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Real Estate Settlement Resources

for people who do closings
 


Software Tools

Real Estate Closing Software

Argosy Legal Systems is the maker of Power Closer HUD settlement software.

The Power Closer demo may be all you need to prepare a low volume of closings. This free HUD software does not expire. It is surprisingly functional, and includes many features of the paid product.  Compare features here.

Amortization and mortgage calculation

Harry Hollander's Mortgage Wizard Plus is a nice intuitive mortgage calculation program. It calculates payments, remaining balance and amortization period. It produces an amortization schedule in the form of a scrollable spreadsheet that you can edit, format and print. It handles lump sum payments, payment changes and interest changes. Includes Help and manual.

If you have a current version of Excel, you can visit the Microsoft Office website and download their amortization schedule template. 

Annual percentage rate (APR) calculation

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has provided an Annual Percentage Rate Calculation Program for Windows known as APRWIN which is available free by download.

Escrow aggregate adjustment

FDIC provides spreadsheets that calculate the aggregate accounting adjustment for line 1008 of the HUD-1. You must have a spreadsheet program such as Lotus-123, MS Excel, Quattro Pro to use these files. 

If your spreadsheet program is older than Excel 97 or Lotus 4, then these older spreadsheets might be of use: MONTHLY.WK1 and BIWEEKLY.WK1.

Print maps from metes and bounds

Mapdraw Deed Plotter, published by Informatik, Inc., creates maps based on metes and bounds legal descriptions. You can download a 30-day trial version from their website. To decompress this download, you need an "unzip" utility such as PKWARE's PKZIP software. Mapdraw software may report that the file VBRUN300.DLL is missing from your Windows System folder (C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM). If you need that, it is available here: VBRUN300.EXE.

Plat Pronto deed plotting and land surveying software by B.W. Muncy, Inc. produces a plat from the legal description. You can download a shareware version of Plat Pronto from their website.  It prints plats and reports, with a 30 day or 30 print limit. The save, export and e-mail capabilities are disabled.  ZDNet gave it a 5 star rating.

One of our customers speaks highly of Greenbrier Graphics Deed Plotter. It's a little more expensive, but they have been offering a 30-day money back guarantee. Please let us know how it compares.

Adobe (PDF)

Adobe Portable Document Format

Some of the information at this website is provided in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files. These files are portable across computing platforms, meaning they should look the same when viewed or printed on computers running under DOS, Windows, Unix, Macintosh, etc. If you know you do not have this, you may want to visit Adobe and get their free Acrobat® .PDF reader.

E-mailing HUD-1's in PDF Format

You can convert a document such as the HUD-1 settlement statement to PDF format and attach that to an E-mail. Do this by printing the document to a special printer driver that creates PDF documents instead of printing. People who receive your PDF files will need the free Acrobat® .PDF reader mentioned above.

Undoubtedly the best PDF printer driver is included with Adobe Acrobat. It costs around $200 retail, but you can very likely get a new-in-the-box copy on eBay for much less. 

If you do not have Acrobat, download CutePDF Writer. To install, first run convert.exe, then run the CutePDF Writer installation program. CutePDF Writer is free for personal and commercial use.

Alternatively, you can use PDFmailer, which comes in a free promotional version and a paid version.

When the PDF driver is installed, you can set up Power Closer real estate closing software to use the new driver by going to Power Closer's Options menu item and selecting Workstation options and Configure Printer(s). Select CutePDF as an optional printer, and set the paper length to Automatically Select for both 11 and 14 inch paper. That makes it available as an alternative printer at print time.

See also: HUD-1 form on letter size paper

Forms

Real estate forms

Fannie Mae publishes Single-Family Uniform Mortgage Instruments in Adobe Acrobat® format. It also contains news about a variety of current documentation issues. 

Freddie Mac publishes the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Single-Family Uniform Mortgage Instruments in Microsoft Word format. It takes time for them to update these forms, so it's a good idea to verify that what you download is current.

Land America Financial Group, Inc.'s LandAmerica SingleSource® provides title insurance forms and underwriting resources for the use of agents of Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company,  Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation and Transnation Title Insurance Company. They also provide related legal forms by state. 

Stewart Title Guaranty Company provides forms by state in its Virtual Underwriter

First American Title Insurance Company's Underwriting Library describes closing practices and provides insurance and some miscellaneous closing forms, with state by state and international coverage.

Fidelity National Title Insurance Company provides free forms for Florida which may be of general interest.

Lender's Document Service, Inc. has a nice document library in Adobe Acrobat® format geared to the state of California.

 


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