I read your article from 2011 in regard to a particular mortgage servicing company and the poor customer service they provided. That same company serviced my loan three years ago. I paid off the loan in full last summer and received a letter of satisfaction of loan payoff from the lender.

Since then I have not received the deed of reconveyance nor has the deed of reconveyance been filed with the county. This oversight is obviously related to the sloppy business practices of the mortgage servicer.

It has been well over three months and I still have not seen the document. I’ve pursued this since last December, doing all the necessary things to settle this matter and get my deed. I’ve spoken to many employees of the company and I always get the same answer: They don’t know where the reconveyance deed is. What should I do?

We’ve written quite a bit about this subject in the past, but it may be time to give you a little more information. Let’s start with some terms used by lenders and real estate professionals. When you take out a home loan you will sign a promissory note in which you agree to repay the money you have borrowed.

In addition to the note, you’ll be asked to give your home as collateral for the note. The lender will have you sign either a mortgage or a deed of trust. In the case of a mortgage, the mortgage document identifies the bank as the lender of the loan and gives the lender the right to foreclose on the home in case you fail to make payments on the note. The deed of trust is similar to a mortgage and gives the lender similar rights but each come at if from slightly different ways.

From your vantage point, if you signed a note and mortgage, you are looking for a release of the mortgage to be recorded or filed. That document would come from the lender and might be labeled as a “Release of Lien,” “Release of Mortgage,” “Mortgage Release,” “Satisfaction of Mortgage” or “Mortgage Satisfaction.” If any of these documents were sent to you, you might have received all that you needed to receive from the lender.

The document from the lender may be sent directly to the recorder’s office or another office that keeps the land records for the jurisdiction in which your home is located. In other instances the document is sent to you to record or file. So, if the document you received from them is one that can get recorded or filed, you might have all you need.

How do you know if what they sent you is sufficient? If the document has a label that we described above, has the address of the property, references the original debt, the recording or filing information for the original mortgage and has a lengthy description of your property, you probably are set and need to have this document filed or recorded.

Now, you have used the term reconveyance document when describing what you are looking for. If you signed a deed of trust to secure your loan, the lender or the local jurisdiction where you home is located may send you a “Deed of Reconveyance,” “Release of Trust Deed” or some other document that might have that similar language. But this document will also have the same information we described above for the release of mortgage.

In both instances, the lender is giving notice to the world in a document that gets filed or recorded, that the lender no longer has an interest in the property. Take a look again at your documentation and see what you received. If you only received a letter from them that states that your loan has been paid off in full, you need to call them back and ask for the “lien release department” and request that they send you a mortgage release for your loan. They will research the file and frequently will then send it out to you several weeks later.

One last item you should know: When you take out a loan, you remain the owner of the home. Your ownership does not change. What does change is that your lender has a lien on your home or a right as a lender on your home, but you are still the owner of the home. The lender does not become the owner of the home unless you default and the lender takes the necessary steps to foreclose on the loan and actually take title to the home.

Ilyce Glink is the creator of an 18-part webinar+ebook series called “The Intentional Investor: How to Be Wildly Successful in Real Estate” as well as the author of many books on real estate. She also hosts the “Real Estate Minute” on her YouTube channel. Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney. Contact them at ThinkGlink.com.