Updated December 14, 2021

On March 31, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order allowing for residential real estate closings conducted via video conference.

Here is the process:

  • Origin Title will send documents via overnight mail or email (if possible) to borrowers/signing parties one or two days prior to closing.
  • At the arranged closing time, all parties will connect via video conferencing software to conduct the closing.
  • All signing parties must have a web camera, microphone and an internet connection to close their transaction this way.
  • The attorney will serve as notary and another member of the Origin Title team will observe as a witness to the signing.
  • All signed documents must be returned via overnight mail (a shipping label and envelope will be provided) the next day.

Lenders and real estate agents are welcome to “attend” the video closing, but their presence is not required.

Borrowers/signing parties are welcome to come to our office, if they don’t have the equipment or the desire to do a remote closing.

At the time of the first executive order, we implemented the CDC’s recommendations for creating a safe environment. Here is a brief summary of our actions:

  • The waiting room has a supply of hand sanitizer (and the building has a supply in the lobby also). 
  • We are scheduling more time between closings in order to clean the room and limit the number of people in the office. 
  • The conference room is wiped down with disinfectant after each signing.
  • Any staff member with a connection to a person diagnosed or in quarantine with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is directed to stay home.
  • Any staff member exhibiting any signs of illness are not allowed to come to work.
  • Any client exhibiting symptoms or who has had contact with a person exhibiting symptoms will be re-scheduled or required to make other arrangements.
  • We are limited physical contact with clients and the public. (No handshakes). 
  • Following the recommendations from OSHA, staff washes their hands frequently and uses hand sanitizer in the office.
  • Clients/borrowers/sellers who are high-risk will be asked to make other arrangements to have documents signed remotely.  (Risks include older age; presence of chronic medical conditions, including immunocompromising conditions; pregnancy).

We are performing remote closings now and will continue to do so as long as the executive order is extended.  We will continue to update this statement as things change.

Please call or e-mail us with any questions or concerns.  We share your concerns about this virus and will continue to do everything we can to mitigate the risk. 

Residential Real Estate Transaction Law Blog

Real estate and property law since 2003


GAR Changes on Closing Costs – Part IV Buyer Beware

The standard contract used by licensed real estate brokers and agents is the form provided by the Georgia Association of Realtors (GAR) and known as the GAR Contract. This form is tweaked from year to year to clarify any terms that may have caused confusion in the past.   Georgia is a ‘Buyer Beware’ state that…
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GAR Changes on Closing Costs – Part III Who Does the Closing Attorney Represent?

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GAR Changes on Closing Costs – Part II Closing Date Extensions

The standard contract used by licensed real estate brokers and agents is the form provided by the Georgia Association of Realtors (GAR) and known as the GAR Contract. This form is tweaked from year to year to clarify any terms that may have caused confusion in the past.   The GAR contract allows either the buyer…
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GAR Changes on Closing Costs – Part I Wiring and Mail Fees

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Mobile Closings

Buying a new home is exciting, but no one really enjoys coming to an attorney’s office to sign documents.  It’s not convenient, and you often have to sit in a waiting room for a long time.   Origin Title and Escrow makes it easy to sign closing documents by sending an attorney to the borrower’s home or…
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Beware of Deed and Home Warranty Scams

When you purchase real estate or take out a mortgage, the vesting deed and security deed are recorded in the county’s real estate records, which are open to the public. The information made public is the purchase price, loan amount, and names on title.  The real estate documents do not disclose the terms of your mortgage,…
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Surveys and Title Insurance

It takes a little extra time to get a survey done, but it is often worth it.  There are several types of surveys, and it can be very confusing.  Without knowing what you need, it’s difficult to get the correct type of survey.  You can get a survey for construction, as-built, topography, flood zones/FEMA elevation, boundary lines, and…
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Junk Fees Revisited

One of the many ways closing attorneys increase their fees is by passing costs on to buyers and sellers for incidental costs of doing business, such as copying, recording, overnight mailing, or banking services.  When quoting their closing costs, many attorneys omit these items, so they come as a surprise right before closing. Some added costs…
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Importance of Full Title Search

Home buyers should never accept someone’s word alone that they own the property and that there are no mortgages or liens on it.  As closing attorneys, we do much more than just prepare the deed to transfer ownership.  We do a 50-year back-search on the title on all purchases, and also issue title insurance to…
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What Does a Closing Attorney Do?

The general public may not know exactly how real estate is sold in the United States.  When you sell a car, you have a piece of paper called a Title, which is a document of ownership that is registered with the state that gets signed over to the buyer. In the sale of real estate,…
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Do-It-Yourself Real Estate

What are some things you regret trying to do yourself? Do you change your own oil? Fill your own cavities? Prepare your own will? or draft your own property deed? Sometimes when you do things yourself, if you do it wrong, the worst is that you’ll need to fix your mistakes. If you don’t replace…
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Reverse Mortgages: When a Spouse is Too Young to Qualify

There are never any required payments for a reverse mortgage until the borrower dies, moves, or fails to pay property taxes or insurance. If one of those events happens, the full amount of the loan is due. Sometimes one spouse would not be 62 years old yet and be too young to qualify for a…
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Fixtures as Collateral?

You can borrow against almost anything. Sandwiched in the gray area between “real estate” and “personal property” is something called a fixture. A fixture is something you can buy and attach to real estate or a house, like an air conditioner.  Origin Title sees a few cases like this every year:  the homeowner had a…
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How Often Are There Problems with Title?

We fix issues with the title about 25% of the time. The most common title issues are un-released mortgages, possible liens because the borrower has a common name, and mistakes in the legal description. All of these can be corrected.  The un-released mortgage is often a home equity line of credit with a zero balance. …
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The Days of Closing Using Zoom Are Over

During the state of emergency under pandemic precautions, we could notarize and witness someone signing documents over video.  The signor would still have to send the original documents back for us to sign as the witness and notary, though.  This worked well.   For the past 2 years, there was proposed legislation to allow for Remote Online Notaries,…
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Can You Purchase Property With a Lien Filed Against You?

The answer most of the time is yes, even if it is an IRS lien. A buyer with a lien is not a deal-killer. Purchase money mortgages take priority over judgment liens and state income tax liens. The Federal tax code even puts the IRS behind a purchase money mortgage.   Some attorneys would not close…
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Do All Closing Attorneys Do a Full 50-Year Title Search? 

Unfortunately, the answer is no. In Georgia, the 50-year span is considered the standard of sufficient time to determine that a property is free from reasonable doubt of litigation, but that amount of time is not mandated.  Some closing attorneys take their chances with a quick limited search to move the process along faster. They…
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Why Does a Full Title Search Go Back 50 Years?

This is the time span required by the State of Georgia title standards. I have a good idea of how they came up with this figure.   A mortgage normally matures after 30 years. For mortgages/security deeds before 1994, if it has been more than 20 years since the mortgage matured, then it reverts back to…
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Are Title Monitoring Services Worth It?

Deeds often get filed without the benefit of a title search or a real estate attorney, such as a quit claim that shares or gifts all of the property to a trusted friend or family member.   Thieves can take advantage of this to forge the owner’s name on a deed, gifting the property to themselves,…
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An Unclear Title 

On about half of the closings we perform, there is a need to clear up some kind of title issue. If a title is not cleared, the lender or buyer may decide not to close on the property. Common problems include judgments, liens and bankruptcies that are discovered as we look back over 50 years…
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Protecting Yourself from Wire Fraud

Wire fraud is an increasing problem when it comes to real estate transactions. Cyber criminals are experts at hacking email accounts and sending emails with fake wiring instructions. These emails can be convincing and sophisticated. Once funds are wired to a fraudulent account, the money is gone and there is no recourse unless something is…
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Investor Options for Title Insurance

The standard Georgia Association of Realtor’s contract states that property buyers, by default, receive an enhanced title insurance policy at closing. Title insurance protects the owner and/or lender from title defects. An enhanced policy provides added protections against fake deeds, supplemental tax assessments, post policy forgeries and much more.  The enhanced policy is tailored to…
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What happens to a reverse mortgage when you move?

A reverse mortgage can be a great option for senior homeowners, as it can help to increase cash flow and allow them to stay in their homes longer. But what happens when the borrower moves out? Reverse mortgages become due when the last borrower on the mortgage passes away, sells the home, or moves out of…
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Intricacies of a Reverse Mortgage

With a standard mortgage, the borrower is personally responsible for the note.  In the case of a foreclosure, the bank will foreclose on the property and sell it in order to recoup the amount still due.  If the bank sells the house for less than the amount due on the loan, the bank can file for a…
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Borrowing and Non-Borrowing Spouses on a Reverse Mortgage

A married couple may have a reverse mortgage with only one spouse listed on the property and as the only borrower. The other person not on the loan is listed as a “non-borrowing spouse”. Remember that reverse mortgages have no payments and the loan is not due until BOTH spouses move out of the house, whether…
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Using a Reverse Mortgage for a Home Purchase

As housing prices rise, many seniors believe they can’t afford to buy a new house that’s better suited to their new lifestyle. A reverse mortgage can be a good option for someone over 62 and requires no monthly payments.  Reverse mortgage funds, which are only available on a primary residence, are structured as a lump sum or…
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Do both spouses have to be over 62 to qualify for a reverse mortgage?

In Georgia, a reverse mortgage allows a homeowner who is above the age of 62 to borrow against the value of their home. Unlike a typical mortgage, a reverse mortgage doesn’t require the homeowner to make loan payments. Instead, the entire loan balance is due when the borrower dies, moves or sells the home.  In…
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Ensuring Correct County Recordings

As of July, 2021, the Atlanta metro area includes 11 counties. Having an Atlanta mailing address does not mean the property is in the official city limits. A house can have an Atlanta address and be located in Cobb, DeKalb, or Fulton county.    When a homeowner refinances or sells property and pays off a mortgage,…
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About Origin Title

Since 2003, Origin Title and Escrow has performed thousands of closings. Our team understands the concerns and the interests of every party at the closing table.  Real estate agents and buyers alike want to know that when they contact a closing attorney, they will reach someone who can answer their questions. That’s who we are…
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When Is a Closing Attorney Selected?

In Georgia, the closing attorney represents the lender that provides the loan, (or the Buyer in an all cash transaction), but the BUYER names the closing attorney in the sales agreement. The closing attorney’s role is significant, as they ensure all parties understand the complexities of the real estate closing process. As the buyer, you have the option…
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Importance of Selecting an Independent Closing Attorney

It is important to select an independent closing attorney for many reasons. We believe one of the top reasons is integrity.  When putting a house under contract, an Affiliated Business Arrangement is a document stating that there is a business relationship involving the sharing of profits by a settlement service provider to another affiliated business. Origin…
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Tax Aspects of Selling a Home

When selling a primary residence, some sellers pay no income tax on the gain.  Paying taxes on the profit of a home depends on how long you owned and lived in the home, as well as how much money was made. If you lived in the home for at least two of the five years before…
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If you bought a house in 2020, there are two things that should be done

First, is to apply for homestead exemption if you moved into the home by January 1st and it’s considered your legal residence. This exemption can offer a significant break on property taxes. Second, is to keep your closing statement for preparing your tax return.   In addition to Homestead exemptions, most counties have additional exemptions for people…
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Importance of Closing Before Year-End

January 1st is a very important date for new homeowners. All counties in Georgia provide a significant break on property taxes for people’s primary residence if they are the owner on record as of January 1st of that year. This is called the homestead tax exemption.   In order to qualify for the exemption, a person must own…
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Wire Transfer Warning

The average home buyer or seller likely does not know about scams in the real estate world. The most common scam in real estate is wire fraud during closing. On instances of wire fraud i poses as an agent in order to divert closing funds to a fraudulent account. The Buyer would receive an e-mail…
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Lender vs Owner Title Insurance

Mortgage lenders require title insurance on every loan they close which protects them against problems with the title. However, this type of insurance does not protect the homeowner’s investment in the home.  The owner’s policy is separate and typically issued when the property is purchased.  Even Clark Howard, the thriftiest person in Georgia, recommends getting owner’s title…
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Enhanced Title Insurance

Few things are more important than protecting a home. For a minimal cost, homeowners have the ability to reduce their risk on one of the most significant investments they will make.  There are two types of title insurance; owner and lender. Additionally, there are two types of owner policies and two types of lender policies. …
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Remote Closings in Georgia

Due to the pandemic, closings and signings have been facilitated via video. Georgia has put two separate emergency orders in to place to accomplish this. Georgia is an “attorney state”, meaning that an attorney is required to be present when signing legal documents such as a deed.  The emergency order issued by the Supreme Court…
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Attorney States vs. Title Company States

Real estate closings differ from state to state. In “Attorney States”, a licensed attorney must be present at and have control over the closing. This includes reviewing the title search, preparing affidavits, receiving and disbursing all money. Several east coast states are attorney states:  Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Some states, such as Florida, are…
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Closing Terminology

When someone calls to start an escrow, we know where they’re calling from…California.   Each state has different terminology when it comes to closings.  In California, an escrow is opened where the title company holds all the documents and money until the disbursement date.  The parties may sign the documents days before the funds are actually sent out.  While…
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Refinancing and Intangible Tax

Most people buy a house two or three times in their lifetime, and perhaps refinance another couple of times. When refinancing, you may have the best loan in the world, but if it’s not closed or reviewed properly, you could lose hundreds or thousands of dollars.   One area where borrowers can lose money is with…
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Can my spouse be on the title to the house, but not on the loan?

Yes! When you borrow money to buy a house, there are two separate and distinct promises you are making.  First, the personal liability is the promise to personally pay back the loan. This is represented by the promissory note at closing.  Lenders look at the credit rating of anyone signing the promissory note.   Second, is the…
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Property Records Are Public in Georgia

In Georgia, all property records are public. Deeds, liens, mortgages and tax information are available to anyone who wants to pull them. With records being public, purchasers will know they are getting full ownership of the purchased property, and public records also let potential buyers know any restrictions that might be on the land.  But…
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Buying real estate that is in bankruptcy

Homes purchased that are part of a bankruptcy can present unique challenges. There are also different types of bankruptcy which can make the transaction even more complex.  Under Chapters 7 and 11, the trustee is the appointed seller of the home.  In most other cases, the owner is the proper seller.  In either case, a court order…
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Notarization during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Real estate transactions typically involve the execution and delivery of written documents that must be notarized in order to be recorded. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have put in place emergency measures to assist notaries in carrying out their duties. Georgia’s emergency order has been extended through July 12, which means Origin…
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Like it or not, real estate transactions are public record

When a person buys a house or refinances real estate, the warranty deed and mortgage are filed at the courthouse and become public record. Anyone can look up a deed or mortgage to find out how much their neighbor borrowed against their house, and even for how much it was purchased. These public records are…
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Origin Title’s Video Conferencing Resources

During the state of emergency, Origin Title and Escrow, Inc can provide notaries, witnesses, and be the closing attorney via video conferencing.  As a buyer or seller, you can sign your closing documents with the notary, witness, and attorney present via video conferencing. Normally, the closing attorney also acts as the notary or witness.  You will…
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Virtual Meetings

Who likes going to office meetings?  Frequent meeting attendees hope there’s a spread of food and drinks; if there’s not, then they’d prefer the conversation be conducted via email. Real estate brokerages are shifting to virtual office spaces where there are no in-person meetings to attend.  Some brokerages even have avatars for their agents to meet with…
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Online Shopping for a Closing Attorney?

97% of home-buyers begin their search for a house online.  74% of people looking for a mortgage now find it online.  Less than 1% of people shop for their closing attorney online.  This 1% is the main reason it’s important for closing attorneys to have a strong network of real estate agents that assist buyers. It’s also…
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Are Remote Closings Possible?

The Supreme Court order that was issued on March 27 concerning closing real estate transactions via video has been misinterpreted by some, so here are the facts. As of March 27, closing via video conference is possible where the attorney and the signing party can see and hear each other, and the signing party is…
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Preventing Title Issues on Closing Day

Some surprises are good. When it comes to closing on a home, a surprise is rarely a good thing.  Many closing attorneys use big title companies for their title searches and these companies can take about three weeks to receive title results.  When sellers learn about a title issue the day before closing, it’s because the…
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What rights do homeowners have to the alleyways behind their house?

Alleys are found mostly in the City of Atlanta and in older neighborhoods. In the 1980’s, the city of Atlanta decided that was too costly to maintain those alleys. They officially abandoned all alleyways, except for a few specific ones which have been historically maintained. This means that the other rights-of-way were still there, but…
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Making a Closing a Pleasant Experience

Spring is right around the corner, which means it is home buying time! New real estate agents come into the market frequently with dreams of working just a few hours a week while earning $100K a year.  We all know that’s unrealistic.  It takes years to build up a client base, and clients only come back when…
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A Prompt Filing Date

When a title search is completed, there is always  an effective date on the title commitment. This is the date the county clerk has processed all of the deed filings. Believe it or not, the filing date is very important because whichever lien or security interest is filed first has priority. Being in first lien position…
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Importance of a Buyer’s Closing Attorney

Buying a home is, perhaps, the largest and most significant investment of your life. It also involves a unique set of property laws that can raise unexpected issues at closing. That’s why a buyer usually selects the attorney to handle the transaction.   We have a client who is an investor that fixes up and sells…
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A Quick and Stress-free Closing

Some attorneys start doing real estate closings because it looks easy and can be profitable. At a closing, the attorney simply explains documents for the buyer and seller to sign, and often, it looks like they are just pointing to a signature line.  But what if there is a title issue? The ‘point and sign’ attorney…
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Legal Property Descriptions

If you saw that a property is being purchased in the “21st District, 2nd Section of Cherokee county, starting at an apple tree, thence to a pine tree to line of Eli Wilbur, thence back to the road, up to a hickory tree, thence west 50 yards, thence south 80 yards, thence to E.G. Casey land, being…
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A spouse automatically inherits the house from their deceased spouse, right?

The answer is no.  It is not automatic and surviving spouses can be in a bind if they aren’t prepared.   Ideally, spouses are  listed as “joint tenants with right of survivorship” on the vesting deed.  If this is the case, then the surviving spouse automatically becomes the owner of the property.  This is also true for any co-owners of…
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Heir to a Reverse Mortgage

When a person passes away, the heirs must decide if they want to sell the house or convey it to an heir.  With a regular mortgage, heirs have three options: Keep paying the mortgage of the deceased person until an heir assumes the loan Sell the house to a third person  Let the house go…
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Sometimes Foreclosure is Exactly What You Want

Regular mortgages require the borrower to be personally responsible for the note.  If the borrower is in default, the bank will foreclose on the property and sell it to recoup the loan amount.  If the bank sells the house for less than the amount due on the loan, the bank can file for a deficiency against the…
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Recording Fee Overages

When you receive a small check for $2.00 or less in the mail, do you always deposit it?  Or do you throw it away? Most closing attorneys have borrowers sign a statement at closing that allows the attorney to keep any overage for recording fees.  This could give an incentive to over-estimate recording costs.  Origin…
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Changes to Recording Fees in the State of Georgia

Things don’t often change with real estate recordings.  In fact, it’s been over 20 years since recording fees changed in Georgia.  But times are changing and Origin Title and Escrow is prepared before they happen.   Currently, one- or two-page deeds cost $10 or $12, mortgages cost about $60 to record and liens are about $10 to…
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Don’t Be Fooled by Last Minute Changes

Wire fraud is a real – and growing – danger for individuals who are buying homes. In 2018, fraudulent wire transfers stole $423 million from US consumers.  The scammer’s favorite tactic involves sending an email to the buyer, telling them to use the new wiring instructions enclosed. Buyers often don’t think to verify the information, they…
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Tenancy Status Varies by State

In Georgia, people who buy homes together typically choose to declare joint tenancy with right of survivorship. This status guarantees that upon the death of one owner, their ownership interest immediate transfers to the survivor, without the need for probate. In Florida, homeowners can choose to declare tenancy by the entirety. In this circumstance, the…
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Have Refi? Will Travel.

Everyone has heard of the real estate transaction that blows up at the closing table. The reasons vary widely, but in our office about 95% of all purchase transactions close.  With purchases, both the buyer and the seller are typically very motivated to see the sale through, so problems that arise are taken care of, so…
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Who holds the earnest money in a For-Sale-By-Owner transaction?

When a buyer enters into an agreement to purchase a home, the sales contract specifies the amount of earnest money paid and who will hold said earnest money. Should the seller be the person designated to hold the earnest money?  It is more prudent to have a real estate agent or closing attorney hold the earnest…
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Remember the movie Brazil?

The rogue handyman, Harry Tuttle, played by Robert DeNiro, didn’t follow the rules because he hated the paperwork.  The paperwork found him on the street one day and he eventually disappeared in the mass of papers. People selling their house without an agent can feel as if they are being buried by paperwork, but the biggest…
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When there’s no real estate agent, how does a buyer begin the buying process?

Once the buyer has decided on the house of their dreams, they need to make an offer to the seller. An offer is simply a sales contract signed by the buyer and sent to the seller.   The contract will give the seller a set number of days to respond by agreeing to the contract, or making a…
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Understanding regulations before a home purchase

 A home buyer can decide to undertake the purchase without the benefit of a real estate agent, but if they do, they take on the responsibility for understanding the local and federal regulations that will apply to their transaction. While everyone is most focused on the money that is changing hands, that’s just one of…
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Is it a mistake to do a deal when the property is “for sale by owner”?

We don’t recommend it, but it is possible to buy and sell a house without a real estate agent.  Even without an agent, a closing attorney is required to complete the sale. The closing attorney will draft and review the sales contract and make sure the transfer of ownership is handled correctly.   Often a person…
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Restaurants are sure to need water service.  When a restaurant owner rents or buys real estate, they may inherit the past due water bill for the property. A commercial water bill can be high — $10,000 to $20,000 is common. Even if the bill is technically owed by the previous owner or tenant, the county…
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When it comes to potential surprises at the closing table, water bills are worse than unexpected fees because they automatically become liens on the property.  Commercial and residential water bills are treated very differently.  For residential property, if the water bill is in the owner’s name then it becomes a lien on the property. For…
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Imagine this:  a couple buys a house in September, 2016. Unbeknownst to them, the seller opened an equity line of credit using the house as collateral in May. The title search was performed the buyer’s chosen closing attorney on September 20, perfectly in line with the usual process.  The lender didn’t file the equity line…
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In 2019, the Georgia Association of Realtors took steps to make sure that all Homeowner Association fees are fully disclosed to the buyer. The contract states that any HOA fee that isn’t disclosed properly will be paid by the seller. This keeps the buyer from being surprised at closing with unexpected fees. HOA management companies…
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When a prospective buyer sees a home with a luxury brand French-door refrigerator in the kitchen and the seller’s disclosure indicates the refrigerator stays with the home, said buyer understandably assumes that nice refrigerator is part of the purchase. Sadly, some unscrupulous sellers took advantage of the “loophole” in the seller’s disclosure, and substituted another…
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ACH (Automatic Clearing House) transfers push money from one bank account to another, and it can go two ways. An ACH transfer can send money to an account and it can pull money out of an account. A wire transfer sends funds from one account to another, but it is always a one-way transaction. It…
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Real estate attorneys have a separate IOLTA escrow account to receive and disburse all funds involved with a real estate closing. IOLTA stands for Interest on Lawyers Trust Account and it means that the money in that account does not belong to the attorney.  Interest earned on the account also does not belong to the…
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Estate attorneys often try to prepare deeds for their client, and it rarely turns out well. In our office, we often see Executor’s Deeds, Quitclaim Deeds, or Administrator’s deeds on record captioned with this statement: “Estate Attorney prepared the deed without a title search”. While recording a deed without a title search will save their…
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Each state does property taxes a little differently. Some states don’t send a property tax bill until after the year is completely over. In Georgia, the 2018 property tax bill covers the time from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. If the property sale closes before the tax bill is mailed, the seller pays…
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Unpaid real estate property taxes never get “forgiven” or wiped out in a foreclosure. They are super-liens that always have priority and stay attached to the property, no matter what.  In some jurisdictions in Georgia, water bills in the name of the property owner enjoy the same super-lien priority as property taxes. If a buyer…
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The annual percentage rate, or APR, is the total cost of borrowing money over the full term of the loan, expressed as a yearly number. You’ll find it on page 5 of the closing disclosure, with the proviso that “this is not your interest rate.”  The purpose of the APR is to make it easier…
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Sadly, yes – some closing attorneys do add what we would consider “junk fees” to the costs of closing a real estate loan. We worked with a client who was the seller in the transaction and used the closing attorney the buyer had stipulated in the sales contract. That attorney added a $250 charge to…
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Yes, title insurance covers liens, mortgages, or other claims filed in the public records against the property prior to the closing. Here are two examples: A seller took out a Home Equity Line in July. The lender did not file the Security Deed/Mortgage until October 10th. The seller sold the property on October 14th. The…
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When a borrower seeks a reverse mortgage, they are still getting a loan that uses the house as collateral. Instead of making payments toward paying off the loan, they receive distributions (like a line of credit) from the lender. If a lender goes out of business and is unable to service the loan – and…
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Reverse mortgage loans do not require an escrow account, because the borrower receives money, rather than making payments. Since conventional mortgages are usually set up to include property tax and homeowner’s insurance, how does the reverse mortgage loan holder pay for those elements?  The borrower acquires and pays for insurance independently, and pays taxes directly…
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A reverse mortgage allows the 62+ year-old homeowner to refinance their home and receive the equity as a line of credit or a payout directly to them. Its purpose is to give seniors a chance to use the equity in their homes to help with living expenses, and it closely resembles a home-equity loan. And…
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In 2017, the Georgia legislature passed a law changing how we searched liens filed by the Georgia Department of Revenue. The law initially required a ‘clearance letter’ from the Georgia Department of Revenue before any deed could be filed.  Thankfully this was repealed and replaced in 2018. The GSCCCA is an on-line statewide searchable database for lien and deed…
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We perform a title search for every refinance or purchase closing. There was a time when someone searching titles could get all the needed information at the courthouse.  That time has passed.  Deeds, mortgages, and most liens are still recorded in the real estate records at the courthouse, but several other items also need to…
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Sending an e-mail is like mailing a post card. Unless it is encrypted, there are ways other people can read the message and see what is in it. Even though e-mail is easy, it also has its dangers. Anyone in the world can try to read it, and even change what was written. Criminals who…
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Reverse mortgages have been around since the late 1980’s. Almost all reverse mortgages are FHA insured and follow strict guidelines. The program was designed to keep seniors in their house as long as possible and to make the equity in the house available without selling it. There is a lot of mis-information on reverse mortgages.…
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Origin Title: Approved Attorney

These are a few of the more than 45 lenders who have approved Origin Title for residential loan closings on their behalf.

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Origin Title ~ Body of Work

Since 2003, John C. Bennett has performed thousands of closings.









Updated 12/28/2022

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