Q: I read your response from a prior column about the person who wanted to know how to get a mortgage lien released.

My question is if the original mortgage company was bought out by another company and the title settlement company no longer exists, how do you get the mortgage lien released? We’re talking about a lien from 13 years ago.

A: Just about every mortgage company around has been purchased or has changed its organization over the last decade. However, in each case, there is a surviving mortgage company that continues to have the obligation to issue the release.

It may take some legwork, but you should be able to find who purchased the mortgage company. Once you know the name of the surviving mortgage company, you should be able to call the “release of lien department” and request that they research the issue in order to issue the release of lien.

In some rare cases, if the lien should have been released years and years ago, some title companies will review the underlying paper work to determine what risk they may have if they close a subsequent transaction without the release filed.

However, if the lien has not been released and you truly can’t find or get cooperation in getting the release of the lien, your best bet is to keep the original canceled note and mortgage.

These documents should have been sent back to you by the lender at the time you paid off the loan. If you have these documents, you can at least prove that the original note and mortgage are marked canceled and that you have paid off the debt.