(a) Any consumer purpose mortgage or consumer purpose deed of trust having the effect of a mortgage (hereinafter “mortgage”) that is unsatisfied upon the public records and remains a lien on any real estate may be satisfied pursuant to the procedures set forth in subsection (b) of this section:
(1) After the lapse of 20 years from the date for the maturity of such lien set forth in such mortgage, or in any modification, extension or continuance thereof duly recorded in like manner and place; or
(2) In the absence of any fixed or ascertainable maturity date stated in such mortgage or any such modification, extension or continuance thereof, after the lapse of 50 years from the latest of the date of recording the mortgage or of any modification; extension or continuance thereof (as the case may be).
Terms Used In Delaware Code Title 25 Sec. 2123
- Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
- Continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
- Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
- Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
- Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
- Mortgagee: The person to whom property is mortgaged and who has loaned the money.
- Mortgagor: The person who pledges property to a creditor as collateral for a loan and who receives the money.
- Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
- State: means the State of Delaware; and when applied to different parts of the United States, it includes the District of Columbia and the several territories and possessions of the United States. See Delaware Code Title 6 Sec. 4307
(b) An attorney authorized to practice law in the State of Delaware shall be authorized to satisfy a mortgage that remains a lien pursuant to subsection (a) of this section above, provided the following procedures are followed:
(1) Written notice, by certified mail, return receipt requested, must be sent to the last mortgagee of record as defined below requesting that the mortgage be immediately satisfied or that the last mortgagee of record notify the attorney, by certified mail, return receipt requested, within 60 days of the mailing of said notice, that the obligation secured by the mortgage has not been satisfied or performed pursuant to § 2111(a) of this title. The last mortgagee of record shall mean the legal holder of the mortgage and at the address which appears upon the recorded mortgage, or any assignment, modification, extension or continuance thereof, or counsel of record for the legal holder of the mortgage duly recorded in like manner or place, or if such addresses are not ascertainable from the public records, at the last known available or reasonably ascertainable address of the last mortgagee of record or if none, addressed care of the Office of the Delaware Bank Commissioner.
(2) If the mortgage remains unsatisfied for an additional period of 60 days after the above notice has been mailed, and during such time the attorney has not received any notification from the last mortgagee of record that the obligation secured by the mortgage has not been satisfied or performed pursuant to § 2111(a) of this title, the attorney may file an affidavit of satisfaction in the form set forth in subsection (c) of this section below.
(c) An affidavit of satisfaction permitted under this section shall contain the following information:
(1) The mortgage record, volume and page, instrument number or other recording data of the mortgage proposed to be marked fully paid and satisfied;
(2) The name of the original mortgagee, as the same appears in the mortgage;
(3) The name of the original mortgagor or mortgagors, as the same appears in the mortgage;
(4) The original date of the mortgage (if specified therein);
(5) The original principal amount of the mortgage (if specified therein);
(6) The name of each assignee to whom the mortgage was subsequently assigned of record, together with the dates and recording information of said assignments;
(7) The full name and address of the last mortgagee of record;
(8) A statement by the attorney that:
a. Such attorney has sent the notice required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section;
b. Such attorney has not received from the last mortgagee of record notice that the obligation secured by the mortgage has not been satisfied or performed pursuant to § 2111(a) of this title;
c. After passage of the period of time specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the mortgage has not been satisfied; and
d. The attorney has reason to believe that the mortgage is a consumer purpose mortgage or consumer purpose deed of trust;
(9) That the attorney requests the recorder of deeds in the county in which the mortgage is recorded to indicate in the property records of that county that such mortgage is fully paid and satisfied;
(10) That the attorney whose signature appears on said affidavit has personally reviewed all of the information and each of the facts contained in said affidavit and request; and
(11) That the information contained in said affidavit and request is true and correct to the best of the attorney’s knowledge.
(d) The recorder of deeds, or a duly appointed deputy, in the county in which the mortgage is recorded shall be authorized to cause said mortgage to be satisfied upon the receipt of such affidavit and request by the attorney.
(e) The recorder of deeds office may charge a fee for accepting and recording the affidavit and satisfying the mortgage.
(f) An affidavit filed pursuant to this section does not in itself extinguish any obligation secured by the mortgage that is the subject of the affidavit. An attorney who files an affidavit pursuant to subsection (c) of this section is not liable to any person if the attorney complied with this section and the last mortgagee of record did not respond in a timely manner to the notification pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
(g) This section shall in no way limit the authority of the recorder of deeds to otherwise satisfy mortgages as provided by law.
(h) This section does not supplant any other remedy or process available for the satisfaction or release of mortgages.
(i) The provisions of this section will be effective on December 24, 2006, and shall apply to all mortgages as defined in subsection (j) of this section.
(j) For purposes of this section, “consumer purpose mortgage” and “consumer purpose deed of trust” shall mean mortgages or deeds of trust securing debt incurred primarily for personal, family or household purposes and encumbering only 1-to-4-family residential properties, and shall not include mortgages or deeds of trust encumbering any other properties, including multi-unit residential properties such as apartment buildings, office, commercial or industrial properties.