Secure the release. One of the most important pieces of mortgage paperwork you signed at the outset of your loan was the “deed of trust,” which certified that you had a mortgage on your particular property and were paying it off to your lender. This document was sent to the Recorder of Deeds for safekeeping. Once you have successfully paid off your loan, this document will need to be released from the official record, by submitting a “certificate of satisfaction.” In some cases, your lender will handle the release for a small fee. Other lenders, however, will simply return the promissory note you signed, indicating that the note has been paid and canceled, and it will then be your responsibility to secure the deed of trust release. (Regardless of whether you or your lender handles this release, make sure you have the promissory note returned.)
Rename the insurance beneficiary. While you had the mortgage, the beneficiary for your homeowner’s insurance has been your lender. Now that you own the property, make sure to inform your insurance company–in writing–that you should be the new beneficiary.
Take responsibility for tax bills. Your county tax collection authority will need to be notified that you should receive any tax bills related to your insurance or escrow.
Discontinue bank payments. For ease and peace of mind, you probably set up an automatic bank payment to be withdrawn from your account and paid to your lender each month. Make sure to tell your bank that this automatic payment can be canceled.
Taking care of these tasks not only frees you of the responsibilities associated with the mortgage once and for all, it also allows you to maintain a clear and official title that allows you to both prove your right to the property and your right to sell it, if you desire. Congratulations! You own your home!