Kathleen Kilkenny – Real Estate Attorney with Integrity


American Land Title Association pic

American Land Title Association
Image: alta.org

Having practiced law for 15 years, Attorney Kathleen Kilkenny provides professional legal services in Massachusetts. Graduating with her juris doctor from Southern New England School of Law, Kathleen Kilkenny is a residential real estate attorney and member of American Land Title Association (ALTA).

Founded in 1907, American Land Title Association is a national organization representing 6,000 title insurance companies, independent abstractors, real estate attorneys, title searchers and settlement agents. Helping to protect mortgage lenders and real estate property owners against losses from defective titles, ALTA members conduct examinations, closings, searches and issue insurance coverages for titles throughout the country.

Having conducted a home closing survey in March 2016, ALTA discovered under the revised federal regulations, more homebuyers are taking a closer look at their mortgage documents before closing the deal. This is made possible by the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau’s Know Before You Owe regulation. As of October 3, 2015, homebuyers are provided with a five-page Closing Disclosure three days prior to the finalization of their mortgage. The survey revealed that homebuyers reviewing their mortgage documents prior to closing increased from 74 percent prior to the new regulation, to 92 percent after. Helping homebuyers become educated with their lending terms under the new regulation has had a minimal effect on the delay of mortgage closing on times. The home closing survey conducted by ALTA revealed that after the new regulation, 74 percent of mortgage closings took place as scheduled. This is compared to 77 percent closing on time before the implementation.


What One Should Know Before Hiring a Real Estate Attorney

Chatham on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod

Chatham on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod


Attorney Kathleen Kilkenny handles residential real estate cases at her office in Chatham on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod. Kathleen Kilkenny has been awarded a “low” risk rating by Secure Settlement for the excellent quality of her practice. She is committed to providing a personalized, hands-on approach to clients’ cases.

When retaining a real estate attorney, it is imperative to identify the nature of the legal issues one has and the kind of property one owns. An attorney, during an initial consultation, may help identify what the case is and what kind of lawyer you should look for.

As laws may differ in various jurisdictions, it is essential to find an attorney familiar with the law in the jurisdiction where your real property is located. Proximity between lawyer and client, although not necessary, is definitely a plus.

It’s important to ensure the attorney of your choosing has substantial experience in the relevant area of law and is reasonably qualified, with the certificates and recognition to prove it.

Finally, your attorney should be easy to communicate with. You can get a good sense of this through the initial contact and consultation.

ALTA Supports the National Mortgage Database

American Land Title Association pic

American Land Title Association
Image: alta.org

Real estate Attorney Kathleen Kilkenny owns and operates a private practice in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where she oversees all aspects of residential real estate conveyancing. Kathleen Kilkenny recently became a member of American Land Title Association (ALTA), a professional organization supported by most banks and title insurance companies.

ALTA advocates for a number of key changes in the real estate and insurance industries, including the creation of a national mortgage database. First proposed in 2012 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), a national mortgage database would provide a comprehensive listing of first-lien single-family mortgages. The two agencies would be able to use the information to draft effective policies and understand housing market trends.

ALTA believes that a national mortgage database will protect consumers in the residential mortgage market. Regulatory agencies can use real-time data from such a database to anticipate future crises and take the steps necessary to prevent them. However, ALTA argues that a national mortgage database should not compromise the title industry’s ability to facilitate transfer of interests in real property.

Important Compliance Issues for the Real Estate Industry in 2015

With nearly 15 years of legal experience, Attorney Kathleen Kilkenny practices real estate law at her office in Massachusetts, where she helps clients in the Cape Cod area during real estate transactions. Kathleen Kilkenny also stays current with changes in the real estate industry by maintaining membership with professional organizations like the American Land Title Association (ALTA).

ALTA recently publicized an article from HousingWire.com that reviewed some of the significant compliance issues for 2015, including the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and mortgage servicing and sub-servicing matters. The article noted that additional HMDA data-gathering standards will be initiated, but the ultimate scale, particulars, and implementation date have yet to be released. Although the details are still in progress, the article states that the range of the new data-collection field requirements will be extensive and add new challenges for banks and financial institutions.

The article also asserts that regulatory agencies have expressed that there will be continued emphasis on mortgage servicing and sub-servicing guidelines. According to the article, 2015 will most likely bring additional modifications in mortgage servicing standards, such as new security measures for surviving family members and homeowners.

Cape Cod Real Estate Trends for End of Year

As a real estate attorney, Kathleen Kilkenny draws on an in-depth knowledge of the Cape Cod market. Kathleen Kilkenny has represented numerous home buyers and is herself a resident of the town of Chatham.

According to the Zillow real estate network, Cape Cod is currently a buyer’s market. The home value index of $356,900 is likely to rise 1.6 percent over the coming year. Prices tend to vary by community, with the greatest increases happening in Chatham over the past year. In the longer term, Orleans home prices have experienced the greatest average year-over-year increase. By contrast, the town of Brewster has seen a 4 percent decrease in median sales prices in the past five years but experienced an increase of only $2,910 in the past year.

Home sales remained strong through the summer of 2014, though September saw an expected slowdown. Real estate sales tend to dip as the holidays approach and pick up again in mid-January, when new homes come on the market and sellers list for their asking price. This makes the slow season an ideal time for buyers to find a good value.

The Importance of Title Insurance

Attorney Kathleen Kilkenny represents the interests of buyers, sellers, and lenders in the Cape Cod, Massachusetts area from her practice’s office in Chatham. Kathleen Kilkenny is also affiliated with national title insurance companies. She is a member of the American Land Title Association, which advocates for consumers by helping to provide trouble-free real estate transactions.

Upon the signing of the sales contract and before closing, titles to the property are searched at the Registry of Deeds and probate courts for any obstacles to transferring the title of the home. Around one-third of these searches reveal problems, such as a failure of the previous owner to pay local or state taxes, errors in the deed, undisclosed heirs, or forgery.

Generally valued at the home’s purchase price, an owner’s title insurance policy protects buyers against these and other unforeseen issues that may arise. Payment for the policy involves a one-time fee for coverage that lasts as long as the owners or his or her heirs have an interest in the property. The policy provides for possible legal fees if the title is challenged. It is offered automatically in some states and optionally in others. In the latter case, owners should take the initiative in buying the policy.