45-10. Substitution of trustees in mortgages and deeds of trust.

(a) In addition to the rights and remedies now provided by law, the noteholders may, in their discretion, substitute a trustee whether the trustee then named in the instrument is the original or a substituted trustee or a holder or owner of any or all of the obligations secured thereby, by the execution of a written document properly recorded pursuant to Chapter 47 of the North Carolina General Statutes. An attorney who serves as the trustee or substitute trustee shall not represent either the noteholders or the interests of the borrower while initiating a foreclosure proceeding. Notwithstanding this restriction, an attorney may serve as the trustee in a foreclosure proceeding while simultaneously representing the noteholders on unrelated matters and others within the attorney's firm may also continue to represent the noteholders on unrelated matters. Additionally, an attorney who has as trustee initiated a foreclosure proceeding may resign as trustee after the foreclosure is contested and act as counsel to the noteholders.

(b) If the name of a trustee is omitted from an instrument that appears on its face to be intended to be a deed of trust, the instrument shall be deemed to be a deed of trust, the owner or owners executing the deed of trust and granting an interest in the real property shall be deemed to be the constructive trustee or trustees of record for the secured party or parties named in the instrument, and a substitution of trustee may be undertaken under subsection (a) of this section. However, no such constructive trustee shall have the authority or power to take any of the following actions without the consent and joinder of the holders or owners of a majority in amount of the obligations secured by the deed of trust: (i) effect a substitution of trustee, (ii) effect the satisfaction of the deed of trust, (iii) release any property or any interest therein from the lien of the deed of trust, or (iv) modify or amend the terms of the deed of trust. Any substitute trustee named under the authority of subsection (a) of this section shall succeed to all the rights, titles, authority, and duties of the trustee under the terms of the deed of trust without regard to the limitations imposed by this subsection on the authority of a constructive trustee.

(c) If the trustee named in a deed of trust is also the beneficiary named in that deed of trust, the instrument shall be deemed to be a deed of trust, and any substitute trustee named under the authority of subsection (a) of this section shall succeed to all the rights, titles, authority, and duties of the trustee under the terms of the deed of trust.

(d) In this section, the term "noteholders" means the holders or owners of a majority in the amount of the indebtedness, notes, bonds, or other instruments evidencing a promise to pay money and secured by mortgages, deeds of trust, or other instruments conveying real property, or creating a lien thereon. (1931, c. 78, ss. 1, 2; 1935, c. 227; 1943, c. 543; 1967, c. 562, s. 2; 1975, c. 66; 1985, c. 320; c. 689, s. 14; 2009-176, s. 1; 2011-312, s. 2; 2017-206, s. 6.)