Mortgage priority and how mortgages are designated in a chain of title (Q&A thread)

Question:
Jeannie,
Just to be clear, the search I got was from another vendor.  I simply want to make sure that you designate the priority level of each lien in your report before I order it.  Said another way, do you say which mortgage is the first, second, third, etc?
Answer:
Hello Chris,
The liens are “designated” in the sense that the recording dates are listed so that’s how you would determine the order.  Please be aware, however, that certain types of liens, i.e., tax liens, are paid first (in the event of a foreclosure, for example) notwithstanding the recording date, if any.  (Sometimes tax liens are recorded but it depends on the state).
Question:
Jeannie
Thank you for the response. I have a follow-up question though. That is, if it is only by date, how would I know if one mortgage is a refinance of a previous mortgage or if it is a new mortgage?
Answer:
Hi Chris,
I would review the owner, price and purchase the date and then compare the mortgage lien amounts and recording dates to that information.
For example, if the owner purchased the home in December 2016 for $350,000 and a mortgage lien was recorded soon thereafter, that is likely the first/new mortgage.  If the home was purchased several years ago but there is a recent mortgage lien, that is likely a refinance or credit line.
Please note that assuming a mortgage payoff satisfaction/release is properly recorded by the lender, it will be listed in the Full Lien Report with the recording date.
Please us know if you have additional questions or need more information.
Jeannie B.
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