How to Look for Public Mortgage Records

After a mortgage is signed, it is filed on public record.

series object on white: isolated - Signature image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com

After a mortgage loan closes, certain documents are filed for public record. These include the security instrument and the land deed. The security instrument is either a mortgage or a deed of trust, depending on which state you live it. A mortgage document includes information regarding the lender, the borrower, the loan amount and property address. The whole document is presented to the county clerk or recorder to be filed on record. Once recorded, the public can look for mortgage records.

Step 1

Gather as much information you can about the borrower on the mortgage. Sometimes a name is sufficient to begin a search, but other times you will need the full street address.

Step 2

Determine the state and county the property is located in, then find out where that county records its documents. Often, the records are kept at the courthouse or the clerk/recorder's office. Sometimes, the towns handle these records rather than the county.

Step 3

Access the official website of the clerk/recorder.

Step 4

Submit the information the form requires and review the results. Depending on the recorder, you might be able to view the documents online. However, some counties and townships require that you travel to government offices to view them.

Step 5

Visit the clerk/recorder's office if they do not let you view public mortgage records online. Someone will be available to help you find the mortgage records either by looking through the hard copies of the documents or by using their internal computer search.

Items you will need

  • Borrower's name
  • Property address
  • Computer with internet access

Tip

  • States and counties have different names for the office responsible for record keeping. They might be called recorders, registers, clerks, probate judges or other titles.

Warning

  • There might be a fee associated with accessing public mortgage records.

Photo Credits

  • series object on white: isolated - Signature image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com

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