Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 447-S.F.No. 2267 
                  An act relating to real estate; authorizing title 
                  insurance companies governed by chapter 68A, or their 
                  appointed agents to execute certificates of release of 
                  mortgages; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 
                  Statutes, chapter 507. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  [507.401] [TITLE INSURANCE COMPANIES; 
        CERTIFICATES OF RELEASE OF MORTGAGE.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] (a) The definitions in this 
        subdivision apply to this section. 
           (b) "Mortgage" means a mortgage or mortgage lien on an 
        interest in real property in this state given to secure a loan 
        in the original principal amount of $500,000 or less. 
           (c) "Mortgagee" means: 
           (1) the grantee of a mortgage; or 
           (2) if a mortgage has been assigned of record, the last 
        person to whom the mortgage has been assigned of record. 
           (d) "Mortgage servicer" means the last person to whom a 
        mortgagor or the mortgagor's successor in interest has been 
        instructed by a mortgagee to send payments on a loan secured by 
        a mortgage.  A person transmitting a payoff statement is the 
        mortgage servicer for the mortgage described in the payment 
        statement.  
           (e) "Mortgagor" means the grantor of a mortgage. 
           (f) "Payoff statement" means a statement of the amount of: 
           (1) the unpaid balance of a loan secured by a mortgage, 
        including principal, interest, and any other charges properly 
        due under or secured by the mortgage; and 
           (2) interest on a per day basis for the unpaid balance. 
           (g) "Record" means to record with the county recorder or 
        file with the registrar of titles. 
           (h) "Title insurance company" means a corporation or other 
        business entity authorized and licensed to transact the business 
        of insuring titles to interests in real property in this state 
        under chapter 68A. 
           Subd. 2.  [CERTIFICATE OF RELEASE.] An officer or duly 
        appointed agent of a title insurance company may, on behalf of a 
        mortgagor or a person who acquired from the mortgagor title to 
        all or a part of the property described in a mortgage, execute a 
        certificate of release that complies with the requirements of 
        this section and record the certificate of release in the real 
        property records of each county in which the mortgage is 
        recorded if:  (i) a satisfaction or release of the mortgage has 
        not been executed and recorded within 60 days after the date 
        payment in full of the loan secured by the mortgage was sent in 
        accordance with a payoff statement furnished by the mortgagee or 
        the mortgage servicer, and (ii) the title insurance company, its 
        officer, or agent has sent to the last known address of the 
        mortgagee or the mortgage servicer, at least 30 days prior to 
        executing the certificate of release, written notice of its 
        intention to execute and record a certificate of release in 
        accordance with this section after the expiration of the 60-day 
        period. 
           Subd. 3.  [CONTENTS.] A certificate of release executed 
        under this section must contain substantially all of the 
        following: 
           (1) the name of the mortgagor, the name of the original 
        mortgagee, and, if applicable, the mortgage servicer, the date 
        of the mortgage, the date of recording, and volume and page or 
        document number in the real property records where the mortgage 
        is recorded, together with similar information for the last 
        recorded assignment of the mortgage; 
           (2) a statement that the mortgage was in the original 
        principal amount of $500,000 or less; 
           (3) a statement that the person executing the certificate 
        of release is an officer or a duly appointed agent of a title 
        insurance company authorized and licensed to transact the 
        business of insuring titles to interests in real property in 
        this state under chapter 68A; 
           (4) a statement that the certificate of release is made on 
        behalf of the mortgagor or a person who acquired title from the 
        mortgagor to all or a part of the property described in the 
        mortgage; 
           (5) a statement that the mortgagee or mortgage servicer 
        provided a payoff statement which was used to make payment in 
        full of the unpaid balance of the loan secured by the mortgage; 
           (6) a statement that payment in full of the unpaid balance 
        of the loan secured by the mortgage was made in accordance with 
        the written or verbal payoff statement, and received by the 
        mortgagee or mortgage servicer, as evidenced by one or more of 
        the following in the records of the title insurance company or 
        its agent: 
           (i) a bank check, certified check, escrow account check 
        from the title company or title insurance agent, or attorney 
        trust account check that has been negotiated by the mortgagee or 
        mortgage servicer; or 
           (ii) other documentary evidence of payment to the mortgagee 
        or mortgage servicer; 
           (7) a statement that more than 60 days have elapsed since 
        the date payment in full was sent; 
           (8) a statement that after the expiration of the 60-day 
        period referred to in subdivision 2, the title insurance 
        company, its officer, or agent sent to the last known address of 
        the mortgagee or mortgage servicer, at least 30 days prior to 
        executing the certificate of release, notice in writing of its 
        intention to execute and record a certificate of release in 
        accordance with this section, with an unexecuted copy of the 
        proposed certificate of release attached to the written notice; 
        and 
           (9) a statement that the title insurance company, its 
        officer, or agent has not received notification in writing of 
        any reason why the certificate of release should not be executed 
        and recorded after the expiration of the 30-day notice period 
        referred to in subdivision 2. 
           Subd. 4.  [EXECUTION.] (a) A certificate of release 
        authorized by subdivision 2 must be executed and acknowledged as 
        required by law in the case of a deed and may be executed by a 
        duly appointed agent of a title insurance company, but such 
        delegation to an agent by a title insurance company shall not 
        relieve the title insurance company of any liability for damages 
        caused by its agent for the wrongful or erroneous execution of a 
        certificate of release. 
           (b) The appointment of agent must be executed and 
        acknowledged as required by law in the case of a deed and must 
        state: 
           (1) the title insurance company as the grantor; 
           (2) the identity of the person, partnership, or corporation 
        authorized to act as agent to execute and record certificates of 
        release provided for in this section on behalf of the title 
        insurance company; 
           (3) that the agent has the full authority to execute and 
        record certificates of release provided for in this section on 
        behalf of the title insurance company; 
           (4) the term of appointment of the agent; and 
           (5) that the agent has consented to and accepts the terms 
        of the appointment. 
           (c) A single appointment of agent may be recorded in each 
        county in each recording or filing office.  A separate 
        appointment of agent shall not be necessary for each certificate 
        of release.  For registered land the appointment of agent shall 
        be shown as a memorial on each certificate of title on which a 
        mortgage to be released by a certificate of release under this 
        section is a memorial.  The appointment of agent may be 
        rerecorded where necessary to establish authority of the agent, 
        but such authority shall continue until a revocation of 
        appointment is recorded in the office of the county recorder, or 
        registrar of titles, where the appointment of agent was recorded.
           Subd. 5.  [EFFECT.] For purposes of releasing the mortgage, 
        a certificate of release containing the information and 
        statements provided for in subdivision 3 and executed as 
        provided in this section is prima facie evidence of the facts 
        contained in it, is entitled to be recorded with the county 
        recorder or registrar of titles, and operates as a release of 
        the mortgage described in the certificate of release.  The 
        county recorder and the registrar of titles shall rely upon it 
        to release the mortgage.  Recording of a wrongful or erroneous 
        certificate of release by a title insurance company or its agent 
        shall not relieve the mortgagor, or the mortgagor's successors 
        or assigns, from any personal liability on the loan or other 
        obligations secured by the mortgage.  In addition to any other 
        remedy provided by law, a title insurance company wrongfully or 
        erroneously recording a certificate of release under this 
        section shall be liable to the mortgagee for actual damage 
        sustained due to the recordings of the certificate of release. 
           Subd. 6.  [RECORDING.] If a mortgage is recorded in more 
        than one county and a certificate of release is recorded in one 
        of them, a certified copy of the certificate of release may be 
        recorded in another county with the same effect as the 
        original.  In all cases, the certificate of release shall be 
        entered and indexed as satisfactions of mortgage are entered and 
        indexed. 
           Subd. 7.  [APPLICATION.] This section applies only to a 
        mortgage in the original principal amount of $500,000 or less. 
           Sec. 2.  [EXPIRATION.] 
           Section 1 expires July 31, 1996, but real property released 
        from a mortgage by a certificate of release recorded on or 
        before July 31, 1996 continues to be released after July 31, 
        1996. 
           Presented to the governor April 12, 1994 
           Signed by the governor April 15, 1994, 1:55 p.m.