How an iPhone Saved My Closing: A Seller’s Tale

by Josh Blumen on Thursday, February 16th, 2012

I was walking into the supermarket on a Friday afternoon when the buyer’s attorney called. My clients were scheduled to close the sale of their South Boston condo on Monday morning and now there was a problem with the title. It was a minor problem, but enough to push back the closing date until it was resolved.

The problem: When my clients purchased the condo, the mortgage held by the previous owner had not been properly discharged from the public records at the Registry of Deeds.

There were two possible solutions. One option was to get a new discharge — a time consuming process that involved tracking down that seller’s lender from ten years ago, showing that the mortgage had been paid-in-full, and waiting for a new discharge. Not going to happen in time for the closing Monday.

But if we could prove that my sellers had purchased an Owner’s title insurance policy, the closing could proceed as scheduled with a promise from the title insurance company to fix the problem. I just needed to see a copy of the settlement statement my sellers had signed 10 years earlier. If my clients had purchased an Owner’s title insurance policy, it would be noted on the settlement statement.

I called my clients from the produce aisle — and just in time. Even though they were halfway out the door for a getaway weekend and their entire household was boxed up for the move, they were able to find their original settlement docs. But now there was another problem. Everything else was in boxes, including their fax machine, scanner, and computers.

We were about to bump the closing date when it hit me: “What kind of phone are you talking to me from?” It was an iPhone. “Fantastic. Take a few pictures of the settlement statement and email or text it to me.”

Five minutes later, I was looking at clear picture of the settlement statement on my iPhone. Turns out my that my clients had purchased an Owner’s title insurance policy from First American at their closing. I emailed this information to the Buyer’s attorney and contacted First American several minutes later — from the soup aisle.

The bottom line: Thanks to a little creative thinking and modern technology, my clients sold on time and are looking for a new home in the suburbs. To find out how we can help your purchase, sale or refinance go smoothly, please call the Law Offices of Joshua Blumen, P.C. at 781-784-2500.

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