LETTER OF ENGAGEMENT & BUYER INFORMATION FORM
Please complete our Letter of Engagement and information form at least 2 weeks prior to your scheduled closing.
Letter of Engagement
Lender & Agent
Insurance & Survey
Letter of Engagement
Lender & Agent
Insurance & Survey
Payment of Closing Costs
CONFIRMATION & SIGNATURES
1.0 ENGAGEMENT LETTER
Congratulations on the forthcoming purchase of your new home. We at Zdenek Law Firm thank you for allowing us to assist you with your purchase, and look forward to working with you to accomplish that goal. Please take a moment to review the information below to familiarize yourself with our closing process.
1.1 FUNDS AT CLOSING
Pursuant to State Bar regulations, all amounts due from you at closing must be in the form of either certified funds or confirmed wire transfer of funds. We prefer funds in excess of $10,000 be made by wire transfer. Certified checks should be made payable to “Zdenek Law Firm, PA RETA.” If you plan to pay by check, it should be delivered to us no later than the commencement of the closing. If you plan to pay by wire transfer, you will need our wiring instructions. Because of potential fraud, directions to obtain our wiring instructions in an encrypted fashion are discussed below.
Sometimes, delays occur in the loan application process that prohibit your lender from providing us the documentation needed to calculate the final dollar amount needed from you at closing. In that event, you may bring us a check after closing, or you may provide a certified check or wire transfer in the amount set forth on your Loan Estimate, and write a personal check for any difference at closing.
1.2 WHOM WE REPRESENT
Our representation is limited to ensuring that you acquire good and marketable title to the property. We can also advise you on any legal questions concerning title to your property, title insurance and the covenants and conditions of your loan documentation.
We represent the mortgage lender to the extent of assuring full compliance with its loan closing instructions.
In the event of a dispute between you and the mortgage lender, we will not attempt to represent either party.
We do not represent you with respect to the terms of your loan agreement with your mortgage lender (i.e., your loan amount, interest rate, conditions for later conversion or refinancing, necessity or amount of mortgage insurance, etc.). Pursuant to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau guidelines, your lender should present to you your final loan terms and costs at least 3 business days prior to closing so that you have ample time to review the terms of your loan.
Because of the numerous difficulties that can arise during loan processing, we ask that you remain in close contact with your mortgage lender and our office. Last minute delays in closing can usually be avoided if you determine in advance what conditions you must satisfy.
1.3 WHAT SERVICES WE PERFORM
We are responsible for conducting the title examination of the property, and obtaining title insurance on your behalf. We also ensure that the deed of conveyance and loan closing documents have been properly prepared. The attorney will explain those documents to you at your scheduled closing date. We both receive and disburse closing funds pursuant to the Closing Disclosure (CD) and consistent with the guidelines set forth by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the NC Good Funds Settlement Act. Finally, upon receiving lender funding approval, we ensure that the deed and deed of trust are duly recorded in the county Register of Deeds and that your title insurance policy and your lender’s title insurance policy are issued and delivered in the proper form.
1.4 TITLE EXAMINATION
We conduct a title examination of the property in compliance with The North Carolina Marketable Title Act and pursuant to instructions given by your lender. This means that we will search the title for a period of time necessary to ensure that the seller is conveying good, marketable title, free of any liens or encumbrances, except those noted at closing. Such exceptions noted at closing typically include any restrictive covenants in the community, easements on, over or under the property, rights-of-way, etc. These exceptions “run with the land” and every owner or purchaser of the property takes the property subject to these restrictions.
Our title search period may run anywhere from the time the current owner of the property took title to the property forward to your closing date, or in some instances may go back thirty or more years. This depends largely on whether we are able to find an existing owner’s policy of title insurance on the property. This simply means that there is already a policy in existence where a North Carolina Attorney has searched and examined the title up to the date of the policy, and we “update” the policy, also known as “tacking” to that policy. Obviously, “tacking” enables us to conduct the title examination more expeditiously, and it would not expose you to any increased liability. Unless you immediately instruct us otherwise, we will either “tack” or conduct a full title examination at our discretion.
1.5 TITLE INSURANCE
We will obtain a policy of owner’s title insurance in your favor and a policy of mortgagee insurance in favor of your lender. You will be required to pay the title insurance premium. While title insurance rates are regulated, you may be entitled to a reduced rate resulting from the existence of a prior policy covering the property. We will do our best to obtain the policies at the rate most favorable to you.
Zdenek Law Firm, PA highly recommends that you obtain a new survey of the property. It is, however, not legally required. A survey will reveal many potential issues such as location of a flood zone, encroachments over property boundaries, setback violations, and a variety of other things that may cause concern. We will review the survey for you and advise you of any potential issues prior to closing. If you wish to use a particular surveyor, please advise us at the time you request the survey. Otherwise, we will choose the surveyor on your behalf. If you choose not to get a survey, we may require you to sign a survey waiver at closing.
1.7 TERMITE REPORT
If the residence is new construction, the Sellers should furnish you with a soil treatment guaranty at or prior to closing. Otherwise, the mortgage lender may require that the improvements on the property be inspected by a licensed exterminator and a termite report prepared and submitted prior to closing. Sometimes, the mortgage lender will not fund the loan until it has received and reviewed this report. You or your realtor should order the report and see that it is delivered to us and the lender at least three days before closing.
1.8 HOMEOWNERS / FLOOD INSURANCE
You should obtain a Homeowner’s Insurance Policy prior to closing, insuring you and your home against flood, fire and other casualties. You should order the policy and see that it is delivered to us and the mortgage lender at least three days before closing (and preferably earlier) so that we have an opportunity to review it and have time to resolve any problems that may arise there from.
1.9 OUR FEE
If you are obtaining a loan for the purchase of your property, the fee for our services is $975. Cash closings are $750. If we are required to perform additional services beyond those described herein, we will charge extra for them. Without limiting the definition of “additional services,” some examples are preparation of a subordination agreement or a deed of release, or delay or postponement of the closing through no fault of ours after the closing documents have been prepared. We also increase our fee if you are purchasing a “distress sale”, such as a foreclosure or a short sale.
Any charges for express/copy/fax/email fees or the like are incorporated into the above referenced fee. This covers expenses associated with making copies of your documents, printing emailed closing packages, postage for sending checks out to the various parties associated with the transaction, etc. We charge a flat $25 fee for the express mailing of loan packages.
A $9.00 e-recording fee will also be charged to you as a reimbursement expense to cover the costs associated with electronically recording the Deed and Deed of Trust. Out-of-pocket expenses, such as the survey fee, termite report fee, title insurance premium, hazard insurance premium and recording fee, are not included in our legal fee.
If the transaction fails to close through no fault of ours, our fee will be computed as follows:
A. Failure Prior to Completion of Title Examination: We will charge for time expended and expenses advanced, with a maximum legal fee of $150.
B. Failure After Title Examination and Before Closing: 50% of the full fee quoted above.
C. Failure During or After Closing: The full fee quoted above.
In the event that you terminate a contract and cancel a closing after title examination, we will charge a discounted 25% of the full fee quoted above if we handle another closing on your behalf within 30 days of your original closing date.
You will be responsible for payment of any survey fees, termite reports, etc. which you authorized us to order.
1.10 YOUR FILE
After closing, your file will be scanned electronically and kept in an encrypted fashion indefinitely, but in no event less than six (6) years from the date of closing. Please notify us in writing prior to your closing if you wish to retain any of the hard copies of any of the documents in your file. You will receive a copy of all pertinent documents related to your file at closing. Note that after closing we reserve the right to charge an administrative fee associated with researching, retrieving, copying and delivering items from your file.
If you have any questions regarding the information, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you may call us at 919-387-9989.
Jeffrey D. Zdenek, Attorney at Law
AGREEMENT OF LETTER OF ENGAGEMENT
I (We) have read and understand the contents of this Letter of Engagement, and agree to its terms.
ZDENEK LAW OFFICE
309 N. Salem Street, Apex, NC 27502