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Understanding the Documents Involved

When you purchased your home, you reviewed and signed all of the following documents.  Now that you’re considering refinancing your mortgage, it’s a good time to refresh your knowledge as you will review and sign them again.


It’s important that you read and understand all documents that require your signature. Don’t hesitate to ask questions!

Forms You’ll See Prior to Closing

Uniform Residential Loan Application: This is the same mortgage loan application you completed when you purchased your home, capturing key information about you, your finances, and details of your potential mortgage. With this form, you'll be required to provide information about your monthly income, combined household expenses, assets and liabilities, and personal information such as your social security number and marital status. This information will help your lender assess your eligibility for a new loan.

Loan Estimate: Within three business days after completing your loan application, your lender will give you a Loan Estimate that should reflect the particular loan you discussed – including all terms and associated costs due at closing. Consider exploring your loan options from several lenders and choose the loan that is best for you.

In October 2015, the Know Before You Owe mortgage rule went into effect, replacing four disclosure forms with two new ones to provide greater transparency and make the mortgage process easier.

The Most Important Forms You'll Sign at Closing

Closing Disclosure: This form provides all of the actual fees, costs and credits associated with closing your loan. Your lender is required to provide you with the Closing Disclosure 3 business days before your scheduled closing to review and ensure that the loan terms and costs closely align with those provided in your Loan Estimate.

The Promissory Note: This is the legal document you sign agreeing to repay the loan according to the terms to which you agreed. It outlines the details of the loan, the dates when payments are to be made and where payments are to be sent. It also explains what can happen if you fail to make a payment on time.

Deed of Trust: By signing this document, you are giving the lender the right to take back the property by foreclosure should you fail to repay your loan as agreed. This document also explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower.

Deed: The seller will sign the deed to transfer ownership over to you, and it will have the names of all the buyers on it. Your title will be held with a third-party trustee until you have paid for the house in full. You will receive a copy of the deed at closing.

Affidavits and Declarations: These are statements declaring all the information you provide is true, including that the property will be your primary residence and all repairs needed on the property were made prior to closing.

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