The Promissory Note represents the payment obligation (amount due, payment schedule, late fees, etc.) The Deed of Trust gets recorded among the land records, alerting the world about the security interest you have in the property.
You need BOTH if you want the best odds of getting paid.
NOTE: The response given does not form an attorney-client relationship and it is provided solely as the opinion of the author. It is for informational purposes only under the AVVO terms and conditions. If a legal opinion or representation is desired, please seek independent legal counsel.
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Tom Gimer, Esq. -- helping clients in DC and MD -- 202.556.4LAW (4529)