Title and Mortgage Companies

A paralegal experienced in real estate matters need not work for a law firm or a bank. Title companies and mortgage companies, businesses that are privately owned and provide needed support for real estate transactions, present other opportunities.

Mortgage companies are similar to banks — they provide financing for real estate purchases. These lending arrangements are subject to strict regulations designed to protect consumers from predatory practices. Like banks, mortgage companies require paralegals to ensure compliance with the laws governing the creation of a mortgage interest and to protect the lender in the event of a default.

Title companies have two functions: they supply the abstracts that are used to verify the title of the seller and they provide closing services for real estate sales. An abstract of title is a summary of the transactions affecting the ownership of a particular piece of property and is based on records maintained at the county recorder's office. Every time an abstract is requested or must be updated, a personal visit to the recorder's office is required. A paralegal skilled at identifying and classifying real property transactions can gather the necessary information to provide a current picture of the title to the property. Then a registered abstracter prepares the document. Title companies also provide closing services. At a closing, the buyer and the seller are brought together to complete the real estate transaction. Paralegals prepare closing statements — summaries of the financial costs of the transaction and may verify that the closing documents (deeds, mortgages, etc.) do not have any obvious defects.

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