How To Remove A Mortgage Lien From A Title
Ask the Real Estate Lawyer: Real Estate Law Q&A
REM #LAW 630
By Ilyce R. Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin
Summary: A reader wonders how to have and
old mortgage lien removed from a title. Sam and Ilyce warn that over the last
several years, lenders have become overwhelmed by the refinance boom and some
have failed to keep up with the documentation. Some never send out the release
deeds or release of lien letters.
Q: How can I get an old mortgage lien removed from my title? I paid off my
loan and the settlement agent gave me a statement indicating that all funds
had been disbursed.
(article continues below useful links)
Does the settlement agent have an obligation to make sure that the lien is
A: To pay off a loan, you first need to request a payoff letter or demand letter
from your lender. The payoff letter or demand letter asks your lender to give
you the exact amount necessary to completely pay off you loan.
When you receive the statement from the lender, you will then need to forward
a cashier’s or certified check to the lender for the exact amount needed
to pay off the loan on the date indicated in the letter.
Once your lender receives the payoff letter and funds, the loan is paid off
in full. Lenders then need to prepare a release deed or release of lien to clear
the title to the property. The release, once recorded, gives notice to the world
that you have paid off the loan and that the lien is no longer valid.
Unfortunately, over the last several years, lenders have become overwhelmed
by the refinance boom and some have failed to keep up with the documentation.
Some never send out the release deeds or release of lien letters.
You should call your lender and request that the company prepare and send out
the release for recording. The document must be recorded at your recorder of
deeds office or other office charged with recording documents in your county.
You can request that the settlement agent make the call, but it may take just
as long to get the settlement agent and explain to them what you want them to
do as it would to get a copy of the documents from your payoff and call the
lender yourself. If you call the lender, ask for the department that handles
release of liens.
Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney. Ilyce
R. Glink’s latest book is 50 Simple Steps You Can Take To Sell Your
Home Faster and For More Money In Any Market. If you have questions for
them, write: Real Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe, IL 60022
or contact them through Ilyce’s website www.thinkglink.com