$21,000 in fees to discharge a mortgage

TELL Claudienne

Sunday, October 14, 2018

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Dear Claudienne:

I had a mortgage with VMBS which was paid off this year. I then received a letter from VMBS advising that I should contact an attorney's office to collect my title. On doing so, I was told by the attorney's office that in order for the title to be released, a fee of $21,000 plus was needed.

The letter I received from the lawyer's office stated the following:

“We are instructed by Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) to act on their behalf in this matter. They have referred your matter to us with regard to discharging the mortgage you obtained from their institution.

We ask that you or any of your relatives contact this office at the above address and telephone number with regard to processing this matter.

Please also send us a photocopy of your valaid identification (ID) via postal mail/electronic mail if you are overseas.

Processisng Costs:

1 Stamping of document $2,812.50

2 Attorney's Cost and GCT $17,475.00

3 Register document at the

Titles office National Land

Agency (NLA) $1,000

Total $21,287.50

After the mortgage is discharged we will contact you or you may ask anyone with a valid ID to collect the duplicate certificate of title Reg at Vol... Folio... respctively upon your authorisation of same.”

To be asked to pay this fee is unfair so I would like to know if this is a requirement under government regulations pertaining to mortgages.

Your help in this matter will be appreciated.


Dear ES

VMBS explained to Tell Claudienne that to discharge a mortgage registered on a title there is a process.

In an e-mail to Tell Claudienne VMBS stated the following:

“Where a mortgagor desires to discharge a mortgage registered on a title, there are several fees associated with the process which are enumerated below:

Stamp Duty

Registration Fee

Attorney's Fee

The Stamp Duty and Registration Fees are imposed by Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) and National Land Agency (NLA) respectively which are applicable to other financial institutions in Jamaica.

In addition, the mortgagor is required to pay a fee to the attorney who prepares the legal documentation with respect to discharging the mortgage. The fees that are paid are calculated based on the original amount that is registered on the duplicate Certificate of Title. The mortgagor is required to satisfy these fees prior to the release of the duplicate Certificate of Title.

You may visit the National Land Agency website for further reading process by clicking on the link on the Discharge of Mortgage below: OF MORTGAGES.pdf

If you do not want VMBS to use an attorney external to their organisation to discharge the mortgage, the VMBS spokesperson told Tell Claudienne that there are other options.

You could request the building society to discharge the mortgage internally. However, you would still be required to pay a fee, as a lawyer would be needed to prepare the documentation for the titles office.

Another way it could be done, VMBS said, would be for you to request to discharge the mortgage from the title yourself.

If you wish to do so, please inform VMBS of your intention. The Building Society will respond and tell you what is required for you to discharge the mortgage from the title yourself.

We wish you all the best.

NIS pension problem

Dear Claudienne,

I have applied for my NIS pension from March 2017 and to date I am unable to receive same. I have been told that the documentation has been completed and it is in the accounts department for the cheque to be drawn but still nothing from them. I am now wondering if they are waiting to pay the Death Benefit. My NIS number is ... I will be grateful if you check on this for me.


Dear KS

We note that since Tell Claudienne took up your case with the NIS you have been paid.

Tell Claudienne received the following e-mail from the NIS: “Please note that the amount to be paid is communicated to our members by way of a letter or a telephone call. The propayment has since been made to KS and was deposited in his account on the 27th September, 2018.”

We wish you all the best.

Have a problem with a store, utility, a company? Telephone 936-9436 or write to: Tell Claudienne c/o Sunday Finance, Jamaica Observer, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5; or e-mail: Please include a contact phone number.

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