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Published July 22, 2024
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Discharge of Mortgage: How To Do It

Discharging a mortgage removes the loan from the property’s title. This typically happens when you pay off your loan, remortgage the house or sell. If you plan to discharge your mortgage, contact your lender to get started.

Discharging, or releasing, a mortgage is when the lender removes the loan from a property’s title. Understanding how the process works can help you complete a discharge quickly and efficiently.  

What does it mean to discharge a mortgage in Australia?

Discharging a mortgage involves removing the mortgage from your property’s title. This typically occurs when you’ve paid off the loan or refinance or sell your home. 

To discharge a mortgage from your property’s title, you and your lender must sign the appropriate forms, submit them to the land title registry and pay all required fees. Your lender (or buyer’s solicitor, if applicable) usually manages this process, typically taking 10 days to complete. 

When is a mortgage released in Australia?

Here are a few common reasons for discharging a mortgage:

Paying off your home loan in full: Once you have paid off your mortgage in full, your lender will discharge the mortgage and release the title of your property back to you.

Refinancing: If you refinance your mortgage with a different lender, the new lender will pay off your existing loan and discharge it.

Selling your property: When you sell your property, the profits from the sale are typically used to pay off the mortgage. Afterwards, the lender discharges it from the title.

Security swap: A security swap is when a borrower moves the mortgage from one property to another. For example, if you sell your home and buy another, you can port the mortgage from the old home to the new property and keep the same features. 

To complete a security swap, the lender must discharge the mortgage from the first property. 

Guarantor removal: A guarantor is a person who agrees to be responsible for the repayment of a loan if the borrower defaults on their loan payments. The borrower may remove their guarantor if they meet certain conditions, such as improving financial health in key ways. Once the guarantor is released from the mortgage, the lender will also remove the guarantor’s guarantee.

Other reasons for a mortgage discharge include foreclosure or the homeowner’s death.

How to discharge a mortgage

The process of discharging a mortgage can vary, but it typically involves the following steps:

  1. You complete and submit a mortgage discharge request form to your lender.
  2. Your lender will prepare the mortgage discharge form. This document will need to be signed by you and your lender.
  3. Your lender typically registers the discharge with the state. However, you may be required to do this yourself. This step officially removes the mortgage from the title of your property.

The process typically takes around 10 days to complete. However, it can take longer if there are any complications with the paperwork or title.

Filling out a mortgage discharge form

A mortgage discharge form will vary among banks. Typically, the form is an interactive online tool that you fill out and download and then email or mail to your lender. The form may ask you for the following details:

  • Borrower names and contact information
  • Guarantor names (if applicable)
  • Home loan account number(s)
  • Transaction account details
  • Property details, such as address and reason for discharge
  • Contact details for any solicitors, broker or refinancing financial institutions involved
  • Contract of sale (when selling the property).

Your lender will begin discharging your mortgage once you have submitted your mortgage discharge form and paid any required fees.

BankType of discharge form Link
CommbankOnline formLearn more
NABOnline formLearn more
ANZPrintable PDFLearn more
WestpacOnline formLearn more

Fees when releasing a mortgage

The typical expenses associated with discharging a mortgage in Australia vary depending on your lender and the state you live in. However, some expected costs include:

Discharge fee: This is a fee your lender charges for discharging the mortgage. The Big Four typically charge between $160 and $350:

  • Westpac: $350
  • CommBank: $350
  • NAB: $350
  • ANZ: $160 (does not include lodgement or government registration fees).

Government recording or document fee: These include fees that some state governments charge for administrative costs involved with recording the release of mortgage or title transfer in the public records. For example, the state of Victoria charges $118.90 for the service when done electronically.

Solicitor fees: If you hire an attorney to help you with the discharge process, you must also pay their fees.

Early repayment penalties may also be levied as part of your discharge expenses. 

» MORE: Costs to know when buying a house


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