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How to Record a Mortgage

Step 1 To record a mortgage, you must have the original mortgage document completed, signed and notarized. The document must have a legal description of the property. Please note that all acknowledgments require the following Uniform Certificate of Acknowledgment:

On the _______ day of ____________, in the year ______, before me, the undersigned, a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared ________________________, personally known to me or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the individual(s) whose name(s) is (are) subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument, the individual(s), or the person upon behalf of which the individual(s) acted, executed the instrument.

Step 2 The following fees apply to these transaction:

- The mortgage costs $45.00 (includes cover page), plus $5.00 per page to record.

- The New York State Mortgage Tax is due at the time of recording. The Mortgage in Erie County is 1 percent of the mortgage amount. [The 1 percent is divided as follows: Basic Tax = 0.50 percent; Additional Tax = 0.25 percent (minus $25.00 if the property is a 1 or 2 family dwelling); Special Additional Tax = 0.25 percent. The Basic Tax and the Additional Tax are paid by the borrower. The Special Additional Tax is paid by the lender.]

- If an exemption is claimed for the Mortgage Tax, the mortgage must be accompanied by two affidavits, an original and one copy. The affidavits should state the exemption, and must be signed and notarized. The fee to file the affidavits is $5.00. Exemptions apply to federal credit union and privately held mortgages, where the exemption is for one quarter of one percent, and to government agencies, where the exemption is for the entire one percent.

Mortgage Discharges

The County Clerk's Office examines and records Discharges of Mortgage. The form for the Discharge of Mortgage is provided by the bank or mortgagee holding the mortgage. An original Discharge of Mortgage is required for recording, but there is no need to have an original of the Mortgage itself.

The recording fee for filing a Discharge of Mortgage is a minimum of $51.50, and could be more depending on the length of the Discharge form. Checks should be made payable to the Erie County Clerk's Office, and can be mailed in or presented in person, not necessarily by the mortgagor.

When recording a Discharge of Mortgage, the document should indicate where the Clerk's Office should return the original Discharge. A stamped, self-addressed legal-sized envelope is requested for mailing.

The original Discharge of Mortgage will be returned in approximately 4 weeks. Someone needing an immediate confirmation of the Discharge should provide a copy of the Discharge which the Clerk's Office can stamp and return upon filing.