Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Iowa


We bought a house a couple months ago, and completed the closing in April. Now at the beginning of this month we received a letter from the law office stating that we owed them $401 for a bill. After calling them, they told us they had made a mistake and we needed to pay this money to the abstract company "for the continuation of your abstract of title". Even though this was their mistake, they are insisting we owe the money. We don't understand how this mistake could have happened. Should we just pay the money or is there anything we may have signed in the closing that states that everything is final and we do not need to pay any more money?

This is what the letter states:

Greetings: Enclosed please find a bill from the ### County Abstract Company in the amount of $401.00 for the continuation of your abstract of title. This invoice should be paid before we can finish our title work with regard to your real estate closing. Also enclosed is a composite mortgage affidavit which we would request you sign and then return to our office in order to also complete the title work. We have enclosed a self-addressed stamped envelope for your convenience in returning the affidavit and sending your check to us. The check should be payable to the ### County Abstract Company. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Very truly yours, ####

Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

Asked on 6/19/13, 1:09 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Thomas Moens Moens Law Offices, Chartered

People make mistakes. The way I would look at it is this: If they had not made this mistake, you would have paid that extra $400 in April. This way, you got to hold onto your money for an extra two months without paying interest. I doubt you signed a "you do not need to pay any more money" document, but I bet you did sign a "we will cooperate to correct any errors" document.

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Answered on 6/19/13, 1:16 pm

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