Home Buying in East Orange>Question Details

Larry, Home Buyer in East Orange, NJ

My Lawyer seems to be avoiding me when I ask for a closing cost.... should I proceed with caution?

Asked by Larry, East Orange, NJ Thu Jan 20, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


I would not accept having my attorney avoid any of my questions.
You surround yourself with professionals, who are each assigned different tasks. They need to do them. If your attorney feels he CANNOT answer that question, then he should answer by saying something along the lines of' " I don't have the information to answer that question." And he should not just avoid you.
No one should give you bad information, but everyone should answer questions. So if the best way to answer a question, is by directing you to another professional, he should do that.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
Absolutely! Based on my experience, once you have an executed contract, most attorneys will require a retainer which discloses their scope of services to represent your closing. If you cannot get this information, you might want to consider another attorney for representation. You should check with your agent for an attorney referral.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 20, 2011
Work with a certified upfront lender...just go to my website, search current rates, and get a detailed quote with no personal information required. We have no application fee or Commitment fee. And if you like what you see, then just apply online 24/7. The whole thing takes 20 mins or so.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 22, 2011
Hi Larry, good input, when a question is not answered completely or to my satisfaction, I think the best response is "why?" Avoiding you is not good at all, you need resources that are accessible and responsive. But it may be that there is disconnect here. I agree with others that have suggested that you talk also to your lender as well.

If the question relates to the attorneys own fee, then ask again if you do not have a clear understanding of what you will be charged and what conditions could cause that estimate to change.

Good luck to you!
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 26, 2011
Good luck Larry,

It sounds like you have been given great advice. I hope you are able to take the appropriate steps to put you back in control of this vitally important life-decision.

You're lucky to be able to purchase right now and take advantage of this market. But never let those who are suppose to support you, represent you and look out for your best interest, take advantage of you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 26, 2011
Maybe your lawyer don t know the answer,get another attorney's input
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 24, 2011
Your lender should be giving you this information... You are entitiled by federal law to receive a 'Good Faith Estimate' on closing costs. If your attorney is not returning calls, you should find another attorney to represent you.

Best of luck,

David Jaffe-SRES, CDPE
Realtor-Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Jeff, i will agree with you, and repeat some of what I said, and clarify things that were said here by others. First of all, the Truth-In-Lending statement gives you your APR, the cost of doing your loan as a dollar amount, and will let you know if you might have a pre-pay, or if you have to escrow. This does NOT give you your closing costs.
Next, and I am most surprised to get this answer from a NJ realtor. The attorney orders the title report from their title company. They should be able to get a proposed title bil. As far as escrows go, every lender will be exactly the same, and in NJ, because of the quarterly tax, it is generally around 5 months, but I sometimes say 6 just to be on the safe side. Also, there is the attorney fee also.
Now, after those fees, which might be close to $10,000 in East Orange, the remaining lender fees, assuming that Larry is using someone who is not going to be taking advantage of him, and he has not chosen to pay points to lower his rate, will be about $1600. So, exactly which of the fees are primarily lender fees again?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
@ Mary... realtor, right? I won't go further on that comment... but the good faith estimate does not break down all costs properly... just saying, based on your comment. Sorry, but I get tired of hearing realtors give such details in their comments, when the loan officer should be handling such questions. Some of what you have stated is a tad misleading... even regarding changes and what the lender must do and when to disclose. Maybe your lender is different, but before you go to far, know the exact kaws between how things are disclosed, what the MDIA act and new laws that went into effect. thanks, jeff
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Your lender is required by law to give you a Good Faith Estimate of both closing costs, and your monthly investment within 3 days of your application. All fees, including down payment, loan origination, escrows, taxes, closing costs, appraisal, credit report are to be disclosed in black and white, and signed off by the buyer. They should be accurate within a couple hundred dollars. You want to go over it with your lender.

If there is any change between the time you qualified and the time you close, it has to be disclosed to you. If your lender hasn't (obviously not) or won't give you a Good Faith Estimate, you can make a formal complaint. Do not sign anything that you don't understand. Ask for information, insist on transparency.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
I agree with Cynthia. Your lawyer shouldn't be avoiding you, whether or not he knows the answer. Apparently, he doesn't. And as some of the answers below suggest, maybe he's not the right person to provide the best answer.

Still, in that case he ought to be the one to say: "I'm sorry, but the best person to answer that is your loan officer." Or settlement company. Or (though it's debated below) your agent.

But avoiding you? Get a new lawyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Have you referred your question to mortgage broker OR title company

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Larry, the majority of your closing costs, aside from escrows and pre-paid taxes, are from your title charges. Your attorney will close the loan, and I assume they told you how much they are charging. If you are buying a short sale, foreclosure or new construction, you most likely will also have to pay transfer tax. If you are already working with a loan officer, and have given them an application, they were required to issue you a good faith estimate of closing cost within 3 days. If you did not apply yet, but have spoken to a loan officer, they should still be willing to review the costs with you. I do that all the time for anyone I speak to. If you are not comfortable with your attorney, by all means switch. If you just want to get an idea of closing costs, feel free to contact me through my profile.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
@ Diane.. sorry, but why would you ask your agent? Each buyer is soooo different. Unless you know the credit scores, the penalties... and so much more.... that could be deadly.. just my opinion...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Why don't you ask your agent? Most have a pretty good idea and can give you a ballpark number. If you are the seller, your costs are basically the commission, attorneys' fee, realty transfer fee. If you are the buyer, you'll have attorney fees, the 1% tax if your purchase is over $1MM, insurance, inspection costs, mortgage fees.
Ask your agent for a buyers or sellers net and you'll have a good idea till the HUD is prepared.
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 20, 2011
Your attorney may not have been provided yet with the lender's costs--therefore ask your loan officer for a good faith estimate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 20, 2011
Larry.. the main answer that I agree with below is that you should be going directly to your loan officer, not your lawyer. In regards to numbers changing? Sure, things change, but not by much.. if someone is good at disclosing numbers? Maybe $100 to $300... and I have been doing this for 18+ years.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 20, 2011

The numbers tend to change right up to the closing, so.......

For an agent to go out on the limb and provide you with a premature closing number could become problematic down the road. The best thing to do is to wait and be patient until the numbers become more definite. There shouldn't be an problem with a "ballpark" figure.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 20, 2011
I would contact the mortgage company. They know what you need to bring to the closing table.
Good Luck,
Yvette Veideman
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 20, 2011
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