A Message From Mike Shepard, Legal Counsel

Dear Berkshire Realtors®,

I am writing this on the 13th day of January 2016, so you can assume that the world did not end post TRID.  By and large, it is going very smoothly.  The local lenders really got their act together.  They have adapted to the new rules, which dictate to them the new timeline.  Speaking from my office, if I am told by a lender they can close on a certain date, it is happening.  Just as a reminder so that the attorneys and the banks can get it closed properly for the benefit of all the mutual clients, continue the timeline of 45 days for commitment and 60 days to close.  If you comply with these guidelines, it will take a lot of anxiety out of your life.

I know that we all have all eagerly waited to hear the words CLEAR TO CLOSE.  In substance, the lender is telling us that all aspects of the loan are to their satisfaction and they are ready to SCHEDULE THE CLOSING.  I think the new catch phrase should be READY TO SCHEDULE.  The lawyer cannot schedule for a specific day until the clear has been issued.  Not to make everybody’s life more complicated, but you have got to factor in that the banks need between 10 and 14 days to prepare for the Closing.  I am writing this on the 13th, and the earliest I could schedule is the 28th, assuming I can provide the bank with all buyer’s numbers, which would include tax adjustments, other municipal charges, oil, condo fees, credits, insurance binder with premium stated, and rental adjustments.  As you can see from the laundry list, all numbers are not completely in control of the Buyer’s attorney.  If the Seller’s lawyer does not cooperate on the adjustments, the Buyer could get stuck.  If the Buyer’s insurance carrier does not send the binder with the premium stated, the attorney is stuck.  I am happy to tell you that the real estate bar is working together to make sure everything runs smoothly.

One last thing, the amount of the bank check that the Buyer needs to bring to the Closing is generated by the CLOSING DISCLOSURE, which by law is sent to the Buyer by the lender.  I know we are all used to telling our clients to call the Buyer’s attorney for the amount of the check, but now we need to instruct them to look for the Closing Disclosure from the bank and the amount is on the bottom of the first page under “Cash To Close”.  Obviously if a person has a question, have them call their lawyer.

The Board Office is compiling feedback on your experiences in closings post-TRID, so please keep us informed via the online form.

Michael J. Shepard, PC
55 Church Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 499-0316 telephone
(413) 443-7125 facsimile