Quitclaim deeds are versatile and commonly used real property instruments. They can add or remove an owner of the property or change the way the title is held, or vested. You may be under the impression that you can't use a deed without a mortgage or vice versa, however, they can be used independently of one another.
Quitclaim deeds act to transfer property ownership from one party to another, to add or remove someone as an owner, change the title's vesting or correct a previously recorded deed. This type of deed isn't commonly used when the property is purchased at or around the fair market value because quitclaim deeds offer no type of guarantee to the grantee that the title is free and clear of any liens or other defects. Warranty deeds do offer this guarantee, so they are most commonly used when there's a purchase. Mortgages are the loans used to purchase property with. When you originally take out a mortgage loan, a warranty deed is also completed by the seller of the property, granting ownership to you and any co-borrower. Mortgage loans can be refinanced later down the road to obtain a lower interest or borrow more money to pay other bills.
Quitclaim Deed Features
The deed is a physical document, typically prepared by an attorney. It contains the legal wording that acts to transfer ownership and states the names of the grantor and grantee. It also must include a legal description of the property in question. Quitclaim deeds don't often list a sales price, or consideration, due to their nature. Sometimes, an arbitrary amount such as $1.00 is listed. The grantor signs the deed in the presence of a notary public. Once complete, quitclaim deeds should be recorded at the county clerk or recorder's office.
Reasons to Use a Quitclaim
Quitclaim deeds are generally used between related people, or people who have close relationships. For example, if you own a home by yourself and then get married, you can use a quitclaim deed to grant your spouse shared ownership in the property without refinancing your mortgage loan. Conversely, you could remove an ex-spouse after a divorce. When adding someone to the deed, they become a co-owner of the property. The type of vesting determines what percentage of ownership each person has. You can own a property solely by yourself, equally with someone else or split into percentages. As a real property owner, you will be responsible for paying property taxes. You also have the right to transfer your interest in the property to someone else.
You can file a quitclaim deed without refinancing the mortgage loan, but adding or removing someone from the deed will not actually affect the mortgage loan. Even though you're granting someone ownership or partial ownership, she isn't financially responsible for the mortgage, and if you remove someone as an owner who signed the original mortgage, she will still be responsible for repaying it. Refinancing the mortgage is the only way to change any financial obligations.
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