Do we need a lawyer when we close on our mortgage refinance?
January 27, 2015 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Because we are in New York state, when we close on our refi, we are going to have to sign all of our paperwork in person. As I understand it, New York law requires this. We had our own lawyer present when we closed on the purchase of this house. Should we have one when we close on the refinance? If so, Why? If it matters, we are in Nassau county, and we are refinancing with the original bank who has owned our mortgage since we purchased the home.
posted by waterisfinite to Law & Government (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: From personal experience, I refinanced my mortgage with the same company two years ago. I am also located in New York State. We signed the documents in person, but a lawyer was not necessary.
posted by LightMayo at 10:00 AM on January 27, 2015

Best answer: Us too, times 3 refi's, none of which were with the original bank. No lawyer except for the original purchase of the house. And we are in NYC.
posted by DMelanogaster at 10:22 AM on January 27, 2015

Best answer: Not a homeowner but know several people who are in Nassau County (hi, neighbor!) ... no lawyers used to refi by any of them.
posted by Brian Puccio at 10:35 AM on January 27, 2015

Best answer: We refinanced in August in NYC, with original bank. No lawyer.
posted by gaspode at 10:43 AM on January 27, 2015

Best answer: Your closer will explain each document as they hand it to you for signature. The documents will pretty much be identical to the mortgage documents you completed when you bought the house. It'll be less paperwork than the purchase since you aren't handling titles and etc.

If you have a question about a particular document, don't sign it and ask the closer. You could also bring your old paperwork from the previous mortgage for reference.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:07 PM on January 27, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! (And, whew!)
posted by waterisfinite at 1:47 PM on January 27, 2015

I've done it myself without a lawyer (IAAL but IANML) and found the paperwork, dealing with banks, etc. to be a hassle and nerve-wracking as the closing date approached.

If you can handle the paperwork and understand the papers, you don't need a lawyer to help you.

If you are unsure about what all the papers mean and maybe want someone by your side to reassure you about everything you're being asked to sign, then it might be helpful to have a lawyer along.

One time I had a massive refi involving retitling two apartments, paying off 4(!) loans, and delivering proceeds to two owners, and can't imagine having done it without the help of an experienced real estate lawyer and his paralegal and staff.
posted by JimN2TAW at 1:55 PM on January 27, 2015

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