Kathy Sweedler from the U of I Extension Office dropped by for Your Money. She has some tips on closing on a mortgage loan for first-time home buyers out there.
Prepare for Home Closings and Avoid Fraud
Congratulations on buying a new home! The final step is closing the new home. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has tips for us so this important step can be successful!
What is the closing of a home mortgage?
This is the time that all the final legal paperwork is completed and payments – like a down payment – are made. It can be confusing and it often involves a significant amount of money, so it can be stressful for people.
What can people do to decrease their stress about closing on a home purchase?
Prepare before the day of the closing. Download the CFPB’s new “Your Mortgage Closing Checklist” at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/owning-a-home/. This is a great new resource.
The Mortgage Closing Checklist includes information to collect BEFORE you go to the closing appointment. Information such as:
· Who will conduct your closing, where will it be, and when;
· What documents or other items you need to bring to the closing; and
· Whether your payment needs to be a cashier check or in another format.
What other tips do you have to share?
Request your closing documents three days in advance of closing so that you have time to read everything you need to sign.
· Take the time you need to read and understand all documents. If you don’t understand something, ask for help.
Protect yourself from a mortgage closing scams. Closing funds are tempting targets for scammers. Beware of emails with last minute changes to your payment or wire instructions. This may be a scam. Call your contacts to double-check before taking any action!
Protect yourself by:
· Before wiring money, always confirm instructions with your trusted representatives.
· Avoid using phone numbers or links in an email.
· Do NOT email financial information. Email is never a secure way to send financial information.
· Be mindful of phone conversations. It may be difficult to identify whether a phone call is fraudulent or legitimate.
Source: Yu, Melissa, Mortgage Closing Scams: How to protect yourself and your closing funds. JUN 03, 2019, https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/mortgage-closing-scams-how-