May 2020 – This transaction involved a successful escrow closing for a Condominium purchase with financing and a CEMA (assignment of seller’s mortgage). The attorneys from our residential department (Pierre Debbas, Michael Feldman, Danielle Greco and our paralegal, Maria Lagusis) and banking department (Scott Krinsky) were engaged simultaneously to ensure the closing was done in the most efficient manner. It was undoubtedly the most complicated escrow closing we’ve undertaken thus far during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Prior to scheduling, we (along with Steven Lopez @ Corcoran) were able to negotiate a $35,000.00 credit at closing for the purchasers, which represented 3 months of carrying costs on the unit, as we estimated it would take that long for our clients to safely occupy the space and move their belongings in. It was of particular importance for our clients to close ASAP as their loan documentation was due to expire and we didn’t want to run the risk of the loan going back thru underwriting. The sellers were also eager to close, so the agreed-upon concession represented a mutually beneficial outcome for both parties. Once our client’s lender (who Romer Debbas LLP also represented in this transaction) confirmed clearance to close, we began to coordinate with seller’s counsel on final numbers and logistics. Based on the seller’s outstanding balance on their loan and purchaser’s new loan, the parties split the savings on Mortgage Recording Tax, which amount to a total of approximately $30,000.00. Upon confirming final figures with seller’s counsel, we sent a detailed estimate to our clients, so that they could wire us the appropriate sum to complete the transaction in advance of the escrow closing. On receipt of documents from all parties, we sent an e-mail to our client containing one PDF of all documents with detailed instructions for execution. On the morning of the closing, we did a conference call with the purchasers to review the documents in detail and answer any questions. Our title company’s title closer (we engaged an attorney in Suffolk County to perform title closer duties to ensure that an attorney completed the final phase of the closing) arrived at our clients’ residence in Montauk later that morning with the physical document package to coordinate a contactless, “porch” closing, where our clients executed all documents in their home in view of the closer, left the document on their porch, where the closer subsequently retrieved and notarized the documents. The closer then dropped the documents at FEDEX so they could be sent overnight to the appropriate parties. Once our banking team reviewed the loan documentation and approved the “funding” of the loan, our residential team initiated wires to the appropriate parties. On the seller’s attorney’s receipt of wires from our office, he then processed appropriate wires to our title company (for payment of the seller’s title bill) and real estate agents (for payment of commission). At that point, the escrow closing concluded and we were successfully closed. As the parties had established mutual trust throughout the transaction, and our clients had recently inspected the space, a walk-thru was not required.