If you can’t locate the documents releasing your from your mortgage, your settlement agent or an attorney should be able to help.

Q: Back in 2004 I refinanced my house with Taylor Bean & Whitaker. My mortgage was not fraudulent but was purchased by Bank of America. The title search on my house came up with an outstanding lien with TBW. I contacted Bank of America but they could not find anything in their records that the loan was paid off. The Settlement Agent that worked on my refinance can no longer be found.

I just need proof that the loan was paid off. Is this something you may be able to help me with? I just need proof that the loan was paid off so I can sell my house. I don’t have anything on my credit report showing any form of outstanding balance with this company. But it shows up on the title search.

A: The key to your question is that you know that your loan was purchased by Bank of America. When Bank of America serviced your loan and collected loan payments, they must have sent you a coupon book or monthly statement for you to make your payments.

If you find either the coupon book or, more likely, one of your statements, you can call Bank of America and request to talk to the lien release department. When you made your last payment to Bank of America, the bank should have send you a final statement showing that the balance on your loan was zero. The bank should have also sent you the canceled note and mortgage (or trust deed) for your home.

The next thing the bank should have done is send out the release of the mortgage or the release of the trust deed to the local office that accepts real estate documents for recording or filing where your home is located. Sometimes the lenders send that to the borrower directly. If they send it out to you, you might find it in your papers from the loan. If you do find it, you’re in luck and can give the release document to the title company or new settlement agent to clear the old lien off of your title.

However, if you can’t find the documents, you will need to have your loan number when you call Bank of America. Depending on how many years ago you paid off your loan, the bank could check their system with your social security number, but the safest bet is to have the loan number. Once you call in, you can ask them to transfer you to the lien release department. They may ask you some questions, but you can tell them that you paid off an old Bank of America loan and give them the loan number. Then you’ll need to tell them that the release of the lien was never filed.

If they transfer you to the lien release department, they may or may not have you in the system. But with your loan number, name and social security number, they will tell you that they will have to do a search and within a couple of weeks have the copy of the lien release ready to send out to you.

If you are closing in short order, you might even have Bank of America send you a copy of anything they have in their file to show that the loan was paid in full. Your settlement agent may take that information along with a confirmation call to Bank of America to determine that they can proceed to close on your sale without the actual release recorded on the basis of the paid in full written statement and the verbal communication from Bank of America that they will proceed to issue the release of mortgage or release of trust deed.

Thanks for your question and for your information we don’t handle these matters with our readers. You, your settlement agent or an attorney in your area will need to handle this issue. Good luck.