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Context: I sold a rental property last year, and foolishly neglected to cancel the homeowner's insurance policy on it. (I thought the title company would handle this as part of the closing, at the same time they paid off the mortgage.) Apparently the insurer has continued to bill my (former) mortgage company, and the mortgage company has continued to pay the bill, despite the fact that they have already returned the balance of my escrow fund to me. Anyway, after spending some time on the phone, it appears that the solution to this is to (a) send the insurance company a copy of my Bill of Sale, with a note asking them to cancel the policy as of the date of sale, at which point (b) they will cancel the policy retroactively and refund the money to the mortgage company, who will then (c) figure out if any of that money is supposed to come back to me (probably not, but maybe).

So, out come the closing documents, and I start looking for a "Bill of Sale". But I don't find anything with that title that describes the sale of the house. I find a "Bill of Sale" for the appliances in the house, "Closing Statements" for both Seller and Purchaser, "Property Transfer Affidavit" (a Michigan Dept. of Treasury form), a "Warranty Deed", a couple more affidavits, and a "Due Date Tax Proration" calculation.

Of these, the one that seems like the closest thing to a Bill of Sale is the Warranty Deed. Are those actually the same thing? Is one a type of the other? I realize these sound like very ignorant questions but I really relied on the Title Company to handle this and I don't know what all of these different documents are. What should I send in -- the whole packet?

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A deed (warranty or otherwise) is written evidence of the transfer of ownership of real estate. A bill of sale is written evidence of the transfer of ownership of a tangible object (i.e., not real estate). The deed that you signed establishes the date of the sale. It sounds like that’s exactly what you need.

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