What recourse do we have now that our closing date has gone past the date stated in our contract?

This is of no fault of ours. We are the buyers and the underwriter is taking her time and has also asked at the very last minute, the night before closing for more paperwork. As we have accomidated and scurried around to get it done, not even sure if we could have, but being threatened that if we don’t we will not have a closing at all. We are now being told that it may be anywhere from 4 to 6 business days because they need to get the closing package out and order the wire. If I’m not mistaken, the wire happens after the closing. Yet we haven’t gotten the ok to close yet. I feel as though the end of this has been handled with gross negligence. And we have been harassed by the loan officer and underwriter.

Asked on August 20, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, the lender is not a party to the contract and is not bound by the dates or terms thereof. Moreoever, a lender generally has no obligation to lend, and can take as long as it likes to commit to a loan, if it will grant the loan at all. So the lender is not liable for not making the loan committment yet, because it is not obligated to commit within any particular time frame, or to extend the loan at all. At the same time, however, you are obligated to the closing date in your contract, and can suffer the consequences for breaching it. 
For future reference--and not just speaking as attorney, but also as speaking as someone who recently bought a new house and went through this--as unfair as it seems, you *must* set a closing date far enough in the future to acount for any and all possible delays in underwritng and closing the loan. You bear all the liabiltiy for a failure to get the loan in time; the lender bears none.

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