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Do I need a real estate attorney?

Arlington, VA |

I bought my house in 2005. In 2006 my lender sold my loan. Then the first lender went out of business and what was left was sold to PNC. I am trying to refinance my loan and the current lender doesn't have the assignment to the loan. I was supposed to close on the refinance today and couldn't because my lender cannot prove they own my loan. What the heck do I do???

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You definitely need an attorney qualified to research the chain of custody of the note and deed of trust/mortgage. In general many states follow the "mortgage follows the note" theory, which implies that an assignment of the mortgage is not required so long as PNC has possession of the original note. If they hold the note, then the mortgage belongs to them as well. But this is a complex misunderstood aarea of the law that is currently in flux, so that is why I advise that you get a good real estate attorney. One who is versed in wrongful foreclosure defense would be most likely to be experienced in this are, even though you are not in foreclosure.

    This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Navaro & Associates LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues. Our firm offers free consultations up to 1/2 hour.


  2. Mr. Navaro's answer sounds correct. This is one good reason to choose a CRESPA licensed title agent who is also a lawyer when doing a closing. As the buyer/financing party, you have the right to choose the title agent, and, when things go hairy, it's not a bad idea to have a lawyer in the role ... often for the same cost as a non-lawyer title agent. In this case, you may already have a bill from the title agent you already selected and a bill from the lawyer. But, the bottom line is that you need a qualified lawyer to research, clear, and push the lender to give this adequate priority.

    I'm a Va, DC, and Md lawyer, but I'm only licensed to write title insurance in DC and Md. If you decide to move the closing, I can refer you to a colleague who can close it, too. Call early next week if you want help: 202-530-0100.


  3. The short answer is YES, you need to have an attorney to assist you. I would be curious to know, if the current lender cannot prove ownership of the note, why it accepts your money for payment?

    In answering this question, we have not created an attorney-client relationship. You must execute my engagement agreement and pay my fee before we have an attorney-client relationship. Any response I may post is based solely on the limited information you have provided and there may be other circumstances you fail to include that will affect your legal rights. If you wish to have a legal opinion or seek representation, you may contact me via my website and we may establish an attorney-client relationship at that time.

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