Getting Paid Mortgages Released in Missouri

13 Sep Getting Paid Mortgages Released in Missouri

Mortgage lenders are failing daily. If you have paid off your mortgage, either by completing the payments required or through refinance, you should make sure the mortgage servicer releases the deed of trust — the mortgage — on your home. Missouri law puts some useful tools in your hands to make sure it happens.

This is important for every Missouri homeowner. If you paid off a mortgage but don’t have “deed of release” to prove it (or it is not recorded in the county where the property is located), then you may have to go back to the lender later — sometimes years later — to get proof. That’s not too difficult if they’re still around. But what if they’ve sold out and disappeared? If you can’t find anyone to sign off on releasing the mortgage, you may have to hire a lawyer to “quiet title” to your home before you can take out a new loan or sell it. That can be expensive.

Missouri law requires the mortgage be released promptly.

The law gives the homeowner the right to send a certified letter demanding the mortgage servicer (with the details defined in the Missouri statute) with the costs of recording of a deed of release in the relevant county. If the lender fails to record the deed of release within 45-days of this demand, it will normally become liable for $300 per day damages to you, as well as court costs and (this is of course my favorite part) attorney fees.

The law was previously much harsher on mortgage lenders who failed to jump through more hoops, as demonstrated by the Missouri Supreme Court’s Glass decision. But $300/day plus attorney fees is enough to at least make it worth pursuing for most people. And for once maybe get the mortgage servicer to listen — assuming they’re still in business by then.

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I have been a bankruptcy attorney since 1989. Our firm represents consumers filing bankruptcy almost exclusively, although I have represented bankruptcy trustees as well as creditors. For 2017-2018 I am also serving on the American Bankruptcy Institute's Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy. If you live in Eastern Missouri, visit our website, send an e-mail or give us a call (314) 781-3400. Our website: STLBankruptcy.com
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