Real Property – Mortgage Satisfaction – Florida
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.
Execution of Assignment or Satisfaction: Must be signed by the mortgagee.
Assignment: No assignment of a mortgage upon real property or of any interest therein, shall be good or effectual in law or equity, against creditors or subsequent purchasers, for a valuable consideration, and without notice, unless the assignment is contained in a document which, in its title, indicates an assignment of mortgage and is recorded according to law.
Demand to Satisfy: Upon full payoff of the mortgage, the mortgagor may demand of the mortgagee that satisfaction be recorded. The mortgagee then has 60 days to comply, or face liability.
Recording Satisfaction: Within 60 days of the date of receipt of the full payment of the mortgage, lien, or judgment, the person required to acknowledge satisfaction of the mortgage, lien, or judgment shall send or cause to be sent the recorded satisfaction to the person who has made the full payment.
Marginal Satisfaction: Not allowed.
Penalty: In the case of a civil action arising out of the failure of the mortgagee to properly record, within 30 days of demand, a satisfied mortgage, the prevailing party shall be entitled to attorney’s fees and costs, and shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.
Acknowledgment: An assignment or satisfaction must contain a proper Florida acknowledgment, or other acknowledgment approved by Statute.
701.01 Assignment.–Any mortgagee may assign and transfer any mortgage made to her or him, and the person to whom any mortgage may be assigned or transferred may also assign and transfer it, and that person or her or his assigns or subsequent assignees may lawfully have, take and pursue the same means and remedies which the mortgagee may lawfully have, take or pursue for the foreclosure of a mortgage and for the recovery of the money secured thereby.
701.02 Assignment not effectual against creditors unless recorded and indicated in title of document.–
(1) No assignment of a mortgage upon real property or of any interest therein, shall be good or effectual in law or equity, against creditors or subsequent purchasers, for a valuable consideration, and without notice, unless the assignment is contained in a document which, in its title, indicates an assignment of mortgage and is recorded according to law.
(2) The provisions of this section shall also extend to assignments of mortgages resulting from transfers of all or any part or parts of the debt, note or notes secured by mortgage, and none of same shall be effectual in law or in equity against creditors or subsequent purchasers for a valuable consideration without notice, unless a duly executed assignment be recorded according to law.
(3) Any assignment of a mortgage, duly executed and recorded according to law, purporting to assign the principal of the mortgage debt or the unpaid balance of such principal, shall, as against subsequent purchasers and creditors for value and without notice, be held and deemed to assign any and all accrued and unpaid interest secured by such mortgage, unless such interest shall be specifically and affirmatively reserved in such assignment by the assignor, and no reservation of such interest or any part thereof shall be implied.
701.04 Cancellation of mortgages, liens, and judgments.–
(1) Within 14 days after receipt of the written request of a mortgagor, the holder of a mortgage shall deliver to the mortgagor at a place designated in the written request an estoppel letter setting forth the unpaid principal balance, interest due, and the per diem rate. Whenever the amount of money due on any mortgage, lien, or judgment shall be fully paid to the person or party entitled to the payment thereof, the mortgagee, creditor, or assignee, or the attorney of record in the case of a judgment, to whom such payment shall have been made, shall execute in writing an instrument acknowledging satisfaction of said mortgage, lien, or judgment and have the same acknowledged, or proven, and duly entered of record in the book provided by law for such purposes in the proper county. Within 60 days of the date of receipt of the full payment of the mortgage, lien, or judgment, the person required to acknowledge satisfaction of the mortgage, lien, or judgment shall send or cause to be sent the recorded satisfaction to the person who has made the full payment. In the case of a civil action arising out of the provisions of this section, the prevailing party shall be entitled to attorney’s fees and costs.
(2) Whenever a writ of execution has been issued, docketed, and indexed with a sheriff and the judgment upon which it was issued has been fully paid, it shall be the responsibility of the party receiving payment to request, in writing, addressed to the sheriff, return of the writ of execution as fully satisfied.
701.05 Failing or refusing to satisfy lien; punishment for.–Any person entitled to and receiving the payment of the amount of money due upon any mortgage, lien, or judgment, who shall fail for 30 days after written demand made by the person paying the same, to cancel and satisfy of record, as provided by law, any such mortgage, lien or judgment so paid, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
701.06 Certain cancellations and satisfactions of mortgages validated.–All cancellations or satisfactions of mortgages made prior to the enactment of chapter 4138, Acts of 1893, by the mortgagee or assignee of record of such mortgage entering same on the margin of the record of such mortgage in the presence of the custodian of such record and attested by the said custodian and signed by said mortgagee or assignee of record of such mortgage, shall be valid and effectual for every purpose as if the same had been done subsequent to the enactment of chapter 4138, Acts of 1893.