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Ask Brent Blanchard Your Own Question
Brent Blanchard
Brent Blanchard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 1975
Experience:  Thirteen years of experience in real estate matters, HOA disputes and drafting HOA documents
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I got married and my husband paid off the mortgage. I

Customer Question

I got married and my husband paid off the mortgage. I received Satisfaction of Mortgage from Wells Fargo. The house right now is under Patricia Dillon Smith, AKA: Dillon, Bingman, Mantadakis. I want to put the house in my husband and my name, but....warranty deed? I don't have one under all my aliases, and do not know what to do to change the name on house ownership without the AKA's. To confuse things even more, the Homeowner's Ins. is under Patricia Bingman, and I have requested twice, in person at the tax office to correct my name (also Bingman). I was going to confirm the name changes once the house was taken care of. If I sound confused, I am, thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Brent Blanchard replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question.

When marriage results in a name change (or more than once...), it is more appropriate to use the term fka, for "formerly known as". Aliases implies trying to hide previous identity, like being on the run from the law.

It is pretty common for people to just quit-claim solely-held land over to others, such as a married person "transmuting" separate property into community property by gift of one-half of their interest to the other partner. But a quit-claim deed contains NOT warranties of good title, or promises to defend title if someone pops up later saying "No, they sold it to me before that, it's mine!".

So we use warranty deeds to convey good and marketable title. That does put the grantor on the hook to defend title and all that, so people need to consider the risks and whether anything hinky could have gone on before doing the deed.

The grantor name must be the same as the grantee name under which title was originally obtained--that is satisfied by using the current name AND including "formerly known as" and the earlier name, exactly as it appears on the prior deed. Yup, I have had to put some fka terms in deeds, and just because of including or not including the middle initial, put in the "aka" "also known as" notation...

It is generally not necessary to include any old name that was no longer current at the time the property was received. It is usually also not necessary to include any name(s) that might have been in effect between receipt of the property and the next deed--UNLESS something else was recorded in connection with that piece of land that used the different name(s).

So, the way it's done can be "[current name], Grantor, fka [original name on first deed], does hereby grant, bargain, sell and convey..."

I hope this helps.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't know if you got my message or not. I do not have a Warranty Deed in any name, all I have is Satisfaction of Mortgage. Will the bank release clear Title or do I have to do something else to prove I did not take out another mortgage, for example. Then, I guess, I can transfer it with all my FKA with my husband in a Quit-claim (I have the papers to do that) but nothing that shows a clear Title (or warranty deed) to prove my ownership outright. (I have satisfaction of mortgage from 3 previous refi's but another bank had a lien. I don't think satisfaction of mortgage is enough). Where does the warranty deed itself get started after pay-off?

Expert:  Brent Blanchard replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the follow-up. Most lenders these days are using Deeds of Trust, which are slightly different from mortgage instruments. Those start with the borrower buying the property getting a warranty deed in their name, then the lender immediately recording the deed of trust which encumbers the property and lets the world know that there's a loan on the property.

When the loan is paid off, the lender records a Deed of Reconveyance, which officially notifies everyone that the loan is paid in full and there is no longer a lien on the property.

I was thinking that the FL approach with the "Satisfaction of Mortgage" being recorded has the same effect as (or was a different name for) a Deed of Reconveyance. Here is Florida's law on the subject:

Section 689.07 there authorizes Deeds of Trust and sets the rules of what happens when a satisfaction of the debt is obtained and recorded. This part of Florida law sets up the usual type of Deed of Trust situation which is most common these days.

I cannot tell from your question whether your mortgage was on a Deed of Trust or the older legal framework. But regardless, the Satisfaction of Mortgage document is supposed to be recorded in connection with the land no more than 60 days after payoff. That document evidences payoff of the lien. IF there are no other liens, then the landowner can convey good and marketable title. Running the transaction through a title company will include a title search which confirms the status of the property, and will include title insurance to pay to defend title if something funny happens later on.

As far as proving you did not take out another mortgage on the same property, that's what a professional title search is for.

A title company can help you with that "another bank had a lien" problem. IF that one is paid off more than 60 days ago, and no satisfaction of the lien type document has been recorded, then that lender is responsible for any damages the borrower sustains from that failure--like being forced to hire an attorney to get the title cleared up because of that failure.

If a person wants to transfer property with a warranty deed without first getting a title report and title insurance, then they by themselves are on the hook to defend title if there is some undisclosed lien against the property. Marketable good title can be conveyed "subject to" a prior lien--it happens all the time though it is not the majority situation. There is no legal requirement to have all liens cleared out before transferring land, except for liability if something false is said which is important to the transaction, or something is concealed or not disclosed to the buyer/grantee (not everyone getting land actually buys it).

You will need to go back to the original purchase documents before all the refinances and check again for a deed of some sort. IF the prior owner did not warranty title or include title insurance in that original purchase transaction, then title insurance for a later warranty deed might cost some more--but that is a non-legal matter of what risk level the insurance company sees there and is willing to live with.

Thank you.

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