Skip to main content

NOVEMBER MONTH END CLOSINGS - A Warning

Many are first time home buyers trying to squeak "under the wire" in hopes of closing contracts before November 30th - the sunset date for the Federal First Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit. The impending deadline presents some unique challenges for Buyers and Sellers.

That November 30th deadline comes smack dab at the end of the Thanksgiving day weekend. (What genious in Washington did that?) That means a host of closings are being scheduled for Friday the 27th and Monday the 30th the last two possible days to get closings done.
  • Will the title companies and lenders cancel all holiday vacations and work at full capacity to get these closings done expeditiously, or will be have to sit for hours at the closing table while closers handle multiple simultaneous closings?
  • Will loan officers and processors get files to the underwriters with time enough for review and to satisfy conditions before the inevitable holiday slowdown, or will some Buyers be disappointed when there lenders "blow" the November 30 deadline?
  • What about those pesky property tax bills?
That last one worries me a bit more than the others. Don't forgot the interplay between the federal tax credit deadline and Cook County's Property Tax Deadline.

Cook County taxes are, of course, theoretically mailed in August to be due on September 1st. This year, as in what 16 of the last 17 before it, the taxes came out late; Mailed last week and due December 1st.

Sellers are going to have to pay those taxes at or before closing. If the Seller's mortgage lender pays the taxes from an escrow, the Seller is going to have to somehow prove to the title company that they in fact did so. We may be able to prove payment three different ways:
  1. Show a paid receipt
  2. Confirm payment on the County Treasurer's web site.
  3. Show proof on the lender's mortgage payoff statement that the tax payment was disbursed (even if not posted paid by the County).
Lenders do not all pay tax bills as soon as they are received (do you?) Most wait until the deadline nears before sending the payments in. The Treasurer does not report payments to her web site in real time. No title company is obligated to accept that payoff statement as a proof of payment. Many might refuse them altogether. Others may require sellers (or their attorneys) to sign "personal guaranties or hold money aside from the closings.

Sellers, Attorneys, and Real Estate Agents are strongly encouraged to coordinate property tax payments with mortgage lenders as possible to minimize the possibility of a title clearance problem or a hold back of seller proceeds.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Do I HAVE to shovel? Chicago snow shoveling law and etiquette

Set aside any discussion of climate change for a moment. It’s winter. It’s Chicago. It snows. As a homeowner, you owe it to your friends, family, neighbors and delivery people to keep the sidewalks free of snow and ice.

The Equifax data breach and you — 6 steps to take now

Identity thieves hit a major credit reporting agency—hard. Millions of consumers’ confidential identity information has been compromised.

Equifax, one of the big three credit reporting agencies announced that a massive security breach took place earlier this year. Offenders accessed data sets of 143 million US consumers.

With federal tax reform looming, should I prepay 2017 Cook County property taxes?

By Michael H. Wasserman

Paying property tax bills before the end of the 2017 may help some owners save on their federal income tax liabilities.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been called the most sweeping tax reform bill in decades. Like it or
not, tax reform is coming. Others might wring their hands with glee or with worry. We are already working on ways to minimize the pain this reform might cause. 
One aspect of the pending tax reform plan presents a clear challenge for most Chicagoland home owners, the elimination of deductions for State and Local Taxes (SALT). The house and senate plans both limit deductibility to $10,000. Once the tax reform is signed into law, we will pay federal income taxes on the money we use to pay our local taxes exceeding that $10,000 threshold. Some homeowners who have the foresight (and lets face it, the savings) to act swiftly may want to pre-pay their first installment 2017 property tax bills this year before the tax laws kick in, so that those payments …