Frequently Asked Questions

What are included in your closing costs? What are pre-paids & are they different from closing costs?

Empire of America fully discloses all closing costs online. You may view a breakdown of all closing costs 24/7 online on our instant rate quote engine. We guarantee these closing costs, and work with our service providers day in and day out, so we know their charges won’t vary.

Closing Costs are “one-time costs to obtain a mortgage, paid at closing” and include the following:

  1. Lender Fee: We charge one all-inclusive Guaranteed Lender Fee, which includes processing, underwriting, doc prep and funding.
  2. Discount Points OR Guaranteed Rebate (Credit): You may elect to pay discount points to buy down your interest rate. Or you may choose a slightly higher rate and obtain a rebate/credit to offset some or all of your closing costs. Perform an online rate search to view all combinations of rates, points and rebates/credits.
  3. Appraisal Fee: Your appraisal fee is collected in advance on a credit card while in process.
  4. Escrow Agent and Title Insurance: Closing agent (escrow) and title insurance fees are guaranteed if you use the national service provider we contract with to provide these services in your state. You will notice that these fees are extremely competitive due to the high volume of business that we provide to these service providers.
  5. Government Recording Charges (only varying fee): The county recorder’s office will charge a recording fee to record your new mortgage or deed of trust. This fee changes depending on your county, and the length of pages in your deed of trust on the new mortgage. These fees will vary if you are adding someone to title (requires a grant deed), recording a subordination, or a release of lien, in addition to your new home loan with Empire.


One note on payoff fees from your current lender on a refinance: they may charge you a fee to produce a payoff demand, and also to record the lien release on title (once we pay them off). These fees are customary and could part of refinance cost, but they aren’t always – just depends on the lender.


Pre-paids are not closing costs (but can require funds needed to close a transaction), they are “recurring costs of homeownership, partially prepaid at closing” and include the following:

  1. Initial Escrow/Impound Account Deposit: If an escrow/impound account is to be established for the ongoing payment of your property taxes and homeowner’s insurance, funds will be collected at close to make an initial deposit into the account so that sufficient funds will be available to pay these recurring expenses as they become due.
  2. Prepaid Interest: Your mortgage payment due date will be the first of each month, if your loan is closed on any day other than the first of the month, prepaid interest will be collected at closing, calculated from the date of closing through the end of the month. As a result of this pre-payment of interest, you will not make the next mortgage payment but “skip” it.
    1. Keep in mind, mortgages are paid in arrears, which means on April 1st, your payment due will cover all interest due from March.
  3. First Year Homeowner’s Insurance Premium: If your loan is a purchase transaction, your first year’s homeowner’s insurance premium will be collected at closing and paid to your insurance company.
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