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Last Friday, I had an attorney insist that my clients and I attend a closing on Monday. [“Insist” is actually too neutral a word for the pressure he tried to exert, but I was torn between “demand” and “command” to describe his barked orders that we appear, so you’ll have to settle for “insist” just so we can move on.]

Contracts had just been signed for my clients to buy the house, subject to the seller’s lender approving a short-sale where the lender would consent to receive a lot less than was owed.  The seller’s counsel claimed to have “verbal approval” and were required to show up Monday to buy.  I advised Mr. Rush-Job that A) there’s no title search in yet, B) there’s no guarantee title would be “clean”, and C) the title company needed to review and verify the short-sale approval to make sure it would satisfy the mortgage lien now against the home. [I am not sure how to spell “harumpf”, but I am pretty sure that was the word the attorney used when he found out how slowly and deliberately I intended to inch towards closing.]

Monday & Tuesday came and went, with no letter of approval (so I guess we would have all driven to seller’s attorney’s office on Monday for nothing--harumpf).  The letter came Wednesday, but not so fast!  On Wednesday the title search also revealed that there is a gap in the chain of title that must be satisfactorily explained and a building department violation that must be cleared before seller is ready to proceed to closing. Double-harumpf.

So you tell me--did the seller know what was coming down the pike and want to close before it arrived? He’d return to his new Virginia home leaving my clients holding the deed and a signed affidavit of clear title worth even less than a Mets’ticket.  Or did the seller’s attorney not understand the way a transaction is supposed to proceed and thought I’d jump just because he fired the starter’s pistol?

Or did the attorney think this was my first time at the race track?  Was he hoping I might get so distracted by the noise of the crowd and all the excitement that I’d drop the reins on this transaction? 

Whatever they were thinking, I’m not running their race.  The event isn’t over until the buyers are fully protected.



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October 2018


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