how to get payoff info from a subject to loan?

5 Replies

We bought a property in CA at a trustee sale with an existing senior lien under the previous owner's name. Now my title company and I are having difficulty in obtaining payoff amount. By standard, the serve company requires the lien holder's SS /loan # or authorization to release payoff.  Even through I faxed over the trustee's deed upon sale, the reps won't understand or do not care, always give me the standard response. Shall I try different title company? By law, the trustee's deed upon sale should serve as an authorization to release information. Right? Are there any specific language in the mortgage or the law to indicate such? This loan is delinquent, and I am offering to pay it off. where wont' they give to me?  Thanks for your response. Rachel

Kristine Marie Poe might be able to give you some insight. 


Thanks! Hopefully @K. Marie Poe will read this and others will comment as well. 

Hi Rachel,

The problem from the bank's side is this: you are not the borrower. So they will not deal with you without written authorization from the borrower and won't release any information to you. The folks on the helpline at the bank will not be able to help you. You will need to speak to someone in their legal dept. That will take a bit of persistence. 

Step 1. Call the bank and ask to speak with a supervisor. Explain the story in 20 words or less.  They will probably give you a standard answer. Ask for their name and ask to speak with someone in the legal dept.

Step 2. They will not connect to you the legal dept - but will connect you with with a more senior supervisor (as the helpline folks typically don't interact with the legal people they don't know who to call). Repeat step 1 and ask for their name.

Can you guess what Step 3 is ? Tell the supervisor that you have already spoken with Jim and Donna and Yed and Mike and Tom and they think you're the person to help! Be upbeat and not snarky (they mostly deal with snarky people)

You will need to keep at it until you get a person who can help you. You can do it yourself or ask your lawyer to do it. One takes a lot of time and is not directly expensive (time consuming and boring)...the other takes a lot of time and IS expensive! 

If you want - send me a pm and Ill see if we know anyone at that bank that can help. 

Separately, have you actually closed the sale? You really need to know what the balance is on any liens (mortgages, taxes etc) before you part with cash. 

best wishes



Thank you so much! Clearly you have walked through the steps. 

We have purchased the property a while ago. And I have my title company pull a title report showing we are the owner and there is an existing lien, just as what we have expected.  

The loan initially was with BofA, and in April it is sold to Seterus ( They are a loan service company). Even through I have the BofA loan #. But I do not have the new loan number. 

I have tried many times, occasionally someone understands, and agrees that Trustee's deed works as an authorization. But this person may not be in the right dept. to provide me with the info. Yes, I was told by the collection dept to send a written request.  I am not sure that this will go anywhere, since they already have my faxed doc and request for payoff. 

I will connect with you privately as well


@Rachel Zhang

I've been through this frustrating situation a couple of times and I know how annoying it is. Here you are trying to pay off a delinquent loan and the bank just won't let you. Like Paul mentioned, if you aren't the borrower or have the borrower's permission, the bank won't cooperate.

When I sold one property in a similar situation, my escrow officer and her title "guy" were able to get a payoff by calling the lender's customer service number and using the original borrower's social security number with their automated system. No need for them to talk to anyone directly. I don't know how the title guy was able to get the SSN but I'm glad we were able to get the payoff.

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