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Are mortgage notes public record?

New home buyer staring at their houseYou will be asked to sign a stack of paperwork, including the note, also known as a promissory note or mortgage note, when you buy a home and secure a "mortgage" to fund the purchase.

The promissory/mortgage note contains information about the loan, such as the amount borrowed, the interest rate, and the loan term. The promissory note is a pledge by the borrower to repay the loan.

Promissory notes are typically recorded soon after settlement and become public record. The promissory note is held by the trustee (or lender) until the loan is paid off. After the borrower satifies the conditions of the note, the trustee will record a deed of reconveyance or stamp the promissory note as paid once the loan is paid off.

What is a mortgage agreement?

The mortgage document gives the lender the right to take the property if the borrower(s) fails to pay or live up to any other condition of the loan. This document may be called the Mortgage, Deed of Trust, or Security Instrument. The mortgage defines the occupancy of the property as the principal residence or investment real estate. Another condition of the mortgage document can be the prohibition of hazardous substances on or about the property. See example of a mortgage

What Exactly Is A Deed?

The deed transfers property ownership from a seller (also known as the grantor) to the buyer(s) also known as the grantee. The legal description of the property is included in the deed (including property lines).

There are various types of deeds, here a few common deed types:

General Warranty Deed

A general warranty deed is a document that gives entire ownership of a property.

Special warranty deed

The special warranty deed only guarantees title to the property while it is in the seller's possession.

Quit Claim Deed

A quit claim deed transfers any existing ownership interest. Heirs to an estate, for example, may have an ownership stake in the property. Any ownership interest in a property is transferred with a quit claim deed.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mortgage Notes

Q. Are mortgage documents public record?
A. The mortgage (or deed of trust), the promissory note, and the deed are quickly recorded shortly after settlement and become public record.

Q. Do promissory notes need to be recorded?
A. Legally enforceable promissory notes are required to be signed by borrowers and include unconditional promises to pay specific amounts of money. Promissory notes do not need to be notarized.

Q. Does a mortgage note get recorded?
A. Mortgage notes are usually recorded in the jurisdiction where the property is located.

Q. What are mortgage notes?
A. The note defines the repayment of the loan (i.e. interest rate, term, etc.). The mortgage (or deed of trust) describes the lender and the borrower's rights and interest in the transaction.

Q. What does a mortgage note include?
A. The mortgage note specifies the details of the loan, including the loan amount, the interest rate of the mortgage loan, the length of time for repayment, the dates when the loan payments are to be made, and the location where the payments are to be mailed.

Q. What is the difference between a mortgage and a note?
A. A promissory note is often referred to as a mortgage note. The promissory note contains the details of the (i.e. interest rate, term, amount borrowed, etc.). The mortgage details the enforcement terms of the loan. For example, you will find the right to foreclose in the mortgage document if the conditions of the mortgage are not met.

1. Promissory note - states the loan terms
2. Mortgage - states the borrower and lender's rights
3. Deed - The deed is the legal description of the property and names the new owner of the property.

Q. Where can I find my mortgage note?
A. You can find it in the pile of papers that you signed at settlement. If you went through the stack of papers page by page and simply can't find it. Here are your options:

A) Contact your current mortgage lender to secure the original mortgage note.
B) Check with the recorder's office where the property is located.
C) Contact the lender and keep your finger crossed that someone will help you.