Green is the New Black: Name Changes a Must in Recordation

Susan Green owns a piece of real property in her own name. She marries David Black. Susan Green, after getting married to David Black, changes her name to Susan Black. Susan and David Black obtain a mortgage on the home from the bank. 

The mortgage by Mr. and Mrs. Black refinances a mortgage taken out by Susan Black, when her name was Susan Green. The mortgage that Mr. and Mrs. Black are obtaining is from a different bank than the bank that granted a mortgage on the property to Susan Black when she was Susan Green. 

The mortgage granted Mr. and Mrs. Black to the bank is recorded in the real property records of the correct county with the correct legal description of the property.

The mortgage, however, although duly recorded would not appear in a search of the grantor/grantee index under the name Susan (or David) Black, given that the title to the property is still in the name of Susan Green.

One has to make sure that in such a situation in which real property is titled in the former name of the title holder, such as Susan Green, that there is a conveyance from the previous title holder’s name (Susan Green) to the present title holder named (Susan Black).

Ideally, there would be a Quitclaim Deed from Susan Black to Susan Black and David Black, wife and husband. That way, there is no break in the chain of title and anyone searching  the grantor/grantee index would discover the mortgage granted by Mr. and Mrs. Black once they are in title. This same situation could likewise occur in a divorce.

In our changing world, one must also make sure that one’s gender or name has not changed. Otherwise, if Bruce becomes Caitlyn, no amount of searching under Bruce will find documents executed by Caitlyn. Indeed, “Green” is the new “Black!”

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