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Closing delay puts homebuyers in hotel

Posted by: James Eli Shiffer under Buyer beware, How to blow the whistle, Property problems Updated: January 26, 2010 - 11:07 AM

When a couple bought a new house in Minnetonka in November, they found their homecoming delayed. Here's what they had to say:

When we arrived at [title company A] for our closing… we were informed that our paperwork was screwed up and we could not close.

When we asked for an explanation, we were told that the sellers title company [title company B] had used incorrect loan information on their documents. Since we were buying from an estate, and the Trustee was [out of state], the title companies could not give us a new date for closing. "They would let us know."

The sellers' real estate agent and title person were incredibly rude to us (like it was OUR fault) and did not even offer up an apology (and moving in to the house early was not an option either).

We ended up in a hotel for a week with our cats, and had to change our moving date (all our household items in storage). This cost us just under $1000.00. Not knowing when we would be able to take possession of our new house, screwed up our utility start dates and our mail delivery.

We find it appalling that title companies can make mistakes that cost people so much time and money and do not have to be held accountable for it.

In the end, we did not know when we would close on our new house until the day it happened
 

The Minnesota Department of Commerce regulates insurers, including title insurance companies that handle real estate closings. Although the homebuyers didn't do it in this case, you can file a complaint here.

Have you experienced a real estate closing that left a bad taste in your mouth? How can you protect yourself in a situation like this? Does the state do a good job protecting consumer from costly mistakes and misdeeds during real estate transactions?

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