A deed is the record of ownership for property and dwellings. You will need your deed if you plan to sell your home, borrow money against it, or show proof of your assets for tax or business purposes. Your deed is most likely stored with your mortgage papers if you are still paying on the home. Your mortgage lender should have a copy. If you have paid off your mortgage and have misplaced or lost the deed, you can obtain a certified copy.
Find a document that lists the address of your home as well as your name. This might include your mortgage payment bill or paid receipt, a recent tax assessment record, or your homeowners insurance policy. If these are lost or missing, visit the bank or mortgage company that handled your loan and get a copy of the paid loan. Or go to the county office where you pay your property taxes and obtain a copy of your latest tax assessment or receipt of your last payment.
Take any of the documents you collected in Step 1, along with your driver's license or other ID, to the recorder's office of the county where the home is located. Ask the recorder or a staff member to verify your address and proof of ownership, then have him search the county's records to locate the deed.
Ask the staff at the recorder's office to prepare a certified copy of your deed. Sign the requested paperwork, and pay the required fee. You might have to wait a few days or longer to return and pick up the deed or to receive it in the mail.
Store the deed in a safe place if you are not going to need it for a property sale or other business regarding your home. A safety deposit box or a fireproof home safe are good places to store your deed.
- Report any address change to your mortgage company or any institution holding your deed so they can contact you or send the deed if your home is paid off.
Larry Davis has worked in the safety and environmental field since 1975, writing for "Chevron Review" and other professional magazines. He wrote monthly columns for "Heavy Equipment News" and has written safety programs and training materials. He holds two bachelor's degrees, a master's degree in safety and earned his doctorate in safety engineering, studying under professors from the University of Iowa and Texas A&M University.