Q: The title company that is handling my settlement is refusing to give me information as to what the entire settlement will cost. Do I really have to wait until settlement to learn what this entire process will costs me?

A: There are several ways to determine, in advance, the closing costs you will be required to pay. First, if there are slaes agents involved, they should ab able to give you a fairly concise breakdown of the closing costs. Second, when you made application for a "ggod faith estimate" of settlement costs. You should be able to extrapolate the figures from these disclosures.

Finally, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), enacted by Congress a few years ago, specifically requires that the borrower shall have the right to inspect the closing costs from the title company or title attorney handling settlement one business day before the actual settlement. Unfortunately, Congress put a limitation on this, and the person conducting settlement need only give you the information then known. It is possible, in many cases, that the settlement office does not have all of the figures.

However, most settlement companies and title attorneys welcome your business, and you should be able to get a good "ball park" estimate in advance of the actual settlement date.

Her's a suggestion: When you first negotiate with the title attorney or settlement company to handle your settlement, ask whether you will receive the information in advance. If there is any reluctance or hesitancy on the party of the settlement office> shop around for some place else. After all, the buyer is paying for settlement, and should get friendly and decent service.