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We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

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Do I need an attorney or anyone else to represent me when closing on a mortgage?

Answer:

It depends. Depending on your state’s laws, you may not be required to have an attorney at the closing.

However, you can choose to have an attorney review your documents before closing

Technically, unless you hire an attorney to represent you at closing, no one else participating in  the closing exclusively represents your interests. It’s important to understand that other attorneys present at the closing – for example, the lender’s or seller’s attorney – do not represent you. These people may not be able to answer your questions and are required to act in the lender’s or seller’s interests, not yours.

While some states require that there be an attorney present at closing, note that this attorney has a primary responsibility to the lender. If this is your first home purchase you may consider having your own legal representation. Your real estate agent or mortgage broker can provide recommendations if you do not have an attorney.  

If you have a problem with your mortgage closing process, you should discuss the issue or matter with your lender. If you’re having issues with your mortgage, you can also submit a complaint to the CFPB online or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372). We’ll forward your complaint to the company and work to get you a response. You may also wish to get your own attorney to take a look at your issue or matter.

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The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.