Delaware Amends Provisions Regarding Satisfaction of Mortgage
The state of Delaware amended its provisions relating to the authorization to satisfy a mortgage. These provisions are effective immediately.
The provisions allow a retired Delaware attorney to satisfy a mortgage that the attorney paid off while in practice. Previously, only attorneys still in active practice were permitted to satisfy mortgages under Section 2120. This limitation left no practical way to satisfy a mortgage for which the lender failed to record a satisfaction as required by state law if the attorney who paid off the mortgage subsequently retired. For purposes of Section 2120, a “retired attorney” or a “retired Delaware attorney” means an inactive, judicial, retired or emeritus member of the Bar of the Delaware Supreme Court as provided in Delaware Supreme Court 143 Rule 69.
The amendment stipulates that a retired attorney who, while an active member of the Bar of the Delaware Supreme Court, paid in full or caused to be paid in full a debt owed by any debtor to any creditor holding a mortgage securing such debt and encumbering a property owned by the debtor, after review and approval of the retired attorney’s relevant records by an active member of the Bar of the Delaware Supreme Court, may record with the recorder of deeds in the county in which such property is located an affidavit and request which shall contain information made by the retired attorney.
The amendment expands the scope of Section 2120 to include partial releases of a mortgage where a Delaware attorney or retired attorney made a partial payment to release a portion of the mortgaged property. The amendment further provides that, upon receipt of an affidavit and request by the attorney or retired attorney fully or partially paying such debt, the recorder of deeds, or a duly appointed deputy, shall be authorized to cause said mortgage to be satisfied or the relevant portion of the pledged property to be released from said mortgage. The recorder of deed’s office may charge a fee for accepting and recording the affidavit and satisfying or partially releasing the mortgage.
The amendment also provides forms to use for a mortgage satisfaction affidavit and a mortgage partial release affidavit that an attorney or retired attorney should use when certifying a mortgage payoff or partial payoff.