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Do You Have a Deed if You Have a Mortgage?

The question of homeownership is not always straightforward. That is why many people under the mortgage agreement wonder whether they have a deed if they have a mortgage. Let’s break it down.

Do you have a deed if you have a mortgage? No, you don’t have a deed if you have a mortgage. When you get a mortgage loan and buy a home, the financial institution keeps the deed. Lenders have an interest in the ownership of a home until the loan is fully paid.

A deed is a legal document that transfers the title of property from one person to another. If you have a mortgage, then you technically do not own the property – the bank does.

However, the intertwining of deeds and mortgages doesn’t end with this simple explanation. Before signing the agreement with a financial institution, check the following text and solve all of your dilemmas.

No, You Don’t Have a Deed if You Have a Mortgage

With mortgage loans, your home becomes collateral – an asset a bank or other lending institution accepts to secure a loan. Collaterals can be different types of assets, which means that you can mortgage your car, as well.

The lender holds an interest in your realty until you repay a loan fully. If you don’t meet the terms and stop making payments, lenders have a legal right to foreclose your home.

For how long will your realty be under mortgage? Although most home mortgages have a thirty-year term, you can pay your mortgage off in five years with a good financial plan. No matter how long it takes, as long as you meet your monthly payments and don’t violate the terms, the lending institution will not take any actions against you.

Why Is a Mortgage Deed Important

As an official document signed by both lender and borrower, a mortgage deed is one of many different real estate deeds. It states the terms of the agreement and allows a bank or other lending institution to hold a lien to the house until the debt has been paid off in full.

With their signatures, borrowers agree on foreclosure if the agreed terms are broken. Payments the borrower couldn’t meet will be compensated by selling the house stated as collateral. Lien against a borrower’s assets is the reason a mortgage is considered an encumbrance.

What’s the Difference Between a Mortgage Deed and a Deed of Trust?

Depending on the state law, you may be presented with a mortgage deed or a deed of trust. In some states, both of these documents are legal, while in others, only one of them is legally acknowledged.

Both of these documents have the same purpose – to protect a financial institution in case borrowers can’t meet their obligations. However, there are some important differences between them. Take a look at the table below:

Mortgage deedDeed of trust
Involved sidesA borrower and a lenderA trustor, a beneficiary, and a trustee
Process of foreclosureJudicialNonjudicial
Foreclosure lengthTime-consumingDemands less time

In the case of a deed of trust, the beneficiary is the lending institution, the trustor is the borrower, and the trustee is a third-party entity. In this type of contract, the trustee usually holds a title to the realty until the loan is paid off.

How to Determine if You Have a Mortgage Deed or a Deed of Trust?

There are different ways you can determine which type of papers you signed:

  • Look at the form – the name of the document should be written there,
  • Contact the lending institution – if papers are with them, they will be able to provide you with the right information,
  • Contact or visit a land records office – the deed must be recorded there as well.

Are a Title and a Deed the Same Thing?

These two are sometimes used as synonyms, but their meaning is not entirely identical. A deed, as we said, is an official document that states who has ownership. On the other hand, a title implies who has the right to the property. While deeds, as documents, physically exist, the title is the notion of ownership.

Who Holds the Deed When a Property is Mortgaged?

Lending institutions are usually the ones that hold title deeds. Only after the loan has been fully paid off, the mortgage discharge is recorded in the county registry, and your property’s ownership is cleared. That’s when you finally become the sole owner of the property.

Remember – even though up until that moment you lived on that property, the ownership was never indeed yours.

What Happens When the Property Owner Dies?

If a person that holds a mortgage passes and has no inheritors, the lending institution usually sells the realty to balance the money lost. If the deceased had inheritors, they will inherit the loan, too, or sell the real estate to repay the lender.

What if I Own the Realty With Someone Else?

If two people decide to buy real estate with the help of a lending institution, it’s called a joint mortgage. It is an excellent solution if a couple, for example, can’t get a lending agreement separately. In that case, they both share all payment responsibilities as well as ownership.

Can a Mortgage Be Taken Out on a Property Without the Consent of One of the Owners?

You would need every co-owner’s full legal consent to take a mortgage on the whole realty. If you don’t have it, selling interest is always possible – but only your own.

How Do I Get My Deed to My House After I Pay Off My Mortgage?

When do you get a deed if you have a mortgage? When you buy real estate, it needs to be registered with the county, and so does the mortgage against your title. After it, deeds are usually sent to the lender, who holds them until you fulfill the last payment. After the debt is paid off entirely, the documents will be sent back to you, and the financial institutions will no longer have an interest in your realty.


If your obligations stated in a deed are met regularly, don’t fear the fact that lenders have an interest in the ownership of your home. As long as you respect your side of the agreement, so will your lender. Naturally, after your debt towards the lending institution is settled in full, the title to the house will become yours entirely.