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Update: Creative Methods for Closing During COVID-19

By Carly Clinton and Rosemary Liuzzo Mohamed

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. published an article in the fall about the creative methods its firm implemented to conduct closings during the spring and summer months. The transactional world continues to face many challenges with the increasing rise of new COVID-19 cases and the frigid winter months to come. This article is an update to the evolving methods that will be used amidst closing during the continued pandemic in New York.

Temperatures are rapidly declining and it is no longer plausible to conduct a “curbside closing” outside. Many closings have returned to the “traditional” method of closing inside at the conference table. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. always offers to host closings at our office since we have strict building COVID-19 policies. Our procedures include temperatures taken upon arrival and masks worn at all times. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. has multiple large conference rooms, and it is possible to safely social distance during the closing. If a refinance borrower is unable to come to our office in Manhattan for the closing, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. will make arrangements for the closing to take place at a local branch. Bank branches follow strict COVID-19 protocol and their conference rooms are equipped with glass to ensure a safe closing for all parties.

In addition, there has been a rise in the use of power of attorneys (“POA”). The use of a POA decreases the number of attendees present at the closing. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. helps to facilitate lender POA approval and if needed our office can prepare a POA. Transfer agents for cooperative purchases and refinances have been sending the collateral to be held in escrow and not attending the closings in person. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. can act as escrow agent if needed.

Seller’s attorneys have been increasingly asking for documents in advance so their client’s can pre-sign. This eliminates their need to attend the closing in person. Seller’s attorneys also have been requiring proceeds and payoffs to be sent by wire. Our Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. team works around the clock to send our lender documents in advance and verbally confirms wire instructions prior to the closing time in an effort to facilitate a smooth transaction.

Technology continues to play an extremely important factor throughout the transaction. A handful of lenders already allow the use of remote notarization.

Teamwork and communication among professionals is the number one key to success. During these times we have all had to come together in the transactional industry to promote the common goal which is to successfully and safely close a transactions for our clients.

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