Beard says she`s so meticulous that her organizational tactics rub off on customers. And even if you don`t intend to sell right away, it would be wise to keep your records clean while you leave: “I train my staff from the beginning,” she said, noting, “Trust me. You will thank me in years if you want to sell.â We answer these questions and give you some tips on how best to store your documents. You only need to keep monthly bank statements, such as monthly mortgage fees paid, for as long as you think it`s necessary – perhaps a few months – to make sure the payments have been credited to your account. The question of keeping long mortgage statements, tax records and documents related to your vehicle is the one that comes up most often. When it comes to car loan payment stubs, you should keep them until the car is paid off. Similarly, when it comes to titles, you must keep this document in a safe place until you sell the vehicle. “Because the information in monthly statements is constantly changing, you don`t need to keep it for long periods of time if you don`t want to,” says Than Merrill, CEO of FortuneBuilders, a coaching firm for real estate investors. If you also keep a folder full of documents, label it clearly and keep it in a safe place, such as a fireproof box or bank box. Photocopy all receipts from the registry to make them last longer. Most register receipts are printed on thermal paper, which is sensitive to UV rays and heat and fades over time. A photocopy does not.
(You can throw away the originals.) “I keep my valuables in a big fireproof safe. It`s well hidden and far too heavy for anyone to get out. As a general rule, you should keep all contract documents that list your home purchase and initial loan for the duration of the loan. Tax season is the perfect time to sort through your documents, to “keep” and “shred” the piles. But when it comes to mortgage documents, which ones do you keep and for how long? And which ones can you safely throw away? As society becomes increasingly paperless, it`s hard to think about all the paperwork that comes with your home, especially if you`re selling your home. Imagine: some real estate transactions require about 180 sheets of paper, which creates a considerable pile, plus hand cramps due to all those signatures. Since old tax returns can help prepare future tax returns — not to mention calculations for an amended tax return — there are strong arguments in favor of keeping all tax returns forever. “It`s a big topic for us right now; I`m sure it`s probably nationwide,” she said. “It`s essential to keep all this information.” In addition, many people recommend following the 3-2-1 rule when it comes to records and paperwork. If you have a home warranty, keep a copy until it expires (these are often annual contracts that need to be renewed). Checking these documents is the fastest and easiest way to find out what is covered. Consumers should stick to closing disclosure for at least one year after completing their mortgage.
But we know that people also wonder how long to keep many other documents. With that in mind, we`ve created the following table: But pay close attention to this next part: When it comes to a statement that shows your mortgage balance is paid off in full, you`ll want to keep that documentation forever. Aside from what you need for your taxes (more on that shortly), you don`t have to keep all the records associated with a property indefinitely once you no longer own it. If you did not file a tax return in a given year, there is no limitation period. In this case, the IRS recommends keeping documents related to these records indefinitely. How long you want to keep your mortgage documents depends on the item. “First, never throw away or remove the deed of ownership of your home, as it`s by far the most important document you should keep,” says Leonard Ang, CEO of iPropertyManagement, an online resource for homeowners, renters, and real estate investors. It can also be helpful to keep a digital copy of your mortgage documents in a cloud storage space or on a hard drive. Do you have any other questions about the retention period for documents that are not covered here? “The majority of my foreclosure clients have not kept their original documents that can be used as a defense, which could potentially win your case and, in some cases, erase the mortgage itself due to errors or non-compliance with certain laws and regulations,” says D`Annucci.
“Documents worth keeping include the home inspection report, purchase agreement, and all renovation records,” says Merrill. “While they don`t seem necessary to keep it first, there`s always the possibility that they`ll be useful in the future. Therefore, a homeowner should keep indefinitely all documents that describe the condition of the house in detail. “When you talk about your monthly mortgage statement, all you have to do is keep it until the last statement arrives in your inbox or inbox. When it arrives, make sure your mortgage balance accurately reflects your last payment. Once you see that this is the case, you can delete the old statement and simply keep the new one. A mortgage involves a lot of paperwork, from the pile of paperwork you receive when you close to the statements you continue to receive from your lender when you pay off your loan. How long should you keep these documents and should you keep each one? Here`s what you need to know.
Beard also recommends keeping copies of records where the new owner might run into a legal issue, such as permits you obtained for renovations before selling. If someone makes a number of renovations without permission, the next buyer could be held retroactively liable for unauthorized work found during a subsequent inspection. Which ones should you keep and which ones should you throw away? Let`s dive in. We recommend that you keep important real estate records in a locked fireproof cabinet or locker. Be sure to tell any other named parties on your mortgage where the records are and how you can access them. The amount of records and documents you should keep is actually more limited than you think. Once you start making monthly mortgage payments, you can also receive mortgage statements in the mail from your lender or service agent. You will provide your outstanding balance, interest paid, estimated payment date and other details. These declarations have a very short shelf life and can therefore be destroyed or shredded at any time. You should keep your closing statement, deed and promissory note for as long as you have a mortgage. These documents will give you important information about your loan and property – you may want to refer to them later.
If you really want to get rid of your personal copy of your certificate, make sure you have a document that says “discharge” or “certificate of satisfaction”. You can check this with your title insurance company. “Any sensitive content should be removed first before being deleted, including your account numbers, social security number, and date of birth, which can be redacted with a pen or writing stamp,” says D`Annucci. The most important mortgage document you should keep is the deed of ownership of your home. Actual contract documents detailing your home purchase and initial loan must be retained for the duration of the loan. Other loan documents, such as Refinancing agreements should be kept for at least three years. Some recommend keeping them for up to ten years. This type of paperwork could come in handy if monthly mortgage statements seem inaccurate or if there is a sudden and unexpected change in your monthly interest rate, for example. Other records, such as monthly mortgage fees paid, should only be kept for as long as you deem necessary, such as several months to ensure payments have been credited to your account.
So that`s an overview of how long certain documents are kept. But some documents can be destroyed much faster after they enter your life: there are documents you should keep indefinitely. Stick to your sales contract, records of any renovations you make to your home, and your home inspection. These contain important information about the condition of your property and can be invaluable when selling your home or maintaining. Keep your warranty until it expires. If the tax records relate to real estate, you must keep them “until the statute of limitations for the year in which you sell the property.” For these calculations, stick to these documents: Keep in mind that there is no limitation period for audits if you do not file a tax return in a given year. If for any reason you missed a tax due date, consider keeping your loan and real estate documents indefinitely. For example, you want to keep home improvement records until you sell.
That`s because they can help you reduce your capital gains tax if you file your return the following year. If you decide to get rid of any of these documents — and you shouldn`t do so until you`ve sold the house until you`ve sold it — don`t throw them in the trash. While you`re busy throwing papers into the campfire, remember to keep your HUD-1 return. This is a detailed list of all the costs associated with buying your current home and includes tax-deductible items and costs that can be added to your cost bases when you calculate capital gains tax on the sale. Many experts recommend keeping mortgage documents for the term of your loan or beyond, or at least until your home is sold.