Now Accepting Credit & Debit Cards for Walk-In Release Form Payments

Cards accepted for in-person transactions. Credit fees are 2.3% of total due (minimum $1). Debit cards incur a $3.95 flat fee.

Release of Deed of Trust Definitions

The release process is set forth in Title 38, Article 39 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. Those statutes are available in most public libraries as well as online at

Below you will find some definitions of release terms you may see while navigating our site. Our office does not provide legal advice.

  1. DEED OF TRUST - In Colorado, a mortgage is generally called a Deed of Trust, and that document is signed and recorded at the time the property is purchased and financed. It is an arrangement between three parties: The borrower (grantor), the lender (beneficiary), and an impartial trustee. In exchange for a loan of money from the lender, the borrower places legal title in the hands of the trustee who holds it for the benefit of the lender. Colorado is the only state with public trustees.
  2. PROMISSORY NOTE – A Promissory Note is a “promise to pay." It is a binding contract and the evidence of debt between a lender and a borrower. It generally defines the amount of the debt, the interest rate, the maturity of the loan, late charges, payment due dates, etc. In place of an original promissory note, a Lost Instrument Bond (also known as a Corporate Surety Bond) may be issued by a company authorized to do so in Colorado. In rare cases, a document from the Clerk of Court may be presented as a security document in place of a Note.

  3. AFFIDAVIT FOR DISCREPANCY - An Affidavit for Discrepancy may be completed, notarized, and submitted with a Release of Deed of Trust form and accompanying documents to acknowledge minor discrepancies between the Deed of Trust and Promissory Note. The affidavit is NOT recorded, it’s only kept by the Public Trustee’s Office for liability purposes.

  4. RELEASE OF DEED OF TRUST FORM - A statutory document signed and executed by the current beneficiary (lender) on a Deed of Trust. The release form is submitted to the Public Trustee’s Office in the county in which the property is located. The purpose of the release is to remove all or a portion of the property from the lien created by the recorded Deed of Trust when the debt has been satisfied. There are two types of forms: WITHOUT evidence of debt (Qualified Holder can indemnify the Public Trustee) and WITH evidence of debt (required for private lenders).
  5. QUALIFIED HOLDER - A statutory term (C.R.S. 38-38-100.3 (20) that exempts certain lenders from needing to provide an original promissory note with their Release of Deed of Trust form. Qualified Holders are eligible and encouraged to submit a WITHOUT Evidence of Debt form via electronic document processing tools such as Simplifile and CSC.
  6. MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS (MERS) - MERS is a database created by the mortgage banking industry. A confidential electronic registry of mortgages originated in the United States, it keeps track of transfers of and modifications of servicing rights and ownership of the loans. MERS CANNOT SIGN AN INDEMNITY RELEASE, but they can be listed as a lender on the release (e.g. “MERS as nominee for ABC, LLC.” ) MERS can only sign a release if they complete the WITH Evidence of Debt form and provide the original Promissory Note.
  7. ASSIGNMENTS -  Assignments are recorded transfers of ownership. A Deed of Trust or Promissory Note may be signed to another lender. Assignment(s) will show the relationship between the original beneficiary and the current beneficiary. The Public Trustee Office does not release assignments nor submit assignments for recording with release paperwork.


    • Request for Release of Deed of Trust form 
    • The original Promissory Note
    • The original recorded Deed of Trust OR a copy of the recorded Deed of Trust 
    • Payment in the form of a check made out to "Larimer County Public Trustee" or credit/debit card * in the amount of $28.00 for a one-page release ($5 for additional pages)  
    • If the request has been mailed, an addressed envelope with proper postage for returning the Original Promissory Note and Deed of Trust is required.

    Please download our complete Release of Deed Documentation Checklist for more detailed information.

     *Fees apply to credit/debit card transactions 

  1. The duties of the Public Trustee are set by Colorado Statutes. The Public Trustee may accept a Release of Deed of Trust WITHOUT Evidence of Debt Form without the original Promissory Note only when the owner of the evidence of debt meets the Qualified Holder requirements as provided by the Colorado Revised Statutes. If the original Promissory Note has been lost by a private lender, a Lost Instrument Bond Checklist must be furnished as a replacement.

  2. We process 20,000-30,000+ Release of Deed of Trust forms per year. The easiest way to see if your lender has completed the paperwork to release your lien is to visit the Clerk & Recorder's Easy Access Portal, which will allow you to search Larimer County public records. Please contact the Clerk's office at 970-498-7860 for any additional questions.

  3. Colorado Revised Statutes Section 38-35-124 states that the "creditor or holder of the indebtedness shall, within ninety days after satisfaction of the indebtedness and receipt from the debtor of reasonable cost of procuring and recording the release documents, file with the Public Trustee the documents required for a release as prescribed by section 38-39-102." If your lender fails to comply with Colorado law in this regard, please contact your legal advisor. This office does not have the authority to enforce this law.

  4. If a paper release form is processed, the Clerk & Recorder's office mails it to the borrower's address as listed on the form after it is recorded, per state statute. However, many release forms are submitted electronically by qualifying banks and mortgage servicers and the process is completely paperless. If you need a copy for your records, please visit the Clerk & Recorder's Easy Access Portal, which will allow you to search Larimer County public records. If you need help accessing or printing your documents, please call the Clerk's office at 970-498-7860 for any additional questions.