Paper Trail: What Mortgage Documents Do You Really Need?

If you’re like most people, you have folders stuffed full of papers you don’t need, drawers overflowing with receipts, boxes with old files you’re hanging on to, just in case. Life generates a lot of paperwork, and one of the things that generates the most documents is closing on a mortgage. There are certainly some documents you don’t need after the sale is finalized! If you get a bee in your bonnet and decide to clean out some of that clutter in your drawers, here are some documents you really do need to hang on to, no matter what.


Start with your buyer’s agent agreement, if you had a real estate agent working with you to buy your home. This is a contract between you and your real estate brokerage, and it is important to keep in the event you have a problem with your agent after closing. Likewise, your purchase agreement, the contract signed by the buyers and the sellers agreeing on the terms of the sale, should be retained. This contract is legally binding, and everything in it must be followed to a “T”, so it’s important to have it on hand.

Any kind of addenda, amendment, or rider also falls into this category, since they change the original terms of the contract. These are usually related to appraisals or inspections, and if, for instance, both parties agree to something being repaired, the addendum may be necessary to refer to if the repairs prove to be completed in an unsatisfactory manner. The home inspection report provides a detailed report of the condition of your house at move-in and usually includes photos of potential problem areas. This is a helpful record to have and may prove useful to future buyers as well.

Seller disclosures give you the proof you may need to hold the seller accountable for any undisclosed issues or problems you may experience. Your title insurance policy is proof of protection in the event of someone else making a claim to your home. As a side note, there is required title insurance for lenders and separate title insurance for buyers. The policy that protects your lender does not help you, you’d be wise to get a buyer’s policy as well.

Lastly, and most importantly, your mortgage note. This is the document that gives all the specifics of your mortgage loan, such as the term, interest rate, payment due dates, penalties for missed payments and any fees you can expect. The note is a contract that gives the lender the right to repossess your property in the event that you do not uphold the terms as delineated. Even if your home loan is financed by the seller rather than a mortgage lender, you will still have a legally binding mortgage note that serves the same purpose.

If you can not find one of these important documents, no need to panic. Your title company is required by law to keep copies of your closing documents, so if you need them, that is the place to start. At Setco Services, we are proud to offer the secure Paperless Closer. Paperless Closer is an online system that stores documents and information regarding your closing. You can log in to this system any time to see your progress as it happens. After your closing, your documents are safely stored indefinitely for you to access, so that’s less paper overflowing your drawers.

Click below to learn more about how we can help you simplify the closing process and make your life a little neater.

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