Safekeeping the Original Mortgage Note

Can you easily locate the original mortgage note?

This important legal document should be kept in a safe place, and here is why!

The promissory note is a promise to pay or IOU from the property buyer. It spells out the amount due and terms of repayment. In legal jargon it is known as a negotiable instrument. Similar to a check, the original must be presented to collect or prove ownership.

If the seller desires to sell and assign the payments to a note buyer, the investor will ask for the original note to be provided at closing. The promissory note is then endorsed over to the investor. Similar to endorsing a check, the holder signs on the back of the note.

Sample Note Endorsement on Back of Original Mortgage Note

Pay to the order of, (Insert name of investor), without recourse.


Dated this ____ day of _______, 2011.

(Seller Signs and Dates)

Sometimes the note endorsement is executed on a separate piece of paper, also called an allonge. The allonge is then attached as a permanent rider to the original note. The endorsement enables the investor to prove they are a holder in due course, with the same rights of repayment as the original note holder.

An investor may also ask for the original recorded mortgage or deed of trust at closing. However, if this original is lost, an investor will usually accept a certified copy from the county recorder’s office.

A lost original note, on the other hand, can cause a problem. In most states the note is not recorded. If the original note becomes lost a note investor may ask for a duplicate or replacement note to be signed by the payer or maker. This means going back to the person that owes you money and asking them to resign. This relies on their cooperation and can cause delays.

The investor will also ask for a lost note affidavit from the seller or note holder, stating the note has been lost and it will be presented if found at a later date.

Some investors will consider accepting just the lost note affidavit with a copy of the original note.  However, this is increasingly rare as a lost original note can create problems foreclosing should the buyer stop making payments.

The best option is to avoid losing the note by keeping it in a safe deposit box or a fire and waterproof safe. Some sellers elect to have the original held by their attorney or a third party servicing agent for safekeeping.

Whatever method you choose, be sure to keep the original mortgage note in a safe place that is easily located!


How to Sell Your Mortgage Note

Want freedom from collecting payments for the next 10, 20, or even 30 years?

Prefer a lump sum of cash today?

If you sold property with seller financing chances are you’ve wondered about selling the real estate note. Here’s how to sell a mortgage note, trust deed, or contract in 7 easy steps.

Step #1 Request a Quote

- Just complete a short informational worksheet to receive a free no obligation quote. This can be submitted online, by fax, or over the phone.

Step #2 Provide Document Copies

- To get started note buyers like to see copies of these three documents:

  • Settlement Statement
  • Promissory Note
  • Mortgage, Trust Deed, or Contract

It is also a good time to be sure you know where the originals are located, especially the Promissory Note, as they will be requested at closing.

Step #3 Accept Offer & Agreement

- Once an offer is accepted it will be outlined in a written agreement. In addition to stating the price, the agreement will specify conditions of closing and who pays costs.

Step #4 Note Buyer Review

- The mortgage note buyer will perform a detailed review of the transaction, known as due diligence. This includes a review of the buyer’s credit, current tax and insurance status, payer interview, and other important items. They may also request copies of additional documents including a payment history, insurance policy, and existing title report.

Step #5 Appraisal

- The note investor will order an evaluation of the current property value. This usually takes the form of a Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) or Drive-by Appraisal. The investor wants to be sure the property value is still equal to or greater than the sales price. If the value comes in low, the note investor may present a revised offer for consideration.

Step #6 Title Search

- The title search verifies ownership of the property and the mortgage note. It saves time and money to work with any title report that might exist from the original sale date. If the title search shows money is still owed on a prior mortgage it will usually be paid from proceeds.

Step #7 Closing

- When all steps are complete the note buyer will send the final closing documents for signature. The title company is often used to handle the exchange of money for the original note and transfer documents. Funds are typically paid in the form of a wire transfer or cashier’s check. You are also encouraged to have your attorney review and advise with the closing process.

We are Here to Help!

Selling your mortgage note can be a simple process when you work with an experienced note buyer. Just take a few minutes upfront to gather your information and documents and we will handle the rest for you!

Click Here to Request a Free Note Analysis!