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Unfortunately, the note and the lien are two different things. So, the lender can forgive the repayment and still retain the mortgage lien on the property.
A release of lien occurs when the debt has been satisfied. The lien is the "in rem" (meaning "against the property") liability. The lender does not have to release that, regardless of debt forgiveness or discharge, without payment in full.
That said, there are various options for negotiating a release of lien short of full satisfaction.
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