Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Sloppiest of 500

Yeah, the SLOPPIEST closing in the approximately 500 transactions that I've been involved with as a practicing attorney...I guess as the market slows the depth of talent diminishes.

So this is what happened last week...

I was expecting a ho-hum closing, I had gotten involved in the deal late. I had the purchaser from a developer so the contract had been signed more than a year ago and just the last couple weeks I got involved with some last minute issues and then to attend the closing.

First, no Seller's attorney at closing and Seller's attorney wasn't even reachable by e-mail or cell phone. When you have a developer who's selling a high volume of units, it's not uncommon for Seller's attorney not to appear at closing. But, problems still come up and to be unreachable is just ridiculous and tacky.

Second, some half of Seller's documents including such unimportant ones as THE DEED were wrong. The grantee and legal description were not for the unit at issue.

Third, Seller's attorney DID NOT have various documents such as the property's warranty and the Affidavit of Title.

Well, I guess these developers in a slowing real estate market have to cut somewhere...I'm just not sure your legal counsel is the first place to cut.


At 12:46 PM, Blogger David Stejkowski said...

Scary, huh? I don't do much residential, but I have seen some scary matters recently, to the point of legal malpractice actions. We are all human, but there's just no excuse sometimes, and yours is certainly one of those.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger The Wasserlaw.Blog said...

Developer attorneys who do not bother to attend closings make us all crazy. they do a disservice to their clients and cause the rest of us needless delay and aggravation. how does their non-show make the buyer feel about the developer? not good at all. its bad PR and to my way of thinking, inexcusable. i feel your pain on that score.

sloppy lawyering is not unique to, or the exclusive province of the developer crowd. the sell-side lawyer at my closing yesterday did not answer a single telephone or respond to a single letter thru the entire transaction. instead, he used a "for-hire" outside paralegal service to handle the entire transaction. showed up at the closing, not knowing anything about any of the title clearance issues and without a DEED (!!!) then proceeded to blame the client for not having pre-signed it!

the good news you will get from bad-lawyering on the other side of a deal is that it makes you look REAL good to everyone at the closing table. your client and both agents (and the closer) all see that you care about the deal a whole lot more than the other guy. which lawyer will get the call when any of them have the chance to refer someone some business??? (hint, its you, dude!)


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