Plan Now for Juneteenth Office Closures

With peak selling season just around the corner, don’t forget to plan your real estate transactions around Juneteenth, the new federal holiday that falls during the busiest sales month of the year.

June 19, or Juneteenth, marks the day in 1865 when the last enslaved African-Americans learned they were free – two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery. Juneteenth has been recognized as a Texas state holiday since 1980 and adopted by other states over the years. In 2021, Congress and President Joe Biden made it a federal holiday.

Since Juneteenth falls on a Sunday this year and some businesses are observing the holiday on different dates, it has the potential to create confusion in the real estate industry – especially when calculating rescission days or TRID closing disclosures, locking in interest rates and scheduling closings.

For example, say a borrower signs a Loan Estimate and locks in their mortgage rate on Thursday, June 16. The 3-day rescission period – which includes Saturdays but not Sundays or federal holidays – would normally include Friday, June 17, Saturday, June 18 and Monday, June 20. However, if the lender is closed for Juneteenth on Monday, June 20, that pushes back the rescission date to Tuesday, June 21. It also means the borrower cannot close until then and may require a rate extension to keep their original mortgage rate.

Typically, the federal government observes federal holidays that fall on a Saturday the Friday before the holiday. If the holiday falls on a Sunday, it is observed the following Monday. However, states that commemorate a state holiday before it becomes a federal holiday are permitted to continue following the schedule outlined in state law. Historically, that’s meant some states observe Juneteenth on a Friday if the holiday falls during the weekend.  

Most banks and lenders follow federal holiday observances and will be closed Monday, June 20. However, some county recorder offices are closing Friday, June 17. Some entities have yet to make a determination or have opted not to close this year. The takeaway for title and real estate professionals is to do your research now and plan accordingly to keep business running smoothly.