Refinancing Your Mortgage

Once these steps are completed, there are a number of tasks that remain. The lender’s commitment letter will set forth a number of requirements. Among them are:

ATLA Survey: This is a rather detailed site plan of the entire property which is prepared by a registered surveyor, usually on staff with an engineering firm. It seeks to identify all of the buildings and other improvements, the boundaries, and any encroachments. This enables the lender to know what its collateral is, and whether there are any concerns with the property.

Environmental Assessment: This is an evaluation of the property, done by a title record review and physical inspection, in order to ascertain any environmental concerns that would affect the marketability of the property should a default in the mortgage occur. It is done by an environmental engineer.

Title Commitment: A search of the land title records by a licensed title insurance company will be required. We have found that there are occasional problems discovered, such as a stray deed that has been recorded in the chain of title by a member or third party that has to be corrected; we also have found that sometimes the original developer has not properly conveyed internal roads to the cooperative. Should there be any such clouds on the title; our services are engaged to clear them up.

Beyond these tasks, there are a number of documents and records that we need to provide the lender, which engages its own attorneys to verify that the cooperative is in good standing, that the loan has been approved by the board through proper procedure, and that the officers signing the documents are authorized to do so. In addition, the original lender must provide a payoff letter that sets forth the current balance. On occasion, HUD has directed the original lender to refrain from doing so. We have managed to override this directive by threatening litigation against HUD.

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