Hey Ray, I paid off my mortgage after my spouse died…


Hey Ray Question

Hey Anxious, I understand the frustration one develops when reaching a lender, especially when still dealing with the loss of a loved one. It often feels like an eternal merry-go-round. However, before you take the Dramamine pill, the good news is that you are more than likely okay. Let me explain. Property held by married couples is typically as joint tenants with rights of survivorship or as tenants by the entirety.

In either case, you became the sole owner of the home upon your spouse’s passing. There isn’t anything you need to do regarding the title to the property for you to become the sole owner of the house. Transfer of ownership to you happens automatically because of how you choose to hold the title.

Since you have now paid off the mortgage, the lender should have sent you the lien release. Or, at the very least, the lender should have noted the lien release to the office that records real estate documents in your county. That same system affords you the ability to look up the status of the deed as well. Keep in mind that your mortgage and your property ownership are independent of each other. So, looking up the deed’s status should satisfy your anxieties by showing that you are the property owner. At the same time, you try to patiently wait for the lender to eventually send you a copy of the lien release.

*This information does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; this article is for informational purposes only.

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