SENATE BILL NO. 345
AS AMENDED BY
SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 25 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PROPERTY.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :
Section 1. Amend §2111(a), Title 25 of the Delaware Code by deleting the first sentence and replacing it with the following:
“Whenever the debt or duty secured by a mortgage or conveyance in the nature of a mortgage is satisfied or performed, the legal holder of such mortgage or conveyance at the time the satisfaction or performance is completed shall, within sixty (60) days after satisfaction or performance is completed (including the payment of any required satisfaction fees), cause an entry of such satisfaction or performance to be made upon the record by the procedure enumerated in this subsection.”
Section 2. Amend §2111(d), Title 25 of the Delaware Code by adding before the period at the end of the sentence the phrase, “together with assessed costs, for each failure, not to exceed $1,000.00.”
Section 3. Amend §2111, Title 25 of the Delaware Code by reordering subsections (d), (e), and (f), as subsections (e), (f), and (g), respectively.
Section 4. Amend §2111, Title 25 of the Delaware Code by adding a new subsection (d), to read as follows:
“(d) If the legal holder of a mortgage fails to satisfy the mortgage in accordance with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, the mortgagor, or his or her agent, shall be entitled to submit a notice to the legal holder of the mortgage demanding that the mortgage be satisfied. The notice shall be sent by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested. The notice shall be sent to the legal holder of the mortgage at the address designated in the payoff statement, or to such other person and/or address as the legal holder may designate in the payoff statement. If (i) no payoff statement is received by the mortgagor or his or her agent, or (ii) no address is provided in the payoff statement and the person issuing the notice has received no address to which to send such notices, or (iii) payments are made electronically and no payment address is given by the legal holder, or (iv) payment in satisfaction has been made at maturity or otherwise when due and without a payoff statement having been issued, then the address for notice shall be deemed to be the last address used by the legal holder in written communications with the mortgagor, and the notice shall be sent to the attention of ‘Mortgage Satisfaction Department.’ A copy of such notice shall also be sent to the registered agent (if any) in the State of Delaware of the legal holder.”
Section 5. Amend §2120(a), Title 25 of the Delaware Code by deleting the phrase “after the expiration of 4 months” as it exists therein and by substituting in lieu thereof the phrase “after the expiration of sixty (60) days and Amend 2120(a)(13) by deleting “4 months” and replacing it with “sixty (60) days”.
Section 6. Amend Title 25, Delaware Code by adding thereto a new section to read as follows:
“§2123. Satisfaction of Mortgage after Lapse of Time.
(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):
(1 ) after the lapse of twenty (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 fifty (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).
(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) 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 sixty (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) hereof. 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 sixty (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) hereof, the attorney may file an affidavit of satisfaction in the form set forth in subsection (c) below.
(c) An affidavit of satisfaction permitted under this §2123 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;
The name of the original mortgagor(s), as the same appears in the Mortgage;
The original date of the Mortgage (if specified therein);
The original principal amount of the Mortgage (if specified therein);
The name of each assignee to whom the Mortgage was subsequently assigned of record, together with the dates and recording information of said assignments:
The full name and address of the Last Mortgagee of Record;
A statement by the attorney that: a) such attorney has sent the notice required by §2123(b)(1), 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) hereof, c) after passage of the period of time specified in §2123(b)(2), 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;
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.
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
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 §2123(c) is not liable to any person if the attorney complied with §2123 and the Last Mortgagee of Record did not respond in a timely manner to the notification pursuant to §2123(b)(1).
(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 one hundred and eighty (180) days after the signing by the Governor and shall apply to all Mortgages as defined in §2123(j).
(j) For purposes of this §2123, ‘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 one-to-four 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.”
Approved June 27, 2006