§ 34-26-5. Liability of mortgagee for failure to discharge, release, or transfer mortgage.
(a) If any mortgagee, his, her or its heirs, executors, administrators, agents, successors, or assigns, shall not, within ten (10) days after a request made in that behalf and a tender of all reasonable charges therefor, discharge the mortgage in one of the modes aforesaid, or otherwise make and execute a release and quitclaim of the estate so mortgaged, and acknowledge it before some proper officer, or transfer the mortgage if required under the provisions of § 34-26-4, he, she, or they so refusing shall be liable to make good all damages that shall accrue for want of the discharge, release, or transfer, to be recovered in a civil action; and in case judgment shall pass against the party sued, the mortgagee shall pay the plaintiff reasonable attorney's fees and triple costs upon the suit.
(b) In the event of noncompliance with the provisions of either this section and/or § 34-26-2, the mortgagee shall pay a penalty to the mortgagor for noncompliance in the amount of fifty dollars ($50.00) for a first day of noncompliance and five dollars ($5.00) for each day thereafter that the party remains in noncompliance. The mortgagor shall also be entitled to a reimbursement of reasonable attorney's fees, if applicable, for the costs incurred by the mortgagor and/or his, her or its attorneys in attempting to obtain a discharge to which the mortgage was lawfully entitled pursuant to the provisions of this section and/or § 34-26-2. Demand for penalties and, if applicable, attorney's fees and costs pursuant to this section may be made to the department of business regulation, in those instances in which the mortgagee is a regulated institution as defined in Title 19, and the department shall direct such regulated institutions to pay applicable penalties and reimburse effected mortgagors for attorneys fees and costs incurred, on confirmed instances of noncompliance. The department may promulgate rules and regulations governing the processing of such reimbursement. In those instances in which the mortgagee is not a regulated institution as defined in Title 19, the Department shall provide the mortgagor with the name, address and telephone number of the regulatory agency having jurisdiction over the actions of such mortgagees.
(c) As used herein, the term "first day of noncompliance" shall mean the first day following the last day for a mortgagee or similar party to discharge the mortgage.
(G.L. 1896, ch. 207, § 8; G.L. 1909, ch. 258, § 8; G.L. 1923, ch. 302, § 8; G.L. 1938, ch. 442, § 8; G.L. 1956, § 34-26-5; P.L. 1986, ch. 216, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 476, § 1.)