Question: In a court settlement I transferred three pieces of real estate to my daughter. One loan still has me on the mortgage, and my daughter’s attorney says that because I lost the truth-in-lending documents my daughter is not able to assume mortgage. This has gone on since October 2012. The banks claim they cannot find the truth-in-lending papers. What can I do to get off the debt?
Answer: In the past decade we have edged increasingly closer to a system where real estate records are kept electronically. This sounds attractive in terms of faster settlements and lower costs for lenders, but in exchange we are too often losing such values as reliability, permanence and easy access.
It is difficult to imagine that a complete set of the paperwork from your settlement does not exist, including all truth-in-lending disclosures. You have every reason to want a copy for tax and estate purposes, in addition to your current situation. The originating lender certainly wants such paperwork so it can prove you received the disclosures to which you are entitled in case there are any questions from mortgage investors regarding how the loan was underwritten.
The solution to this problem is to contact the party that conducted the closing, such as an attorney, title company, broker, lender, or independent escrow firm, depending on the jurisdiction in which you live. They likely have a copy of the complete closing on hand or in storage, including all paperwork. It will help if you have a copy of your HUD-1 form, the date of closing and title insurance information.
Meanwhile, to protect your interests in the future keep a copy of all closing documents. This can be done electronically, however, because electronic media are in constant transition it’s to best to keep closing documents on paper. As an example, how many computers today can read those once-popula,r 5.25-inch floppy disks?
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