By statute, Rhode Island legislation governs when a mortgage will be considered discharged. Of particular interest is Section § 34-26-7, which reads:
On and after January 1, 1989, no power of sale in any mortgage of real estate, except mortgages made by public utilities and non-amortizing mortgages made by Rhode Island housing and mortgage finance corporation now or hereafter of record, shall be exercised and no entry shall be made, nor possession taken, nor proceeding begun for foreclosure of any such mortgage after the expiration of a period which shall be thirty-five (35) years from the date of recording of the mortgage, or in the case of a mortgage in which the term or maturity date is stated, five (5) years from the expiration of the term or maturity date, unless an extension of the mortgage, or an acknowledgment by affidavit of the mortgagee that the mortgage is not satisfied, is recorded before the expiration of the applicable time period. In case an extension of the mortgage or such an acknowledgment by affidavit is so recorded, the period shall continue until five (5) years shall have elapsed during which there is not recorded any further extension of the mortgage nor acknowledgment nor affidavit that the mortgage is not satisfied. The period shall not be extended by nonresidence nor disability of any person interested in the mortgage or the real estate, or by any partial payment, agreement, extension, acknowledgment, affidavit, or other action not meeting the requirements of this section. All extensions, agreements, affidavits and acknowledgments shall be indexed in the land evidence records under the name of the present landowner. Upon the expiration of the applicable period provided herein, the mortgage shall be treated for title purposes as if it had been properly discharged by the record holder thereof.”
The Plaintiff, Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC, successfully defended on appeal the lower court’s decision granting summary judgment. The original owners of the property Norris Waldron granted a mortgage to the Providence Business Loan Fund, f/k/a Providence Economic Development Corporation in exchange for $70,660.00 in 1992. In 1996, Waldron entered into a modification with the Defendant reducing the security amount from $70,660.00 to $4,061.75 with a payment period of 108 months or 9 years. The modification was not recorded which included all the details of the modification, instead what was recorded in the Lands Evidence Records was an amendment to the original 1992 mortgage. This amendment did not include the 108 month terms and did not specify a maturity date. Waldron would later quit claim deed the property to Jocelyn who in turn granted a mortgage to MERS. This mortgage was satisfied with proceeds from another entity which secured its own mortgage. Eventually, Bayview. Eventually, Bayview recorded it owns mortgage which was recorded in the Land Evidence Records.
The court after reviewing the documents determined that the amendment did not conform to the statute’s strict requirements. The Plaintiff was absolved of obligation to pay the outstanding mortgage to Providence, a windfall for the Plaintiff. See entire opinion Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC v. Providence Business Loan Fund, Inc., f/k/a Providence Economic Development Corporation.