Closing Attorney

In some areas a closing attorney may also be referred to as the title attorney. In Georgia the closing attorney represents the lender when a new loan is written for a real estate purchase. The closing attorney represents the party indicated on the contract in situations where cash is the payment method. In cases of non-traditional financing the closing attorney will represent the party indicated on the contract. The buyer has the right to choose the closing attorney in Georgia, however in cases dealing with distressed or foreclosure properties the seller (usually a bank) may insist on using their closing attorney. This practice is allowed if all parties agree. It is important for buyers to know they may retain their own legal representation even if there is legal counsel representing the lender and separate legal counsel representing the seller.

The Closing Attorneys Job

  • The closing attorney will have the title records to the property examined to determine if there is any problem with prior liens, mortgages, judgments or other encumbrances that might prevent conveyance of a clear title to the new homeowner. They verify that there is no cloud on the title. It is typical for a title search to go back 50 years. If there are defects to the title the closing attorney will work with all parties to resolve them.
  • The closing attorney and their staff assemble the numerous documents required at the closing, for instance, the HUD-1 settlement statement. The HUD-1 form details such things as the items to be paid in connection with the loan (origination charge, etc); the items required by the lender to be paid in advance, the total real estate broker fees, as well as the title charges.
  • Closing attorneys collect and distribute funds associated with the sale.
  • Conducts the closing where he/she explains the loan and closing documents to the buyer, ensures the loan and closing documents are signed by the buyer and seller, pays the real estate broker commissions etc.
  • After the closing the closing attorney is responsible for having the deed, mortgage and any other items properly recorded.

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