Q: I refinanced my home in 2004 and got a second-mortgage for debt consolidation. I now need copies of the checks that paid off the IRS and other bills we consolidated. How best to do that?
A: It's not going to be easy, that's for sure.
If you received the funds and paid them out of the proceeds of the loan, your bank may have an electronic record of the original check. If you don't have or cannot locate your checking statements from 2004, the bank may still have an image on file as part of their regular record keeping.
If the mortgage company issued the checks, you are going to need to do some deeper sleuthing. You might check your loan documents to see if there is any indication of funds being used to pay other parties. Even with that, you'll need to find the company (or successor) and see if they have a records archive where they might store original documents. If not, they may have digitally imaged them already, and you might be able to get images of the drafts paid as a portion of your loan closing, as above.
The IRS and the party whose debt you satisfied may be able to give you information with regards to the date the obligation was paid up, which may help, too.
A 25-year expert observer of the mortgage and consumer debt markets, Keith Gumbinger has been cited in thousands of articles covering a wide range of consumer finance and economic topics in outlets ranging from the Wall Street Journal to the Bottom Line newsletters. He has been a featured guest on national broadcasts for CNN, CNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC television networks and has been heard on NPR and other national and local radio programs. Keith is the primary researcher and writer for HSH.com's MarketTrends newsletter and has authored or co-authored a number of consumer guides on mortgages, home equity, refinancing and more.