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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XL
REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY
Chapter 701
ASSIGNMENT AND CANCELLATION OF MORTGAGES
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F.S. 701.04
1701.04 Cancellation of mortgages, liens, and judgments.
(1)(a) Within 10 days after receipt of the written request of a mortgagor, a record title owner of the property, a fiduciary or trustee lawfully acting on behalf of a record title owner, or any other person lawfully authorized to act on behalf of a mortgagor or record title owner of the property, the mortgagee or mortgage servicer shall send or cause to be sent an estoppel letter setting forth the unpaid balance of the loan secured by the mortgage. If the written request is made by a person other than the mortgagor, the request must include a copy of the instrument showing such person’s title in the property or other lawful authorization, and the mortgagee or mortgage servicer must notify the mortgagor of the request.
(b) The estoppel letter must at a minimum include:
1. The unpaid balance of the loan secured by the mortgage as of the date specified in the estoppel letter, including an itemization of the principal, interest, and any other charges comprising the unpaid balance; and
2. Interest accruing on a per-day basis for the unpaid balance from and after the date specified in the estoppel letter, if applicable.
(c)1. Except for mortgages for which a notice of lis pendens in a foreclosure action or a suggestion of bankruptcy has been properly filed and recorded, the mortgagee or mortgage servicer may not qualify, reserve the right to change, or condition or disclaim the reliance of others on the information provided in an estoppel letter under paragraph (b), and any attempt to do so is void and unenforceable. However, if the mortgagee or mortgage servicer determines that any of the information provided in the estoppel letter under paragraph (b) was inaccurate, the mortgagee or mortgage servicer may send a corrected estoppel letter to the person who requested the estoppel letter in the same manner as used to respond to the original written request. If the original written request is made by a person other than the mortgagor, the mortgagee or mortgage servicer must also provide a copy of any corrected estoppel letter to the mortgagor.
2. If the person who requested the original estoppel letter under paragraph (a) receives a corrected estoppel letter by 3 p.m. in such person’s time zone at least 1 business day before a payment is issued in reliance on the previous estoppel letter, the corrected estoppel letter supersedes all prior estoppel letters.
3. If any of the information provided in the estoppel letter under paragraph (b) was inaccurate, but the person who requested the estoppel letter did not timely receive a corrected estoppel letter as provided in subparagraph 2., the mortgagee or mortgage servicer may not deny the accuracy of such information as against any person who relied on it. This subparagraph does not affect the right of a mortgagee to recover any sum that it did not include in an estoppel letter from any person liable for payment of the loan or other obligations secured by the mortgage, nor does it limit any claim or defense to recovery which such person may have at law or in equity.
(d) The mortgagee or mortgage servicer acting in accordance with a request in substantial compliance with this subsection is expressly discharged from any obligation or liability to any person on account of the release of the requested information, other than the obligation to comply with the terms of the estoppel letter.
(e) If a payment is received at the location and in the manner specified by the mortgagee or mortgage servicer, the mortgagee or mortgage servicer must accept and may not return any payment received in reliance on an estoppel letter and must promptly apply such payment to the unpaid balance of the loan properly due under or secured by the mortgage.
(f)1. A written request for an estoppel letter under paragraph (a) must be sent to the mortgagee or mortgage servicer by first-class mail, postage prepaid; by common carrier delivery service; or by e-mail, facsimile, or other electronic means at the address made available by the mortgagee or mortgage servicer for such purpose or through an automated system provided by the mortgagee or mortgage servicer for requesting an estoppel letter. The written request is considered received by the mortgagee or mortgage servicer:
a. Five business days after the request sent by first-class mail is deposited with the United States Postal Service;
b. The day the request is delivered by a common carrier delivery service; or
c. The day the request is sent by e-mail, facsimile, or other electronic means or through an automated system provided by the mortgagee or mortgage servicer for requesting an estoppel letter.

If any of the days in sub-subparagraph a., sub-subparagraph b., or sub-subparagraph c. fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday specified in s. 110.117(1) or the laws of the United States, the request for an estoppel letter is considered timely received by the mortgagee or mortgage servicer on the next business day.

2. The mortgagee or mortgage servicer must send an estoppel letter by first-class mail, postage prepaid; by common carrier delivery service; or by e-mail, facsimile, or other electronic means, as directed in the written request, or through an automated system provided by the mortgagee or mortgage servicer for this purpose. However, the mortgagee or mortgage servicer is not required to pay for a common carrier delivery service. If the 10-day period after a written request is received by the mortgagee or mortgage servicer ends on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday specified in s. 110.117(1) or the laws of the United States, the estoppel letter is considered timely if it is sent by the close of business on the next business day.
(g) Notwithstanding s. 655.059, a mortgagee or mortgage servicer may provide the financial information required under this subsection to a person authorized under this subsection to request the financial information.
(2)(a) Within 60 days after the unpaid balance of a loan secured by a mortgage has been fully paid or paid pursuant to an estoppel letter under subsection (1), whichever is earlier, the mortgagee or mortgage servicer shall execute in writing an instrument acknowledging release of the mortgage; have the instrument acknowledged, or proven, and send it or cause it to be sent for recording in the official records of the proper county; and send or cause to be sent the recorded release to the mortgagor or record title owner of the property. The prevailing party in a civil action brought against the mortgagee or mortgage servicer to enforce the requirements of this paragraph is entitled to reasonable attorney fees and costs.
(b) The recorded release of the mortgage does not relieve the mortgagor, or the mortgagor’s successors or assigns, from any personal liability on the loan or other obligations previously secured by the mortgage.
(3) Within 60 days after the unpaid balance on a lien or judgment has been fully paid to the person entitled to the payment thereof, the creditor or assignee, or the attorney of record in the case of a judgment, to whom the payment was made shall execute in writing an instrument acknowledging satisfaction of the lien or judgment; have the instrument acknowledged, or proven, and send it or cause it to be sent for recording in the official records of the proper county; and send or cause to be sent the recorded satisfaction to the person who has made the full payment. The prevailing party in a civil action brought against the creditor or assignee, or the attorney of record in the case of a judgment, to enforce the requirements of this subsection is entitled to reasonable attorney fees and costs.
(4) When a writ of execution has been issued, docketed, and indexed with a sheriff and the judgment upon which it was issued has been fully paid, it is the responsibility of the person receiving payment to request, in writing, addressed to the sheriff, return of the writ of execution as fully satisfied.
History.s. 1, ch. 4138, 1893; s. 1, ch. 4918, 1901; GS 2500; RGS 3843; CGL 5746; s. 1, ch. 80-17; s. 15, ch. 93-250; s. 12, ch. 94-170; s. 8, ch. 2007-44; s. 1, ch. 2012-49; s. 1, ch. 2023-135.
1Note.Section 4, ch. 2023-135, provides that “[t]his act applies to all mortgages, and all loans secured by such mortgages, existing as of, or entered into on or after, October 1, 2023.”