N.Y. Real Property Law Section 321
Recording discharge of mortgage


1.

The recording officer shall mark on the record of a mortgage the word “discharged” when there is presented to him a certificate or certificates signed as hereinafter provided, and acknowledged or proved and certified in like manner as to entitle a conveyance to be recorded, specifying that the mortgage has been paid or otherwise satisfied and discharged.

(a)

When it does not appear from the record that any interest in the mortgage has been assigned, the discharge shall be signed by the mortgagee or by his personal representative.

(b)

When it appears from the record that the mortgage has been assigned, whether or not the assignment was made as collateral security, the discharge shall be signed by the person who appears from the record to be the last assignee thereof or by his personal representative.

(c)

When the mortgage or an assignment thereof names two or more persons as mortgagees or assignees, the discharge shall be signed by the person or persons designated by the mortgage or assignment to receive payment of the mortgage debt or to give full acquittance and discharge therefor. When no such person or persons are designated by the mortgage or assignment, the certificate of discharge shall be signed by all of the persons named, in the mortgage or assignment, as mortgagees or assignees, as the case may be, or by their personal representatives, if the mortgage or assignment (i) specifies their respective interest in terms of a sum of money, or in terms of a fraction or percentage, or

(ii)

states that such persons shall share equally in, or shall have equal shares in the mortgage, or

(iii)

describes such persons as tenants in common of the mortgage. When it appears from the record that the mortgage is held by trustees, the certificate of discharge shall be signed by a majority of such trustees or of the survivors of them or by the survivors or survivor of them, unless the instrument creating the trust provides otherwise. Except as required above, the discharge may be signed by any one of the persons named in the mortgage or assignment, as mortgagees or assignees, as the case may be, or by the personal representative of the last survivor of them. If the mortgage or assignment states that the persons named therein as mortgagees or assignees shall hold the mortgage jointly, or describes such persons as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety of the mortgage, or expressly creates a right of survivorship among them, the discharge may be signed by any one of such persons or by the personal representative of the last survivor of them notwithstanding that the mortgage or assignment specifies their respective interests in the mortgage or states that they shall share equally or have equal shares therein.

(d)

When the mortgage has been partially assigned, the certificate of discharge shall be signed by all of the persons, or their personal representatives, who in the aggregate are the holders of all portions of the mortgage, including each partial assignee, and the assignor in case any portion of the mortgage has not been assigned; provided, however, that if any partial assignment names two or more persons as assignees, the person or persons who may sign the certificate discharging such partial interest shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (c) of this subdivision.

(e)

Whenever two or more persons are required to execute a certificate of discharge as provided in this subdivision, there may be presented in lieu of such certificate, separately executed certificates of discharge as to the respective interests of each in the mortgage so that together the several certificates purport to discharge the entire mortgage.

(f)

In place of any of the persons specified in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) or (d) of this subdivision, a certificate of discharge of the mortgage or of any interest therein may be signed (i) by an agent who has been authorized by any such person to demand or receive payment or to give a certificate of discharge of the mortgage by a power of attorney, provided such power of attorney is of record in the office where the mortgage is recorded, and no instrument of revocation has been recorded; or

(ii)

by any person in whom title to such mortgage or to such interest, or authority to act on behalf of or in exercise of the right or power of the holder of such mortgage or of such interest is vested, in a fiduciary capacity, by virtue of an order or decree of a court having jurisdiction thereof, including, but not limited to, the guardian of a minor, the committee of an incompetent person, or the conservator of a conservatee, whether domestic or foreign, and a receiver in bankruptcy or trustee in bankruptcy. A certificate executed by any person specified in clause (ii) of this paragraph shall recite the name of the court and the venue of the proceedings in which his appointment was made, or the order or decree vesting him with such title or authority was entered.

(g)

If the mortgage is stated in the certificate of discharge to have been taken by the noncitizen property custodian under and pursuant to the trading with the enemy act adopted by the United States congress, and approved October sixth, nineteen hundred sixteen, or any act amendatory thereof, or supplemental thereto, such certificate may be executed by such noncitizen property custodian or such person as the president may appoint to give full acquittance and discharge for money or property belonging to an enemy or ally of an enemy which may be conveyed, assigned, delivered or transferred to said noncitizen property custodian, with like effect as if the same had been executed by the mortgagee, or the personal representative or assignee of such mortgagee. Such certificate may be recorded, and such certificate, the record thereof and a certified copy of such record may be introduced in evidence in all courts of this state.

2.

(a) The recording officer shall record and file such certificate or certificates together with the certificates of acknowledgment or proof, and shall note on the record of the mortgage the book and page containing such record of such certificate or certificates or the serial number of such record in the minute of the discharge of such mortgage, made by the officer upon the record thereof. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to the county of Suffolk, if the block method of index is in use, or a separate index of satisfactions recorded is maintained.

(b)

The recording officer shall also record every other instrument relating to a mortgage which is presented to him, acknowledged or proved in like manner as to entitle a conveyance to be recorded, including certificates purporting to discharge a mortgage or an interest therein which are signed by persons other than those specified in the first subdivision of this section, and also including, but not limited to, assignments, releases, partial discharges, reductions, estoppel certificates, extensions, discharges of partial interest and partial discharges of partial interest, regardless by whom any such instrument has been executed. When any such instrument has been recorded, the recording officer, except in counties where the block method of indexing is in use, or in Suffolk county, if a separate index of said instruments is maintained, shall enter a minute upon the record of the mortgage to which such instrument relates, indicating the nature of such instrument and the book and page where it has been recorded or the serial number of such record.

3.

Every certificate presented to the recording officer shall be executed and acknowledged or proved in like manner as to entitle a conveyance to be recorded. If the mortgage has been assigned, in whole or in part, the certificate shall set forth the date of each assignment in the chain of title of the person or persons signing the certificate, the names of the assignor and assignee, the interest assigned, and, if the assignment has been recorded, the book and page where it has been recorded or the serial number of such record; or if the assignment is being recorded simultaneously with the certificate of discharge, the certificate of discharge shall so state. If the mortgage has not been assigned of record, the certificate shall so state. No certificate presented to the recording officer shall purport to discharge more than one mortgage, except that one certificate may purport to discharge two or more mortgages where the certificate states that one of such mortgages corrects, perfects or modifies the other mortgage or mortgages, or spreads the lien of the other mortgage or mortgages over the property subject to the lien of such mortgage, or consolidates the lien of the other mortgage or mortgages with the lien of such mortgage to constitute a single lien, or where the certificate states that the liens of the mortgages which the certificate purports to discharge have been so spread or so consolidated by a separate instrument and such instrument has been recorded; provided that in such case the certificate of discharge shall identify and describe each mortgage which it purports to discharge, in a separate paragraph, in the same manner and with the same particularity, and setting forth the same information with respect to assignments thereof, as would be required for a separate certificate discharging that mortgage, and shall also state, in a separate paragraph for each instrument, the date of any such separate instrument by which the liens of the mortgages have been spread or consolidated, the names of the parties thereto, and the book and page where it has been recorded or the serial number of such record. In any such case, except where otherwise expressly provided by law, the fee or fees which the recording officer is entitled to receive for filing and entering a certificate of discharge of a mortgage and examining assignments of such mortgage shall be payable with respect to each mortgage which the certificate purports to discharge, to the same extent as if a separate certificate of discharge had been filed for such mortgage.

4.

After the record of the mortgage has been marked with the word “discharged,” the recording officer shall make and deliver to any person tendering the lawful fees therefor, his certificate setting forth the names of the mortgagor and the mortgagee, the book and page at which, the date when such mortgage was recorded, and the date on which the record of such mortgage was so marked, except in a county where recording is done by microphotography or photostating in the manner permitted by law, in which case, after microphotography or photostating, such certificate of discharge and the certificates of its acknowledgment or proof shall, in lieu of filing as provided in paragraph (a) of subdivision two of this section, be returned to the party leaving same for record.

5.

The term “personal representative” as used in this section shall include the following:

(a)

An executor, administrator or voluntary administrator or one of two or more executors, administrators or voluntary administrators, whether domestic or foreign, including the public administrator, and an ancillary administrator appointed in this state. A certificate executed by any such personal representative shall recite the name of the court and the venue of the proceedings in which his letters testamentary or of administration were issued.

(b)

All of the distributees of a person dying intestate for whom no administrator shall have been appointed, provided that two years shall have elapsed since the date of death of such intestate. A certificate executed by such distributees shall recite the date of death of the intestate, his place of residence at the time of death, the fact that he died intestate, that no administrator has been appointed and that they constitute all the distributees of the intestate.

6.

The provisions of this section authorizing the recording officer to mark on the record of a mortgage the word “discharged” shall not be deemed to enlarge, diminish or alter the legal effect which a certificate executed by any person or persons, or any payment made by the mortgagor or other transaction with respect to the mortgage or the mortgage debt, would otherwise have upon the rights of the mortgagor or of any person claiming a right or interest in the mortgage, the mortgage debt or the property subject to the mortgage.

7.

In a county in which recording is accomplished by microfilm process and in which a block index of mortgages is also maintained it will not be necessary to mark the record of the mortgage “discharged”, but it will be deemed sufficient compliance with this section if there is entered upon the block index of such mortgage the date of filing and the serial number of the certificate effecting the discharge. 7-a. If in any county, recording is accomplished by microfilm process and a separate index for satisfactions recorded is maintained or in which a block index of mortgages is also maintained it will not be necessary to mark the record of the mortgage “discharged”, but it will be deemed sufficient compliance with this section if there is entered upon the index of such mortgage the date of filing and the serial number of the certificate effecting the discharge.

8.

Certificates of discharge of mortgage and certificates of their acknowledgment or proof heretofore or hereafter recorded and filed, may be returned personally or by mail to the party leaving same for record or destroyed after microfilming or photostating where proper indices are maintained.

Source: Section 321 — Recording discharge of mortgage, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/RPP/321 (updated Dec. 16, 2022; accessed Jul. 20, 2024).

290
Definitions
291
Recording of conveyances
291‑A
Recording conveyances of land in towns in Chautauqua county
291‑B
Recording conveyances of land in towns in Cattaraugus county
291‑C
Recording memoranda of leases
291‑CC
Recording modifications of leases
291‑D
Recording of master forms of mortgage covenants and clauses
291‑E
Exceptions, reservations and recitals referring to unrecorded conveyances and contracts for sale of real property
291‑F
Rights where recorded mortgage restricts landlord’s action in respect to leases
291‑G
Recording insurance information
291‑H
Recording of liens by the state
291‑I
Validity of electronic recording
291‑J
Recording of declarations by the New York state energy research and development authority
292
By whom conveyance must be acknowledged or proved
292‑A
Conveyances by certain corporations executed and acknowledged by attorneys in fact entitled to recordation
293
Recording of conveyances heretofore acknowledged or proved
294
Recording executory contracts and powers of attorney
294‑A
Recording assignments of rent
294‑B
Recording brokers affidavit of entitlement to commission for completed brokerage services
295
Recording of letters patent
296
Recording copies of instruments which are in secretary of state’s office
297
Certified copies may be recorded
297‑A
Recording of certified copies of bankruptcy papers
297‑B
Recording of certified copies of judgments affecting real property
298
Acknowledgments and proofs within the state
299
Acknowledgments and proofs without the state, but within the United States or any territory, possession, or dependency thereof
299‑A
Acknowledgment to conform to law of New York or of place where taken
300
Acknowledgments and proofs by persons in or with the armed forces of the United States
301
Acknowledgments and proofs in foreign countries
301‑A
Acknowledgment to conform to law of New York or of foreign country
302
Acknowledgments and proofs by married women
303
Requisites of acknowledgments
304
Proof by subscribing witness
305
Compelling witnesses to testify
306
Certificate of acknowledgment or proof
307
When certificate to state time and place
308
When certificate must be under seal
309
Acknowledgment by corporation and form of certificate
309‑A
Uniform forms of certificates of acknowledgment or proof within this state
309‑B
Uniform forms of certificates of acknowledgement or proof without this state
310
Authentication of acknowledgments and proofs made within the state
311
Authentication of acknowledgments and proofs made without the state
312
Contents of certificate of authentication
313
Notary public
313‑A
Deputies
314
Recording of conveyances acknowledged or proved without the state, when parties and certifying officer are dead
314‑A
Proof when witnesses are dead
315
Recording books
316
Indexes
316‑A
Indexing and reindexing conveyances, mortgages and other instruments
316‑B
Inactive hazardous waste disposal site registry index
317
Order of recording
318
Certificate to be recorded
319
Time of recording
320
Certain deeds deemed mortgages
321
Recording discharge of mortgage
321‑A
Recording discharge of rent assignment
324
Effect of recording assignment of mortgage
325
Recording of conveyances made by treasurer of Connecticut
326
Revocation to be recorded
327
Penalty for using long forms of covenants
328
Certain acts not affected
329
Actions to have certain instruments canceled of record
329‑A
Lapse of oil and gas interest within Allegany state park
330
Officers guilty of malfeasance liable for damages
331
Laws and decrees of foreign countries appointing agents and attorneys and recording of the same
332
The record of certain conveyances validated
332‑A
Validation of the record, execution and proof or acknowledgment of certain other instruments
332‑B
The record of certain other conveyances validated
333
When conveyances of real property not to be recorded
333‑A
Same
333‑B
Recording of maps or plot plans
333‑C
Lands in agricultural districts
334
Maps to be filed
334‑A
Filing of subdivision maps in Nassau county
335
Filing of maps and abandonment of subdivisions in Suffolk county
335‑A
Easements of necessity
335‑B
Recording of solar energy easements
336
Effect of recording demands or requirements of noncitizen property custodian

Accessed:
Jul. 20, 2024

Last modified:
Dec. 16, 2022

§ 321’s source at nysenate​.gov

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