Fannie Mae’s acceptance of attorney opinion letters may cut home-purchase costs.
This past April, news that Fannie Mae would begin accepting written attorney opinion letters as an alternative to title insurance policies generated mixed reactions. Scotsman Guide recently published an article by Jim Albertelli, CEO of Voxtur, that discusses how this move could make for more affordable homeownership — as well as details around the existing practice and common misconceptions.
In summary, Fannie Mae’s new guidelines state that attorney opinion letters must be addressed to the lender and all successive owners of the loan, be commonly accepted in the area where the subject property is located, and provide gap coverage for the duration between the loan closing and recording of the mortgage.
The use of attorney opinion letters instead of title insurance could save consumers hundreds or even thousands of dollars. However, there are concerns about the potential risks involved in using attorney opinion letters. These concerns are based on assumptions about attorney opinion letters as they existed a century ago, and Jim Albertelli argues that these concerns are not accurate and that attorney opinion letters are a truly viable alternative to title insurance in every way.