Suffolk County, Long Island Proposes A Huge Increase In Mortgage Recording Costs!

By | December 2, 2016

Update December 7, 2016: The new fee discussed below has been passed by the Suffolk County legislature per the County website

$300.00 per document  NewMORTGAGE VERIFICATION FEE effective January 1, 2017

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Suffolk County, New York has announced a new fee that will be required to record certain mortgage and mortgage-related documents!

To this observer, this seems to be nothing but an egregious money grab and as regressive a tax as has been seen in some time! And, by some time, that means last year.

For now this is only a preliminary notification that will require passage but, if this new $300 fee to record certain mortgage documents is enacted, the increase in cost would be quite large and breakdown this way to record a mortgage:

December 2, 2016: $200 Tax Lot Verification Letter + $45 Recording Fee + $5 Per Page (assume 15 pages) = $320

January 1, 2017: $300 Mortgage Verification Fee + $200 Tax Lot Verification Letter + $45 Recording Fee + $5 Per Page (assume 15 pages) = $620

If the math is correct then that would represent a 93% increase in the cost to record a mortgage in Suffolk County!

Now, imagine the financial impact to a County resident if there were multiple documents to record.

For the buyer of a multi-million dollar house out on the East End this cost increase is likely no big deal.

But, for a resident of the county for whom money is an object, this increase would be egregious and appears to be nothing but a regressive tax hidden under the title of fee!

Suffolk County Mortgage Verification Fee

IMPORTANT: THIS IS A PRELIMINARY NOTIFICATION

PRIOR TO THE  PASSAGE OF THE RESOLUTION

The county legislature vote is scheduled for Tuesday, 12/06/2016

Pursuant to an act of the Suffolk County Legislature (to be enacted into law next week), effective January 1, 2017, the Suffolk County Clerk’s office will begin to assess a Mortgage Verification fee on all mortgage related documents submitted for recording.

The assessment will be charged at a rate of $300 per document and will affect documents such as, but not limited to Mortgages, Assignments, CEMAs and Satisfaction of Mortgages.

Pursuant to Christopher Como, Esq., Official Examiner of Title at the Suffolk County Clerk’s Office, the resolution for the new mortgage verification fee has not yet been passed, but the legislature is expected to vote on Tuesday, December 6th, 2016.

Once the vote is done and the fee is passed, the county will issue a formal policy with regard to same. Prior to that, our expectation is that this fee will be treated the same as in years past.

As long as the document is in Real Property by 12/31/2016 the new fee will not apply.

Documents presented in Real Property on 01/01/2017 and after will be assessed the fee. 

The thirty day rule will still apply, so if the documents were verified prior to 01/01/2017 they would still have to be recorded within the 30 day period, otherwise the new fee will apply.

Related Article

Real Estate Fees: Is Nassau County Price Gouging?

Michael Haltman is President of Hallmark Abstract Service in New York and Board Chair of Heroes To Heroes Foundation.

He can be reached at mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com or at 516.741.4723.

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