If you own real estate and want to transfer it to another person or if someone wants to gift you and your spouse with property, you will need to change the deed on the house. Some states require an attorney to file a new deed, but many allow you to complete a simple form that formally transfers the title on the deed to reflect new ownership of the house.
Quit Claim Deed
A quit claim deed can be used to transfer property to someone else, add a name to the title or remove a person who no longer wants ownership. Unlike warranty deeds, a quit claim makes no representations that the real estate is free of liens or other encumbrances. It also doesn't guarantee that the person giving the property has the right to do so. Someone receiving real estate through a quit claim deed can potentially inherit problems, such as unpaid taxes or creditor liens.
The person who currently holds title to the real estate is named as the "grantor" on a quit claim deed. The "grantee" is the recipient of the transferred property. The legal description and property assessor's parcel number must be included. You can find this information on your latest property tax bill or at the local recorder's office. The signature of the grantor must be witnessed by a notary public, who will stamp the official seal on the document. The grantee does not need to sign it. Take the quit claim deed to your county recorder's office to complete the transfer and have it filed as an official document.
Transferring a deed to another person does not change your obligation to pay the mortgage on the property. The loan was approved with your qualifications and you cannot remove yourself from the responsibility. To become free of owing the balance on the mortgage, the new owner of the real estate must be approved for a loan to pay off your lender's lien on the property. Even a divorce decree will not remove an ex-spouse's name from a mortgage note.
Neither party involved in the transfer of the property can cancel a quit claim deed once it is signed, notarized and recorded with the county office. A fully executed quit claim deed in the possession of the grantee that has not been formally filed in your jurisdiction also cannot be changed back. Although, recording the deed is the safest way to prove that the person receiving the property is the rightful owner. To retract a quit claim transaction, the grantee must file another deed returning the property to you. If this is not possible, you must prove fraud or another criminal act occurred in the process of transferring the real estate.
- Bankrate.com: Understanding Quitclaim, Warranty Deeds on Property
- Lawyers.com: Quitclaim Deed Overview
- Quit Claim: How to Use a Quit Claim
- LawHelp.org: Quitclaim Deeds and Life Estates
- MortgageFit: Can Quitclaim Deed Transfer Mortgage Debt?
- MortgageFit: Quitclaim Deed: Document Transferring Property-Interest