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Sometimes Lawyers Can Be Your Best Friend: Reviewing Mortgage Documents



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It is, however, a really good idea to hire one when you're ready to take the mortgage plunge. A mortgage is a serious commitment that requires serious study. You're putting your whole credit rating on the line for 15 or 30 years and you'd best know what you're getting into.

One of the causes of today's horrific real estate crisis is an unfortunate combination of home buyers unable or unwilling to read the documents they're signing and sleazy operators taking advantage of this. On the other hand, oftentimes the unwillingness of the home buyer to read these legal documents results in simple misunderstandings which can create complicated problems.

The specter of mortgage fraud has reared its ugly head with increasing frequency these days. Taking the time, however tedious it may be, to read the documents, every page of the documents, carefully and make sure you absolutely understand the terms and conditions of your loan can save you headaches and heartaches down the road. Sometimes, a borrower feels pressure to scan and sign, putting his or her trust in the lender. This is how people are caught up in fraud, though, and the borrower, if he or she feels pressured, should have second thoughts about the integrity of the lender.

You are entitled to a copy of all loan documents, and the copy and original must match exactly. The obligation of the borrower lies with the original documents, so it's important to compare the two and make sure they agree.

False information can land you in hot water and any real estate agent or lender who allows you to provide false information can land there along with you. Part of what you are signing is affirmation that any and all information you are putting down on these documents is true. It's therefore extremely important that you verify each and every bit of information you give when applying for a mortgage.

Don't be shy about doing research on your real estate agent or loan professional, and they company or firm as well. Check for pending law suits or complaints before you give out personal information. Make sure they are a licensed professional and the company they keep is reputable and has the proper certification and licenses for the business they're in.

Ask about commissions or compensation. This is information that the lender or agent may be reluctant to disclose, but you have every right to it. Sometimes the compensation is a percentage of the interest rate you will be paying and this may tempt the broker to work toward a higher rate.

All told, it's best to take your time, do your research, and read the documents. Hand them off to a lawyer if you have trouble with “legalese”. It's sometimes better to shell out the lawyer's fee now than shell out much more in penalties, late fees, or inflated interest rates later. Weigh all the options, and needs to ascertain the best choice for you. Move forward with your mortgage the safest most legally beneficial way possible.
Joe Cline writes articles for Austin Remax agent.

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