The Document Registration Agreement (The DRA)

What is the Document Registration Agreement?

An escrow closing procedure is recommended in electronic registration because purchase funds, keys and off title documents cannot be moved electronically among parties. The DRA is a standardized form of agreement that governs the relationship between the parties until all documents and funds have been exchanged and electronic registration has been effected. The DRA is an agreement between the parties to the transaction.

Please note that the DRA, establishes strict escrow terms relating only to the closing procedure.       
       
Practice Guideline 4 - Electronic Closings and the DRA 
Electronic Registration and LAWPRO's Position on Claims Deductibles
 

May I amend the DRA?

The DRA is an agreement between the parties that deals only with closing procedures. Additions or modifications to the standardized form may be required to meet the circumstances of the individual transaction.

For example the DRA does not provide for the giving or acceptance of possession of the real property in advance of registration of title documents, nor does it address any of the issues relating to interim possession, readjustments, amendment or preservation of contractual rights/obligations or other matters normally associated with an "escrow closing" ( a transaction which cannot be completed on the scheduled closing date). These issues, in addition to the specific escrow provisions of the DRA itself, need to be reviewed and addressed by lawyers for the parties in each transaction.       

Practice Guideline 4 - Electronic Closings and the DRA 
       

Do I need to obtain my client's written authorization to enter into a DRA?

A lawyer is advised to obtain the client's written authorization to make that commitment. When a lawyer enters into a DRA, the lawyer undertakes professional obligations with respect to the handling and disposition of the client's documents and funds. Although specific written instructions are always preferable, in many cases the agreement of purchase and sale may already provide that the transaction is to be closed pursuant to such an agreement.

Prior to entering into a DRA on behalf of a client, a lawyer should obtain written instructions from the client confirming that the client understands that by entering into the DRA the lawyer will be incurring professional obligations in accordance with its terms and will be contracting as agent for the client with the intention that the client shall have both the benefits and the burdens of the covenants in the DRA.  

Practice Guideline 4 - Electronic Closings and the DRA 

I have entered into the DRA. Am I now precluded or prevented from retaining a conveyancer to assist me in the closing of the transaction?

The standardized form of the DRA does not preclude nor prevent a lawyer from retaining a conveyancer to assist in the closing of the transaction.

Practice Guideline 4 - Electronic Closings and the DRA
 

Who are the appropriate parties to the DRA?

Although the standardized form of the DRA refers to the "purchaser's solicitor" and the "vendor's solicitor ", it is not intended that the agreement be limited to purchase and sale transactions. Lawyers representing mortgagees, guarantors and others in real estate transactions may be necessary parties to the DRA. Appropriate additions or amendments to the standardized form of the DRA may be made to accommodate additional parties and further obligations.

Practice Guideline 4 - Electronic Closings and the DRA   

 

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