What is a satisfaction of mortgage?

A satisfaction of mortgage is a document serving as evidence that you’ve paid off your mortgage in full, releasing the lien associated with the loan from your property and transferring the title to you. This document typically includes:

  • Borrower and lender contact information
  • Loan and property information
  • Notarization

Who prepares the satisfaction of mortgage?

When you pay your mortgage off, it’s your lender’s responsibility to prepare the satisfaction of mortgage, and have the involved parties sign the document and get it notarized. The lender is also responsible for filing the documentation with the appropriate records office.

“The [lender/servicer] handles this completely,” explains Scott Sheldon, branch manager at New American Funding in Santa Rosa, California. “I just paid mine and received a ‘Paid’ copy of my note.”

If your loan was sold to a servicer after it was originated — and many mortgages are — your servicer, not the lender who funded your loan, is tasked with preparing the paperwork.

Depending on your lender, you might have to pay a nominal fee for processing the satisfaction of mortgage.

How long does it take to get a satisfaction of mortgage?

In general, it takes 30 days to receive a satisfaction of mortgage, but it can depend on your state’s laws. In Florida, for example, lenders have 60 days from the time the borrower pays off the mortgage to prepare and record the documentation.

For Sheldon’s own mortgage, the process took about three weeks.

Satisfaction of mortgage vs. deed of reconveyance

Both a satisfaction of mortgage and deed of reconveyance indicate that the loan has been fully paid and the lien on the property has been released. A deed of reconveyance, however, is typically used in states where a deed of trust is also utilized.

What if the satisfaction of mortgage isn’t recorded?

If the satisfaction of mortgage isn’t recorded, the state could issue a fine to the lender. Because of this, lenders work to ensure they complete the process within the required time frame.

If for some reason you haven’t received the satisfaction of mortgage, contact your lender or servicer. If your lender has gone out of business, you can try to obtain a lien release through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Be prepared to hand over:

  • A copy of your note or deed of trust
  • Title search results
  • Proof that you’ve paid your loan in full

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