119th Maine Legislature – Update**

Mortgage Discharges
Chapter 230: An Act to Require the Holder or Servicer of a Mortgage to Record the Discharge Within 60 Days. Subsection 551 provides among other things that:

"Within 60 days after full performance of the conditions of the mortgage, the mortgagee shall record a valid and complete release of mortgage together with any instrument of assignment necessary to establish the mortgagee's record ownership of the mortgage. As used in this paragraph, the term "mortgagee" means both the owner of the mortgage at the time it is satisfied and any servicer who receives the final payment satisfying the debt. If a release is not transmitted to the registry of deeds within 60 days, the owner and any such servicer are jointly and severally liable to an aggrieves party for damages equal to exemplary damages of $200 per week after expiration of the 60 days up to an aggregate maximum of $5,000 for all aggrieved parties or the actual loss sustained by the aggrieved party, whichever is greater. If multiple aggrieved parties seek exemplary damages, the court shall equitably allocate the maximum amount. The mortgagee is also liable for court costs and reasonable attorney's fees in any successful action to enforce the liability. The mortgagee may charge the mortgagor for any recording fees incurred in the recording of the release of mortgage."
Durable Power of Attorney
Chapter 118: An Act to Change the Application of the Durable Financial Power of Attorney Provisions. 18-A MRSA Section 5-508, subsection (h) is enacted to read:
"(h) The requirements of this section do not apply to any durable financial power of attorney:
(1) Granted by a person other than a natural person;
(2) Granted to the secured party or mortgagee in a security agreement or mortgage; or
(3) Given by or on behalf of a debtor, guarantor or accommodation party as a part of loan documentation related to a credit transaction, if the creditor entered into the transaction for value."
Residential Property Disclaimer
Chapter 230: An Act to Require the Holder or Servicer of a Mortgage to Record the Discharge Within 60 Days. Subsection 551 provides among other things that:
"Within 60 days after full performance of the conditions of the mortgage, the mortgagee shall record a valid and complete release of mortgage together with any instrument of assignment necessary to establish the mortgagee's record ownership of the mortgage. As used in this paragraph, the term "mortgagee" means both the owner of the mortgage at the time it is satisfied and any servicer who receives the final payment satisfying the debt. If a release is not transmitted to the registry of deeds within 60 days, the owner and any such servicer are jointly and severally liable to an aggrieves party for damages equal to exemplary damages of $200 per week after expiration of the 60 days up to an aggregate maximum of $5,000 for all aggrieved parties or the actual loss sustained by the aggrieved party, whichever is greater. If multiple aggrieves parties seek exemplary damages, the court shall equitably allocate the maximum amount. The mortgagee is also liable for court costs and reasonable attorney's fees in any successful action to enforce the liability. The mortgagee may charge the mortgagor for any recording fees incurred in the recording of the release of mortgage."
Auctioneer Licensing
Chapter 146: An Act to Recodify the Auctioneers Licensing Law. This Act provides among other things that:
"a person in this State who engages in the business of auctioneering, professes or advertises to be an auctioneer or advertises the sale of real, personal or mixed property by auction shall hold a valid auctioneer's license."
Spousal Releases
Chapter 342: An Act to Amend to Improve the Marketability of Real Estate Titles: 33 MRSA Section 772-A. provides among other things:
  1. "Testimonium clause. A deed or other instrument executed after the effective date of this subsection that includes the following language: "[name] (wife or husband) of said Grantor, joins as Grantor and releases all rights by descent and all other rights" or similar language within the testimonium clause conveys any and all interests of the joining spouse to the property described in the deed or other instrument. This subsection applies to a deed or other instrument even if the joining spouse is not set forth in the beginning of the deed as a grantor to the conveyance. This subsection does not apply to a deed dated before the effective date of this subsection that contains language in the testimonium clause as described in this subsection until November 1, 2000, at which time this subsection applies unless notice of a claim of right, title or interest is recorded in the registry of deeds for the county in which the land is located and an action is commenced on or before November 1, 2000 in any court with jurisdiction to adjudicate this action.
Seller Disclosures
Chapter 476: An Act to Require Disclosures in connection with Transfers of Residential Property: Sec. 1. 33 MRSA c.7, sub-c. I-A. Subchapter 174(1) of this Act provides that a
"seller of residential real property under this subchapter shall deliver to cause to be delivered the property disclosure statement to the purchaser no later than the time the purchaser makes an offer to purchase, exchange or option the property or exercises the option to purchase the property pursuant to a lease with an option to purchase". The disclosure statement shall provide to the purchaser certain information regarding the water supply system, insulation, waste disposal system, hazardous materials, and known defects.

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