Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Be a savvy consumer. Pay attention at closing.

The company was given $3100 at our closing last June and neglected to pay the School Real Estate Taxes that said money was put in escrow to pay. When we received an invoice showing it was unpaid, the school district had added penalties and fees. We contacted Diane at The Closing Specialists and were told that it was our fault and that we had to pay the fees and penalties. Unacceptable. She then said she would remit the $3100 when she felt like it rather than when it was due. Bad business.

Hi, Sherry: As we discussed yesterday, the escrow agreement you and your husband signed at closing clearly stated in bold that you were responsible for getting a tax bill to our office. The statement we received yesterday was the first statement we received. The amount owing was higher than the escrow balance. The escrow agreement also said that you were responsible for any amounts owed beyond the amount held in escrow. Upon receipt of your statement while talking with you on the phone, you were clearly upset and told me you would not pay the difference. I said we might either send the full $3100 to the tax authority or might hold it and wait for you to send us the difference. 

After having a couple of minutes to think about the best solution to your problem, we cut a check in the amount of $3100 and mailed it to the tax authority. I then sent an email to the email address we had on record, I believe it was your husband's email and let him know we mailed the check and suggested that you send the remaining balance to the tax authority to avoid the filing of a lien against your property. 

All actions performed by The Closing Specialists in this regard are according to the terms of the escrow agreement. We understand after having received your email later in the day that you are in the title business operating as an abstractor. This puts you in an unusual position as a consumer. Unlike most consumers you are professionally familiar with the tax collection process in PA and also, as an abstractor trained to read documents carefully with close attention to detail. Every document related to a real estate closing is important. We do understand that there are many documents that will be signed at the time, however, that doesn't mean that the terms of the documents can be ignored. Thank you for taking the time to post this on Facebook. I'll include it in a discussion on our blog, Title Insurance Talk. It's always good to remind consumers to pay attention. Every party in a transaction has their part to play. 

Best wishes. Diane Cipa

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