If a mortgage from a previous owner was never released and now it shows up on the title search everytime, how do we or can we clear this ourselves?

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2011

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If a mortgage from a previous owner was never released and now it shows up on the title search everytime, how do we or can we clear this ourselves?

I bought this house 9 years ago and refinanced 2 years ago. This previous owner’s mortgage showed up on title search. Some how the lawyer was able to get around this to close re-finance. Now we are refinancing again and the same mortgage is showing up again. The lady I’m refinancing with says this will follow us until we get this cleared. We have called the title insurance co and they say they have tons of these but it’s not really their problem, they say they will, “Do what they can” whatever that means. Is there a way I can get this cleared up myself?

Asked on August 3, 2011 Alabama


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

When you purchased your home, you obtained title insurance. When you refinanced the loan on your home,  you obtained title insurance.  Look at the preliminary reports and the title insurance policies to see if the prior owner's mortgage/trust deed shows up on the documents.

If it does not, contact all of your title insurers about the previous owner's mortgage now showing up on the title search of your home now and make a claim that its cloud gets removed. This is why people buy title insurance on a purchase and a refinance of a loan.

If title refuses to clear the cloud on title that you desire by a stated date, you need to consult with a real estate attorney about bringing an action against your title insurers.

Another way to resolve the title issue is to contact the mortgage company that had the secured loan on the property when owned by the prior owner and request a full reconveyance of this mortgage to record on your property. If provided and recorded, you clear up the cloud.

Good luck.


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