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Is There Any Way I Can Get The Title Deeds Back?

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 22 Dec 2020 |
Will Probate Estate Executor Personal


My mother died in October last year. She had her own house but she took a loan out from some loan company and they took the deeds to the house.

I know she still owed money to them how do I go on getting the deeds back? I have tried to get in touch with them and they just keep saying we will ring you back but never do. What should my next steps be?

(L.L, 19 February 2009)


Sorry to hear about your mother. If the loan company took the deeds to your mother’s house, that means that they have a charge on the property. As you mention that your mother still owes the loan company money, this will need to be paid back. You haven’t mentioned whether or not you have the grant of probate yet (assuming your mother made a will) but given that the loan company is still owed money I assume that this is yet to be done.

The Estate

Now that your mother has died, someone will need to be responsible for dealing with her estate. This could be money, property and possessions that she left. The person (s) who is responsible for this is authorised to gather together your mother’s money and pay off debts. Any money left will be distributed to those who are entitled to it.

The Will

If your mother made a will the Executor will be nominated as the Personal Representative. Once the Executor has a grant of probate, they can deal with your mother’s affairs. If your mother didn’t make a will, usually the next of kin (perhaps this is you?) will be named as the Personal Representative, and a ‘grant of letters of administration’ will enable the PR to deal with your mother’s affairs. You don’t necessarily need to use a solicitor to apply for a grant of probate, but the forms you need to fill out will depend on where you live – so you’d be better off contacting your local probate office for more details.

Probate Papers

Assuming there is a will, first the size of the estate has to be ascertained, in order for probate papers to be prepared. Then a grant of probate can be applied for, as long as inheritance tax has been paid. I do not know the size of your mother’s estate, nor whether it reaches the thresholds for payment of inheritance tax. Bear in mind that inheritance tax has to be paid before money is released (there are ways to arrange this - speak to a solicitor for further information.)

A Probate Solicitor

However given your concerns over retrieving the deeds to your mother’s house, consider speaking to a solicitor about your concerns. A solicitor may also be able to write to the loan company on your behalf to request the deeds are released to him/her or you. Local solicitors specialising in probate can be found on the Law Society website.

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We have just found out that the SRA closed our Solicitors down 3 years ago. She had our wills and the deeds to our house. I have been sent documents to complete by the SRA and have to get a letter of consent from the mortgage provider. They have indicated they may not have the items as only took what was in the office. Her office was just a very small room, and the documents were done 12 years ago, if the deeds to our house were not there, how do we go on if we want to sell or when the mortgage is paid off. We do have copies but I assume they are not legal documents. Thank uou
Liquorice13 - 22-Dec-20 @ 11:34 AM
6 years ago I had a boundary dispute and a solicitor asked for my deeds to check boundaries. I paid for the initial consultation but it soon became apparent that the dispute could cost more than the value of the house. So I did not proceed it has now been 6 years and I have had several emails promising the return of my title deeds but nothing ever appears. The title is not registered with the Land Registry. The solicitor is no longer practicing but the SRA gave me their email if I hear nothing again what is my next step?
lansdowne3 - 1-Jun-20 @ 12:12 PM
Hi six years ago I gifted my house at a reduced some to my son. It aloud me to pay off my depts. I have now had my inheritance and have paid off the mortgage that my son took out on my house. Do I just need a solicitor to take my sons off and then add mine on again. Hope you can help.
russy - 3-Oct-16 @ 12:32 AM
baronfrederick - Your Question:
I own land since 1985.I paid for it in full.I got married in 1987.Her interest was entered on the deeds--without my knowledge.We divorced in 1995.The settlement did not mention the land--as I was not aware of the entry.Now I am sorting out my affairs/will ext. I find out that about the entry.I don't owe her any money and I don't have a forwarding address.What do to get the entry off the deeds?Thank you for yor reply Christian-Frederick

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice regarding this.
ContractsAndAgreements - 10-Mar-16 @ 3:02 PM
I own land since 1985. I paid for it in full. I got married in 1987. Her interest was entered on the deeds--without my knowledge . We divorced in 1995. The settlement did not mention the land--as I was not aware of the entry. Now thatI am sorting out my affairs/will ext. I find out that about the entry. I don't owe her any money. The Landregistry and I want to contact her for the release of the entry-- butI don't have a forwarding address. I tried searcheslike 192 ect--but have failed. What do to get the entry off the deeds? Thank you for your reply Christian-Frederick
baronfrederick - 10-Mar-16 @ 10:08 AM
I own land since 1985. I paid for it in full. I got married in 1987. Her interest was entered on the deeds--without my knowledge . We divorced in 1995. The settlement did not mention the land--as I was not aware of the entry. Now I am sorting out my affairs/will ext. I find out that about the entry. I don't owe her any money and I don't have a forwarding address. What do to get the entry off the deeds? Thank you for yor reply Christian-Frederick
baronfrederick - 10-Mar-16 @ 10:02 AM
Our landlord sadly passed away. Leaving a will To myself and husband. We have rented the property for 19 years . The problem is we can not find a will or execetour . We also believed he had no family to our surprise he has a brother and sister. Who have had nothing to do with each since before 1995. We are trying to locate a solicitor for mr Richard Fredrick Gee. Possibly through his land registry,we have tried various ways of trying to locate a solicitor without success. Any information would be gratefully received. Thank you Sandra
Ginge - 29-Aug-15 @ 1:26 PM
hi I was wondering if I can have some advice me and my wife asked my dad to buy his council house because he was 79 he couldn't get a mortgage so we gave him all the money to buy it out rite we went to the solicitors' where the money was transferredout of our accounts but we thought the solicitor said she was going to put our names on the deeds but when everything was signed and sealed our names was nt on there we was hoping to get a mortgage to do the house up is there anyway we can get around to getting a mortgage on the property we have asked the question if my dad gave us the house but we can because dad would lose the discount the council gave him and he cant do it for 5 years many thanks mark
markymark69 - 25-Mar-15 @ 7:35 PM
@Jan Yes, you can download your deeds for GBP3 from the land registry website. Don't worry - you don't actually need the original deeds, copies are fine for you to hold.The official deeds are always held by the Land Registry because if they were handed over to the owners they could easily get lost or mislaid. I hope this helps.
ContractsAndAgreements - 20-Oct-14 @ 12:53 PM
I have recently paid my mortgage in full & the Halifax have been so unhelpful as when I requested the original deeds to my property they said I could obtain copies from the land registry although I would have to pay a fee. I have could only find a form on the land registry web page to print off & request official copies. How can I obtain the original ones. as surely as the property is now mine they should provide these? Can you let me know where I go from here as I am starting to stress that I will never get these.
JAN - 17-Oct-14 @ 6:23 PM
My wife and I have recently moved properties. The one we moved from we held the title deeds. Now we have moved , 4 weeks ago, but don't have the title deeds in our posession. I would have thought we should have the title deeds by now. Can you please enlighten us to what we shouls do.
Nige - 29-Aug-14 @ 7:19 PM
My husband and I are separated. Herehas his own house on an interest only loan. The family house is now mortgage free. My ex has agreed I can take his name off title deeds and have me as sole owner. The reason I want to do this is due to thedebts he accrues and if anything happens to him I dont want anyone putting a charge on my home to pay his debts. Do I need to see a solicitor or is it easy enough for a lay person to undertake. Also, as no money is changing hands is it the case thst there would be no stamp duty to pay. Information would be much appreciated.
carol - 25-Aug-14 @ 10:50 PM
My mortgage was paid off 7 years ago, My bank are still hold the title deeds. They have advised that I contact a lawyer to have them released. Is there a cost to this and if so how much. I live in Scotland..
jeanie - 15-Aug-14 @ 7:26 PM
My mother and father bought their house in there late 60s so my brother had to be put on the title dees only because of there agesmy father died and so my mum made a will out leaving the house to all of her 4 children this was done by a solicitor now that my mum died my sister decided to make a will leaving her share to her children and when she tried to do this we then were told that the house belongs to my brother because his name is on the title deeds if my mum had known this she would have added all our names on the title had she been made aware is there anything we can do about this as I think the solicitor that drew up the will for my mum in the presence of us all should have told her that my brother would b sole owner when she died can you advise on this please if possible thank you scooby
Scooby - 10-Aug-14 @ 12:45 AM
My mother passed away last year and we have just discovered the house she purchased with her former partner in the 70s is still in both names. There relationship ended 2yrs after they purchased the property and at the time her former partner refused to buy her out or return her deposit.. he remained in the property. My mother its seems just gave up. Going through her belongings we found information that her name is still on the title deeds and her will states that her estate is left to her children. We also found a letter from her solicitor informing him at the time she is happy for just the return of her deposit and she will sign the property over to him, he refused to cooperate. Now 30 yrs later and sadly after her death we have checked with Land Registry and she is joint owner tenants in common and the property could not be sold without her permission. We have contacted him and said we only want back the deposit she paid with interest but he still refuses to cooperate. The mortgage is paid off and we have been advised the following; they paid £14k for the property my mother put £2k deposit as well as contributing to the payments when they lived together. The property is now worth appx £300k he is entitled £12k plus upkeep however much that may be and the balance would be split equally, but he is refusing to allow us to value the property what should we do? any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
janeyB - 31-Jul-14 @ 10:56 PM
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