Q: I took out a second mortgage on my house in 1994 that has since been paid off. However, no satisfaction of mortgage was recorded by the mortgage company to the counter clerk’s office.

The mortgage company, it seems has gone out of business and I cannot find anyone with their records. How can I get this lien off of my house?

A: Here’s the short answer: You can’t. The lien will be there until release is filed by mortgage holder. When you sell your home or get a new mortgage, the title company may accept a cancelled note indicating that the loan is paid. If you don’t have that, how will you or anyone else know that the loan is paid off? You’ll have to prove it and find the successor company to then get the mortgage release.

There are always successor companies to mortgage lenders. They don’t just disappear. Mortgage companies always get bought out, particularly if there are loans still on the books. Loans are assets because folks like you make monthly payments of principal and interest.

I’m sure there is a successor company to your mortgage company – you just have to know where to look for it.

You should research the company through any means possible, but a local title company may be able to expedite the process.

Feb. 8, 2007.