On Saturday, November 13th, the day before leaving town, I received paperwork from my credit union showing I had paid off the condo’s mortgage.  I had been waiting for this paperwork.  I didn’t review the paperwork.   I assumed everything I needed was enclosed.  Plus, I was preoccupied with getting ready for my departure the following day.

After returning to town, on Friday, November 19th, I visited the Recorder of Deeds with the paperwork I received from my credit union.  The employee told me that the appropriate paperwork, a Certificate of Satisfaction, was not included among the paperwork the credit union sent me.  She told me either the credit union had not yet issued the Certificate of Satisfaction or the credit union has sent the Certificate of Satisfaction to the District Government but it has not been received.

This was weird.  Last May 15th, I paid off the condo’s home equity mortgage.  I received paperwork from my credit union.  I arrived at the Recorder of Deeds with the paperwork which included a Certificate of Satisfaction and that certificate was subsequently recorded and thereafter returned to me.

Speaking with this employee and another employee, I remarked,there must be records documenting whether the credit union recorded the deed.  Each employee responded, true.  Of course, neither employee made an effort to assist me further.

Luckily, while I waited in line, I noticed a series of computers and some were labeled for public use.  So I sat down in front of one of the computers and double clicked on the internet explorer icon.

What appeared was a database about land ownership in the District of Columbia.  I quickly searched for the grantor/grantee index (all those hours of genealogical research has finally paid off).  I typed my name as a grantee and six entries appeared, three regarding the house and three regarding the condo.

For the condo, the three entries are (1) a deed when I purchased the condo, (2) a Certificate of  Satisfaction from 2004 when the original mortgage was paid off because I refinanced the condo in September 2003 and (3) a Certificate of Satisfaction from 2009 for the paid off home equity loan.  Absent from the list is any reference to the loan the credit union made to me.

While at the Recorder of Deeds I called my credit union. After twenty minutes of waiting, I ended the call.  I decided to visit my local credit union.

Later that afternoon I arrived at my local credit union. I signed in and a credit union employee escorted me to the rear of the credit union.  I explained my situation, namely, I have paid off my mortgage but the credit union did not send me a Certificate of Satisfaction.  The mortgage department and loan department are not located at the local branch but at headquarters.  So the local credit union employee had to call headquarters to put me in touch with the appropriate office. Ultimately I spoke to someone who confirmed the deed was never recorded by the credit union.  She told me to keep the paperwork  showing I paid off the loan in a safe place.

I can’t believe it.  The credit union did not record the deed. I refinanced the mortgage seven years ago.  What the f%!&?

After calming myself, I recalled the credit union was on notice two years ago that the loan was not recorded.  In February 2008 I applied for a home equity loan for the condo.  At one point during the process I received a call from a credit union employee informing  me that she cannot find any record of the present mortgage for the condo.  What?  I explained, your institution lent me the money.  She responded, oh.

I assumed, when it came to light in 2008 that the deed was not recorded, the credit union would take corrective action at that point.  Apparently, it  never did.

Technically, the records of the District of Columbia show the condo was paid off in 2004.  Yet my semi-annual property taxes were paid by the credit union since later 2003.   What?  Yes,  the District of Columbia sent the semi-annual tax bill to the credit union which then paid the bill.

So, where does this leave me?  Honestly, I don’t know.  I plan to consult someone tomorrow.  Funny, the same problem exists for the house – the credit union never recorded the deed when I refinanced in September 2005.

Meanwhile, since the credit union never recorded the deed for the condo, I believe I am AT LEAST entitled to a refund of the amount (plus interest) I paid back in 2003 for the recording fees.


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