A mortgage release provides a legally accepted form of documentation that your mortgage has been paid off. Lenders are required to provide you with a copy of this release upon the payoff of your mortgage. By filing a copy of the release of mortgage with the County Clerk's office, you are demonstrating free and clear ownership of your property.
Call the Mortgage Company
Contact the lender to ensure that they are either going to send you a copy of the release or are planning on filing the release with the County Clerk. They will likely be compelled by state law to submit the release of mortgage within a certain number of days. For instance, Colorado law requires note holders to issue documentation of the loan's release within 90 days of the loan's payoff. Georgia law states that the lender must provide you with a copy of the the release within 60 days.
Utilize the Banking Regulatory Agency
Contact your state's banking regulatory agency. This step is only necessary if the mortgage holder refuses to provide you with the release within the time allowed by law. You state's banking officials should provide you with information on how to bypass the necessity for the release. As an example, in Georgia you can submit an affidavit (signed testimony) from a bank officer at your bank that verifies you have paid off the loan. The document allows court officials to cancel the mortgage without a release of mortgage from the former note holder.
Check the Mortgage Release
Review the release of mortgage and ensure the information is correct. The document should accurately describe the lien to be released. The release of mortgage will likely reference the original lien by citing its placement in the land records of your county.
File the Mortgage Release
File a copy of the release with the County Clerk's office. If the mortgage company sends you a copy of the release but does not file it for you, you should file the release.
Update Your Records
Keep a certified copy of the release of mortgage filing for your records. Keep this documentation in a safe place as it will provide substantive proof that the former note holder no longer has claim to a lien on your land.
In some states a mortgage is administered through a legal mechanism known as a Deed of Trust. In those states you will be granted a Release of Deed of Trust upon payoff as opposed to a Release of Mortgage.
In other states, a Release of Mortgage may be referred to as a Release of Lien.
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