Lenders file mortgage deeds with the local clerk of court whenever mortgages are written against residential or commercial property. You are entitled to search public records to locate mortgage deeds for your own house or other properties. Lenders often request copies of mortgage deeds when underwriting refinance or purchase loans. Sometimes real estate agents look up mortgage deeds to determine how much the current owner of a home owes so that prospective buyers can use that knowledge during the price negotiations.
Find out which county the property tied to the mortgage falls within. If you are researching a property in a metropolitan area, you may have to call the local courthouse or post office to find out exactly where county boundaries end, as sometimes the dividing lines are unclear in major cities.
Go online and find the website of the clerk of court for the county containing the property. You can search clerk of court public records online by entering an address, owner's name or even the name of the lender listed on the mortgage deed. If you have multiple pieces of information you can narrow your search to find the document much more quickly. You can print out the mortgage deed from the online site.
Go to the clerk of court office at the local courthouse if the website does not have online records or only has records for documents that were produced more recently than the mortgage deed. Request access to county records and search using the information you have about the address, owner or lender. Some counties do not enable the public to look directly through files, in which case you must provide the information you do have to the clerk and the clerk locates it for you. Once found, photocopy the document and return the original to the clerk.
Lenders normally keep a copy of mortgage deeds on file. Contact the recording department of your lender and request a copy if the local county clerk cannot locate it. Sometimes deeds for houses close to county boundaries get recorded in the wrong county, so getting a copy from the lender avoids long delays.
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