When a homeowner has paid off a mortgage or home loan, the event must be officially recorded. The New York state laws specify that this proof of satisfaction must be presented to the appropriate New York county clerk within thirty days. The complaint for this class action alleges that US Bank, NA, Ocwen Financial Corporation, and Wells Fargo Bank, NA do not do this on time and do not pay the penalties for doing it late.
The class for this action is all persons who were mortgagors in a mortgage or home equity loan secured by real property in New York State for which US Bank, Ocwen, or Wells Fargo did not present a valid satisfaction of mortgage or certificate of discharge to the recording officer in the county where the mortgage was recorded within thirty days after the loans were paid off or satisfied.
New York laws require that the proof of satisfaction be presented to the clerk within thirty days. If the bank or other mortgagee fails to do this within the thirty-day period, it must pay the mortgagor $500. If it fails to do it within 60 days, it must pay the mortgagor $1,000. If it fails to do it withint 90 days or more, it must pay the mortgagor $1,500.
Plaintiff Keith Ballard bought a home in Rockland County in 1999. The mortgage was later assigned to US Bank, the Trustee for the Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates Series 1999-10. The complaint alleges that no satisfaction of mortgage was presented to the county clerk, by US Bank or servicer Ocwen, until January 2020, about eight years after he’d paid off the mortgage.
Plaintiff Ronald Rochester bought a home in Nassau County in 2006. The mortgage was subsequently assigned to US Bank as Trustee for the Citigroup Mortgage Loan Trust, Inc., 2006-NC1, Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificates Series 2006-NC1. He fully paid off his mortgage principal and interest by February 21, 2019. Yet neither US Bank nor additional mortgage and loan servicer Wells Fargo presented a satisfaction of mortgage to the county clerk until around April 8, 2019.
Plaintiffs Daniel and Nicole Culver had a home and property that were the subjects of three mortgages originated by US Bank. They repaid a September 2011 mortgage on December 20, 2018; an April 2014 loan on May 16, 2018; and a May 2018 loan in December 2018. However, the mortgage satisfactions were not presented to the county clerk until more than thirty days, more than sixty days, and more than ninety days after the respective payoffs.
When mortgage payoffs are not reported, the files show that the mortgage lender still holds a lien on the property. If a homeowner wants to sell the property, this can become a problem, because the title to the property is not clear.
The complaint claims that US Bank is “a repeat violator” of the two New York laws, even after settling two class actions on the same subject.