And today, a guest blog from Eric Hartnett, Esq. For those of us who have refinanced our loans, we have seen the Deed of Reconveyance before. However, given the flurry of refinance loans in for the last 10 years, it became common that lenders, trustees and title companies would fail to request and record the Deed of Reconyance.
Your Loan Secured by a Deed of Trust has been Paid Off – What Now?
You can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and you’ve paid off your loan. CONGRATULATIONS!
When you took out a loan and as security for the loan (evidenced by the Promissory Note or Loan Agreement), you agreed to have a Deed of Trust recorded against your home. California is a "trust deed" state rather than a "mortgage" state but in common parlance, most folks refer to their loan as a "mortgage."
Whether the loan is a 30 year mortgage or a 3 month loan, if you have made all of your loan payments, then you will want the lien (Deed of Trust) removed from your property (one does not actually have the Deed of Trust "removed," rather it is reconveyed to you, the borrower). What are the necessary steps under California law to accomplish this?
A reconveyance for a Deed of Trust upon satisfaction of any loan obligations is addressed in California Civil Code § 2941. §2941(b)(1) provides that if you have satisfied your loan obligations, then the lender (beneficiary under a Deed of Trust) or its assignee shall within 30 calendar days execute and deliver to the Trustee of the Deed of Trust several documents. These documents include the original note (i.e. the Promissory Note), Deed of Trust, and a request for a full reconveyance. The Trustee shall then execute the full reconveyance and shall record the full reconveyance with the county recorder within 21 days after receipt by the Trustee of the original note.
Of course, the above-described situation is the ideal scenario. What if the Trustee or the lender (beneficiary) do not fulfill their duties? You, as the trustor/borrower, have options. First, if the full reconveyance has not been recorded within 60 days of your last required loan payment, then you can make a written request to the beneficiary/lender to issue a full reconveyance under Civil Code §2941 (b)(2). Second, if the full reconveyance has not been executed and recorded despite you making all the payments and writing the aforementioned request to the lender, then 75 days after the last required loan payment was made you may have a title insurance company record a release of the obligation. Civil Code §2941(c).
Additionally, should you encounter an uncooperative Trustee or lender after you have satisfied your loan obligations, please note that there are civil and criminal penalties for some violations of Civil Code §2941.