So the big day has arrived and you have finally paid off your mortgage. Good for you! But there is one more thing that needs to happen to be completely free of your mortgage. The title of your house needs to be cleared.
Once you have repaid your mortgage, the mortgage should be removed from the title of your home. The mortgage company will charge you to prepare this document, called a “Release”.
Typically, you do not need to take any action once a mortgage has been paid off as most mortgage lenders will electronically file the Release document with the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia (LTSA) to remove a paid off mortgage on your behalf. However, there are rules in BC that speak to how quickly the release must be provided to you if you request it and the maximum you can be charged for it. The law in BC requires:
- That the mortgage company provides you with the Release within 30 days (once the mortgage is fully repaid and you’ve requested the Release document)
- That the mortgage company/credit grantor charges you no more than $75 to prepare the Release document
If you are charged more than $75 or it takes longer than 30 days, please submit a complaint to our office for review.
Please keep in mind that registered property owners are not permitted to change a mortgage on title, either in person or by mail to a land title office. To change or add a new mortgage to your title, the LTSA recommends you hire a lawyer or notary public to assist you.
What else is there to know?
If you wish to verify the Release document has been filed with the LTSA, you must contact your lender directly. They may provide you with a State of Title Certificate as proof of the change.
Alternatively, to confirm if a mortgage is listed on title, you may order a copy of the title through myLTSA Explorer. The title lists the mortgage number, date and time it was registered on title, and the lender name. If you are looking for details about your mortgage, it is best to contact your lender.
Enjoy living mortgage-free!
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65 thoughts on “One thing left to consider when you pay off your mortgage!”
We recently paid off our mortgage but were advised to NOT clear the title. We were told that it added an extra layer of protection, in that if someone tried to sell the house, purporting to be us when they signed, that having the bank/credit union on title added a safety check, as the bank would first have to have their clients’ (our) approval. We could sue the bank if they sold it without properly running it by us….but, try to sue land titles (Ministry of Justice) if the title is clear and they sell it based on forged signatures.
What do you think about this? Also, technically we were advised we still had a mortgage that was active and, if need be, we could borrow money and just re-add it to the mortgage amount, without going through pre-approvals.
Interesting — thanks for weighing in, Suzanne. Fraud isn’t something that’s captured under the laws we administer, so we wouldn’t be able to offer an opinion about any potential risk associated with removing the title. That said, if you have a revolving line of credit that’s secured by your home and you think you may want to access that credit again, then it’d be best not to clear the title (and get the discharge) as you’d end up paying the fees again when you absolutely needed to clear the title (such as when you sell your home). Hope that helps! Melaina
Mortgage was paid off in full plus $75.00 fee. First National sent a letter saying that the Mortgagor now has to hire a Lawyer or Notary in order to prepare the release and send it to First National to sign and then take it to LTSA (BC) for electronic filing.
That was the response I received from First National as well. Doesn’t seem to be an automatic thing that they will do for you.
Another way to protect your clear title home from fraud is with a title insurance policy. Any lawyer or notary that does land conveyancing could arrange this for you and the cost is only about $100. I’m a mortgage broker and I recommend all my clients purchase the home owners title insurance policy – you only have to purchase it once and it remains in effect for as long as you own the home, regardless of the size or type of mortgage you have or if you pay it off. It could very well be the best $100 you’ll ever spend.
Where are you located and can I get this in Ontario? we just paid off our mortgage and are having issues with the cost of getting a seciured line credit
Many mortgages are blended products such as a RBC homeline, or a credit union multipurpose mortgage, or you can have a line of credit, secured against your home, which is then called a mortgage charge.
If you have paid off a conventional mortgage, please, please remember to file that discharge at the land title office. Once those products are closed they can be costly to get rid of later. Do not lose that original Form C discharge they send you or you could have to pay $150-$350 to obtain an additional one.
If it is a multipurpose mortgage and you left it there after the mortgage is paid it enables you to apply for additional credit at that bank with less hassle and hopefully much better rates.
It is harder for fraudsters to take advantage when there are financial charges on title.
I am not a lawyer or notary but a senior conveyancer in BC
In addition, for a one time, up front (relatively modest), fee, tile insurance can protect against a fraudulent transfer (and other issues).
My husband and I just paid off our mortgage to a credit union. My husband was told that it was best not to remove the mortgage from the land title because it would cost us $75 to do so and then if we ever wanted to borrow again there would be fees and hassle to be approved for another loan.
I have apprehensions about this. Do we have legal ownership of the property if we don’t remove the mortgage from the land title? What are advantages or disadvantages to removing the mortgage from the land title?
Our mortgage was just paid off. The credit union told my husband that it is better not to remove the mortgage from the land title. If we follow this advice, who legally has title to our property? Do we? or does the credit union?
Hi Julia: First off, congratulations on paying off your mortgage! Generally speaking, whether or not you clear your title depends on if you think you may want to access that credit again. If you think you will, then it’s best not to get the discharge until you actually need to clear the title (such as if you sell your home) because, as your husband says, you’ll need to pay for a second discharge. That said, the real expert about the pros and cons will be your financial adviser — perhaps make an appointment with your credit union to review your specific situation. BC Land Title & Survey also has helpful information on their website about land titles and ownership: http://www.ltsa.ca/cms/what-is-a-land-title. I hope this was helpful!
Thank you for posting the information about the Release. We paid our mortgage out several years ago and the bank wanted, if I remember correctly $200 to remove the charge on our title.
I refused as I thought, and continue to think, that they should have to automatically do it.
Frankly, I think it is a bit much that I have to pay the bank to remove a charge against my property after the mortgage has been paid. To me, it is a bit like blackmail! I can understand the need to protect their interests and the charge being registered when the mortgage is incurred, but when the mortgage is paid, the lending institute should automatically remove the charge.
Each province can allow a different fee for discharging mortgages. In BC they cannot charge more than $75. If, however, you lose the initial discharge and have to request another one, they can charge much higher. ALL these fees are disclosed to you in your mortgage disclosure statement that you review and sign before the mortgage is registered.
When we paid our mortgage off, we received a “registered discharge” Does this mean we do not have to register it ourselves and it has already been taken care of?
After some new rule changes many of the lenders are registering the discharges themselves. As long as it has a number in the top margin(it should start with “CA_______” then it has been registered. However you should keep this registered document until you sell your home or receive/order a new state of title certificate.
Hi Cindy, thank you for your question! You may want to contact the Land Titles and Survey Authority of BC to see if you need to take a further step. Their webpage – Remove Paid-off Mortgage may be particularly helpful to you. Here is the link to the page…http://bit.ly/1VuWfQe
Are there any risks if it the owners paying off the mortgage without clearing the title, assuming there is no need to access the credit or selling the place? Thanks!
Hi Vicky, I’m not sure if I understand your question correctly, would you be able to call our Inquiry Centre with your question? Our toll-free number is 1-888-564-9963. We answer calls Mon-Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm. Thank you!
I paid off my mortgage this month via Manulife One few years after tranferring mortgage from a lending company.
Do I have to do anything about the Land title or discharging of mortgage?
Hi Hana, according to BC Land Title and Survey, “typically, legal professionals or your lending institution electronically file applications directly with the LTSA to cancel or discharge a mortgage and provide you with confirmation of cancellation of the mortgage by supplying you with a State of Title Certificate, which is a certified true copy of the title.”
So contacting Manulife One may be a good first step to see if they have taken this step already. FYI, LTSA website is here – http://bit.ly/1VuWfQe
Hi I’m thinking to pay my mortgage off before I do that I want to find out if there’s any charge against my house how do I do this
Hi Rukshana, thank you for your question. You may want to find out this information from your mortgage company. They may be able to also tell you how they handle mortgage discharge and it is our understanding that the maximum a credit grantor can charge under the law is $75.
Hi Wendy, thank you for contacting us. If you are talking about transferring title, you may want to contact a lawyer. BC Land Title and Survey has a page with information on changes to home ownership. The page is here – http://bit.ly/1q0Sc1C I hope this information can lead you to the right direction.
Hi, I am thinking that if we want to remove one of name from our house, my husband standing on 2 house but now want to remove his name from the 2 house, how we could do ? this have to be done by laywer or can be done by ourself with government? any fee be charged to us? Thanks
Thannks so much of your advice .
My financial advisor had me combine my mortgage with a leverage loan years ago. At this time I have paid down more than half assuming that my mortgage should be paid off. How can I find out if it has been paid off and when will I get a deed or ownership. Please advise. Thank you.
Hi Marilyn, thank you for posting your question. Consumer Protection BC does not oversee this area and if you have a financial adviser, you may want to contact them directly to get the balance on the loan.
Hi Shelley, Consumer Protection BC administers the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act in the province but the law does not speak to mortgages. The only small part that our law speaks to is a document called Release and the maximum amount a credit grantor can charge for this document, which is $75.
Unfortunately regarding your question, we will not be able to give you any advice but you may want to consult a lawyer. If you are interested, you are entitled to up to a half hour consultation with a lawyer for $25 (plus tax) with the Canadian Bar Association of BC. I hope this information helps, Shelley!
Hi, we recently had a private lender pay off our existing mortgage with his own money.. so the mortgage is registered in his name but the deed only shows my husband and myself. If in the future we would like to take out a line of credit and use the equity in our home as collateral, are we legally allowed to do this.. I know that he wouldn’t want us getting a second mortgage or anything big but for repairs.. would that have to be registered and approved by the mortgagor before we can go ahead with this? Thanks I should also add that we are paying our friend back at a very good rate of interest and a much lower payment!! Thanks.
The house is under my wife & me. I like to remove my name from the title. I know there is fee to pay goverment for the “Change to title”.
1)Is there any transfer tax for because of removing my name?
2) Usually how much the lawyer or Notary public charge?
Thanks a lot
Hi Gary, thank you for your question and sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Regarding changes to the ownership, BC Land Title and Survey has more information and here is their web page with more information – http://bit.ly/1q0Sc1C.
In terms of lawyer fees, it’s really hard to predict and we will not be able to give you information on that but If you are interested, you are entitled to up to a half hour consultation with a lawyer for $25 (plus tax) with the Canadian Bar Association of BC. Their website is here – http://bit.ly/1Wh4rTp
I hope these referrals can assist you in getting more information!
I paid of my mortgage this month. Should the bank be sending me a certificate or some sort of document stating I’m mortgage free?
Hi Sam — It’s my understanding that, if you want to completely clear the mortgage, you need to apply for a discharge document (called a release). Check out this information in this blog post for more information, or give your bank a call and I bet they’d be happy to walk you through the process! Congratulations on paying off your mortgage!
I finished paying my mortage and sold my house, in Dec 2016…the discharge letter was not forwarded from powder house mortage co, when we refinanced to the new lender. They are holding 147000 until they find old lender,, who is in liquidation. How do I find this discharge letter and get paid for my house. Help
Hi Eric, thank you for your question. Are you located in BC Canada? I wasn’t able to find Power House Mortgage Co. but in BC, mortgage companies are responsible for providing you with a discharge document. You may want to try to contact the mortgage company again to see if you can obtain a copy.
Hi – we are paying off our mortgage and Scotiabank has advised they will advise “the exact payout amount and any applicable fees (ie. discharge fee)
what is the maximum they can charge?
is there more than 1 fee involved?
Is the “discharge fee” also known as a “release”?
Hi Ray, thank you for your question. The maximum a credit grantor can charge under the law for a Release is $75.00. More specific information about the rules and regulations around borrowers and credit grantors can be found here: http://bit.ly/2m6sZ96
Perhaps if you are still unsure of the charges, make an appointment with Scotiabank to review your specific situation. BC Land Title & Survey also has helpful information on their website about land titles and ownership: https://ltsa.ca/property-information/what-information-title .
I hope this answers your question, if not, please feel free to call our inquiry centre at 1 888 564 9963!
I have been advised like several commenters above to not file the release in order to keep a extra layer of security. If a mortgage is paid and a release document has been provided (signed and dated by the appropriate parties) is there a deadline to file it? For example, can it be filed years after the mortgage is no longer payable?
Hi Sara, thank you for your question. The Land Title and Survey Authority of BC is likely a better organization to answer that question, as mortgages fall outside of Consumer Protection BC’s regulatory authority. Here is their phone number:1-877-577-LTSA (5872). Best of luck!
I will be paying off my mortgage this Feb 2018 and wondered if I can do the paperwork myself instead of using a lawyer or notary ? Is it a hard process or just being very diligent with the paperwork ?
I have done a divorce and a will ( checked by a lawyer ) myself so I’m just wondering if it is more difficult than them.
Hi John, thank you for taking the time to message us and congratulations on paying off your mortgage! Consumer Protection BC administers the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act in the province but the law does not speak to mortgages. The only small part that our law speaks to is a document called Release and the maximum amount a credit grantor can charge for this document, which is $75.
That being said, I did a little digging for you and it looks like there have been recent changes to the law. As of March 1st, 2017, mortgage releases can only be submitted electronically by legal professionals and lending institutions. The news release says that this will “save property owners time and money”. I’m not totally sure what this means for cost, but I would suggest contacting the BC Land Title and Survey Authority for clarification, as this is an area they oversee. Here is their contact info: 1-877-577-5872 or 604-630-9630, and here is a link to the media release on their website: https://ltsa.ca/news/notice-registered-property-owners-mortgage-releases-will-be-submitted-electronically-starting. I hope this helps and best of luck!
Hello. I am a little confused about something, and was hoping you could clear it up. This statement is on the LTSA site: As at March 1, 2017, legal professionals and financial institutions are required to electronically submit mortgage releases to the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC.
Registered property owners will no longer be permitted to submit a Form C – Release, either in person or by mail to a land title office
Our mortgage was paid off 2 months ago however, the mortgage lender remains on title. They would have sent an electronic letter. However, they are still on title. And this states I cant file a form C myself. How do I them get the mortgage lender off title?
Hi Bernie, thank you for reaching out to us here (and congratulations on paying off your mortgage!). Like you mention, there have been recent changes to the law. As of March 1st, 2017, mortgage releases can only be submitted electronically by legal professionals and lending institutions. Have you confirmed with your mortgage lender that they submitted the mortgage release? If you are unclear on how to proceed and would like to have your lender off title, I would suggest contacting the Land Title and Survey Authority directly, as they are the experts on the matter. Here is their contact info: 1-877-577-5872 or 604-630-9630. While Consumer Protection BC is responsible for regulating 7 industries and overseeing specific consumer protections laws, we have no authority or oversight when it comes to mortgages. The only small part that our law speaks to is a document called a Release and the maximum amount a credit grantor can charge for this document, which is $75. I hope the referral to the LTSA helps and best of luck!
I hope I posted this in the right spot.
I changed mortgage companies, the old mortgage company provided a discharge document at time of payout. Now seven months later they claim they made a error and are requesting funds. I’m not sure as there were many different payout amounts given as well as different dates as to the maturity dates of the mortgage. The law firm I used is even unsure as they can only deal with the payout requested at the time and are unsure what is correct. Thankyou for your time
Hi Glen, BC’s consumer protection law only speaks to how much a credit grantor can charge for the Release document ($75 maximum) and doesn’t cover any other areas of this issue. You may want to contact the BC Land Title and Survey for more information but when it comes to the payout amounts, I’m afraid your lawyer would have to help you figure out the details. If you’d like a second opinion, you may want to utilize the Canadian Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service. With the program, you’ll be able to have a consultation with a lawyer for up to 30 minutes for a fee of $25 plus taxes. Here is a link for that. We hope you can solve the issue quickly!
Hi, I am about to finish paying off my mortgage and have been asked by the lender Street Capital, based in Ontario, $250 for what they call “necessary documents” for the release. My property is in BC, can they charge more than $75? And will this payment require them to file the release electronically or will I have to hire a lawyer to do so? Thanks!
Hi Javier, thanks for reaching out to us here and congratulations on nearly paying off your mortgage! As of March 1st, 2017, mortgage releases can only be submitted electronically by legal professionals and lending institutions. If you are unclear on how to proceed, I would suggest contacting the Land Title and Survey Authority directly, as they are the experts on the matter. Here is their contact info: 1-877-577-5872 or 604-630-9630. The only small part that our law speaks to is a document called a Release and the maximum amount a credit grantor can charge for this document, which is $75 – however, I can’t speak to what these “necessary documents” are on top of the Release. I would suggest contacting the BC Land Title and Survey Authority for clarification, as this is an area they oversee. If you’re unclear on what I’ve explained, feel free to call our inquiry centre for further clarification at 1.888.564.9963. I hope this helps and best of luck!
I have a question. When I got divorced I allowed my ex-wife to defer payment on part of my equity for 8 years by registering a second mortgage on the property (i.e. I lent her money). The debt is now due and her lawyer tells me that I have to pay the costs of discharging the mortgage! Surely not?
Hi David, thanks for reaching out to us here. Are you referring to the $75 release document? The laws we’re responsible for in these situation are very specific and only speaks to the maximum amount a credit grantor can charge for the Release document, which is $75. If you are unclear on what the laws are around who is legally responsible for paying the discharge, I would suggest reviewing the agreement you made with your ex-wife or contacting a lawyer for assistance, as we are not in a position to offer legal advice. You may also be interested contacting the Land Title and Survey Authority directly, as they may be able to provide some additional information – but I can’t say for sure they’ll know who is responsible for the payment in your case – but it may be worth a try! Here is their contact info: 1-877-577-5872 or 604-630-9630. I hope this helps and best of luck.
Third homeowner found out $35000 outstanding mortgage not paid by first homeowner. Deceased second homeowners’ son stated he would absorb the $35000 on the sale of home to third homeowner. They used the same lawyer. Third homeowner selling house only to find out day before final sale $35000 mortgage still outstanding and not paid. The $35000 outstanding mortgage dated to 1975-44 years ago? Help.
Hi Sandra, thank you for posting your question here. Hmm, your situation sounds very complicated and unique. The consumer protection law that we administer doesn’t apply to the issues you are having. You may have to contact a lawyer. Access Pro Bono has a program called Lawyer Referral Service, you can obtain the contact information of a lawyer who will meet for a free half-hour legal consultation so give them a try. Here’s their website. I hope they will be able to point you in the right direction!
I paid my mortgage and bank charge me below
$75 for Land Title
$115 for Discharge Fee for BC.
As per LandTitle the fees for discharge is $29.66
Can some one explain these charges and is it legal for bank to charge more?
Hi Ankur, thank you for taking the time to message us and congratulations on paying off your mortgage! According to BC laws, the maximum amount a credit grantor can charge for a Release document is $75. Did you file it with the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia? The Land Title Office will charge you a small fee to file the Release, so I’m not sure if that’s what the last charge is. I would suggest speaking to the bank for clarification on this, as I can’t say for sure what you were charged, all I can speak to is the maximum amount for the Release document ($75). I hope this helps!
We just sold our house and are buying a less expensive one in a small town nearby. The net effect is that we will be able to pay off the mortgage on our original home and still not need one on the new home. No money left for us but $0 owing to the bank.
Do we need to request the deregistration on our original home AND the new one? or just the original one?
Hello and thank you for leaving us a comment here. Consumer Protection BC administers the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act in the province but the law does not speak to mortgages. If you are talking about the discharge document, you may need to talk to your mortgage broker or a lawyer. Sorry, we can’t offer much help but those professionals would have more knowledge when it comes to this topic. I hope you will be able to find the information you’re looking for quickly!
This article shows up first in Google searches, but is from 2015 and may be out of date.
It describes the homeowner filing a release document, either themselves or through a professional.
But the BC Land Title & Survey web site says the following:
“As at March 1, 2017, legal professionals and financial institutions are required to electronically submit mortgage releases to the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC.
Registered property owners will no longer be permitted to submit a Form C – Release, either in person or by mail to a land title office.”
Does this mean that the mortgage company is required to perform the release? Should the article be updated?
Hi Neil, thank you for writing to us. Yes indeed this article was published in 2015 so the information may be out of date. I will see if it needs updating (and once we do, we will note that in the article). Please also note that BC’s consumer protection laws only apply to a small aspect of the whole process so that is the only piece we have authority over. BC Land Title and Survey would be a good source of information for sure.
Hi, In the post above, it says “Once you have repaid your mortgage, you should have the mortgage removed from the title of your home. The law in BC requires for the mortgage company to provide you with a discharge document when the mortgage is fully repaid and after you request the discharge.” The section: “The law in BC” is hyperlinked, but it goes to an error page. What law is being cited here, and can you please provide the revised link? We paid off our mortgage three months ago and our mortgage company has still not removed the charge from title. I want to know what the law says about when they must do this, as I believe it is their obligation. Thanks for your help.
Hi Lori, thank you for pointing out the broken link – here is the correct one. I have also updated the link in our post. The law also refers to the Land Title Act (linked from the consumer protection law) so you may want to take a look at that. If you have any further questions, please let us know!
We got the form from our mortgage broker to discharge the mortgage and release title so we’re free and clear. We went to the notary and got it done but we were surprised when we did a credit check on ourselves that there was showing them on title still so we wouldn’t be able to sell it. Surprise! Turns out the mortgage broker was on title when we got a mortgage from them and then three years later when renegotiating a new mortgage they put themselves on title again so they are on twice. We went back to them and now they say they’ll give us another form C to go and pay to remove title but they should never have put themselves down twice! Who does that? Can’t believe they can get away with that but we’ll tell everyone about this story so for them not covering less than $200 for their mistake, they’ve lost business now from family and friends in Vancouver and Toronto. We should not be paying for an administrative error that they put themselves on twice when they never should have. Advise everyone who has paid out their home to get a credit check done after to see what shows up. We would have been in trouble if we had sold our place with short closing window not knowing (another) title had to be removed.
You will want to immediately consult with a Notary or a lawyer familiar with Land Title practice, as your comments merit some research and assistance. There should be no way for someone to “put themselves on title again” Get this checked out!
The closing date for my property was mid-March of 2021. I still have not received the State of Title Certificate for nearly 5 months. I tried contacting my lawyer, and they said the bank has not released the mortgage title for the seller (i.e. the previous owner). Thus, the current certificate registers two mortgages (i.e. one from the previous owner and one for mine).
What can I do as the new owner to ensure that there is only one registered mortgage on my property? What potentially could be an issue if there are two mortgages on the title certificate? Other than to wait anxiously, what can I do to expedite the process in removing the previous mortgage title?
Hi Ben, thank you for leaving us a question here. Have you contacted BC Land Title and Survey? They may be able to assist you further with your issue and here is their website. Take a look under the property owners tab, hopefully, you will be able to find more information. Their contact information is also listed on their website. I hope you will be able to sort this out quickly!
What happen when you lose the State of Title Certificate in BC ? Are you able to sell the property without the certificate? How to replace one if it’s lost ?
Hi Amy, thank you for contacting us here. As our article suggests, we only oversee a small aspect of this law. You may want to contact your lawyer or a real estate agent to find out. I hope they will be able to point you in the right direction!