Release of Obligation

The requirements for recording a release of obligation by a title insurance company are best explained by setting forth the applicable statute:

California Civil Code 2941(b)
. . .
If a full reconveyance has not been executed and recorded . . . within 75 calendar days of satisfaction of the obligation, then a title insurance company [note that underwritten title companies are not included] may prepare and record a release of the obligation. However, at least 10 days prior to the issuance and recording of a full release pursuant to this paragraph, the title insurance company shall mail by first-class mail with postage prepaid, the intention to release the obligation to the trustee, trustor, and beneficiary of record, or their successor in interest of record, at the last known address.

(A) The release shall set forth:

(i) The name of the beneficiary.
(ii) The name of the trustor.
(iii) The recording reference to the deed of trust.
(iv) A recital that the obligation secured by the deed of trust has been paid in full.
(v) The date and amount of payment.

[FYI the statute continues, but these are not requirements:]

(B) The release issued pursuant to this subdivision shall be entitled to recordation and, when recorded, shall be deemed to be the equivalent of a reconveyance of a deed of trust.

(4) Where an obligation secured by a deed of trust was paid in full prior to July 1, 1989, and no reconveyance has been issued and recorded by October 1, 1989, then a release of obligation as provided for in paragraph (3) may be issued.

(5) Paragraphs (2) and (3) do not excuse the beneficiary or the trustee from compliance with paragraph (1). Paragraph (3) does not excuse the beneficiary from compliance with paragraph (2).

(6) In addition to any other remedy provided by law, a title insurance company preparing or recording the release of the obligation shall be liable to any party for damages, including attorneys' fees, which any person may sustain by reason of the issuance and recording of the release, pursuant to paragraphs (3) and (4).
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