Q: My father’s trust has a mortgage lien on my house under his trust name. When he died, I used the inheritance I received from him to pay off the house.
Now I need to have the trustee (my brother) change the lien to my trust’s name. My husband and I are in the process of buying another house so this is something we need to do right away.
The trustee said he could write a letter saying I’ve paid off the house but he isn’t sure if he needs an attorney to do this. Both the trustee and I are not sure how to proceed.
It also seems that my brother’s trust attorney is not very helpful in this matter since it’s been in process for over a year.
A: Hire a separate real estate attorney to help you figure out why when the mortgage lien was paid off, the lien was not removed from the property. Trusts can complicate things – but they don’t have to be difficult.
Usually this sort of thing is pretty simple. If a loan has been paid off, the lender prepares a document that gets filed or recorded against your home indicating that the lien of that loan has been released. Once filed, the title to your property should show that you own that property free and clear of that loan.
You should check your credit history to see what’s turning up. You and your husband should each pull a free copy of your respective credit histories AnnualCreditReport.com. While you’re there, you should also check your credit scores if you don’t know them. It’s about $9 for each copy of your score.
If you need a better real estate attorney, contact your local bar association and ask for the head of the real estate committee. When you get that person on the phone, describe the situation you’re in and ask for a referral.