing day. Your lender can give you the exact figure within 24 hours of your closing. You will receive a document called a HUD-1 or a RESPA statement that you can review with your lawyer prior to closing.
Should I Get Another Survey
In most instances, you can use the survey that you requested when you purchased the property as long as you can provide the original survey and a seal from the surveyor. However, if you made any major improvements such as a deck or garage to your home, it may be necessary to get a second survey. If you have not made any major improvements, then you can sign an affidavit of no change and use the existing survey.
Recommended Reading: Does Prequalifying For A Mortgage Affect Your Credit
Dos And Dont For Creating A Poa
Because an incorrectly drafted POA can be ineffective at best and a financial/personal disaster at worst, you need to know what youre doing.
Dont assume that Office Depot can act as your attorney
State rules govern how POAs are written. There is no single, universal form that can work for everyone. The requirements in one state vary from another. While you can download a generic form, it might not meet the requirements of your state.
Dont give away too much power: limited versus general
Its possible for a POA to create broad powers for the agent. This is a so-called general power of attorney. A limited POA gives the agent enough firepower to complete a certain task but nothing more
It might allow the agent to refinance a home but not sell a car or give away the dog. The POA can also have a limited time frame. It might expire at 10 AM on October 1st.
Do protect yourself with a durable POA
What happens to a POA if the principal becomes sick or dies? Attorney John Reilly, author of The Language of Real Estate, says special rules kick in.
Normally, says Reilly, death of either the principal or attorney-in-fact automatically revokes the power of attorney. Most title companies are extremely cautious with power of documents because of the revocation-by-death rule.
The solution? Use a durable power of attorney. It remains in effect even after a principal becomes incapacitated.
Do make sure that you have the right to create a POA
Dont assume that a POA is always accepted
Blend And Extend Your Existing Mortgage
Your existing mortgage lender may offer you a âblended rateâ essentially, a âblendâ of your current mortgage rate plus any additional money you borrow at current market rates. Blended rates are almost always higher than the most competitive mortgage rates on the market, so make sure you compare the blended rate against the savings if you break your mortgage.
Recommended Reading: Requirements For Mortgage Approval
Check For The Best Rates And Lowest Fees
If you cannot reduce your interest rate by a significant amount, refinancing your house loan might be a mistake. Remember that refinancing should cover the majority of your existing loans fees. This includes taxes, an appraisal, origination fees, title insurance, and other fees. A mortgage refinances calculator is useful when you have a loan to value.
The Kelly Legal Group can assist you with all of the complicated elements of mortgage refinancing. Our experienced real estate lawyers are experts in mortgages and can help you choose the best option for you. Well be there every step of the way from organizing your finances to finding the right lender. To obtain answers to all of your inquiries and verify that the terms of your refinance are valid, call our real estate attorneys at .
How A Mortgage Refinance Works
1. Determine approximately how much your home is worth.
2. What is 80% of the approximate value of your home?
This number is 80% approximately how much we have to work with on your refinance, because 80% is usually the maximum mortgage amount on a home.
3. How much balance is left owing on your existing mortgage?
4. Subtract how much is owing on your existing mortgage from the 80% value of your home .
5. The result is how much additional home equity you will have leftover to work with.
6. You can use this additional home equity to pay out debts, renovate, invest or whatever else youd like to do.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get A Reverse Mortgage On A Condo
Obtaining The Title Commitment
Your closing attorney will carefully review the lenders title requirements. He starts with reviewing the general and specific instructions and determines the title policy requirements. This includes endorsements and a recitation of the chain of title. A large amount of related information for real estate exists, and it can prove difficult to navigate. The attorney will organize it properly and issue an accurate title commitment. Once you prepare the commitment, you will send it to both you and the lender.
How Much Does A Real Estate Attorney Cost
How much youll spend paying your real estate attorney will depend on what services theyve provided for you and who is responsible for that particular closing cost. If your mortgage lender requires an attorney to be present at closing, whether the buyer or seller covers the cost of the closing attorney will depend on how your real estate contract has been negotiated.
If you want your own attorney in addition to the one required by your lender, youll also pay for any services they provide you. Real estate attorney charges will vary, but here are some basic ranges to give you an idea of what youll spend:
- Fixed hourly rate:A real estate attorney who charges an hourly rate may charge $150 $350 per hour, but this can vary a lot depending on how experienced the attorney is and what area youre in.
- Fixed rates for specific services: They may also charge a flat fee for the particular services they provide. For example, a real estate attorney might charge $500 $1,500 to conduct a home closing. Their fees may also depend on the sale price of the property in question.
Read Also: Rocket Mortgage Conventional Loan
You Want To Submit A Modification Application To Gain Time In The Home
If your main goal is simply to gain some time before the foreclosure is completeperhaps you need time to come up with the funds to reinstate the loan or refinanceyou can probably submit a modification application confidently without getting an attorney’s assistance. While the application might not be perfect, it can still buy you some time. And who knows, you might actually get a modification that lowers your monthly mortgage payment.
The Refinancing Process In Summary:
- Shop around for the best interest rates
- Engage us as your lawyer
- Choose your lender, agree on your rates and provide them with our details
- Your lawyer will review your loan documents and get you to sign it
- Your lawyer will issue a notice to your existing bank
- On an agreed date, your mortgage will transfer from your existing bank across to your new bank
- On the same date, your lawyer will update the interested party on your propertys title
- Your lawyer will notify you and your new bank when the process is complete
Also Check: Rocket Mortgage Loan Types
How A Lawyer Can Help You With Your Mortgage Refinance
When it comes to refinancing or increasing your mortgage, you will need to consult with a real estate lawyer who can review your mortgage terms and make any necessary adjustments for you. Here are a few important reasons why you need a real estate lawyer to refinance or increase your mortgage:
- Lawyers identify and explain fine print details including terms and conditions.
- Lawyers help sort through all your paperwork and facilitate all transactions.
- Lawyers register your new mortgage electronically.
- Lawyers perform property title searches to check for financial liens.
At Simard & Associates, we can help you deal with all the complex aspects of mortgage refinancing. Our team of real estate lawyers is here to answer all your questions and ensure that the conditions of your refinance are legal before you proceed. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or an experienced homeowner, we have a range of legal services to accommodate your real estate needs.
For more information about mortgage refinancing, get in touch with our team at Simard and Associates by calling 613-446-5060 or submit a form online.
Want to Speak to One of our Lawyers?