Many clients, their agents, and unfortunately some closing/title agents believe that the end of a real estate transaction occurs when it closes and funds. Too many times we have seen post-closing glitches, oversight, or lack of follow-up lead to problems with the future sale of a property. Over the last few weeks we have run into numerous title defects due to prior mortgages that remain unsatisfied as a result of unrecorded satisfactions (and/or foreclosures that were improperly addressed and terminated by inexperienced closing agents). This has created substantial delays to pending closings.
There are times where a skilled closing/title agent can work around this issue by contacting the past closing/title agent involved to obtain the prior closing file, however it still leaves a bit of uncertainty in the Buyer’s mind. Section 701.04, Florida Statutes (2011) requires a mortgagee, within 60 days of the date of receipt of the full payment of the mortgage, lien, or judgment, to send the recorded satisfaction to the person who has made the full payment. Many times we find that lenders do not follow through with this requirement.
Berlin Patten proactively addresses these issues by calendaring post-closing events (e.g., confirmation that a satisfaction has been recorded, a lawsuit has been dismissed, etc.) to avoid unnecessary title glitches down the road. Prior to engaging a title/closing agent, you should confirm that they: (1) have a post-closing review process; (2) have a proactive calendaring system that will assist in confronting post-closing issues; and (3) will forward necessary demand letters (or file legal action) in the event a post-closing issue persists. Keep in mind that non-attorney closing/title agents cannot construct legal documents necessary to resolve post-closing legal actions. Berlin Patten believes the end of a real estate transaction occurs when it closes, funds, and all requirements under the title commitment can be met to insure marketable title for your buyer.
As always, should you have any questions regarding any of the foregoing, please do not hesitate to contact Berlin Patten, PLLC.
This communication is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship, and to the extent anything contained herein could be construed as legal advice or guidance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your own attorney before relying upon any information contained herein.
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