I am going through my filing cabinet and I have an overwhelming number of documents. And yet I think I’m missing some key ones. I want to throw out everything I don’t need and would really appreciate help in what I should keep. My thoughts below:
Must keep (property 1):
Deed of trust
Title insurance and policy
closing statement from title company
Revised closing disclosure from Wells Fargo (arrived 7 months later, I guess Wells had to change something?)
Now what’s weird is for property 2 I don’t have anything that’s signed by both parties! Welp! Have I lost the important docs while having so many unsigned and random loan docs???! Maybe they never sent me the the recorded docs after the refinance closed? This is what I have which I plan to keep:
Rate note from refinance (not signed by either party)
Deed of trust from refinance (not signed)
Appraisal report (from original and from refinance)
inspection report that I paid for on original purchase
title company preliminary report
worst case amortization schedule
Planning to dispose of following (Basically all of these are a copy that is unsigned by either party):
hoa package acceptance and receipt
closing instructions and addendum (not signed)
loan detail report
1-4 family rider (unsigned)
rate rider (unsigned)
condo rider (unsigned)
arm program disclosure
hazard insurance requirements
assignment of deed of trust
lenders law statement of loan
per diem interest disclosure
impound account statement
-payment letter to borrower
IRS can ask for those documents 3 years after filing taxes.
Yes, required as you need it for tax filing. I keep all HUD-1 or Final Closing Statement for IRS proof purpose. I even keep all refinances since purchase time to selling time (and after 3 years) for IRS audit purpose.
Audit may or may not come, but it is better to keep those for 3 years or traceability purpose.
I don’t keep any physical paper. I scan and keep these documents:
The grant deed clearly is the most important document, but it’s recorded with the County. If their record keeping fails, then we do have a very real problem. The deed of trust is also recorded, and it’s more important for the lender than for you.
The promissory note is important as it spells out your loan terms, late fees, interest rate etc. After the loan is paid, the lender will mail you the original note. (BofA mailed it 2 years later to me, but that may have been due to the fact that the original loan was with Countrywide!)
keep the HUD closing statement also when you SELL a property.
for the IRS to show your expenses/ net proceeds
for the future, to prove that you actually sold.
I got a loan ~2 years ago, and the lender upon reviewing my tax returns noticed that 2 properties had dropped of my rental schedule. I told them that I sold them. It was not good enough. The underwriter wanted to see the closing statements.
Some escrow offices have the habit to scan “all closing documents” into one big file and that includes a bunch of stuff beyond the 2 mentioned at the top; I certainly keep those big files, but I always extract the 2 documents into separate files.
I keep my documents on a dedicated (rented) server located somewhere in the Midwest. I pay about $560/year for that luxury. The software infrastructure for storage and retrieval is all home grown. apache/ Perl, C and some Tomcat/ Java. Not sure if it’s really better than amazon’s servers but I feel more in control.
An EMP that takes out the entire continent, that might do it. Kills my machine in California and the remote server.
I wonder what the County’s record keeping would look like after that.
Maybe I own everything free and clear after an EMP?
I bought one box of things in the flea market, in it, there was one of those sticks. Curiously, I browsed through it and believe me, there was stuff there that somebody was missing. No way I could have brought to their attention what I had. No way!
Is that the reason this car with men in black has been cruising my neighborhood lately?