Obtaining the Deed

by | Nov. 02, 2009

Finances

Dear Dave,

We live in Missouri, and we just paid off our mortgage in July. Do we have to contact the mortgage company to get the deed?

Karen

Dear Karen,

It can vary depending on where you live, but I believe Missouri is a Deed of Trust and note state. The deed of trust is the lien against your house, and the mortgage company is supposed to file a release at the courthouse for that Deed of Trust. Next, they should send you a copy, but it's not unusual for things like this to take three or four months.

They'll also send you the original note you signed at closing. This should have "paid in full" stamped or written across it in big, bold letters. That note becomes your property. If they didn't signify that the deal is done, you should write "paid in full" on the front yourself, and keep it in a very safe file forever. The original note is the documentation that you owed money, and the Deed of Trust contains the lien against your house. Typically, they will also send you a copy of the release of lien on the Deed of Trust.

Just understand that most mortgage companies move slowly. But don't be afraid to start rattling a few cages if Christmas rolls around and you still haven't heard from these guys!

- Dave

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