Do I need a lawyer when I refinance my home?


Q. I’m refinancing our home with the same bank I have had for the past 10 years. Do I need a lawyer for that?
— Homeowner

A. Some states require the use of a real estate attorney in the refinancing process, but New Jersey isn’t one of them.

Even if it’s not required, it still may make sense for you to have someone who will understand all of the mortgage terms that you will receive because no one else involved in this process is representing you, said Altair Gobo, a certified financial planner with U.S. Financial Services in Fairfield.

With interest rates being so low, many people only focus on the rate, Gobo said.

“However, there is much more to this process – including loan application fees, appraisal, inspection, title search, insurance and other potential closing costs that you need to fully understand,” Gobo said.

You also want to be sure you are prepared if there are any balloon payments and/or pre-payment penalties.

It is also critical that the mortgage you are paying off by refinancing is properly discharged, Gobo said.

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This story was originally published on April 8, 2021. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.