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What is a Satisfaction of Mortgage?

Last updated 04/08/2024 by

Ossiana Tepfenhart
A satisfaction of mortgage is a document that confirms your mortgage loan is fully paid and you no longer owe money on the house. Once you’ve finished paying off your mortgage, the mortgage lender will send you this document. It gives you details on how to get the title and deed to your home.
After years of making monthly payments, you finally paid off your mortgage. Congratulations! Now you can look forward to receiving a satisfaction of mortgage from your bank, making everything official. It’s a great phrase to hear, and one that many homeowners work towards for years.
But what does a satisfaction of mortgage mean? And why is it so important? In this article, we delve deep into the purpose of a satisfaction of mortgage, why it’s a must-have, and how it can save you frustration in the long run.

What is a satisfaction of mortgage?

A satisfaction of mortgage is a special document sent out by your mortgage lender or financial institution. It’s released after the final mortgage payment is made, signifying that the mortgage no longer acts as a lien on the property. It’s also called a mortgage lien release in some areas.
In other words, it’s the document that proves you can ask for the deed and title. You finished paying everything off, and now the home is yours! A satisfaction of mortgage also proves that the former borrower now owns the house outright.
If the bank mistakenly believes there’s an extra payment remaining, this proves that the homeowner is free and clear of any further payments. All mortgages, from the subprime to the balloon, will get a satisfaction if they are paid off.

How do you know if your mortgage is satisfied?

If you aren’t sure whether a mortgage has been satisfied, don’t panic. You can always call your lender and ask if you have a satisfaction of mortgage document on the way.

Who pays for a satisfaction of mortgage?

With every satisfaction of mortgage filed, someone pays a fee to the city registrar, county clerk, or local land registry office. This is a nominal fee that keeps filings in check. In most cases, the lender or mortgage servicer will be in charge of this fee.
With that said, this can vary between lender policies. If the lender is not responsible for these fees, then the homeowner will have to pay them.

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Who is responsible for drafting the satisfaction of mortgage?

Your financial institution (either the lender or mortgage servicer) is responsible for preparing the satisfaction of mortgage. The preparation includes all of the following:
  • Writing up the satisfaction of mortgage document. This includes a legal description of your home, notes of your final payment, and any additional details they find necessary. It’s like the final extension of a mortgage note, in a way.
  • Filing the paperwork with your local county recorder, city registrar, land registry office, or similar institution. The financial institution where you have your home mortgage will know which one to go to. Your financial institution will also be responsible for notarizing the document before filing.
  • Alerting you that the satisfaction of mortgage has been filed. In most cases, you should receive notice within 30 days of your final mortgage payment. If you don’t hear anything by then, reach out to your lender or financial institution.
Note: Depending on your lender’s policy, you may have to pay a small nominal fee that goes to your residence’s county recorder. However, most lenders will cover this and offer you a free satisfaction document without issue.

What is the timeframe for receiving a satisfaction of mortgage?

This all depends on your mortgage term length and payments. If you have a 30-year mortgage and made single monthly payments, then it’ll take 30 years. If you had a 15-year mortgage and made single monthly payments all 15 years, it’ll take 15 years.
From that timeframe, tack on an additional 30 days in most states. The majority of states provide lenders 30 days after loan completion to fill out and file the necessary forms. In some states, local requirements are more lax. For example, in Florida, they’re given up to 60 days.

Can I pay off my mortgage faster?

A borrower who makes extra mortgage payments may earn a satisfaction of mortgage earlier. Many financial advisors and finance gurus suggest adding extra to your mortgage payments to pay off your mortgage loan early. However, this assumes that your lender allows for prepayment. If you aren’t sure, clarify with your lender before making additional payments.

Is a deed of reconveyance the same as a satisfaction of mortgage?

Depending on where you live, you might have heard of the term “deed of reconveyance” used interchangeably with “satisfaction of mortgage” (in addition to “full reconveyance”). All terms refer to documents that prove your property title is clear and that you have paid off your loan. If you received a mortgage, you’ll likely earn a satisfaction of mortgage; if you received a deed of trust, you’ll earn a deed of reconveyance.

What happens if the satisfaction of mortgage is not recorded?

Let’s say that it’s been about 30 days since you paid your last mortgage bill, and you haven’t gotten a notice about your mortgage being paid off. This is rare, but it happens. Here’s what you need to know:
  • Contact your lender or mortgage servicer to find out why. In most cases, they’ll take a look at your loan and be able to complete the filing if they haven’t already.
  • Ask for proof of filing. Your lending institution should give you written proof of the filing, even if it’s a small letter.
  • If your lending institution has not filed anything or claims there is still a lien on your property, call a lawyer. Seek a professional real estate lawyer’s opinion on whether you may have a case and require a lawsuit. Due to the complexity of real estate laws, we strongly encourage the use of a qualified and experienced law firm here.

When is a satisfaction of mortgage helpful?

You’ll want to have this document handy for a couple of reasons, which is why you should keep it in your files. For example, as we’ve said before, a satisfaction of mortgage proves that you don’t owe money on your home. This is beneficial if you want to sell your home, and crucial if you get an errant bill. A satisfaction of mortgage is a court-admissible document showing you’ve paid your loan.

Paying off the right mortgage

Paying off your mortgage takes a lot of work and planning. Without the right home loan, you may have a difficult time earning a satisfaction of mortgage. Luckily, SuperMoney makes discovering the right home loan easy. Take a look at the options below to find the best home loan for you.

SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

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Key Takeaways

  • A satisfaction of mortgage indicates you’ve finished making mortgage payments on your property.
  • Your financial institution will draft, record, and properly file your satisfaction of mortgage.
  • When you receive a satisfaction of mortgage depends on the payments you make on your mortgage.
  • If you don’t receive notice of your final mortgage payment within 30 days, contact your bank or lending institution to ensure a satisfaction of mortgage is filed.

SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

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