“When do I get my money?” Inevitably, this is the first question every Seller asks after all the paperwork has been signed. Although the Seller is anxiously anticipating the attorney’s response to be let me go get the check, don’t be surprised when you hear the dreaded words that you may have to wait.
The reason for the wait is that North Carolina has legislation known as The Good Funds Settlement Act, which governs closings of one-to four-family residential dwellings or lots. In particular, this legislation imposes certain duties on the closing attorney. Basically these duties require the closing attorney: (1) to record the deed, if any, and the deed of trust or other loan documents required to be recorded; (2) not to disburse any closing funds prior to recording of the documents required by the lender and (3) to verify that closing funds are collected funds. In plain terms, before the attorney can record the documents, his/her office must receive a certified check, cashiers check, or a personal check not exceeding $5,000.00 covering the closing costs. The closing funds include the amount of money owed by the buyer, and Buyers beware, attorney offices differ on personal check policies. Only when this money is received and the closing documents are recorded, can you, as Seller, expect to get paid.
For more answers to your closing questions, contact the real estate attorneys at Ferguson, Scabrough, Hayes, Hawkins & DeMay, PLLC.
Ryan C. Hawkins is a partner at Ferguson, Hayes, Hawkins & DeMay, PLLC and a member of the Real Property Section of the North Carolina Bar Association.