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Loan App Costs: Who's Culpable?

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Posted On: 03/10/2010

QUESTION:

Our daughter and son-in-law bought a home last year for cash. They now want to refinance, but the lender rejected their application because of a surveying error from when they purchased. Who is responsible for the lost loan application costs?

ANSWER:

Most likely if you have title insurance - and whether you buy for cash or finance you should have title insurance - it will not cover a surveying error. As the Texas Department of Insurance explains, "Title insurance generally does not protect against boundary disputes with neighbors. This coverage is available for purchase for an additional premium."

The result is that you should check your title insurance policy to see what's covered, but expect to speak with the surveyor who did the work. The party that conducted the closing should be able to give you specific information. No less important, you need to obtain a correct survey so this problem does not arise in the future when the property is next refinanced or sold.

QUESTION:

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If we don't pay our mortgage how long will it take to be foreclosed?

ANSWER:

The time it takes to be foreclosed varies enormously. According to RealtyTrac.com typical processing times range from 37 days in Georgia to 445 days in New York.

The rules are quickly changing, however. Some states have extended processing periods. There can be requirements for face-to-face meetings - sometimes called "conciliation" conferences - between borrowers and lenders. Mediation can be required before a foreclosure can be taken to court. Many lenders participate in the federal government's Making Home Affordable program - which means in some cases there will be no foreclosure if a three-month trial period is successfully completed.

The list goes on, but the important point is this: If you face foreclosure get help immediately. Lenders have lawyers and you should too. Free and low cost legal services may be available through local bar associations, law schools and community housing organizations.

Peter G. Miller is the author of The Common-Sense Mortgage and a veteran real estate columnist. Have a question? Please write to peter@ctwfeatures.com.

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