Our office has handled thousands of residential real estate transactions over the 35 plus years in which this author has practiced law in the Hudson Valley. It is rare indeed that any client in those real estate transactions ever took the time to read through the mortgage documents, examine the good faith estimates, carefully reviewed a HUD-1 settlement statement or understood fully all of the nuances of his or her real estate transaction. I can remember and count a far greater number of attorneys, who sitting across the table, when asked by a client about the meaning of a particular document, could not adequately articulate its intent and meaning.
These statements introduce the arcane world of RESPA, enacted by Congress in 1974. “RESPA” stands for the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act intended to protect consumers from abuse in residential real estate transactions. The Act requires lenders to disclose their practices, affiliated business relationships and the settlement costs to be incurred by consumers. In my experience, “RESPA” stands for glazed eyes and too much information.
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