Closing practices in this area in most instances dictate that title companies handle the closing procedures and are therefore the “clearing house”, so to speak, for the monies involved in the transaction. Since we (the title company) are acting in a relationship of trust regarding a financial transaction it is important that we not consider the closing to be finalized until we are in receipt of “good” funds. The recording of the documents becomes a permanent record, so we must be sure that we are able to complete the monetary portion of the transaction.
For these reasons, we inform the buyers (with as much advance notice as possible) that they must bring to the closing a cashiers check made payable to Benchmark Title Company for the balance owed, which is comprised of the balance of the down payment plus closing costs, less earnest money and other credits. We will also inform the sellers of the same requirements in the event they are required to bring funds to close.
The buyers then must go to their bank and have a cashiers check, which by definition is a check drawn on the bank itself, after the bank has verified that the individuals have sufficient funds in their account to cover the amount of the check or the preferred method is to wire funds to our account.
One of the important reasons for not accepting personal checks at the closing, other than the obvious possibility of insufficient funds, is that in the event someone dies, their account may be frozen by the bank and checks, especially large ones, may be returned stamped “Maker Deceased”, and until a personal representative is appointed the check may not be honored by the bank.
For these reasons we require that buyers present a cashiers check or wired funds, so, that those checks are immediately honored by our bank and that checks we disburse for payoffs and other issues will reach our account for payment.
Despite our best efforts we are sometimes dismayed to see a buyer, at the closing table, reach into his/her pocket for their checkbook and prepare to write a personal check for thousands of dollars. When this happens, management must make a decision. We surely do not want to delay a closing, but we also cannot put our responsibility as the “Clearing House” at risk. Good funds are a must.
Any questions can be directed to Benchmark Title at 618-239-3750. Please feel free to call or email:
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