How does one arrange power of attorney fast in NC?
December 17, 2010 4:55 PM   Subscribe

How does one arrange power-of-attorney at short notice in North Carolina?

Asking for a friend:

My friend in NC is in the middle of refinancing her mortgage and seperating/divorcing. She needs her husband's signature on a document to transfer the co-owned house entirely to her name on Thursday or the refinancing falls through (costing her a bucket of money to reapply). He's going out of town for a week on Tuesday.

So she and he need to arrange for him to assign power of attorney to someone else to sign those forms on Thursday in his absence. And they need to arrange this no later than 3pm Monday.

This previous question makes it sound like they just need to download a form, fill it out, and have it notarized.

Is that all there is to it? Are there any special rules (ie needing to file it with a city or county agency) either for North Carolina/Durham County or for assigning POA for this particular purpose (signing the title of the house over)?

Yes, she has a lawyer and she will be calling her on Monday morning, but has previously had a great deal of difficulty actually getting her lawyer on the phone to answer questions.
posted by K.P. to Law & Government (2 answers total)
Once you get the lawyer's attention, it should be a simple matter to get the POA drafted and signed.

But why can't he sign the document he needs to sign on Monday?
posted by yclipse at 7:14 PM on December 17, 2010

Best answer: The person whose opinion REALLY matters is the closing agent (who usually will be an employee at the title company that's handling the closing). In some cases, this will be the attorney of one of the parties, but usually it's a non-lawyer with a checklist.

I have personally purchased residential real estate twice using a power of attorney for a spouse, and it has been a major PITA both times. Both the closing agent and the lender will scrutinize the document (and the way documents are signed under the POA) with a fine-toothed comb and if ANYTHING does not match their checklist exactly, their default will be to reject the document or to seek consultation with their lawyers, the lender's lawyers and numerous other people up and down the various chains-of-command. This can (frustratingly) take a long time when you're sitting at the closing table and a spouse is in another state, etc. etc. etc.

Cynically, whatever you might prepare over the weekend on your own is likely to have some minor defect that the agent, lender, title insurance company or whatnot is going to take exception to, because "that's not the way we do it here". It is going to be much faster to do it "their way" the first time (even though there might be more than one "right" way to do it).

Flexible lawyers would probably find a way for the husband to execute his documents (likely, a quit-claim deed) on Monday -- but in my experience lawyers and lenders are often not flexible on these things (even though they could be).

I have no idea what the normal practices are in Durham county, but FWIW, for both of the houses we purchased using a POA for one of the parties, the POA was filed contemporaneously with the other documents (and thus we paid the extra recording fee). That means that the wet-ink copy of the POA had to be delivered at the time of the closing.

posted by QuantumMeruit at 7:17 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

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