Builders and Homeowners Guidelines for Construction

Alicia Schaub

Congratulations on your upcoming construction project! While your project is moving along, here are some helpful guidelines for the construction draw process.

First, Access Title Agency has available sworn statements and other forms for your use if needed. Just reach out to closing@accesstitleagency.com and we will be happy to send them to you.

Sworn Statements & First Draws

The law requires that a Sworn Statement, which gives the description of all work and materials for which the owner is charged, must be prepared whenever payment is requested. The sworn statement must be accurate as of the date it is signed, and it must be signed in front of a notary public and property notarized.

Pursuant to Michigan law, we require a properly filled out, signed and notarized sworn statement at each draw. We review the sworn statements carefully, so making sure the date, customer name(s), property address, builder/subcontractor/supplier info and description of work or material are correct from the start helps move the draw process along.

If there are changes to the contract amount, a change order form will need to be signed by both the owner and the builder. Change orders are extremely important because the lender needs to ensure that they have enough funds to cover the difference. In some instances, a lender will have to prepare a mortgage modification to obtain the difference. This can take time and money. So be prepared and make sure you are promptly submitting change orders.

If this is your first draw, make sure to include a copy of the building permit.

One common error on sworn statements involves subcontractors and suppliers (stores where materials are purchased from). All subcontractor and suppliers must be listed on the sworn statement. If funds were paid to subs/suppliers prior to the loan closing, you will need to provide appropriate unconditional lien waivers and make sure that the payments are reflected on the sworn statement.

Understand that most draws only occur once a month and, on average, take 7 or more business days before funding is received from the lender.

Making sure that your sworn statement is correct and in order when you send it to us can help prevent any added time before you receive the funds.

By Alicia Schaub

Alicia Schaub is Access Title Agency’s on-staff attorney for the Traverse City and Suttons Bay, Michigan offices. She graduated cum laude from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and is licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan. Contact info: aschaub@accesstitleagency.com or (231) 539-1203.

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