How To Pay Off A Mortgage
Ask the Real Estate Lawyer: Real Estate Law Q&A
REM # LAW 692
By Ilyce R. Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin
Summary: It is the day we all look forward
to - finally making that last payment on the mortgage. Ilyce and Sam help a
reader avoid attorney's fees by explaining how to get a release of the lien
on the mortgage.
Q: I am in the eleventh year of a 30-year mortgage in which I have always made
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My remaining balance is around $8,000. I plan to sell this house next year
and buy another.
I'm on schedule to payoff my mortgage in the next couple of months and I am
not sure exactly how to do it.
My mortgage is held by a private individual. When I bought the house, the seller
offered to take back the mortgage. At the time of the closing I was given an
amortized schedule which I use for my monthly payments.
Do I need to hire an attorney? How do I remove the lien from my property? What
do I need my mortgage holder to do?
A: First, congratulations on doing such a great job of paying off the loan
The good news is you probably don’t need an attorney to pay off your
loan. When you are certain that you have paid off the loan, you need to contact
your lender (the seller) and confirm that the loan is now paid off. Your lender
will need to return to you the original note and mortgage you signed eleven
years ago, along with a release of the lien of the mortgage.
The release of the mortgage should be a one- or two-page document that states
that the lender releases his or her interest in the original mortgage. It should
contain the information from the original mortgage including the document number
given to the mortgage by the recorder in the county in which your home is located.
In addition to this information, the release of mortgage document should contain
the address for your home, your property tax parcel or property identification
number along with the legal description for the home.
There are companies that have forms individualized for each state to assist
your lender in preparing a release of a mortgage. Once the document has been
signed by your lender, you should have that document recorded in the county
in which your home is located. That puts the world on notice that your loan
is paid off.
If you have additional questions, you can seek the assistance from a real estate
attorney in your area, the recorder of deeds in your county or even some title
insurance companies. Each of these might be willing to help make sure the document
has all the necessary information and will release the lien of your mortgage.
Finally, it never hurts to receive a letter from your lender along with the
other documents that states that your loan is now paid in full.
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