False Facts Friday Issue 4: “I have to use the attorney that my lender assigns for my real estate closing.”

By: Joan Reed Wilson, Esq.

It has been well-established in Connecticut law that consumers have the right to choose their own attorney to represent them in their real estate closings. Yet during the mortgage application process when consumers receive their loan estimate, they see the name of a firm or lawyer on the form and many assume that they have to use that law firm. This is not true. You always have an option to use your own attorney to represent you in your real estate closing and should not feel forced to use the lender’s assigned attorney.

This week, the Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill effective October 1, 2019, that prohibits lenders from requiring consumers to choose an attorney from a limited list of attorneys. If you are given a list of attorneys and told to choose from that list, please remember that you have the right to choose your own attorney.

Sometimes the attorney referral comes from the realtor. Realtors are prohibited under the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act from receiving anything in exchange for giving referrals to attorneys, but sometimes clients are swayed to use the attorney that the real estate agent recommends.

Referrals from lenders and agents are not necessarily bad; the lenders and agents know the attorneys who are well-versed in real estate closings and sometimes the referral is useful and beneficial. But always know that you have the right to choose your own attorney, if you want. Consumer choice is the law.

In order to handle a closing and issue title insurance, which is required when the consumer is obtaining a mortgage, the attorney must be an agent with a title insurance company and have approved professional liability insurance in place, so not every attorney can represent you in a real estate closing. If you have an attorney with whom you have a relationship and would like that attorney to represent you, call the attorney and ask him/her if she/he can represent you in the matter. It can’t hurt to have someone you know looking out for you.

Latest Blog Posts

Pay Invoice

RWC is now offering online payment of your invoice. Click to visit our secure payment site.

Address

130 East Main St. Clinton, CT 06413
363 Main St. Suite 401, Middletown, CT 06457
Phone: 860-669-1222
Fax: 860-664-9661

Disclaimer

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. The information is provided by reedwilsoncase.com and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied. Read More