Just an update to this:
this thread, I contacted a documentation
agent in Florida
. They put me in touch with the marine
lending division of Bank of America. With a little bit of backstory and approval from the previous owner, I got the mortgage release from BoA. Submitted to USCG in Septemeber and got my registration
document last week!
After nearly 11 months of headache and frustration, it's finally done! Thanks for everyone's help and advice.