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Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation

Each depositor insured to at least $250,000 per insured bank

Frequently Asked Questions about Lien Releases

En Español

Q. What is a lien?

A lien is a claim on property to ensure payment of a debt. For example, when you borrow money to purchase a car, the lender files a lien on the vehicle with the state. This insures that in the case of default on the loan, the lender can take the car back. When the debt is fully repaid, a release of the lien is provided by the lender. It is very important that the release of lien is filed. The lien is then removed from the records and a clear title issued, showing the owner's free and clear title to the vehicle.

Q. Why wasn't the lien released by the bank when I paid it off years ago?

Lien release documents are typically sent to borrowers when the loan pays off. The borrower should then file the lien release with the appropriate agency. If the release is not filed, the lien will appear on a future title search.

Q. What types of property can have liens?

All types of houses, land, buildings, cars, boats, aircraft, business equipment, or lif insurance policies.

Q. How long will it take to get my release?

Because of the large volume of release requests we get, it may take up to 30 business days to obtain a release of lien so you may want to plan accordingly. Providing us with proof that the loan paid off (cancelled checks, paid-in-full notes, etc.) will reduce our processing time and may expedite our handling of your request.

Q. Why do I have to provide so much information? Don't you already have the records?

Records are usually kept for only a short length of time after a loan pays off. The information we ask you to provide is easily obtainable and absolutely necessary for us to prepare the release you need.

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