Virginia Assignment and Satisfaction of Mortgage Law
Real Property – Mortgage Satisfaction – Virginia
Assignments Generally: Lenders, or holders of mortgages or deeds of trust, often assign mortgages or deeds of trust to other lenders, or third parties. When this is done the assignee (person who received the assignment) steps into the place of the original lender or assignor. To effectuate an assignment, the general rules is that the assignment must be in proper written format and recorded to provide notice of the assignment.
Satisfactions Generally: Once a mortgage or deed of trust is paid, the holder of the mortgage is required to satisfy the mortgage or deed of trust of record to show that the mortgage or deed of trust is no longer a lien on the property. The general rule is that the satisfaction must be in proper written format and recorded to provide notice of the satisfaction. If the lender fails to record a satisfaction within set time limits, the lender may be responsible for damages set by statute for failure to timely cancel the lien. Depending on your state, a satisfaction may be called a Satisfaction, Cancellation, or Reconveyance. Some states still recognize marginal satisfaction but this is slowly being phased out. A marginal satisfaction is where the holder of the mortgage physically goes to the recording office and enters a satisfaction on the face of the the recorded mortgage, which is attested by the clerk.
Assignment: It is recommended that an assignment be in writing and recorded.
Demand to Satisfy: Upon full payoff, borrower must provide written demand for satisfaction to lender, whereupon lender is obligated to record satisfaction of the deed of trust within 90 days or face liability.
Recording Satisfaction: Certificate of satisfaction shall be signed by the lender along with an affidavit of full payment and these filed with the clerk of the recording office.
Penalty: Any lien creditor who fails to record satisfaction within the ninety-day period shall forfeit $500 to the lien obligor. Following the ninety-day period, if the amount forfeited is not paid within ten business days after demand for payment, the lien creditor shall pay any court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the obligor in collecting the forfeiture.
Acknowledgment: An assignment or satisfaction must contain a proper Virginia acknowledgment, or other acknowledgment approved by Statute.
§ 55-66.3. Release of deed of trust or other lien.
1. When payment or satisfaction is made of a debt secured by mortgage, deed of trust, vendor’s lien, or other lien, or when any one or more of the obligations representing at least twenty-five percent of the whole amount secured by any such lien, but less than the whole number of the obligations so secured, when the debt secured thereby is evidenced by two or more separate written obligations sufficiently described in the instrument creating the lien, have been fully paid, the lien creditor, unless he has delivered a proper release deed, shall, within ninety days after notice that the full or partial payment or satisfaction has been made, cause such payment to be recorded on a certificate of satisfaction or certificate of partial satisfaction in the clerk’s office. A lien creditor may satisfy this requirement by mailing such certificate by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by hand-delivery, when there is written proof of receipt from the clerk’s office. Any lien creditor who fails to satisfy this requirement as set forth above or to cause such recordation as set forth in § 17.1-223 or to mail or deliver to the obligor or the obligor’s designee an executed certificate of satisfaction within the ninety-day period shall forfeit $500 to the lien obligor. Following the ninety-day period, if the amount forfeited is not paid within ten business days after demand for payment, the lien creditor shall pay any court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the obligor in collecting the forfeiture.
2. If the note, bond or other evidence of debt secured by such mortgage, deed of trust, vendor’s lien or other lien referred to in subdivision 1 of this subsection or any interest therein, has been assigned or transferred to a party other than the original lien creditor, and such subsequent holder is responsible for a failure to record a certificate of satisfaction or certificate of partial satisfaction or for a failure to mail or deliver to the appropriate clerk’s office, the obligor or the obligor’s designee an executed certificate of satisfaction, the subsequent holder shall be liable to the lien obligor for the $500 penalty, court costs and attorney’s fees specified in subdivision 1 of this subsection. It shall be the responsibility of the obligor or owner to provide the note holder with a current name and address of the person to whom the certificate of satisfaction or certificate of partial satisfaction should be sent.
B. The certificate of satisfaction shall be signed by the creditor or his duly authorized agent, attorney or attorney-in-fact, or any person to whom the instrument evidencing the indebtedness has been endorsed or assigned for the purpose of effecting such release. An affidavit shall be filed or recorded with the certificate of satisfaction, by the creditor, or his duly authorized agent, attorney or attorney-in-fact, with such clerk, stating that the debt therein secured and intended to be released or discharged has been paid to such creditor, his agent, attorney or attorney-in-fact, who was, when the debt was satisfied, entitled and authorized to receive the same.
C. And when so signed and the affidavit hereinbefore required has been duly filed or recorded with the certificate of satisfaction with such clerk, the certificate of satisfaction shall operate as a release of the encumbrance as to which such payment or satisfaction is entered and, if the encumbrance be by deed of trust or mortgage, as a reconveyance of the legal title as fully and effectually as if such certificate of satisfaction were a formal deed of release duly executed and recorded.
D. As used in this section, the terms “lien creditor” and “creditor” shall be construed as synonymous and shall embrace the lien creditor or his successor in interest as evidenced by proper endorsement or assignment, general or restrictive, upon the note, bond or other evidence of debt. As used in this section, the term “obligor’s designee” shall include an attorney or other settlement agent closing a transaction which results in the obligor’s loan being paid off.
§ 55-66.4. Partial satisfaction or release.
It shall be lawful for any such lienor to make a marginal release or record a certificate of partial satisfaction of any one or more of the separate pieces or parcels of property covered by such lien. It shall also be lawful for any such lienor to make a marginal release or record a certificate of partial satisfaction of any part of the real estate covered by such lien if a plat of such part or a deed of such part is recorded in the clerk’s office and a cross reference is made in the marginal release or certificate of partial satisfaction to the book and page where the plat or deed of such part is recorded. Such marginal partial release or satisfaction or certificate of partial satisfaction may be accomplished in manner and form hereinbefore in this chapter provided for making marginal releases or certificates of satisfaction, except that the creditor, or his duly authorized agent, shall make an affidavit to the clerk or in such certificate that such creditor is at the time of making such release the legal holder of the obligation, note, bond or other evidence of debt, secured by such lien, and when made in conformity therewith and as provided herein such partial satisfaction or release shall be as valid and binding as a proper release deed duly executed for the same purpose.
Any and all partial marginal releases made prior to July 1, 1966, in any county or city of this Commonwealth, in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, either of one or more separate pieces or parcels of real estate or any part of the real estate covered by such lien, or as to one or more of the obligations secured by any such lien, or as to all of the real estate covered by such lien instrument, are hereby validated and declared to be binding upon all parties in interest; but this provision shall not be construed as intended to disturb or impair any vested right.