You definitely need an attorney qualified to research the chain of custody of the note and deed of trust/mortgage. In general many states follow the "mortgage follows the note" theory, which implies that an assignment of the mortgage is not required so long as PNC has possession of the original note. If they hold the note, then the mortgage belongs to them as well. But this is a complex misunderstood aarea of the law that is currently in flux, so that is why I advise that you get a good real estate attorney. One who is versed in wrongful foreclosure defense would be most likely to be experienced in this are, even though you are not in foreclosure.
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Mr. Navaro's answer sounds correct. This is one good reason to choose a CRESPA licensed title agent who is also a lawyer when doing a closing. As the buyer/financing party, you have the right to choose the title agent, and, when things go hairy, it's not a bad idea to have a lawyer in the role ... often for the same cost as a non-lawyer title agent. In this case, you may already have a bill from the title agent you already selected and a bill from the lawyer. But, the bottom line is that you need a qualified lawyer to research, clear, and push the lender to give this adequate priority.
I'm a Va, DC, and Md lawyer, but I'm only licensed to write title insurance in DC and Md. If you decide to move the closing, I can refer you to a colleague who can close it, too. Call early next week if you want help: 202-530-0100.
The short answer is YES, you need to have an attorney to assist you. I would be curious to know, if the current lender cannot prove ownership of the note, why it accepts your money for payment?
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