Satisfaction of Mortgage FAQ

  1. Q. What is a Satisfaction of Mortgage?

    A. A Satisfaction of Mortgage is a document signed by a mortgagee acknowledging that a mortgage has been fully paid by the mortgagor and that the mortgage is no longer a lien on the property. In order to clear the title to the real property owned by the mortgagor, the Satisfaction of Mortgage document must be recorded with the County Recorder or Recorder of Deeds. If the mortgagee fails to record a satisfaction within the set time limits, the mortgagee may be responsible for damages set out by statute.

  2. Q. Who is the Mortgagor?

    A. The Mortgagor is the individual or entity that borrowed the money to purchase the property.

  3. Q. Who is the Mortgagee?

    A. The Mortgagee is the individual or entity that lent the money to the Mortgagor. (e.g., the bank.)

  4. Q. What is a notary public?

    A. A Notary Public is a state-appointed official who is authorized to authenticate certain legal documents, such as declarations, acknowledgments, deeds, mortgages, and other contracts. Most real estate deeds are notarized by attorneys.

  5. Q. What is the consideration?

    A. The consideration entered on a deed document should be the actual value paid by the Grantee to the Grantor in monetary terms. If no consideration is being provided, such as in the case of a gift, then 10.00 can be entered as the standard consideration.

  6. Q. What is the County Recorder's Office?

    A. This office is referred to by different names in different states, such as County's Office, Register of Deeds, or Land Registry Office. It is where documents relating to real property are registered.

  7. Q. Where can I obtain the legal description of my property?

    A. You should be able to obtain the complete legal description of your property from the County Recorder's Office by providing your municipal address or tax parcel number.

  8. Q. What is the tax parcel number or parcel identification and how do I find out what the specific number is for my property?

    A. This number is a 10-12 digit number that identifies ownership and assessed values of property for taxation purposes. The number can be obtained from your Tax Statement, Revaluation Notice, or Personal Property Listing Form.

  9. Q. Why is there a large margin at the top of deed documents?

    A. The County Recorder who will file the document requires a 2-3 inch margin at the top of the document so that they can affix a stamp, filing number or some other form of information to help identify and record the deed. Do not write in this space.

  10. Q. Can I get my document notarized in a different state than where the land is located?

    A. Most states recognize notarization of land transfers by officials from other states, but you should contact the County Clerk's Office where the land is located to be sure that they will allow the document to be notarized in another state. Our documents allow for inter-state notarization by enabling you to select in which state you will have it notarized, regardless of the location of the property.

  11. Q. What do I do with the Deed of Reconveyance after it has been signed by the Trustee and a Notary Public?

    A. After a deed is signed and notarized, it should be filed at the land records office in the county where the property is located. This office is referred to by different names in different states, but is usually called the County Clerk's Office, County Recorder's Office, Register of Deeds, or Land Registry Office.

  12. Q. Do I need to have witnesses when I sign a deed?

    A. Currently, only Arkansas, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, and Vermont require that witnesses sign deeds in addition to a notary public in order for deeds to be valid. However, in some states, specific counties require that deeds be witnessed. You should check with your local county recorder's office to determine if witnesses are required.

  13. Q. How is a Deed of Reconveyance different from a Satisfaction of Mortgage?

    A. A Deed of Reconveyance is a document which transfers title in the property back to the borrower from the Trustee and it is used to acknowledge that the borrower has fully paid what he or she owed under a Deed of Trust. A Satisfaction of Mortgage is used to acknowledge the same of a Mortgage agreement. A Satisfaction of Mortgage is a document signed by a mortgagee acknowledging that a mortgage has been fully paid and that the mortgage is no longer a lien on the property. In order to clear the title to the real property owned by the mortgagor, the Satisfaction of Mortgage document must be recorded with the County Recorder or Recorder of Deeds. If the mortgagee fails to record a satisfaction within the set time limits, the mortgagee may be responsible for damages set out by statute. In essence, the Deed of Reconveyance and Satisfaction of Mortgage both serve the same function, which is to show that the borrower has repaid the loan fully and that the lender has no further interest in the property.

  14. Q. What happens when no Satisfaction of Mortgage is recorded?

    A. If a purchaser of property pays off the entire debt that he or she owes under a mortgage but no Satisfaction of Mortgage is recorded, then the lien will still be registered against the against the property. In most states, there will be a penalty for the Mortgagee if a Satisfaction of Mortgage is not filed within a reasonable time upon the full payment of the mortgage debt. Even if done later than the statutory required time period, the Mortgagee should still try to prepare a Satisfaction of Mortgage and have it registered once the debt has been paid.