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Certificate of principal amount unpaid on mortgages of real property
Real Property (RPP) CHAPTER 50, ARTICLE 8
§ 274-a. Certificate of principal amount unpaid on mortgages of real
property. 1. The holder of a mortgage upon real property shall execute
and deliver to the owner of the real property upon which such mortgage
is a lien a written instrument setting forth the amount of the principal
of said mortgage remaining unpaid, the date to which interest has been
paid, and the amounts, if any, claimed to be unpaid upon said mortgage
for principal and interest, itemizing the same, provided, however, that
prior written demand by registered or certified mail has been made upon
the holder of such mortgage by such owner of the real property and that
such owner of the real property shall have executed and delivered to
another a written contract to convey, or shall have received a written
commitment to make a mortgage loan upon, the real property or an
interest therein. The written instrument hereinbefore required of the
holder of the mortgage shall be a certificate duly executed and
acknowledged in the same manner as required by law to entitle a
conveyance of real property to be recorded, except that a bank, savings
bank, private banker, trust company, savings and loan association or any
other banking organization, as defined in the banking law, a national
bank or trust company or any other federally-chartered or
federally-regulated savings and loan association or other banking
institution and an insurance company duly organized or licensed to do
business in this state under the insurance law of this state and the
state of New York, or an agency thereof and a political subdivision of
the state of New York or an agency thereof may, in lieu of the said
certificate, furnish a letter signed by a duly authorized officer, or
employee or agent, containing the information required to be set forth
in such certificate. An owner of real property who shall have complied
with the foregoing requirements and who shall not have received the
written instrument from the holder of the mortgage thereon within twenty
days after such compliance shall be entitled to petition a court of
competent jurisdiction for an order requiring such holder of the
mortgage to comply with this section.

2. (a) The mortgagee of an owner-occupied, one-to-six family
residential structure or residential condominium unit, shall deliver
within thirty days, any mortgage related documents to an authorized
individual making a bona fide written demand for such documents. The
mortgagee shall not charge for providing the mortgage-related documents,
provided, however, the mortgagee may charge not more than twenty
dollars, or such amount as may be fixed by the superintendent of
financial services, for each subsequent payoff statement provided under
this subdivision. If the mortgagee fails to deliver the mortgage-related
documents, the mortgagee shall be liable for the actual damages to the
mortgagor by reason of such failure. In computing actual damages the
court may consider the actual rate of interest on the mortgage debt and
current prevailing rate or rates of interest on comparable debts.
However, actual damages do not include pain and suffering, mental or
emotional distress or the like. The replacement costs of a lost
abstract of title required to be delivered hereunder, may be deducted
from the amount required to satisfy the mortgage.

(b) When used in this section:

(i) "Authorized individual" means the mortgagor, the mortgagor's
attorney, or the attorney representing a banking organization which has
agreed to make a loan secured by the same real property securing the
mortgage for which the mortgage related documents have been requested.

(ii) "Mortgagee" means (1) the current holder of the mortgage of
record or the current holder of the mortgage, (2) any person to whom
payments are required to be made and (3) their personal representatives,
successors and assigns.

(iii) "Bona fide written demand" means a written demand made by an
authorized individual in connection with a sale or refinancing of the
mortgaged property or some other event where the mortgage is reasonably
expected to be paid off or assigned. Such demand shall either be
delivered personally, or by registered or certified mail, postage
prepaid, return receipt requested. The demand shall include the names of
the mortgagor and mortgagee, the address of the mortgaged property, loan
number, the date of the mortgage or the date it was recorded, the
mortgage related documents demanded and the proposed payoff date or date
of assignment of the mortgage, if applicable. If the demand includes a
request for the abstract of title, the demand shall include the
agreement by the mortgagor to pay for a replacement abstract of title,
the cost of which may not exceed the actual replacement cost of such
abstract of title, in the event that the mortgage is not paid off or the
abstract of title is not returned within thirty days of the proposed
payoff date. Such demand shall include the following in capital letters:



(iv) "Mortgage-related documents" means:

(1) the abstract of title for the real property securing the mortgage
if such document is in the possession and control of the mortgagee. In
the event that the mortgage is not paid off, the authorized individual
receiving the abstract of title shall within thirty days of the proposed
payoff date return the abstract of title to the mortgagee or other
person so designated by the mortgagee; upon a failure to so return the
abstract of title, the mortgagee may obtain a replacement abstract of
title, the cost of which may not exceed the actual replacement cost of
such abstract of title and which shall be paid by the mortgagor;

(2) a payoff statement setting forth the balance of the mortgage,
including principal, interest and other charges assessed pursuant to the
loan documents, together with a per diem rate for interest accruing
after the date to which the balance has been calculated. The payoff
statement may, in the event that the statement reflects payments which
may have not yet cleared, require the authorized individual to obtain
from the mortgagee a day of payoff verification of the payoff statement.
A payoff statement requiring day of payoff verification shall include,
in addition to the address of the mortgagee, the telephone number of the
mortgagee and, if a banking organization or corporation, the name or
department, and its telephone number and facsimile phone number. Unless
the payoff statement requires a day of payoff verification, a mortgagee
furnishing a payoff statement shall be obligated to make its best effort
to furnish a satisfaction of mortgage upon receipt of the amount set
forth in such statement unless such person subsequently notifies the
authorized individual of an error in the payoff statement. The payoff
statement furnished by a mortgagee shall include a name or department in
addition to the address of the banking organization or corporation for
use in connection with preparation of an affidavit under subdivision
five of section nineteen hundred twenty-one of the real property actions
and proceedings law;

(3) if requested and if the title insurance policy is in the
possession and control of the mortgagee, a copy of such policy or a
statement setting forth the name of the insurer and the number of such

(v) "Banking organization" shall have the same meaning as provided in
subdivision eleven of section two of the banking law and shall include
any institution chartered or licensed by the United States or any state.