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When you get a mortgage to purchase a house in Massachusetts, your bank will require you to employ an attorney as the “settlement agent” or “escrow agent.”

Essentially, the lawyer reviews the title to the property you’re purchasing and certifies to the bank that there are no legal problems that will arise after the closing.

The lawyer also handles the loan money on behalf of the bank, writing checks to everyone involved in the closing process–the seller, the surveyor, the real estate agents, etc.

Before the closing, the lawyer prepares a commitment letter for the lender title insurance policy that you’re required to buy at the closing. He or she also relays the real estate tax information from the tax collector’s office to the bank and has a survey done of the land to ensure there are no boundary line problems.

Most banks allow borrowers to choose their own closing attorney. A small minority of banks require their customers to use a pre-selected lawyer.

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