Courthouse office closures creating issues

By Christina Calloway
Senior writer
ccalloway@pntonline.com

The temporary closures of some Roosevelt County Courthouse offices have brought on unforeseen issues for real estate agents, bankers and title companies as they say the last week of the month is their busiest.
Real estate agent Lori Bohm said the closures have caused a huge hardship for people trying to close on homes and fund loans.
County employees in those offices closing will be moving today and Friday into portable ones. The portables will serve as county offices for an estimated nine months while the courthouse’s HVAC system is replaced.

Before the move and the start of the $2.9 million project, the shut down of the air conditioner made conditions too hot to work in and the offices were closing at noon daily.
Bohm said this has been an inconvenience for people in her business.
“There could have been plans made,” Bohm said.

Bohm said those who work in the clerk’s office are aware this is a busy time for title companies and that some extra consideration and arrangements should have been made for those who so often use the office.
Local mortgage banker Chris Wood predicts about 60 percent of transactions in his business are made the last week of the month.
“We understand (the HVAC project) is something that has to be done I just wish their had been more communication,” Wood said.

Before a banker can fund a loan for a home, Wood said the deed to the home must be filed in the clerk’s office. After this is done, the banker can disperse funds to the seller and it allows the buyer to take occupancy.
Bohm said no real estate transactions will take place in that office until Monday, resulting in more fees for customers.
“We cannot finalize a transaction if we cannot record the legal documents at the courthouse,” Wood said. “Where we run into issues is if they’re delayed, it can cost our customers money in several ways including extra fees.”

Bohm said one of the employees in the clerk’s office stayed in the office for her shortly after noon on Wednesday so she could file a deed but she’s concerned with the office being closed today and with today being the last day of the month that no one can close on a home until Monday.
Wood is concerned the delays may affect more people than it should.

“In certain situations, you may have a buyer or a seller selling a property and getting money to use as a down payment on the next home he’s buying,” Wood said. “If that money is delayed then it delays the closing of the house he’s buying and that can have a chain reaction.”
No one from the Roosevelt County clerk’s office was immediately available for comment on Wednesday.