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Title Companies, Escrow Agent, Closing Attorneys...Every State Different!

     Southern Aroostook Registry of Deeds/Court House, Houlton Maine,mooers realtyWhen selling property to an out of state buyer, often the question comes up on how it is done in Maine vs Florida or whatever state the buyer is used to. In Maine, attorneys are the ones who orchestrate the closings.  Even when a bank is involved, the attorney makes sure the deeds, mortgages and other closing documents get put on file at the registry and that the HUD 1 standardize closing statement is prepared correctly.  Conveyance usually by warranty, quitclaim with covenant or quitclaim deed instrument.  You have you trustee and personal representative deeds and varations but the first mentioned three cover the bulk of the transactions.  There are bank mortgages and private seller financed mortgages put on record after the deed of conveyance or thru a land contract, installment method. Again, the principles are the same as many states, but the labeling of the instrument varies.  Check with a local attorney for clarification and guidance in a transaction.  Mortgages are the security documents put on record at the registry of deeds where the property is located. Foreclosures...can be started by the following: an act of law for possession; entering into possession and holding the premises by written consent of the mortgagor; entering peaceably, openly, and unopposed in the presence of two witnesses and taking possession; giving public notice in a newspaper for three successive weeks and recording copies of the notice in the Registry of Deeds, and then recording the mortgage within 30 days of the last publication; or by a bill in equity (special cases). Regardless of the foreclosure method, the creditor owed money must put a notice on record  of the intiation of foreclosure within 30 days.  I asked a local attorney in Houlton whether a first mortgage taken back after giving a deed to the property is the way to roll or to do a land contract where you have installments and get title on the other end.  He favored the deed to the buyer and taking back a mortgage on the property. From a foreclosure standpoint I believe you can intiate the foreclosure by being behind three months with the mortgage set up and in less time, two months delinquency with the installment land contract route.  I am not an attorney and don't play one on tv so consult a local attorney to local practice, current laws and advice on what is the best route for you.  There are fifteen attorneys in Southern Aroostook and I did an earlier blog outlining all of them and the contact numbers. 

Back to foreclosure from what I have read..in every case, the creditor must record a notice of foreclosure within 30 days. Judicial foreclosure proceedings are also available. Again, redemption periods vary from 90-365 days depending on the method of foreclosure. Mainers have owners and lender title insurance policies available and there are endorsements that issue coverage with and without survey exclusions.  Buyers pay closing costs, the cost of preparing the promissory note and mortgage if an owner financed deed and title insurance fees; buyers and sellers share the documentary transfer taxes. Property taxes are due annually at different fiscal years and years ago, everyone used the April  1st as the traditional start of the year.  Not anymore in northern Maine and you should consult your local attorney who is up to speed on the fiscal year in the town the property you want to buy is located in. Again there are local customs...in Southern Aroostook the buy pays for a title search when purchasing and when selling, expects the buyer to update the title.  In Northern Maine, it seems customary for the seller to bring the title up to date and to perform the title search for the buyer. Welcome to Maine where we are independent and depending on where you are, do as the locals observe in closing "customs". It always boils down to wherever you live on the planet...you pay you stay, you don't, you won't. That is universal!

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Comment balloon 0 commentsAndrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 • November 10 2007 01:57PM
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