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Showing posts from February, 2014

FREDDIE, FANNIE both Offering Incentives to (some) REO Buyers, Brokers

By Michael H. Wasserman


You might not know it from a look out the window or a walk around the block just yet, but the spring real estate market is upon us, and home buyers are out en masse in Chicago searching for the right opportunities.  Everyone’s favorite semi-governmental real estate entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both seem intent on capitalizing on this now to further reduce their respective REO inventories. Each has announced new incentive packages to try to entice prospective buyers. Notable in the two announcements is the differing strategies they are using. Fannie Mae is offering fairly sizeable incentives to buyers themselves. Freddie Mac, while offering a token to buyers seems to be much more focused on motivating the sales agents that guide buyers. 

FHA OKs expanded use of E-Signatures in Loan Process

By Michael H. Wasserman

Closing on residential properties in Chicago generates a lot of paperwork. Particularly if when mortgage financing is involved. Part of my job as an attorney for home and condo buyers is to help with loan application/documentation and to review the at-closing loan package with them. The number of documents presented at closing seems to grow every year. It can take a while to slog through the reams of disclosures, authorizations and certifications most lenders send to the closing table. Pens run out of ink. Rest breaks are often needed. Stacks of paper get pushed from one end of the table to the other and then back again.

The two most typical reactions to all of the signing are (A) recognition of all the trees that "give their lives” in service to the lenders and title companies, and (B) Hopes / wishes for paperless closings.

The mortgage financing process for some home buyers is getting a bit "less inconvenient" and a step closer to paperless.  E…

AP: Illinois Title Company Owner Admits Defrauding Clients

by Michael H. Wasserman

I review title company charges and all other closing costs with the Buyers and Sellers i represent. Many (often rightfully) comment on the vast array of different fees that must be paid and the total cumulative effect these charges have on their closings. Akin to all the regulatory charges on a telephone or cable bill. Industry jargon and abbreviations provide an easy short hand to us practitioners but does not make the numbers any clearer to consumers.

One such charge / classification is the CPL (Closing Protection Fee). This state mandated collection obligates a title insurance company's underwriter to cover any losses suffered to a buyer, seller, and lender in the event that the closing agent either does not follow closing instructions or misappropriates funds from the closing.  In Illinois, Sellers pay $50.00 per transaction. Buyers pay $25.00 ($50 if there is a mortgage loan).
This is a relatively new charge, so many buyers and sellers who do not remem…