Early mortgage payoff protocol

Lender fee, extra interest may be involved

DEAR BENNY: I am going to pay off my 30-year mortgage at the end of this year, which is 10 years early. When I contacted the mortgage company to ask for a payoff amount, they said there would be some fees included. Someone else told that there should be no fees and to refuse to pay them. What should I expect when paying off my mortgage? Should I also get the original deed? –Jay

DEAR JAY: Permit me to explain the mortgage process. When you first obtained your mortgage (also called a deed of trust) 20 years ago, among a large number of papers involved, you signed a promissory note and a mortgage (or deed of trust). The note is the IOU — "I promise to pay the lender XXX dollars, at YYY interest rate, due in full in 30 years."