Legal English “Peter’s Pills”: The closing statement

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Hello! Today we speak about closing statements in the USA which are also known as settlement statements or settlement sheets.

Closing statements are used in real estate transactions to show which costs will be paid by the buyer, and which will be paid by the seller and they are required by law under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974.

Any homebuyer who asks for a mortgage will receive a closing statement from the bank, while the seller will receive one from the real estate agent who assisted the sale.

In general closing statements include the following information:

  • Property details. The closing statement includes basic information about the property, such as the address where it’s located, when it was built, and the type of structure it is (i.e., single-family home, multifamily home, apartments, etc.).
  • Financial information. The closing statement details the purchase price of the home, deposits paid by the buyer, and seller credits.
  • Prorated amounts. If a buyer or seller is paying proportional amounts toward property taxes or homeowners association (HOA) fees, then these are included on the closing statement.
  • Loan costs. This section of the closing statement includes information relating to the loan, such as points paid, underwriting fees, and application fees. Mortgage insurance premiums and prepaid interest are also included here.
  • Miscellaneous loan costs. Other loan costs would be listed under a separate section. These include appraisal fees, credit report fees, and research fees. Survey fees, inspection fees, and pest inspection fees are also included on the closing statement.
  • Escrow and registration fees. Escrow charges are shown on the closing statement, along with any registration fees charged by government entities to register the transaction.
  • Commissions. The closing statement specifies what was paid in real estate commissions to the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent.

Thank you very much and see you next time for more Peter’s Pills to improve your Legal English!

mortgage – prestito ipotecario
homeowners association – associazione di proprietari
underwriting fees – commissione rischio relativo alla sottoscrizione
insurance premiums – premio assicurativo
appraisal fees – spese di perizia
survey fees – spese di visura
pest inspection fees – ispezione per organismi nocivi
escrow charges – spese conto fiduciario

See an example of a closing statement (or settlement statement) here: “Settlement Statement (HUD-1)