What makes a Deed good and valid?

DEEDS – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, aka The Good, The Void, the Voidable:


Updated August 21, 2012

What is required for a Deed – Grant Deed or Quitclaim Deed – to be valid? Just arbitrarily signing a piece of paper and saying that you give the property to another person is just not sufficient under California Law. Here is a list of what needs to be addressed:

  • Must contain the name of the person giving (Grantor) and the person receiving (Grantee).
  • Must state in the document that you are conveying/granting/quitclaiming the property.
  • Must have the correct property identification – usually the legal description or at least the property address.
  • The Grantor must be capable and competent to properly execute the document.
  • The Grantee must be capable to hold title (no pets or people who have passed away).
  • The document must be delivered and the Grantee must accept the transfer of the ownership.

Contrary to normal expectations, the Deed DOES NOT have to be recorded to be effective or to show delivery, and because of that, the Deed DOES NOT have to be signed in front of a Notary Public. However, if you plan to record it, then it does have to be notarized as that is a County Recorder requirement.

There are also Deeds that are flat out VOID – no good, period, and those that are VOIDABLE – ownership can pass subject to certain proceedings to determine its effect.

What can be construed as a VOID deed?

  • A forged deed
  • A deed signed by a person determined to be mentally incapacitated
  • A deed signed by someone who totally does not understand what they are signing
  • A deed in which the Grantee was typed in without the Grantor’s authorization
  • A deed signed by a minor (under 18 years old)
  • A deed to a fictitious person

What can be construed as a VOIDABLE deed?

  • A deed given through fraud, by mistake, or under duress,
  • A deed given by a person who may be mentally incapacitated
  • A deed that was not supposed to be delivered (stolen)
  • A deed that was changed without the Grantor’s knowledge or consent

For any further questions on Deeds or for questions on a particular scenario, please ask your Escrow Officer and obtain your own independent legal and financial counsel.

Viva Escrow! Inc. does not provide any legal or financial counsel.
As a settlement services/escrow company in California, most of our transactions deal with properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that we cannot comment on.
Inquires and questions regarding properties in other states should be asked of closing professionals and attorneys in that particular state.

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  1. dawn

    I live in Illinois. I signed a quick deed over to my ex but now the house is in foreclosure and he is trying to refinance. His lawyer wants me to sign a new quick deed because he said that the quick deed that was signed 15 years is not valid because it has the wrong property id and address. Is this true? If the wrong property id and address is wrong that does that make the quick deed voided?

    • Juliana Tu

      First of all, let me say that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from Illinois, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      That being said, in any state, if a document like a quitclaim deed was prepared incorrectly and does not have the correct address then it isn’t valid. It would have to be re-done. You can’t grant to someone else a property you don’t own.

  2. I am in the process of hiring a new attorney for my divorce. In the divorce my husband was given the house. Is the owner of the house a true owner without a quit claim filed. We owned this house jointly before the divorce. Thank you for your help.

    • Juliana Tu

      Unfortunately, as a settlement agent we cannot give legal or financial advice. Please contact your new attorney regarding this question that you may have. As a settlement service agent we can only strongly recommend that the a Deed be done to establish the ownership of the house after a divorce settlement has been obtained. Then there will be no question in the future. If one party is unwilling to sign the Deed pursuant to the divorce decree, then the other party might have to take this issue to Court and have the Court decide and sign on behalf of the person who is not willing to sign. There would be additional time and cost involved.

  3. Dana Hoover

    my Father quick claimed deeded a piece of property in 2012.
    I was told by the county Sheriff dept that I can do nothing to keep my Dads new wife from growing Pot plants on the land.
    Also the county did a state clean up on the property that I did not know about and now the state has a lien of $270,000.
    Can I transfer the land back to my Father,I want nothing to do with the land.
    Or does the lien follow me personally now.
    Or just the land

    • Juliana Tu

      We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      We regret that the question you have is one that has legal consequences and therefore you will need to ask a real estate attorney. As a settlement services company we are not allowed to give legal or financial advice.

  4. Sylvia Khatt

    My husband and I married in 2012, but I have not applied for a new CA drivers license yet. Purchased a property last year, and had it titled to both us, using my new married name. We may be planning to sell the property soon. How do I sign a new deed to buyer when the deed currently has my new married name, and my drivers license doesn’t match with my “old” name? I want to state on the deed an aka, Jane Doe, aka Jane Smith. Will that work?

    • Juliana Tu

      There are two things that you can do. First, of course, is to change your driver’s license!

      Second way is when you sell the property you can ask your escrow officer to prepare the deed as follows: “Jane Doe, who acquired title as Jane Smith” . So your signature line would have Jane Doe (your pre-marriage name) and you would sign it as Jane Doe, per your driver’s license. The notary would not have a problem notarizing your signature this way.

      Hope this helps!

  5. Toni Rogers

    Last year I quitclaim my property to my ex-boyfriend after I left him and moved out (I had/have a restraining order against him – and he was so abusive that I didn’t want anything to do with him or the house and a bunch of pressure to sign it over to him.) He stopped paying the mortgage and did not file the quitclaim deed until I decided to sell the property. Escrow opened around September 1st. He filed the quitclaim deed on Sept 17 and said he will give me nothing from the sell. Anything I can do to stop my ex from taking all of the money I have coming to me after escrow closes? He was very controlling, demanding, financially and physically abusive towards me for 17 years (as noted in our current restraining order.)

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my response to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      You said that you quitclaimed your interest in the property to your ex boyfriend. That means that you gave up your interest in your property, including any proceeds that you might have had upon the sale of the property. If he will not give you anything from the sale, then in order for you to get money you will need to find an attorney who might be able to make a case on your behalf even though you signed a quitclaim deed. As a settlement services company we are not able to give you legal advice, which is what you will need to claim part of the proceeds.

      I am sorry we are unable to help!

  6. Greta

    In the state of KY, does a deed have to be recorded at the clerks office, courthouse , to be valid. Or is the deed in my possession as effective ?

    • Juliana Tu

      We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from Kentucky, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      I am sorry that we are unable to help.

  7. Lee

    I have a question about Georgia. My father stole a filing cabinet out of my grandmother’s home (she was and is under a guardian/conservatorship) He then produces a quit claim which he claims was written in 2002 and he “found” it in the stolen filing cabinet which he had to break into. He then attempts to file it and third time was charm (someone took it even without a legal description of the property). We have proven the lawyer whose copied signature appears did not sign it and has no record of it, same with notary. The land was conveyed through survivorship BEFORE this deed was signed and one of the grantors died in 2004 (this was the reason for the survivorship transfer). How do we reverse this?

    • Juliana Tu

      We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. As you are in Georgia, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      If this happened in California, you would probably need to get an attorney to look into the matter and start a Quiet Title Action, which means that you would go through Court to clear the ownership of a fraudulent deed.

      Again, please consult with a real estate attorney in your locality and get his expert opinion on what can be done. I regret that we are unable to help you any further.

      • mrsdavid

        is there a statute of limitations if we just discovered something like this… I.E. looking up the property owner in the county courthouse?

  8. marlene

    My grandmother recently passed away. She has tenants living on the property who gave her $$as a down payment. There is no notarized or filed bill of sale just a letter typed with the property info, the monthly payments and their signature. No sale receipts. My mom is now next of kin. Can she obtain the property and ask the tenants to move??

    • Juliana Tu

      You have two questions – can she obtain the property and can she ask the tenants to move. Both of your questions have legal and financial consequences. Regretfully, we are a settlement services company in California and not allowed to practice law. We are unable to answer your question and strongly recommend that you obtain proper legal counsel in the state where the property is located. Being the next of kin does not mean you get the property and you don’t know what rights the tenants have until you have consulted with an attorney.

      I am sorry that we are unable to help!

  9. Kathleen

    I recently went to the county courthouse to verify that my name is on the deed to our home along with my (late) husband. In looking through the book, we found that in the years after our warranty deed was recorded 42 years ago, two quitclaim deeds were also recorded. The quitclaim deeds have names unfamiliar to me and were filed 3 years and 12 years after we purchased our home. According to the quitclaim recorded 12 years after our warranty deed, we would not be owners of the house. I went to the Assessors office to verify my name and was told not to worry about the quitclaim deeds because “you can’t sell what you don’t own”. (a reply I like) Shall I just ignore the quitclaim deeds?

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my response to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. I think you are from a state other than California, so you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      That being said, it sounds like what you found are two “wild deeds” – deeds that that were filed against your property that has no bearing on the ownership because whoever signed them had no rights to it. However, I would not put it aside so quickly. What I would do is go to a closing attorney or title insurance company in the area where the property is located and get them to look at the chain of title through the years and give you an opinion. That should bring you more peace of mind. You don’t want there to be hidden problems that won’t come up until you decide to go ahead and sell the property!

  10. Jennifer

    If my grandmother had a deed and when it was originally processed it had her anem on it minus the middle initial. She transferred the deed. In whole into her trust. The trust has her middle initial in it and the deed does not have her middle initial on it. We have a will as well stating her intention for us to have her property. We are trying to sell the property but have been advised that because of the middle initial on the trust and not the deed we don’t own her half. To make it more complicated and frustrating is that we own 50% of the property as stated in his aunts will free and clear. So we are paying taxes on the house but can’t sell it because of the deed issue. Do you think this is a problem that needs to go,to probate or should not be a big deal? We have the paperwork showing the deed going into the trust and the paper showing that this trust replaces all former trusts.

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my response to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      I believe this is a case of the attorney who set up the Trust not doing their homework and typing the original deed putting the property into the Trust incorrectly. That being set I think that you should take this back to the settlement agents who are handling the sale of the property transaction to make sure that they will disregard this typographical error. Having more name is better than having less name, if you know what I mean. You did not say at what stage of the sale you are in and who is advising you that the middle initial is going to be a problem. If it is in the very early stages, I would contact the Title Company who will be doing your transaction and have them review this and give an opinion. I can’t tell if this needs to go to probate or if this is a “big deal” as I don’t have all the background information, but if it comes to a situation in which you need to rectify the mistake, go back to the Trust Attorney and have them help you. There is a Heggestadd Petition that your Trust Attorney should be able to recommend.

  11. Fred

    There is a due on sale clause in the Trust Deed, does a California Gift Deed need to be recorded to be valid (Grant Deeds do not have to be recorded to be valid)?

    I understand the Grantor is responsible for existing liens with a Gift Deed. Can an agreement can be drawn whereby the Grantee (son) is responsible for the existing lien?

    • Juliana Tu

      A Deed of Trust is a mortgage instrument and is has different functions from a Grant Deed, which is an ownership instrument. Although a Grant Deed does not have to be recorded to be valid, we strongly recommend that it is done so that the actual ownership is made of record and there is a clear demarcation of when the ownership was transferred, should there be future liens and encumbrances that might attach against the old owner.

      When there is a due on sale clause on a deed of trust, the Lender is advising the Borrower that they have the right to call the loan due when they find out about a transfer of ownership. It doesn’t matter if it was a sale with consideration or a gift, without consideration. When a deed is given without consideration (a “gift deed”, for instance), the Grantee does come into the ownership subject to all the liens, encumbrances that exist at the time, and also the responsibilities that come with property ownership. There should certainly be some sort of agreement that the Grantee will be responsible for the existing liens. But even if there weren’t such an agreement, if the Grantee does not understand his responsibility to continue payment, then the Lender will foreclose on the property and the Grantee will lose the property. Of course, the Grantor’s credit will also be affected if the original Borrower of the loan was the Grantor. The Grantee can choose to refinance the property so that the old loan is paid off and a new one under his name put on the property.

  12. harold pontongan

    My friend was made to sign a prepared deed of sale telling the couple it was for formality as the vendee said he will apply for a loan to pay the vendor but the vendee disppeared after the signing taking the vendors certified land little? Was was deed of sale void?

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my response to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      We are not real estate attorneys and we do not give legal or financial counsel. However, from what you have stated it reads like someone committed fraud on your friend. Your friend should not have signed over ownership or given the deed to that person without a proper contract or a neutral third party closing agent involved. If the deed has been filed/recorded with the government agencies, then all we can recommend is that you go to your local police jurisdiction and report the fraud and see if they can help you. Your friend may also need to get an attorney who can file paperwork in Court voiding the deed and transfer of ownership.

      We are sorry, but we are unable to give any additional suggestions.

  13. Yalitza

    If we are in the middle of escrow and we recently found out that the seller tried to short sale the property but the buyers loan did not go through, however, the real estate agent had the seller sign a grand deed and later the deed was recorded, then that person signed it over to someone else, and then they added someone else to the deed now the title company wants unassigned affidavits from these people which they have received for two out of three and this is only because the third one is an illegal immigrant and has not papers or social or anything, after submitting the notarized unassigned affidavits they now require two forms of ID because their addresses are not consistent (and this is only because they move around a lot) is this normal practice or is the title company requiring more than usual?

    • Juliana Tu

      No, it is not unusual and it is normal practices for the title company to check and be careful. Title companies are in the business of insuring that everything on the ownership to the property is cleared and they are going to make sure that they minimize their risk. When you have ownership deeds going back and forth the title company is going to question who are the people who owned the property and what kind of liens did those people have that could have attached to the property during their ownership. Because there is so much real estate fraud going around the title companies are being extra, extra careful. Many of these companies have been burned and had to pay a lot of money to rectify omissions in their investigations. There are a lot of unscrupulous crooks out there that we should all be on our guard against.

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my response to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      How we handle mental incapacity here in California is that if your mother has dementia and then she is incapable of signing anything and you have to get a Court appointed Conservator to act on her behalf, especially if she owned the property under her individual name solely . Secondly, if you say that the quitclaim WAS NOT signed by your mother, then there is fraud and perhaps elder abuse involved. In this case you will probably need to track down who did the signing for her and perhaps you might even take this to the district attorney’s office – white collar crime division.

  14. Judy Winklepleck

    If everything on Deed correct, except the notary omitted their expiration date; i.e. it was signed, sealed, all proper parties, just the expiration date missing, is that Deed valid?

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my response to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, including notary laws, that differ and I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      California’s notary acknowledgment form, which is used for all Deeds, does not require a notary expiration date to be inserted. The only date it asks for is the date that the notarization took place. With that in mind, I am not sure which state the notarial form and act was performed.

      I am sorry I cannot fully answer your question.

  15. catherine Buchetto

    my brother died and left me his Condo, his wife is living and is in the nursing home, and the condo is being rentd is there any way I can lose this condo or can the wife change the Deed. please give me advise. thank you. CB

    • Juliana Tu

      We can’t give you any legal advice, as we are not attorneys and are not allowed to practice law. Additionally, we only handle real estate transactions in California, so if your property is in another state, then you should talk to attorneys and closing agents in your state as it could be very different.

      California is a community property state so there is always a chance that the spouse can come back and claim part of the property under California community property laws. If your brother granted the property to you before he passed away, and his wife was never an owner on the property or had previously signed a deed quitclaiming her interest in the property, then you could make the case that she is not entitled to the property. She can’t actually go and change the Deed, once it has been recorded. If your brother left the property to you by using a will, hopefully you have gone through probate and the Court established that you are the sole owner of the property, then his wife wouldn’t get any interest at all.

      I hope this helps but not knowing how the title came to pass to you makes it difficult for us to make a determination. You should be talking to an attorney if you have any questions regarding the possibility of your sister in law claiming part of the property. An attorney would look into how the ownership was passed from person to person to determine who might claim an ownership interest besides you.

  16. Gary

    My brother is joint tenant with my mother on property deed but he put himself as single male and he is married is this valid…florida

    • Juliana Tu

      First of all, we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      I think that his ownership is valid, but there could be an issue in the future when he sells the property or if there is a divorce involved. Since Florida is not a community property state, like California, the marital and financial repercussions could be different. We are not allowed to give any legal or financial counsel. If you have concerns, please contact an attorney in your state.

      I regrt that we cannot help you answer your question further.

  17. Everything is very open with a really clear description of the issues.
    It was truly informative. Your website is useful.
    Thanks for sharing!

  18. Alfredo Serrata

    I really need help, I have P.O.A of my mother for a number of years due to her alcoholism. She is now stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver and has been in battle with my little sister for about 1.5 years and my little sister has lived with my mother ( not by my mothers choice ) but my mom loves her granddaughter so she allowed my sister to stay and eventually my sister got my mother to agree to gift her the home and do a general warranty deed and has been trying to evict my mother stating that she owns the home. I found out about this when I came home to visit and was completely shocked how this happened and I am being told that it can not be changed and my sister has to sign back the deed. How can I rectify this with out my sister facing jail and my mom having piece of mind of her home. She is now not mentally competent and I can’t gets sister to sign. What can I do?

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my response to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      In California, once the deed has been signed by the original owner (Grantor), the ownership of the property transfers to the new person (Grantee). To get it back, the Grantee has to sign a deed granting the property back. As your sister is not willing to do so then you do have a legal problem and you will need to get legal counsel from an attorney. He may advise you if there are any options that can be employed to get the property back without going through a court battle. I don’t know if there has been any elder abuse, but that is something a good attorney can look at for you. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to give any legal or financial advice, so we are unable to help you.

  19. I have 11 step children and I want to refinance my house.my wife died in 2013 and left no will and my children wront agree by signing the papers so I can get her off the deed and refinance my house.IS their anything that I can do about it to make them sign the paper work..
    Thanck you fore your time.
    Trinidad felal

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my response to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      In California, how you and your wife owned the property, individually and as separate property, or together as “Joint Tenants” or “Community Property” makes a difference. If you owned the property individually and separately, then her portion of the property after she passed away, needs to be probated through Court. Once that is done, then you and whoever inherited your wife’s portion would have to work out the refinancing of the house.

      However, if you owned the property with your wife as either Joint Tenants or Community Property, then you would get her share of the property automatically upon her death, with no need to go to Court. If this is the case, then you can refinance the home without your step children’s consent or signatures.

      So it all depends on how you have title ownership of the property. If you are not in California, then please contact a closing agent in your state for answers to your questions.

      Hope this helps!

  20. Gayle Mings

    My husband and I purchased some land from his brother. It has been a little over a year and he nor his wife has signed the deed. However, my husband and I have signed. I have mentioned to him on numerous occasions for them to go sign the deed. They still have not done so. How do I go about getting them to sign the deed? Also, since we have already signed can they have the document changed without us knowing about it before the deed gets recorded. I do not trust my husbands brother because the land originally belonged to my husbands’ and his brothers’ mother. They acquired it originally through an inheritance and I feel as though they aren’t signing it because my name is on it. When we went to sign the deed the brother just happened to leave my name off of it and my husband had my name added and for some reason the sellers just keep “forgetting” to go and sign.

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my response to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      It is unfortunately but you cannot force a person to sign something if they don’t want to, unless you take them to court and you win, thereby they are forced to sign or the Court will sign on their behalf.

      Can the deed be changed before recorded? It could but it would not be lawful if they changed something on the document without your consent after you had signed it.

      I strongly recommend that you obtain legal counsel on the matter, if you have an agreement with your brother in law which he is not fulfilling, then this does call for legal action.

      I am sorry that we cannot help any further.

  21. Elizabeth Cauble

    My mother in law, a licensed real estate professional, had me sign and return a blank warranty deed for my property, in order for her to finance my home. She then added the description, consideration in the amount of $10.00, and basically filled in all other blank fields on the deed. She had this document notarized without my presence, using a copy of my driver’s license, then recorded it with our local tax collector. Do I stand a chance of keeping my home, or is she now entitled to everything?

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my response to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. I believe you are from a state other than California and so you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      You should never sign a blank warranty deed, and as a real estate professional, your mother in law should know better. Also, how can the Notary Public do your notarization based on a copy of your driver’s license without you signing in her presence? All this is highly irregular and has legal and financial consequences. As a settlement services company we are not allowed to practice law. We strongly recommend that you obtain proper legal counsel regarding your case. I don’t know what your mother in law is entitled to, but if she put her name on the ownership of the property, she may be entitled to everything now. But with you signing a blank warranty deed and not signing in the presence of a notary, well, there could be fraud involved.

      Again, please bring this matter up to an attorney. I am sorry we are unable to help you further.

  22. Bobby Norberg

    My dad filed a will after my mother passed away stating that his property be sold and divided between his three sons. He had since signed a quit claim deed giving the property to me. Does the deed trump the will? Or do I have to sell and give each brother a third of the money?

    • Juliana Tu

      Your question is one that requires an attorney with a legal background in probate law to answer. Regretfully, we are a settlement services company and not allowed to practice law. We are unable to answer your question and strongly recommend that you obtain proper legal counsel regarding your case.

      I am sorry that we are unable to help!

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my answer to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      If the deed to your home was stolen or lost, and the deed was actually recorded at the County Recorder’s office, then there is no problem. The County has the ownership deed on file and you should be able to get a copy of it. You won’t need the original to sell the property.

      If the original deed was never recorded at the County Recorder’s office, then you would have a problem proving that you own the property. You would need to re-create the deed and ask your Seller to re-sign the deed and then immediately record it.

      Hopefully it is the first scenario. You can find out by going to your County Recorder’s office and asking them for a copy of the last deed recorded on your property. Hopefully, it is your deed.

  23. erica fowler

    What if u buy land you have it noterised and record it then a surveyor tells you you only bought rights to the land not the land ? Dont sound right to me i went thru so many hoops to get this land now this !

    • Juliana Tu

      We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      When you purchased the land there should have been a title search done and given to you to review so that you would know what you are purchasing. On the title search it should tell you if the person selling the land has the right to sell all the rights to the land (fee simple title) or only certain rights that he may have.

      I suggest that if you have question on what you purchased you should go back to the closing agent who handled this transaction for you to determine exactly what it is that you purchased. If you have questions, you will need to get legal counsel from a real estate attorney.

      I am sorry that we cannot help you further.

    • admin

      Hi Marco,

      Thank you for your question. Assuming that this is a notary in California, the California Notary Public Handbook of 2014 is available to download at http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/notary/forms/notary-handbook-2014.pdf The section you are looking for is on Page 10 under the heading “Conflict of Interest”. This should help to answer your question. Viva Escrow! Inc. does not provide any legal or financial counsel.

      -Trevor Ma
      Viva Escrow! Inc.
      General Administrator

    • Juliana Tu

      Again, let me reiterate that One of the notary laws in California states that although a notary can notarize for her family, she cannot if she will get some sort of beneficial interest from the document that she is notarizing. Please refer to the notary laws with the Secretary of State for further answers to your questions regarding notarizations.

  24. Laurie

    If a property has been deeded to the trust in 2005 and has been notarized but not recorded. And now the the trustor
    is deceased. Can the beneficiary sell the property and what are the correct steps to take? The beneficiary is the trustee as well.

    • Juliana Tu

      Please contact a Trust Attorney. There may be Probate consequences as too much time has passed and the property was never actually recorded that it went to the Trust. However, if the Attorney can show that the Trust was set up and the property listed as an asset and the intent was to put the property into the Trust, then the attorney might convince the Court not to go through probate. So there are legal consequences and you need to get legal advice, which we are not allowed to give.

      I am sorry we can’t help you on these questions.

  25. MAH

    HI ,I HAVE CONSTRUCTION LINE OF CREDIT FROM INDYMAC BANK FSB ,WHICH BANKRUPT JULY 2008 AND NEVER BECOME PERMANENT ,NOW I HAVE DEED OF ASSIGNMENT FROM FDIC TO INDYMAC VENTURA LLC ,ON MARCH 2009( WHICH INDYMAC HOLD CO. DYMAC VENTURA LLC ,ONE WEST BANK N.A,INDYMAC MORTGAGE SERVICER BOUGHT MORTGAGE SERVICING AGREEMENTON ON AUCTION FOR $24000 ON MARCH 2009 ),SINCE THIS DEED NEVER TRANSFERRED FROM GRANTOR WHICH I THINK IT WAS INDYMAC BANK FSB I DONOT KNOW WHO FOUND THE LOAN,IS IT VALID OR IT IS FORGERY WHEN THEY CALL THEMSELVES LENDER AND APPOINT SUB TRUSTEE ,AND SCHEDULE FORECLOSER.

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my answer to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      IndyMac itself is no longer in business, so the FDIC transferred their loans to other financial institutions. The transfer is usually through a deed recorded from FDIC as Receiver for IndyMac Bank, and not from IndyMac directly. So I would not say that this is a forgery. However, you should ask your question from the financial institution who is doing the foreclosure right now and not of us. We are a Settlement Services company and we do not comment on anything other than the settlement procedure. Foreclosures and loan servicing transfers are out of our purview.

      Hope this helps and I am sorry we are unable to help further.

  26. Adam C

    Hello,

    My question: I bought a property (which is my primary residence now) from my cousin 1 year back in California with subject to mortgage. Seller gave me a grant deed signed & notarized during the sale. I pay the mortgage payments every month. I did not get the grant deed recorded with the fear that lender might call the loan due. I am now in a capacity to refinance. Should I get the deed recorded first and then apply for refinance? or Can I refinance with the grant deed that is not recorded? Is it OK to record 1 year back signed & notarized grant deed now? Please help with the best steps to follow for recording & refinancing the property. And at which step can I use Viva escrow’s services.

    Thanks!!

    • Juliana Tu

      I am concerned that you did not record the Grant Deed when you bought the property, even though you didn’t do so because of fear that the Lender would call the loan due. Please record it right away and then do your refinance. You can’t refinance if the property is not under your name!

      When you don’t record the deed you don’t make your ownership of public record. That means that any liens against your Seller , personally or otherwise, would attach to the property and would take priority to your deed. Recording your deed establishes the priority, or the sequence of events!

      Please record your deed as soon as possible. Then you can do your refinance. At that time you can ask your Loan Agent to give us a call and we will be more than happy to help you!

  27. Maria

    Hi,
    I have a complicated question. I live in North Carolina. I was divorced a year ago, and our marital home received an offer to purchase. We agreed to a short sale of the home. The problem is this. This first mortgage/primary mortgage will be paid off in full at the time of sale. There is a $100,000.0 equity line on the home. The equity line does not have my name on it. It was acquired in 2007. I never signed the equity line. I did sign the Deed of Trust (because I thought it was for something else, I don’t even remember signing it). As for the equity line, I remember refusing to sign the equity line papers because I wanted no part of the equity line and I didn’t want to do an equity line. When I questioned the bank a few months ago, they did in fact research it and stated I was correct, I was not on the equity line and they removed me from the equity line, they also removed the equity line from my credit, and they sent me a letter apologizing for their mistake and admitted it was a banking error on their part. I also recently found a letter from the bank, dating back to 2007, that was addressed to my husband–he never showed me, that was mailed/dated 3 weeks after the signed Deed of Trust was recorded with the Register of Deeds. The letter stated that the equity line could not be processed because they have no record of a signature card from me and that it violated bank policy to process the loan without this. It also states that no funds could be released to me because of this. I have never spent a dime of the equity line. My question is this: There will be significant funds leftover at the closing, after the first mortgage is paid in full. I feel I am entitled to 50% of the funds (after attorney fees, closing cost fees and commissions are paid) and that those funds cannot be applied to the equity line loan with the bank, if my name is not on the loan and the bank removed me from that loan. My ex husband said I am not entitled to the money because I signed the Deed of Trust in 2007. I do not agree with him, I feel I am entitled to it, because I never signed the loan papers/signature card, or even saw the loan papers. I need help quick, we are supposed to close in the next two weeks. Thank you so much!

  28. Mary P

    I have a somewhat complicated question. I was divorced 1 year ago. My home that was owned with my husband was listed for short sale. There is a $100,000.00 equity line on the home that was opened in 2007. During the short sale proceedings I discovered (which always knew but could not prove) that I was not on the equity line and I never signed the loan paperwork. The bank apologized to me and removed the loan from my credit report and is only holding my ex husband responsible for the loan. He will not give me my portions of the proceeds at closing and states I am not entitled to them because I signed the Deed of Trust in 2007 with the bank that granted the equity line in June 2007. I found an old letter in my paperwork from July 2007, from the bank (I had never seen this letter before because my ex husband never showed it to me) that stated the equity line was not valid because it violated bank policy due to my signature never being on any bank records/documents and that I needed to come in and correct this error (because I never knew about it). I never came on to do so, and I never accessed the finds but my ex husband spent all of it. The bank has been very kind, but since they removed me from the loan and the loan from my credit report, they have stated they will no longer discuss the loan with me and that it is a violation of privacy. My question is this: am I entitled to 50% of the leftover proceeds at closing on the short sale after the first mortgage is paid in full, or do I have to relinquish them to the bank holding the equity line if I signed the Deed I. trust for the equity line (I didn’t know that was what it was for) and my name is not on the equity line and the bank sent me a letter stating on was on it, due to a “bank error on their part” . Thank you for your help. It closes next week and I really need some input on what to do, because I feel I am entitled to that money.

    • Juliana Tu

      The nitty gritty of the your situation is that the equity loan was used by your husband, and as it is secured on your property, even though you did not sign the mortgage documents, in order to complete the short sale, I don’t know if you have any recourse now but to allow that transaction to close and use the proceeds to pay off what they can of the two loans. When there are 2 loans the first loan gets most of the balance and the remainder is allowed to be given to the second lender. I don’t know how much of that $100,000 equity line will get paid to the second lender, but if you have any claim, it would be for part of that money that is going to the second lender.

      Your complicated situation lies in the fact that (1) you never signed the equity loan documents and (2) you are going through a short sale now in which part of the balance owed on the equity line will be paid off. Do you have a right to claim part of the money that is going to the equity line lender? I don’t know. You will need to ask an attorney if you have any recourse to getting part of that money back from your husband, outside of the short sale transaction. I am surprised that this issue was not addressed during the divorce.

      I am sorry, this probably not the answer you are looking for, but we are not allowed to give legal or financial counsel!

  29. Christopher Bernard

    Hi, My father passed his house to me by signing and notarizing the grant deed few months back. He has a mortgage on it and the property is in California. I left the mortgage on his name and I am paying monthly payments. I did not get the deed recorded at county office in a fear that lender might be notified and might call the loan due. How long can I wait without having the deed recorded?

    • Juliana Tu

      It is true that the Lender may call the loan due if they receive notification that the property has transferred to another person not on their loan. However, holding the deed unrecorded is also not a good idea. Unless you do not pay the mortgage payments and the Lender looks into the title ownership, most lenders do not have the time and manpower to track the ownership transfers, if any, of all the properties on which they have loans on. So if you keep making the payments and don’t give them a reason to look into the chain of title to your property, you should be okay. One thing you might consider is to re-do the deed and keep your father as one of the owners on the property, together with you. There are, of course, financial and legal consequences to everything you do, so be sure you have gotten correct counsel from legal and financial representatives on this matter before everything is finalized and recorded.

      By the way, one way the Lenders might find out about the transfer is if you change the insurance coverage and take out your father’s name totally. The insurance company will alert the Lender. So again, I recommend that even if you change the ownership to you solely, keep your father as an additional insured on the insurance policy just in case. Please talk to your insurance agent about this.

  30. frank bianchi

    my nephew took the deed to my mothers house and forged the 3 granters names and then had the deed recored somehow is the deed good?

    • Juliana Tu

      A forged deed is a deed that is invalid. Cases of forgery should be reported and I would start with the police department of the city where the property is located, or with the district attorney’s office white crimes unit. Report this forgery and let them tell you what to do next.

        • Juliana Tu

          Our response to both of your questions are as follows:

          We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state. The statute of limitations is different for each state and for each type of event.

          In California you will need to go to the Code of Civil Procedures Section 315-330 to see the time allowed for you to file a lawsuit. As to whether you can reclaim property that was conveyed fraudulently you will need to speak to an attorney about that. We are not allowed to give legal or financial advice. If fraud was perpetuated then you might even need to advise the District Attorney’s office as this might be considered white collar crime.

          I regret that we are unable to help.

  31. Southern CA

    Hello Juliana,

    My question is this: My sister was originally named as the Turstee of my Dad’s house on his living trust. My Dad needed to go to an assisted living center and got a home equity loan on his house to pay for his assisted living expenses. The Bank had my sister release the house back to the bank so they could give my dad the equity line of credit. The deed was was recorded and stated when recorded return to the “Current Trustor” which named my dad.

    Now this is where I need a question answered for my sister who is no longer a tustor (only Trustee when he passes away) of my Dad’s house had a loan broke/lender attach my Dad’s house (please know my sister was confused why they did this for she had her own house which was used for collateral) and had her sign on her own new loan contract that both her house and my Dads house was listed for colateral and she signed as Trustee to my Dads property and her own name to her own house/property. Now I would like to know if this is a valid loan contract and valid new trust deed by this loan broker/lender? Since my Dad is “The current Trustor of his own property and he did not sign or have knowledge of his home being attached would the contract be void do to the fact that not all Trustors of each property did not sign contract or new second trust deed? (She signed he did not…..is this new second trust deed invalid?

    Thank you for your help, I realize you can not give legal advice but if you could give me a view from your professional view/side of this question I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Juliana Tu

      In your question you did not state where your father’s property is located. We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      No matter what state though, the consumer should not be signing anything unless they fully understand what and why they are signing. There is no reason for your sister to sign a Deed of Trust collaterizing your father’s property if the loan is for her own home and not your father’s. I would suggest that she go back and get copies of all the documents she signed and then present them to the loan broker to ask them what those documents are and why they were needed.

      As Trustee of your father’s property she has a responsibility and obligation to act on behalf of the Trust and further collaterizing your father’s property may not be something that was agreed upon by the Trustor, who is your father. By the way, the Trustor of a Trust does not sign any documents for the Trust; it’s the Trustee who signs on behalf of the Trust. So there can always be a possibility that if the Trustor and Trustee are different parties, the Trustor is unaware that the Trustee acted on behalf of the Trust without the Trustor’s knowledge.

      As you know, I can’t give you legal advice but there are too many people who blindly sign paperwork without understanding or knowing what they are signing. It does not mean that this second trust deed on your father’s property is invalid, but depending on what transpired between the loan broker and your sister, there could be cause for legal action. In order to invalidate this second trust deed from your father’s house you will need to get an attorney involved to look over all the paperwork and see if there are grounds for action, and if so, it will need to file a legal case against all parties involved.

      I am sorry we can’t help you any further but there could be some kind of consumer abuse here.

  32. Michele

    I am trustee for my moms house in Hawaii, she passed away about 16 years ago. My brother owns 1/2, my son 1/4 and myself 1/4. My brother has been living there without paying any rent. He even rents out a room. We have no say. He thinks it’s his house. Both my son and I would like to sell. Not communicating with my brother and that’s why we would like to sell the house and go our separate ways. Would like to sell to my brother. Trustee lawyer for my moms trust is preparing a partition deed. Not sure. Says it would be easier to sell that way. Does this mean my obligations as a trustee would be done. My main objection is to either have my brother buy us out or sell the house.
    Thank you

    • Juliana Tu

      We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      Unfortunately, the question that you ask is legal in nature. Not knowing the terms of your mother’s Trust I can’t say whether your obligations as a Trustee are done. Please ask your Trustee lawyer for an answer to your question and for legal counsel.

      I am sorry we are unable to help!

  33. Eric

    I purchased a house in July. We signed Mort an Deed and we’re told deed would be mailed. We’ll 4 months later we realize it never showed and we contacted the bank. The bank stated they had an error in the deed and had us resign it in Fed of the following year.

    Is this a valid mort. I just heard from a bankruptcy trustee that it wasn’t and he is trying to take our property. We’ve live in the residence since we originally signed in July. Can anyone comment on what happens if the deed isn’t signed when the mort. Is and if there is a time limit to sign the deed. We believe it was all signed at the time we signed mort. But can’t remember it was years ago. Thanks. Please help.

    • Juliana Tu

      A Deed is an ownership document which the Sellers signs and give to the Buyer. A Mortgage is a loan document that the Buyer signs and gives to the Lender they borrowed money from. It’s 2 different documents. The deed proves you own the property; the mortgage proves you owe the Lender money. If you have questions as to whether you have a valid deed or mortgage on the property you need to go back to the settlement services company who handled this purchase for you and see what transpired. It is even more important if you now have a bankruptcy involved. I strongly suggest you get an attorney to look at your paperwork and search out if you ownership of your property.

      I don’t know where you are located but we are a settlement services company in California and for property ownership issues in other states, you must contact a closing attorney or closing agent in your state.

  34. Robin

    We live in Kansas but own a vacation home in California. My parents put me on the deed with them and now we’re selling the property. I’m married and since it takes both husband and wife to sell…can my husband just sign the deed as a seller?

      • Robin

        I think I got my answer…in California both husband and wife must sign to buy (in Kansas it only takes one to buy) so we had to do an interspousal deed to clear the title from when I was added.

    • Juliana Tu

      Regarding your questions on selling your vacation home in California, as you are married, you can sell as wife and husband. Your husband can join you as a Seller on the transaction. That takes care of any community property issues you would have! So you, your husband and your parents will all become the Sellers.

      Or, another way is that your husband can do a quitclaim deed to you, divesting himself of any community property interest, and then you would sell in California as a “married woman as her sole and separate property”.

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my answer to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      In California, a Deed has to be notarized in order to record it at the County Recorder’s office and make it of public record. However, if it is not notarized, it is still valid once it is given or handed over to the person who is getting the property. You just can’t record it at the County Recorder’s office.

      I am not sure what Pennsylvania laws reflect on this matter. Please refer this question to closing attorneys in your state.

  35. Smitty

    We co-owned a home with my wifes mother, 50/50. She had to move into our home due to finances. She signed a Quit Claim to give us her 50%, witnessed by her son and daughter in law. This was at the end of last year, so that my wife and I could take over the full financial obligations and associated tax ramifications of the home becoming a rental.

    Would this Quit Claim not be allowed to be filed, since it was not notarized? State of California. If not, then if we were asked to show the ‘effective date’ of the home becoming our financial responsibility, would a non notarized Quit Claim deed be sufficient to reflect the end of last year for tax purposes?
    TIA!

    • Juliana Tu

      A quitclaim deed, if it was signed and delivered, is considered effective, and if it has a dated on which it was signed, then you could use that date, I think, for income tax purposes. However, that is something you need to ask your tax accountant to make sure the IRS will support that claim.

      All that being said a deed has to be signed in front of a notary public in order for it to be recorded and a recorded deed is always the best. That puts it on record that the property transferred to you and no debts or liens belonging to your mother in law that came about after the deed recorded would attach to the property. I strongly recommend that you have that quitclaim deed notarized. Your mother in law may have to re-sign it , in the presence of a Notary Public, and then having it recorded. You don’t need other people to witness the signature. An unrecorded deed always will present a lot of issues in the future and may have other unforeseen consequences.

  36. buddy gass

    Hi my mother recently passed and left me grantee on deed to her house. She was the sole owner. Do I have any type of time to transfer ownership? She has a mortgage on the house also. I am unemployed now so I know I wont be able to refinance. Can I keep mortgage in her name and just continue payments until I get income to refinance the house?

    • Juliana Tu

      If you received the property from your mother, you should continue to pay the mortgage. Don’t let it go into foreclosure. You can leave the mortgage under her name. You won’t need to refinance unless you can afford it and can get a better rate.

  37. Shelli

    My husband has been divorced for 5 years before we got married. His ex wife and him had two boys, and my husband’s father and deceased wife held the deed to their property. I have been married for two years now to my husband. The father just signed the deed over as a lineal transfer from father to son. He made the grantee my husband and his ex wife. The have and to hold says the lot and buildings, which we live in and have put much money into fixing up, is intended so to be, with the appurtenances, unto the said Grantee, his Heirs and Assigns, to and for the only proper use and behoof of the said Grantees, their Heirs and Assigns forever, as tenants in common. Where does this leave me and my son? Will I have to one day pay his ex wife money for living here if my husband should die 10 years later? Am I entitled to any money we have put into rebuilding this house?
    the said Grantor states the Grantee, their Heirs an Assigns, against him the said Grantor, and his Heirs, and against all and every other person and persons whomsoever lawfully claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof, by from or under him or any of them shall and will warrant and forever defend. Where does this leave me legally as the spouse? What if she remarries?

    Thank you…..

    • Juliana Tu

      Your question is legal in nature and regretfully, we are a settlement services company and not allowed to practice law. We are unable to answer your question and strongly recommend that you obtain proper legal counsel regarding your case. Different states have different community property laws so you will need a Probate attorney to look at this inheritance that your husband received and how it affects you and your son.

      I am sorry that we can’t help!

  38. Leilani

    I am in the state of California . My original mortgage was thru WAMU. The last deed that was recorded was by WAMU back in 2008 when my loan was modified. There is no deed recorded by Chase (Whom acquired WAMU). Does the deed have to be recorded by Chase in order to be valid? I read the following about the MI supreme court ruling on Jan 4 , 2014:
    “While the court found that the FDIC succeeded the interests of the failed institution and acquired WAMU’s mortgage loans by operation of law, JPM simply purchased these mortgage loans after they were transferred to the FDIC. Because JPM failed to record evidence of the assignment of the mortgage and simply relied upon WAMU’s place in the chain of title, the appellate court found that JPM failed to comply with the statute’s requirements.See more at: http://www.plunkettcooney.com/publications-355.html#sthash.GLpH0Pvs.dpuf

    Are there similar rulings in state of CA?

    • Juliana Tu

      Regretfully, we are a settlement services company and your question is a legal one for which we are prohibited by the California Bar Association to give advice or comment on. But we can tell you that the document you are referring to is not a “deed”, but an “Assignment of Deed of Trust”. A “Deed” is a transfer of ownership interest document; an “Assignment of Deed of Trust” is a transfer of interest in a mortgage document. This will help you when you ask the question of a real estate attorney who is versed in this particular field of law.

      I am sorry we are unable to answer your question.

  39. rochela

    What if the quit claim deed was only signed by my husband and the deed was recorded because the property was only on my husband’s name. But I did not sign it (the deed didn’t provide for my signature). Is that transfer valid or not because of my dower interest?

    • Juliana Tu

      We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      If the deed was only signed by your husband because the property was only under your husband’s name, the deed is valid. In California, because we are a community property state, we do require the spouse to relinquish any interest he/she may have so we would ask the spouse to also join in the signing of the deed. But not having your signature does not invalidate that particular deed your husband signed.

  40. Angel

    We have been asked to sign a new Warranty Deed for a property sale that closed in 2005. I signed the original WD as Power of Attorney for my deployed husband, but didn’t know the POA paperwork needed to be filed somewhere to make the signature valid. The realtors we used are saying we need to re-sign(& notorize) to correct the original WD. The POA papers are gone, they were expired and I figured I wouldn’t need them, so I can’t just file the POA. Is there any reason NOT to sign a “corrected” WD? It looks exactly the same except they’ve added a block saying “This deed is given to correct the grantors’ signature and notarization on the WD recorded (date) in book (#), page(#).” We’ve looked online and cannot find any liens against our former property. My spouse is afraid they’re going to come back and hold us responsible for something expensive. Any words??

    • Juliana Tu

      We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      That being said, if this issue happened on a property in California, then definitely, we would require you as the Seller to re-sign the Deed. The ownership to the property was not transferred correctly in 2005. The Power of Attorney should have been recorded at the time you sold the property and signed the Deed to show that you had the right to sign on your husband’s behalf. As that did not happen and you don’t have the original power of attorney, so you and your husband should re-sign the Deed to perfect title. If you don’t, the present owners will have a problem with their ownership.

      Hope this helps!

  41. Roland

    I have a home in north west Florida that my partner and I sold to his daughter holding the mortgage promissory note, we were JTWROS on our deed and on the note we are listed as and not or since he passed away his daughter is claiming 1/2 of her father’s share, from all the research I have done I’m suppose to be the holder in full, but her attorney claims she has the right to claim his 1/2 as she’s the only heir. She has now stopped payments on the mortgage and when I tried to foreclose my attorney now agrees with hers . How can this be? From all I researched it says that the original deed prevails over any other deed until such mortgage is paid in full and that I am now the sole owner, please help me.
    Thank You

    • Juliana Tu

      Regretfully, we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Florida and other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      I am sorry that we are unable to help but you do need to seek a real estate attorney’s counsel on this matter.

  42. Lyn Kelso

    Does Mediation hearing serve as a court order and can a quit claim deed be forced if the buyers agreed to sign at mediation and failed to do so by the deadline. They did move out but did not produce the quit deed

    • Juliana Tu

      Mediation is not a Court Order, but if the parties agreed to use this avenue to resolve conflict, then they need to abide by it.

      We are not attorneys so we are unable to answer your question. It looks like you may need an attorney to look at your conflict if the parties did not perform under the agreement reached at the mediation.

      I regret that we can’t help you any further!

  43. George

    We signed a grant deed to our children for our real estate property. We did not realize that this would transfer the property to them before we died. How can we revoke this deed?

    • Juliana Tu

      We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      If the deed in which you signed over the ownership of the property to your children was recorded (made of public record) at the County Recorder’s office, then I am afraid that to get the property back you will need all of them to execute a deed back to you – reverse the process- so to speak. If they won’t do it, then you might need to hire an attorney and go to court to get the document set aside by court order.

      If the deed was not recorded, then perhaps you can get it back before it does get recorded and then destroy it.

      I think that it is important that the general public consult with their attorneys before they do something that affects the ownership of their assets. It is difficult to correct after the fact.

  44. Carlos

    Hello,

    Years ago my wife and her grandmother signed a warranty deed as grantors to convey a property to a trust as grantee and with my wife as sole beneficiary of the trust (and therefore sole owner). My wife is now contemplating a sale of the property and upon review of the original warranty deed on record she noticed that the line for “grantors” is blank. Everything else is filled out correctly (grantee, property description, etc) and both she and her grandmother signed/notarized the document (in two places). Their names/identities are clearly legible from their signatures but the line at the top for “grantor” was left blank in what appears to be an oversight. Will the omission of their names in print on the “grantor” line create a problem in a subsequent title search and closing?

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my answer to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      Usually in California, the County Recorder’s office will review the paperwork that is submitted for recording, and if something of importance is missing, they will reject the recording and send it back. I don’t know how it works in other states. Not having the Grantor line completed could be a problem, but that is not unsurmountable. If it were in California perhaps the original deed could be re-recorded to add the Grantor’s name (would need to be re-notarized) and to perfect title. If your wife is thinking of selling, you might want to take a copy of this deed and actually give it to a Title Insurance Company who you might use when you sell the property and pass it by them to take a look. Ask your Realtor if they can recommend such a Title Insurance Company and do some advance recon work. They will be able to look at the document and give you suggestions on how to correct it right away.

      Hope this helps!

  45. angel

    hi, i have a very big problem which is really bothering me. My father intended to sell a portion of our land by signing a contract using his initials without a lawyer, his witness, and all, just him, the buyer and the buyer’s friend. Now since the buyer is a good friend of his, he didn’t even bothered to read what’s in the contract only to find out and be greatly surprised that he was actually selling EVERYTHING to the buyer!

    is there a way to get it back? I mean, is the contract valid or a way to prove that my father was duped? in fact, he sold it at a very low price thinking that he’s only selling a portion of it. Please help me…

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my answers to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      If your father finalized the contract but has not completed the sale transaction, then all is not lost. However, if he has already completed the sale to the Buyer and signed over the ownership to this Buyer, then it does become a major problem. It is much more difficult to reverse the transaction and will definitely need a lawsuit and the Courts to step in.

      There are a couple of issues here. First of all, your father will need to tell the Buyer that a mistake was made and the contract has to be revised. If the Buyer balks, then you will need to get an attorney involved to find a way to rescinding the contract. The validity of a contract is a legal matter for which your father will need to get legal counsel.

      Secondly, I don’t know what type of land this is, but can it be sold partially? For instance, you can’t sell one acre out of a 5-acre vacant land if the land has not yet been subdivided.

      I am sorry we are unable to help any further, but this is definitely a lesson in that professionals are needed in order to be sure a real estate transaction is done correctly!

  46. Doug Ketchum

    I was just notified by the bank about a discrepancy on my property address on the mortgage forms for my house. I had the house built and have been there for 7 years. The bank in now saying that the property address for my insurance does not match what they have recorded as the legal property address. In reviewing the information the address they have is incorrect. What are my legal options? Thanks

    • Juliana Tu

      If the address that the Bank has in their files is incorrect, you will probably have to give them proof of the correct address, and then the Bank will corrected their files and they will probably have the deed of trust, which secured the loan on your property, corrected and re-recorded.

  47. Gentry

    My wife and I have been married for 11 years together 16, we are now in the middle of divorce proceedings. There seems to be some confusion to an issue of whether or not our house assets are separate property or marital property. My wife’s father purchased a home on some farm land that he farms for around 70,000. My wife and I moved out to the house in 2002. We were married in October 2002. He didn’t want us to pay him anything, but my wife insisted. So we paid, out of a joint checking account, 400.00 a month for about 7-8 years, roughly 33,600-38,400. At that point her father came to us and said we don’t need to pay him any more and that he got back from us was enough, thus giving us the deed of ownership with BOTH names on the deed. Does it matter if we rented or didn’t pay in full? My wife, her father and her attorney are claiming this as a gift to her, alone, thus making it separate property. In which I would have no claim to half of the homes worth at 92,680. From what I understand is that if it is a gift from her father(3rd party) to her alone with only her name on title or deed, it is considered separate property. If it was a gift from her father that was intended to be for marital purposes with both names on the title or deed, it is considered marital property. Right? I just need to know if this is considered a gift to her alone or to each of us as a married couple.

    • Juliana Tu

      We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of professionals or attorneys in your state.

      Unfortunately, the question that you left on our website is one that we cannot answer, as we cannot give legal advice. Please talk to your divorce attorney regarding the rights that you might have under ownership given to you voluntarily by your father in law. If ownership is to be given to one person solely, then common sense would state that the deed would only reflect the name of the person who should be getting the property and no one else.

      We are sorry we are unable to help!

  48. Gentry

    I’m in the middle of a divorce and there is an issue of either side understanding separate property and marital property. My wife and I were married 11 years ago, we moved into a home that my wifes father purchased for around 70,000. He didn’t want payment but my wife insisted on paying him. We paid him rent for 7-8 years at 400.00 per month. Roughly 38,000 total. At that point her father came to us and said that we could stop paying, that he got what he wanted from us and gave us BOTH the deed to ownership. Both of our names are on the deed. My wife, her father and her attorney are claiming this as a “gift” to her alone, thus stateing that I’m I titled to none of the house value asset. From what I understand is that if it is a gift intended from her father to her alone with her name alone on the deed, that is considered separate property. If it was a gift intended by her father for marital reasons to both of us with both names on the deed, it is marital property. Right?

  49. Shannon

    During a divorce I signed in interspousal deed over to my husband because I was being forced out of the family home and had to move out within three weeks. I was promised the equity from the house if I signed the grant deed, that equity has yet to be paid for it to me which was over a year and half ago. About a year after that i realized that an inheritance I invested in the house was not community property. I did not know this when I signed the deed. Can the deed be voided as I was not aware of the legal issues at the time and signed the deed under duress to vacate the house or be homeless. Please help.

    • Juliana Tu

      Unfortunately, the scenario that you described requires legal counsel. We are a settlement services company handling the transfer of property between Buyer and Seller and are not allowed to give such legal advice. I recommend that you either go back to your divorce attorney or get a new attorney to look at all the facts of your case.

      I am sorry we are unable to help. Good luck!

  50. Dina

    I inherited my boyfriends house in California. I can’t live in it though because it’s hundreds of miles from my job and my son is still in high school. We also live in California. I decided to sell his home. There is still a mortgage on it, but it has a lot of equity in it, though.
    The trustee signed a grant deed transferring the house to me and his lawyer recorded it. His lawyer told us not to worry about transferring the loan to me and for me to just continue paying payments under my boyfriends/trust name. In the meantime the trustee notified the insurance co. that the house was transferred to me and it is vacant. The insurance couldn’t transfer to me because they don’t insure vacant homes so I had to get it insured through LLoyds of London and they would only insure it for 3 months since it is vacant. They are not licensed in California.
    Here is the problem – I received a letter (in my boyfriends trust name) from the mortgage loan company today notifying me that the insurance cancelled and that their requirements are that I have to get the house insured for 12 months by a state licensed insurance company, which I can’t do because it’s vacant! They are going to cancel the loan if I can’t get it insured. In the meantime I doubt I can get the house refinanced in my name because my credit went south 6 months ago due to huge medical bills. This loan company was one I defaulted on for two of my credit card bills. I’m in the process of paying them back now, but still not in good standing with them, so trying to get it extended or refinancing is out of the question.
    What are my options to get this straightened out? Also, an I even pay off this loan in my name once they find out I inherited the house?
    Thank you so much for any advice you can offer about this.

    Thank you?
    Can I lose the house because of this?

    • Juliana Tu

      Your troubles started when the insurance lapsed. The Lender’s insurance department got the notification that insurance was expiring. They can call the loan due if you don’t get the required insurance in place, or they can place “forced insurance” on it until you get your own insurance and make you pay for it. Your option, as I see it, is for you to rent the property out so that it isn’t vacant and get a landlord’s package on it? Or , if it is too far for you to live and manage it, perhaps you should sell it?

      I am sorry, we are a settlement services company and not the right source to give you any input. We don’t know your financial background and can’t give you any financial advice. I suggest you get a CPA to help you, or a real estate agent who can help you rent it out or sell it, or even ask an insurance agent in detail what their recommendations might be!

      Good luck!

  51. Stephanie Kelley

    Hi Juliana!!!
    I have a question…..I was made Trustee and Successor Trustee to my Great Aunts Revocable Trust. I recorded the signed and notarized Grant Deed with the county recorders office. ( her home is completely paid for )
    The paralegal from her attorney’s office has convinced her to void her current Revocable Trust with me as the Trustee and put himself as the Trustee. Can I be taken off of the Grant Deed now ? If I’m asked to sign something taking myself off of the Grant Deed can I refuse?
    Thank you for any help you can provide. : )

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me understand your question correctly. You are the Trustee of your Aunt’s Revocable Trust and your aunt signed and recorded a deed in which the title was changed to you as the Trustee of her Revocable Trust.

      Now the paralegal from her attorney’s office has convinced your aunt to void her current Trust and do a new Trust in which the paralegal in the attorney’s office becomes the Trustee of your aunt’s Trust? That seems a bit unethical, doesn’t it? What would be his motive for doing so?

      If the Deed has been recorded that shows you are the Trustee of the Trust, then in order to remove you, they will have to make you sign off on a new Deed taking yourself as Trustee off the ownership of the property, OR if you refuse they can force the change by filing a lawsuit or a “Quiet Action Title” suit in Court and explain to the judge why that original Deed needs to be voided.

      I hope I answered your question and did not provide further complications!

  52. Baljit

    I want to give a grant deed to a person who is not a US Resident. For tax purposes in his country how can we show that he has a 50% interest in this property. Right now the deed is on my and my wife’s name. Can me and my wife grant the deed to myself and this person or do we need to show me and my wife as 50% owner and this person as 50% owner. Also can we attest the passport of this person as a proof.

    • Juliana Tu

      You and your wife can grant 50% of your property to any person, even if he is not a U.S. resident. As a sample only, the deed would have the Grantor as yourselves, and you are granting it to Grantees – yourselves , husband and wife as to undivided 50% interest and John Doe as to an undivided 50% interest. Once you do such a deed and have it recorded, then it is made of public record that this person has 50% interest. I would not know if this is sufficient and I also would not know if you can attach a passport as proof. That is also something that depends on the requirements in that country.

      On a side note, please be advised that there are tax regulations that come into play when this foreigner goes to sell his 50% in the future. You should consider that before you grant over 50% ownership.

      I am sorry I can’t help you much more that this!

  53. Dave

    Our folks are deedeing over they land. If they leave out ,completly , one of there children.
    Can he, or she come back and file a law suit ? Is there something about leaving at least 2%.

    • Juliana Tu

      Your question, I believe, is that if one of the children were left out of the ownership of the land that the parents plan to deed over to the other children, can the child come back and file a lawsuit?

      This is a legal question and can only be answered by an attorney. Please have the Grantors talk to an attorney before a decision is made. All I can venture to say is that there is nothing to stop a person from filing a lawsuit against another person, for whatever reason. Whether or not there is there is justifiable cause is up to the Courts to decide!

      Hope this helps!

  54. Gary Hansen

    Hi, we just purchased a home in California; the seller is being a real pain and we had to actually file a unlawful detainer to get her out of the house. She apparently received the property tax bill and it still shows in her name, so she believes now that she still owns the house. It was a cash deal, closed escrow and thought all was good short of the UD of course.
    We checked the records and it does seem the property did not transfer properly or something.
    Not sure how she reconciles that she has a boatload more cash in her bank than she did, but she now claims she deeded the property under duress, and she and her family claims she is mentally incapacitated.
    We just want to move in, any advise or course of action. Thank you

    • Juliana Tu

      I am sorry you are having such problems. I think that if there is a question as to your ownership, please talk to your Escrow Officer who did the transaction for you.

      As to the property tax bill, every year the bills are sent to the person who owned the property on January 1 of this year. If you just finished purchasing the property, the tax bill will definitely show under your Seller’s name, as the County Assessor’s office has not had a chance to change it! That does not mean the property is still hers, though.

      The only suggestion I can offer you is to talk to your Escrow Officer first, make sure everything was recorded properly, talk to your real estate agent and see what he can do, and then you might need to continue with the unlawful detainer. Talk to an attorney who is well versed in handling evictions for the next step.

      I am sorry we can’t offer any better suggestions. Good luck!

  55. Sam

    In 2010 my father passed away. He had reverse mortgage and no Will. During the time of his death I lost my job due to the economy, so I was not able to purchase his home. His home was eventually sold at a foreclosure auction to FEDERAL NATL MTG ASSN. I am now purchasing a home and my loan is in the processing phase. I was just notified that my name seems to appear on the deed. I don’t know how this could be sense I never attempted to purchase the property and my father did not have a will. My loan officer sent me attachment of the public records and instead of it stating the mortgage co vs the estate of, it states the mortgage co vs me. I find this strange because every document sent to me or my siblings stated the mortgage co vs the estate of, but some how the public record was put in my name. I did reside with my father and I notified the mortgage company of his passing, but never signed anything and it never went to probate court. Now I won’t qualify for a loan because it seems as though I have a foreclosed property. I don’t know how this came about and it’s certainly not on my credit report, so I feel like someone made a mistake or something illegal is going on. I’m so I upset, how can I go about proving this property never belonged to me?

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my response to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      I am not able to answer your question as to how come you were the owner of a property and not aware of it. If your father did not leave a Will, and there was no other co-owner of the property with him, then the property had to go to Probate in order to resolve who this property would pass to. But you say it didn’t go through probate. If you lived on the property maybe you were one of the owners, too, without you knowing about it. I suggest that you ask your mortgage company to pull a copy of all the ownership deeds to see how it came about that your name was on it. Perhaps your father added your name to the property before he passed so that it wouldn’t have to go through probate?

      I am sorry that we are unable to help you further. I suggest getting an attorney to look over the paperwork if you think there might be fraud or something illegal going on!

      • Sam

        Thank you for your response, I really appreciate it. My father never put me on his deed, he actually had a reverse mortgage so he was the only one on the deed. I was looking through all the documents sent to me regarding his estate and it states at all times material to this cause followed by my father’s name, a single man owned real property and then it list the property address. Also a few months after he passed away I was sent a letter asking if I wanted to purchase the home, but never made an attempt because there was no way I would have a qualified for a loan with my job loss. Then Some how in 2011 when a Lis Pendens was recorded as a public record it list my name instead of my father’s. The more I look at this I feel like it was a clerical error. I feel like maybe who ever recorded this saw my name listed at the same address of my father and mistakenly entered my name on the pubic record. No documents I received by mail make mention of me as the owner. Everything was always in my father’s name including taxes. I will take your advice regarding contacting a lawyer, but I’m curious in your opinion do think this could have been a clerical error and does this sound like it will be difficult to fix?

        • Juliana Tu

          Clerical errors will always happen but it really is disturbing when a Lis Pendens was filed against a wrong person due to a clerical error! That would cause a lot of headaches and problems for the defendant of this Lis Pendens, like you have found out. The attorneys or whoever filed the Lis Pendens should have carefully checked through the chain of ownership and if your name came up, well, maybe there is a reason and therefore getting legal counsel will be a good step for you to do.

          By the way, on a reverse mortgage, if you owned the property with your father at the time he was doing the reverse and you were over 62 years old at that time, you could have been an owner of the property but did not have to participate in the reverse mortgage. I don’t know if that applies to you but without any other information from you, that’s the only thing I can think of when you said that the property was foreclosed on and your name was on the foreclosure paperwork.

  56. connie mendez

    PLEASE, PLEASE SOMEONE TAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS…..MY NAME IS CONNIE MENDEZ. I AM 45 YEARS OLD. I AM DIVORCED. I WAS MARRIED 18 YEARS AND GAVE MY X HUSBAND 6 CHILDREN…PLEASE CONTINUE TO HEARBME OUT. IF ANYONE EVER NEEDED YOUR HELP IT IS ME. MY HUSBAND TOLD ME ON A THURSDAY NIGHT IN THE KITCHEN THAT HE WAS DIVORCING ME. I WAS A STAY AT HOME MOM, WHO NEVER SCHOOLED PAST HIGH SCHOOL. MY HUSBAND SPENT LONG HOURS BUILDING A NOW VERY SUCCESSFUL HVAC BUSINESS. OK TO THE POINT. AT THIS POINTVMY X HUSBAND HAD STOPPED PAYING THE MORTGAGE FOR ELEVEN MONTHS. HE DID ALL THE FINANCES. HE OWED THE IRS OVER 200 K(MY NAME ON HIS BUSINESS AS WELL). HE ASSURED ME NO ONE WOULD KEEP THE HOUSE. HE SAID WE WOULD BOTH HAVE TO MOVE AND HE WAS DOING ME THE FAVOR TO STAY TIL IT FORECLOSED. I TRULY BELIEVED. I SIGNED THE DEED TO HIM. I HAVE SINCE BEEN WORKING THREE JOBS AND ON PUBLIC ASSISTANT. I MOVE FROM APARTMENT TO APARRMENT. SOMEHOW, SOME WAY HE MODIFIED THE LOAN WITHOUT MY SIGNATURE. HE KEPT THE HOUSE. HE HAS A LOW INTEREST RATE. MY,CREDIT IS RUINED. HE ALSO SOLD HIS BUSINESS TO HIS DAD FOR 200 AND BECAME AN EMPLOYEE. HIS PARENTS FUDGE HIS INCOME SO,THAT MY,CHILD SUPPORT IS MINIMAL. IF ANYONE EVER NEEDED HELP ITA ME. I TRULY DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT I WAS SIGNING WHEN I SIGNED THE DEED TO HIM. I BELONG IN THAT HOME. PLEASE HELP.

    • Juliana Tu

      I am sorry to read about your troubles. There is not much that we can recommend to you except to get an attorney if you feel that your ex-husband has defrauded you or misrepresented his financials to your detriment.

      I am sorry we are unable to help. Good luck!

  57. Deborah

    What is the best way to handle this, if 4 people wants to purchase land in California and we want the land title to be in our names (4 people):

    1. will this be a joint tenancy
    2. do we need to use a quit claim deed if 1 person can no longer afford the payment, that way the rest of us can take over the land and it will be divided into 3. We don’t want the person that signed the quit claim to be able to reclaim the his or her portion of the land.
    3. is it necessary to create corporation (LLC or LLP)

    • Juliana Tu

      The answers to your questions really does not come easily as it depends on what you want to accomplish. There are legal issues when owning property with partners and it will affect how you hold title. You must ask an attorney regarding these issues. We are a settlement services company and we cannot practice law. In particular is your question whether you should create a corporate entity or own it under your individual names as “Joint Tenants”. There are a number of ways to own property between partners. Each has their own pros and cons. Joint Tenancy, Tenancy In Common, or in a corporate name each have their own legal and financial ramifications. Again, please consult with an attorney.

      As to using a Quitclaim Deed, the person signing away their interest using this document cannot reclaim it back. If you own the property in a corporate entity, not as an individual, then the person who cannot pay does not sign any quitclaim deed since the property ins under a corporate entity name and not under his individual name. He would have to resign from the corporate entity instead. Again, you will need to seek legal counsel regarding what happens when one of the members of an LLC or LLP cannot shoulder his responsibilities under the LLC/LLP operating agreement.

    • Juliana Tu

      The Grant Deed does not need to be signed by the Grantee – the person getting the property – so conceivably, you could be added on to a Grant Deed without your knowledge. However, delivery of the deed is important, if not physically, but at least through verbal communication, so that the person getting the interest and the liability of the property ownership is made aware of it. If it was done without your knowledge and you want to object to it, the simplest way is for you to advise the people who put you on title that you are going to grant it back to them and do a Deed back to them.

  58. garry L.

    about 5 years ago, my sister went through a divorce. She asked me if I would give her enough land to put a small cabin on in my back yard which property was in Tennessee. She wanted a 75″ x 75″ in the corner and I verbally agreed to give it to her. At the time I was living in Texas. I cared and trusted her allot and wanted to help so I agreed to give her the 75 x 75. Well she had my whole backyard surveyed which I was not aware of and then asked me if I couild come back one weekend and sign the papers so she could move her house onto the property. I came back and she told me that all I had to do was to run up and sign the papers that the guy at the bank was waiting for me after hours so I did trusting her and without checking the deed or any idea of what she had done. She has not filed her deed knowing that I would find out what she did and not knowing what I would do. So my question is… Is there anything I can do to get her off what she conned or cheated me out of which was half of my property?

    • Juliana Tu

      Regretfully, we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. In your case, I would strongly recommend that you contact legal counsel in Tennessee and see what has been done and what can be undone.

      I am sorry we are unable to help you any further!

  59. Ruby Parker

    A Grant deed was recorded in Orange County with this Grantee vesting:
    Islandco, A Texas Limited Partnership, Ruby L. Parker, General Partner, as Sole Tenant

    Does California recognize Sole Tenant as a vesting on recorded Grant Deeds? If not, then what affect, if any, do the words ‘sole tenant’ on this deed have on the title chain? If the words ‘sole tenant’ are meaningless, then the vesting be:
    Islandco, A Texas Limited Partnership, Ruby L. Parker, General Partner ~~~ is that enough information or does the deed require some sort of vesting for the partnership?

    Thanks in advance,
    Ruby

    • Juliana Tu

      What the general public should remember is that when a vesting is put on an ownership document it should be clear and concise so that there is no room for misinterpretation in the future. When the property is being sold and the insuring title company looks at the vesting, they will have a few questions. In your case, particularly, what did they mean by “sole tenant”? Normally, the name of the General Partner of the Partnership is not revealed in the document (what if the general partner changes?), but definitely the partnership will need to provide corporate entity documents not only in the formulating state of Texas, but also evidence from the California Secretary of State that they are registered to do business in this state.

      So I would have to answer your question with my question: what did they mean by “sole tenant”? In real estate, “tenancy” can have various meanings, rental tenant as in living on the property, or tenant as in ownership. Whichever meaning applies I believe the vesting as it stands should be acceptable to show the Partnership as the owner in fee simple (absolute ownership). It just should not have been written that way because it confuses a third party trying to ascertain ownership.

  60. Matam siddeshwaraiah

    Respected sir’
    My mother mother and father in their life time they purchased a land of 1 acre and to fullfill the family needs
    they sold half of the land and remaining land they gave for development.Mean while she made a will deed on a white paper stating that the property which comes towords them from the developer whould be devided in to two parts of their sons .They wrote on a white paper duly signed by both of my father and my mother and witness. The land is registered on my mothers name and my mother is nomore now. Is that will deed have any waight in our law or not please suggest me.
    Thank you sir

    • Juliana Tu

      We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, U.S.A. and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state and country. Other states and other countries have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, or from outside the United States, please pose your question closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state and country.

      Regretfully, without knowing whether your property is located in California we are unable to further answer your question.

  61. May

    Hi, my father (very old) has a real estate and a grant deed has been forged and notarized and the prosecution unit is in process of prosecuting the criminals. My question is if nothing will be done by the District Attorney to recover my father’s title ownership, what would happen to the deed? Will the deed still be titled to criminal’s but “cloud”? Or will the grant deed automatically be voided and title ownership will be restored to my father’s name with a cleared deed? Please advise. Thank you.

    • Juliana Tu

      With reference to what happens to your father’s ownership of the property as the District Attorney’s office is prosecuting the criminals, I must tell you that I don’t know! That is a good question and I don’t have the answer. I think that the best person to give you an answer is the D.A.’s office. You might want to give them a call !

      I am sorry I am unable to answer your question, but if you find out the answer, I would appreciate it if you could let us know!

  62. Melissa

    Hi a quick question, is a deed that has not been dated or notarized is a VOID DEED? after a perches of a property, some time after this was discovered.

    • Juliana Tu

      A deed that is not dated nor recorded is not “Void” as long as it has the following components: It is not forged, it is not signed by a person who is mentally incompetent, or who does not know that they are signing, or signed by a minor. Again, please see my article for further clarification.

  63. brandon noel

    hi i live in iowa im 19 and i live with my aunt i have for a year and a half now. my aunts so called husband wants to kick me out but my aunt wont allow it both of there names are on the deed to the house. do both parties have to agree to kick me out if i take them to court. please e mail me any time trying to figure this all out thank you for your time

    • Juliana Tu

      Unfortunately, we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling the sale of real estate properties in this state. Other states, including Iowa, have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. It seems that you have a situation that might hinge on your state’s Family Law practices. Please do get legal counsel from an attorney in your state!

      I am sorry that we are unable to help, but hope that there is a good resolution to this for you and all parties involved.

  64. Mae

    Hello,

    My sons’ home is currently in foreclosure here in California. He bought it in 2004 and was financed by Provident Funding and then Country Wide bought the mortgage and now Bank of America. He is expecting to be notified of a sale date any day. He has been recieving numerous calls from Ursus Advisors,LLC. They say the legal description is incorrect and want to send a document for him to sign before a notary. They did give us the parcel numbers and one is not on his original payperwork. They keep saying there should be three parcel numbers. Keep calling and begging for him or his attorney to call them. This is his primary residence on five acres. He asked who made the mistake and the response was “the title company i guess”.

    • Juliana Tu

      Unfortunately, we are all human, even settlement service providers! Yes, mistakes do get made, and in your case, where the legal description and the parcel numbers were inputted incorrectly on the ownership deed, that is probably what happened. The Title Company who researched the ownership of the property and provided the supposedly “correct” description and tax parcel numbers, may have made an error in 2004. I suggest you go back to the original Title Company who helped your son with his purchase in 2004 and ask them to dig up the file, or at least take a look at your deed and match the parcel numbers and legal description to see if it is true that an error was made. If so, show them a copy of what Ursus Advisors wants him to sign to make sure it is all correct. This original Title Company insured the property in 2004 so if there was a mistake made, they should help you correct it, but it will require your son to cooperate and sign certain paperwork. What you don’t want to see happen is a situation in which the attorneys force your son to sign by using legal means. That just makes it very ugly and could mean monetary costs to your son.

      Hope this helps!

    • Pamela Zander

      Forensic Docouments Research/Pamela Zander/760-617-7989:
      American School of Mortgage/Certified in Loan Processing, Certified in Escrow II, past employee of Pioneer Title, Past Notary and Loan Signing Specialist for Notary

      1. I am not a lawyer, but if it were my son, I would tell him not to sign any papers, because he is under no obligation
      to do so. (2) Your son’s loan sounds like a table funded loan, wherein Country Wide’s banking was purchased by
      Bank of America, AND when sued by the OCC, BOA unequivocally made an open agreement. (3) If URSUS Advisors, LLC the company trying to foreclose, and if so, most likely assigned as trustee by BOA, without having authority to sell his home. (4) I can most assuredly guarantee that if on the Deed of Trust, Mortgage Electronic Registration Services Inc. (MERS), is named as Beneficiary, or nominee for beneficiary, it is null and void; because MERS was suspended by the CA of Secretary of State from 2002 until July ’2010.

      Pamela Zander is not a Lawyer.

  65. victor tung

    thank you for answer so fast, my other question is even a forged deed after recorded will it become legal? thanks again.
    Victor

    • Juliana Tu

      Recording a forged deed definitely does not make that deed legal. What it does do is create a “cloud” on your title ownership, which means that it creates a problem to your ownership. Your ownership will no longer be clear or clean. If there is a situation of a forged deed, depending who forged it, how it was forged, you might want to consider either getting an attorney involved who will advise you on the legal steps to take to clear your title, or, if you don’t know who forged the deed, you might want to go to the District Attorney’s office, white collar crime division and submit a report!

  66. victor tung

    Can I go to the county recorder office to cancel a void GRANT DEED ? or what shall I do about it? Thank you for your help.

    • Juliana Tu

      You can’t “cancel” a “void” grant deed by going to the County Recorder. If you gave the property in error to someone, to get it back that person has to grant it back to you by using another grant deed. If you have not given the deed to the person or recorded it, you could just tear up the form. But if you already recorded the deed then it is difficult to undo what you did. You can’t go to the County Recorder and ask them to void the original recorded deed. They can’t do that for you. All you can do is have the person who is the recipient of the property sign another deed to revert the ownership back and record that new deed at the County Recorder’s office..

      I hope this makes sense.

  67. kim smith

    My grandfather sold land to me with no reservations. in 1991 in 1996. I recently discovered that I am in fact and mineral and royalty owner owner. there was in estate being paid is royalties. can executor of the estate take me to court and make it stand

    • Juliana Tu

      First of all, let me state that we are a settlement services provider in California. We handle the sale of real estate and business in California. If your property is in another state, you will need to contact a closing agent or attorney in your state as each state has different laws and regulations.

      Unfortunately, we are not able to answer your question. You will need to get legal counsel and that would come from an attorney who is well versed in real estate law and/or mineral rights that are appurtenant to the land. We are not allowed to give out legal counsel.

  68. Ashley p

    So my Nana has a will saying that my dad and any will geg her house when she passes. But I have one of my cousins and husband living in her house they only pay $ 150.00 a month and have been there for now 3 1/2 years. I was wondering when my Nana passes do my cousin and husband have any rights? It is in state of California. Me and my aunt would like to know ifwe she’s passes can we have them leave the house or what do we need to do to get them out of the house… Thank you

    • Juliana Tu

      Your question is that if your grandmother passes and you get the property as she promised you under her will, what do you need to do to get your cousin to vacate the premises. This is a question that we would not be able to answer, as we do the sale of real estate, not the management. Your question should be asked of an attorney who handles rental properties and evictions. I would think that once you are the owner of the property you will have to give notice to your cousin to vacate and if she doesn’t you will have to start eviction notice.

      Sorry that we are unable to help.

  69. HELEN CHENG

    My parents are planning to add my brother and my name on the property we all living in right now. I was wondering are the following process is what we need to do?

    Fill out the joint tenancy grant deed form as the following,
    For a full valuable consideration, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, my father and my mother name, husband and wife as joint tenants hereby grant to my name, my bro name, my father name, my mother name, parents and kids, as join tenants.

    My parents should sign in front of the notary and send the original copy of the county of recorder’s office along with the copy of the preliminary change of ownership report. On the preliminary change of ownership report should mark other transfer information as adding join tenants, which should not result in reappraisal.

    Thank you for your kindly assistant.

    • Juliana Tu

      My answers below are predicated on the assumption that the property is in the State of California only. Other states have different government regulations that we cannot comment on.

      With reference to your Grant Deed from your parents to you and your brother plus your parents, you need to put down your status. Here is an example:

      “John Doe, a Single man, Jane Doe, a Single Woman, James Doe and Ann Doe, Husband and Wife, all as Joint Tenants”

      On the deed you need to put down that “This is a bonafide gift, transfer from parents to children, and there is no consideration involved, R&T 11911”.

      On the preliminary change of ownership you need to mark #C in Part 1 on page 1.

      If you have any doubts on how to fill this out, please look for a document preparation company to do this work for you. It’s better to get someone who knows what they are doing instead of doing this yourself and the if there is an error, it will be difficult to correct. Here are some companies you can look into: : The Document Center – #(818)541-0901, RecordMyDocs.com – #(714)482-2077, or Doc Star Services – #(855) 362-7827

  70. michael anthony

    I found some property that is listed as a park at the county assessors office but no one is listed as an owner. It is not being used as a park (or anything else). No taxes have been paid on it since 1992 and is listed as a non-tax property yet no entity is listed as the owner. I have tried to find the owners of this property with no luck.
    Can I claim this property—homestead it—or anything else.

    Michael Anthony

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me qualify my answer by stating that my knowledge of your question is somewhat limited. But I do know that if there is property for which you can’t find the ownership entity and it is listed as a park, then it is probably the City or the County who owns it. Usually city, county, or other government owned property is not taxed. That’s why you see it as a “non-tax” entity. You can’t claim the property or “homestead” it. I would suggest you go to the City or County where the property is located and ask them about this piece of land.

      Unfortunately, based on my knowledge, that’s the best answer that I can give you!

  71. Mike

    Hi.
    10 years ago my ex-girlfriend refinanced her condo and included my name on the refinance. At the
    time we thought it would be a good idea for my credit. Anyway, fast forward to today, we’ve been split up since 2004
    and my name is still on the deed. My question is, can I get a quitclaim deed signed over to her without her signature?
    She’s extremely angry and will not speak to me and all I want to do is give her full ownership so I can buy a house of my own. I want nothing but to giver her full ownership.
    Thanks

    • Juliana Tu

      You can sign over a quitclaim deed to your ex-girlfriend and it won’t need her signature. However, in order for it to be valid, the deed has to be delivered and received by the recipient. This means that she has to be aware that you are doing this and agrees to it.

      One very important matter for you to think about – giving your ex-girlfriend your ownership of the property does not mean that your name will be taken off the loan. They are two separate issues. You may not own the property anymore but you will still be a borrower on the loan. In order for your name to be taken off the loan she has to refinance, get a new loan just under her name, and pay off the old loan with your name on it.

  72. Ben Cockrell

    We gave our son a home that we owned. The attorney sent the documents to the county clerk to be filed with the wrong mailing address for the home, legal description is correct. Clerk says deed will have to be re-filed to change the mailing
    address. If we don’t will there be problems down the road, tax correspondence etc.?

    • Juliana Tu

      With the wrong mailing address on the deed you might have the problem of not receiving the property taxes down the road, unless the preliminary change of ownership report has the correct mailing address on it. As long as the legal description is correct, however, then the property transferred correctly. But this could be a problem, of course, when you don’t get the tax bills and don’t pay them on time!

      You can re-record this document to correct the mailing address. When you get it back, cross out the incorrect mailing address on the top and re-write the correct one in, then have it re-notarized, and then sent back to be recorded again. You will also need to attach a new preliminary change of ownership form.

  73. Connie

    1. My mother had signed a deed over to my x husband however at the time she was under duress . 2. My x husband’s name is spelled wrong can I contest that and/or get it voided? 2. How can I get the land out of my x husbands name into mine

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my comments to your questions by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      Your question is definitely one that you will need legal counsel on. You probably can’t contest the deed and get it voided based on the fact that your ex-husband’s name was spelt wrong. You will need to take this matter to an attorney who will need to file a lawsuit if it can be found that your mother signed under duress. Probably the court will need to reverse the process if it can be so proved and then once the property is back under your mother’s name, she can deed it to you if that is what she wants to do.

      I am sorry we can’t help you any further except to please get good legal counsel regarding this matter.

  74. Pam

    Can a recently divorced homeowner add his adult children as “joint tenants” on property (his principal home) without their knowledge? I assumed that the signatures of all parties were required, but just wanted to confirm this. Thanks. Is there not some sort of joint tenancy agreement?

    • Juliana Tu

      You can add your adult children on to the title ownership of your home, but in order for the deed to be valid, you should let them know what you are doing and at least give them a copy of the deed before you send it in for recording. They should be made aware of their new ownership because with the ownership there are responsibilities. Their signatures are not required on the deed to transfer the ownership. There isn’t any “joint tenancy agreement”.

  75. Vanessa

    My grandfather left a will stating my grandmother is the sole owner of the land in California. It also stated that both his children should have equal parts. Now, my grandmother was going to update the will and found out that one of her children has a grant deed over the land with his wife. The child who has done this lives on the property and never told my grandmother of his grant deed. The other son is alive, but has not lived on the property for years. How can the grant deed be valid when the sole property owner is my grandmother based on the will my grandfather left. Would this be considered “A deed that was not supposed to be delivered (stolen)”.. please advise.

    • Juliana Tu

      I am unable to comment on the Grant Deed that purportely gave the property from your grandfather to one of his children. Maybe your grandfather decided to give the property to this child and forgot to change his will? Or perhaps it was the other way around – he forgot that he had given the ownership to his child when he made out the will to leave to his wife. The Grant Deed has to be signed by your grandfather. I would recommend that you look at the signature, when it was signed and compare it to the will that he left. If you have further questions as to its validity, please contact an attorney and express your concern. If there was some type of fraud perpetuated, then your attorney should be able to advise you as to the next step.

      I am sorry that we are not able to help you any further.

  76. Javier

    Your replies are phenomenol. Here is my question:
    House was purchased by my mother and my GF. I was not listed on the loan or deed due to my credit but of course lived there and made all payments. FAST FORWARD 5 YEARS. We purchased a second home and rented out house #1. well, soon after GF decided she did not want to be part of family, moved out (left the kids) and signed a quick claim deed of house #1 to me as a gift. She came to my job and had it notarized by one of my coworkers. (she wanted “out” of the relationship, and wanted “nothing” at the time, stated these were material things etc. etc) now 10 months later she has chnaged her mind, hired a lawyer and I am being sent a nasty letter stating she signed it under duress. Will this hold up if we go to court? Not to mention the debt she left behind and a broken home but thankfully we are doing ok now.

    • Juliana Tu

      I am sorry to hear that your girlfriend is now suing you, stating that she signed the quitclaim deed under duress. We are a settlement services company and are not allowed to give legal advice so I would not be able to comment whether your side of the story will hold up in court. However, I can tell you that the burden of proving that she signed the deed under duress rests on her shoulders. She has to prove to the judge that that’s what happened. As long as you document everything and gather enough proof that would substantiate your side of the story, then you would be in good shape to meet her in court. You will also need a good attorney, of course.

      I am sorry that I am not able to help you here, but I hope that my comments as stated above helps. Remember, she has the burden of proving her allegations, and she will need enough proof to back them up! It would then be up to you to provide proof to counter her.

      Get a good attorney!

  77. George

    Buying of small Lot in California and the current owner resides in different state.From Legal document vendor near the county office bought COWDERY’s “Grant deed ” form which shows for Notary printed as State of Californa.County of ————-.Does the seller need to come to California to notary the deed or just update by overriding with their residing state and get it notarized.

    Also I have a living trust and want to take the Title in name of the Trust .Can I do it or should take Title as : XX and XX Trustees of the XX Trust.
    Buying the property by cash.
    Thankyou.

    • Juliana Tu

      The notary section on a Deed can be pre-printed as “State of California, County of _________”. The Seller does not need to come to California to sign. He just has to take the form to a Notary Public in his state and the notary will cross out California and insert the correct state.

      You can purchase the property under your Trust. Title should be taken as “ XX and XX, Trustees of the XX Trust dated ____________”

      Even though you are purchasing the property all cash, please be sure that you do go through an escrow company to handle the purchase. It is important that you receive professional help and title insurance to protect your interests and make sure that there are no liens against the Seller that will affect you.

    • Juliana Tu

      We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      You did not mention who owns the property now and how they are holding ownership. That is important to determine how the ownership deed would be done and what are the tax and other consequences.

      If the property is in California and both parents own it as “Joint Tenants” then the normal way to add you on to the ownership would be for both parents to sign a Deed granting the property to them and to you, all as joint tenants.

      If both your parents own as Joint Tenants and your mother does not want to add you on, your father can break the joint tenancy ownership with your mother by signing a deed from him to him and you and leaving her signature out. Your mother would still own her share but by doing this your father would break the Joint Tenancy and all 3 of you would own the property in “Tenancy in Common” which is complicated and will involve Probate if one of you passes.

      If your father is the sole owner then he can do what he wants and add you on so that you jointly own the property. In this scenario, your mother won’t find out unless she happens to open mail from the County Recorder that shows the recorded deed.

      Changing ownership can become complicated and the chances of your mother finding out is high, if she knows what to look for.

  78. minerva

    On July 2011 we found out my father had dementia me and my children lived with my father and cared for my father after my mother pass away. My siblings found out how bad my father got bad they started to fight over his bank account I front of him also my siblings wanted to put my father in a home which he didn’t understand why they want him there I was caring for him. a couple of weeks later my siblings wanted to take my father name off our home which he wanted for the grandchild but my siblings took it upon there hands my sibling wife forcing my father signed some paper work which my father was upset specially doing it behind our back my father told my siblings they better not do nothing to kick us out. On November 22,2011 my father pass away. On January my sister in law got an eviction April 13,2012 my siblings kick me and my children out of the home I went to courts applied for motions which they they throw my case out can I please help are there something I can do to fight back please

    • Juliana Tu

      In your question left on our website you did not mention if this is a property in California or not. we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      Also, your question does not say who owned the property that you and your father were living in. If you went to court to apply for a motion to live in the house there must be a reason why they were unable to review the case. At this point you need to get some legal counsel. You need to find an attorney who will look over your case, wherever you are, and see if they can take it up again with the courts.

      I am sorry, but we are unable to help you.

  79. Allison

    Hi, my parents have purchased a house in the Bay Area early this year. It’s a new construction and the estimated closing date is late September. It’s a cash purchase and both of them will be the owners of the house. However, only my Dad will be able to attend the signing appointment with the title company before closing as my Mom will be out of the country during that time . Is there anyway she can have her name put on the deed of the property without being presented at the signing appointment ? Thank you. P.S. They are not U.S. residents.

    • Juliana Tu

      If your mother won’t be able to attend the closing, ask the Title Company to prepare a Special Power of Attorney for her to sign before she leaves. This will allow your father to sign all documents presented then on her behalf at the closing. Whether she is a US resident or not doesn’t matter.

      • Allison

        Hi Juliana, thank you very much for your reply! I have another question that’s related to this purchase. My father was the only one that signed the purchase contract with the builder back in March, thinking that he can add my mother’s name on the deed later when closing the escrow. Now the escrow assistant in the title company told us that, and I quote:

        “Whoever is on the contract is the only person that can be on title. California is a community property state so this means the spouse not on title needs to sign an interspousal Deed in the presence of a notary public.”

        “Only the people listed on the contract can be on title. If your mother decides to go on title later you will have to add her yourselves for hire a document preparation service. Unfortunately, that is not a service we provide. We can only prepare the deeds we use to close your escrow as these are the deeds we insure.”

        This is how I understand the situation based on the above info that the escrow assistant provided me:

        1. In the signing appointment before the close of escrow, the title company can only put my father’s name in the deed since he’s the only one on the contract. At the same time, my mother (or the person with the Power of Attorny) will need to sign an interspousal deed to transfer all title to my father since by default both spouses have title to a property per California law. The title company won’t be able to arrange to have both my parents’ names on the deed before close of escrow.

        2. After the close of escrow, the rule that “only the people listed on the purchase contact can be on title” no longer applies. So if my father wants to add name(s) to the deed, he can do so by hiring a document preparation service.

        Am I understanding it correctly? Please kindly advise. Thank you.

        • Juliana Tu

          Hello, thank you for leaving a follow up to my answer to your original question. Your clarification as to the type of contract makes it a little easier for me, as a third party, to understand.

          If the contract states that only the original person listed on the contract can be on title, then your father would take title as a “Married Man as his Sole and Separate Property”. Your mother will sign a Quitclaim/Interspousal Deed. Ask the Title Company to prepare it for you before your mother leaves. This Quitclaim Deed means that she won’t be involved in the transaction at the closing.

          Once your father owns the property after escrow closes then he can add your mother on. You can hire a document preparation company to help you with the Deed to add your mother on.

          What your Escrow Officer said is correct and your understanding is also correct.

  80. Grace

    Hi! My grandad had bought a land from my grandma’s nieces and nephews on year 1973 in philippines but haven’t manage to transfer the title of land to his name before he died. He died eight yeras ago. Leaving the document of deed of absolute sale to us. Now the nieces and nephews of my grandma is keep claiming the land to us. We are thinking of changing the land tiltle to one of our sister but she live in uk but still a filipino cetizen and will be visiting us on march 2013. Is it possible to put it in her name and she will sign the document later?

    • Juliana Tu

      Unfortunately we are a settlement services/escrow company in California and most of our transactions are for handling properties in California, USA. We won’t be able to help you with a property in the Philippines.

  81. BMure

    Hi I live at a property that has been in escrow for awhile and just recently sold at an auction the new owners has brought paperwork showing they are the new owners and even a copy of notarized deed, but it has not been recorded in records yet and the old owner keeps harassing me with threats of eviction and I’ve gave a 30 day already when she has no grounds for none only that I won’t do any illegal actions with her towards the new owners; can she evict me and is she still the owner even know they have all the paperwork and the trustee said the home has been sold it’s just not recorded and is it a criminal offence to allow her to have some else move in after me if she’s not the owner anymore..What can I do this is driving me crazy cause I’m only a tenant????

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my answer to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      We are not in property management so we are not able to give you information of your rights as a tenant of a property. Based on your question, you are the tenant of a property which was sold in an auction. If this is correct then the old owners are out of the picture and the new owners have the rights to the property. They can start the process of giving you notice to vacate the premises.

      Any other information that you need as to your rights as a tenant you will need to ask an eviction attorney. I am sorry we are unable to help you there.

  82. Karen Wright-Brooks

    I left my home in Lancaster, CA for 1 1/2 years locked up with furniture and moved to Los Angeles to fight breast cancer. I found out on May 8, 2013, someone was living in my home. A company leased out my home, forged my name to a grant deed and also went and filed my property under bankruptcy but was dismissed. What can I do. I can’t afford an attorney. Please help.

    • Juliana Tu

      I was troubled when I read your comment on our website about the fraud that was perpetuated on your property. There is too much of that happening.I think the first thing you need to do is contact either the LA County Sheriff’s or the District Attorney’s white collar crime division and report the fraud. They should be able to advise you!

      Here is a number that you could call to get it started. This is with the LA County’s Sheriffs Dept., Real Estate Fraud Unit. # (562)946-7217. Let them know where to direct you from there.

  83. aaryn

    Does the original notarized grant deed have to be given to the recorders office to record properly or is a copy of the notarized grant deed sufficient?

    • Juliana Tu

      After a Grant Deed is properly signed and notarized it is best to record it at the County Recorder’s office. Doing so will make it officially of public record so that there is no question as to the ownership in the future. The County won’t record a copy, though. It must be the original.

  84. Amy

    My parents signed a release that my neighbor could build a business on there property… My parents 12 years later found out they signed a quick claim on there property… They had no clue they done this and are scared to death.. What should they do.

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my answer to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      You said in your question that your parents thought they signed a Release but instead they signed a Quitclaim Deed. That is a very serious issue. Not seeing the form that they signed I can’t answer your question. However, I can tell you that you should, first of all, check to see if this document was recorded at the County Recorder’s office and if so, take a copy of this and have a real estate attorney look at it, explain to him the background of this document and get good legal advice. They should definitely not put their reliance on some sort of answer through the Internet. It could be much more complicated than what is seen superficially!

  85. Scott Diller

    I bought a house using countywide in 2007. They put the wro g last name on the deed. After a year of complaints I got a refi offer from BofA. I called and explained the deed error. The sent out a deed of correction with the refi papers. I didn’t want to refi I wanted my house in my name. So they refi the loan and never fix the deed at county. 2.5 years later I finally give up and stop paying them. 6 months later and without permission their foreclosure lawyer changes the last name at county. They have Scott Dillard (Me with the wrong last name) as the grantor and my name spelled correctly as the grantee. Summit county ohio property records has this available to see online. My bankruptcy just discharged and I’m still in the home. Any advice for a disabled veteran?

    • Juliana Tu

      Unfortunately, we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. As you are in Ohio, I believe you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      If you say that there was a correction deed done and the Grantee is that deed has your correct name, I would think that this solves your original issue. You might want to take this piece of paper and ask a closing attorney in your state or even someone in the property records agency to confirm that the ownership is now under the correct name.

      As to the foreclosure on your home, usually the foreclosure process continues after the bankruptcy is discharged, so you may want to watch for that

  86. S Phillips

    I have a quitclaim deed that was signed over to me and notarized in June 2011, but has not been recorded until this month (July 2013). According to your info above, is it correct that the deed is still legal for the past 2 yrs even though it was not officially recorded until now?
    Thank you for your input!

    • Juliana Tu

      The Deed was valid when it was given to you, irrespective of when it is recorded, so yes, the deed is still legal.

    • Juliana Tu

      A Grant Deed can be recorded at any time at the County Recorder’s office. However, if you are in the middle of an escrow transaction, recording anything on to the property will affect your escrow transaction, and some of it can be serious. So, in answer, it is not good idea to allow anything, including a Grant Deed, to be recorded before closing.

  87. Lenora

    Hi:

    Can a deed be signed on Christmas Day to be legal? Years ago you could not but what about today?

    Thanks!

    • Juliana Tu

      A Deed can be signed on any day, even on Christmas Day, and it is legal. However, in California, the County Recorder’s office does not work on Christmas Day, so you can’t actually physically record it and make it of public record on that day. But the validity of the deed is not in question.

  88. Gaylek

    Hi I reside in texas. I have a warranty deed combined with a deed of trust. I want to sell my house but the owner/real estate broker/ lein holder will not cooperate. He also listed my property discription wrong on my warranty deed. I spent several hours at the county court tracing the house. Iam not able to find any transfer of deed to him. I know even if you have several companies the transfer must be recorded. Also the name he signed on my contract was his DBA which had been lapsed for over a year. Btw 3 years after I signed the deed it had not been recorded, just filed. I had to take the paperwork to the clerks office myself and have it recorded. After 7 years I’m tired of all the runaround I want out. I have paid outragous intrest to have this house….so for a 97,000 owner finance ive paid over 65,000 plus 18,000 property taxes, and approx 8,000 insurance.Do I have any options to get the heck out of this mess without wrecking my NOW good credit? HELP!

    • Juliana Tu

      We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Therefore, we are unable to answer your questions as other states, like Texas, have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. I recommend that you ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state. It sounds like you really need some help straightening out your ownership.

      Our apologies for not being able to help!

  89. Ron

    I am in a Quiet Title suit as Plaintiff attempting to quiet title to my property. I found out this scenario:

    Deed of Trust was conveyed by a individual who did NOT hold title PRIOR to signing a Promissory Note and subsequent Deed of Trust.

    The individual then appraoached me AFTER conveying or endorsing the Deed of Trust to convey a Grant Deed in his favor, but did NOT tell me that he had conveyed the Deed of Trust prior to me signing a Grant Deed in his favor.

    13 days later, I found out that the individual had attempted to convey interest by endorsing the Promissory Note and Deed of Trust without my knowledge. I then had the individual RECONVEY and/or Grant Deed the property BACK to me.

    The individual delivered BOTH Grant Deed’s to the Lender and/or Title company, but they recorded the RESCINDED Grant Deed, instead of the Grant Deed in my favor back to me.

    The Title company is defunct. Are you aware of any California Law or Case Law that addresses this type of scenario?

    Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    • Juliana Tu

      Your action to Quiet Title on your property sounds very complicated! I have not heard of any scenarios quite like yours, although we do hear of deeds of trusts that were recorded with an incorrect legal description etc, thereby encumbering the wrong property.

      Unfortunately, we are not able to help you as we are not attorneys and would not be able to give you Case Law references for your use. But as you have already filed suit, hopefully you have found legal counsel who can help you and give you the best advice possible.

      As this is something that happened after your original purchase of the property, the title company that handled your original purchase would not cover claims like yours under your original policy of title insurance.

      Thank you for leaving a question and I am sorry we are not able to help you! Good luck!

  90. Patti

    I have a situation where our neighbor quitclaimed a small piece of land to us and all the quitclaims are recorded with the end result that the small piece of land has been made a part of our property description while not in theirs. All this happened 3 years ago. Then we have found out that the neighbor’s did not get a partial release of mortgage so now we have an additional lein on our property preventing us from refinancing.

    As we have investigated the problem there are a lot of people (and institutions) who made mistakes in the whole process starting with their bank dropping the ball and not helping to correct the problem. There are many avenues to investigate however at this time my questions are as follows. Should the Register of Deeds have caught that the partial release of mortgage was not included on my neighbor’s quitclaim to us therefore my neighbor could not quitclaim property away that is not theirs but is actually owned by the bank? If this is so, then the quitclaims should be voidable and who would do that?

    Thank you!

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my answer to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      In California the County Recorder records the deeds. They don’t do any background check on the title to the property and whether there is mortgage on it. That is not their function. When the original quitclaim deeds were contemplated professional help should have been obtained to make sure that the piece of land was being quitclaimed was not encumbered. The neighbor’s Lender had to be contacted before the deed was given and the Lender had to give their authorization to allow the transfer of the ownership and a Partial Reconveyance given. Whether the quitclaim deeds are voidable is now a legal matter and you would need to ask the question of a real estate attorney. What you do have is a “cloud on title”, to both your property and your neighbor’s, which needs to be cleared up before anything can be done on the properties.

      This is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is an unfortunate set of circumstances.

      • Patti

        Juliana,

        Thank you for the information. It is what we wanted but you are right about the “cloud on title”. Professional help was sought by our county who handled the transaction when a new under the road culvert was installed between us. The Right-of-Way Specialist did all the paperwork but obviously wasn’t thorough enough. This person was supposed to be the expert (certified) in these matters. We are being left with the cleanup because all the agencies are pointing fingers at each other believing some else is at fault. I believe, heavy heart, that a lawyer is our next stop.

  91. HTN

    My parents divorced and in 1982 my father Quitclaimed the family house to my mother. He is now moving out of the country and has notified one of my siblings that he wants to “settle the property” w/my mother. I pulled documents and found that there are two Quitclaim Deeds recorded on the same day in the same hour of that day, as well. The 1st LA County Recorded Quitclaim Deed shows my Mom conveying ownership to my father. The 2nd one (showing a later document number – one number beyond, example 1st document from Mom to Day Doc#XXXX-6, the 2nd from Dad to Mom Doc#XXXXX-7. I assume the 2nd document is the latest document recorded is the most valid. (I don’t know why this was done this way.) I also found in 1979 my father filed a Homesteaders Deed in his name only. In 2009 my mother quitclaimed the deed to her living trust. This 2009 Quitclaim is the last recorded document on the property. Which is the valid document which shows true ownership?

    • Juliana Tu

      Barring there being any typographical errors on the Deeds or things of that nature that clouds the title, the latest document in the chain of title shows the ownership. The recording sequences are important. In your description left on our website you did not make it very clear what the 2 Quitclaim deeds were. So, if I read this correctly:

      The oldest deed recorded in 1982 with the -6 number from your mother to your father;
      The second oldest recorded in 1982 with the -7 number from your father to your mother;
      And the most recent deed was from your mother to her Trust recorded in 2009;

      Therefore, the chain of title shows that your mother has the present ownership of the property and it is in her Trust.

      The Homestead Declaration falls off when your father quitclaimed the property to your mother, so that is no longer valid.

      • HTN

        Juliana, thank you for your quick response. I much appreciate your great website and this answer/question forum. You are doing a wonderful service to many of us who don’t speak the language of “escrow/title, etc.” Thank you so much!!

        A few more questions:

        1. Is there anything other than these recorded documents which could negate my Mom being the true owner of the property? My father told my brother that there was a court date that my Mom did not show up for and he (my father) was awarded the property. My mother does not recall any court date. A friend told me that a court judgement would have shown up on a title run. All that showed up on the title run was the documents I discussed in my previous email to you and some older docs from the original owner to my parents when they purchased the house in 1972.

        2. I just learned that my grandfather paid off this house for my mother after my parent’s divorce. Shouldn’t there be a document showing the loan paid off and ownership to my mom?

        Thank you.

        • Juliana Tu

          1. Not all “title runs” may turn up things that may affect the ownership of real property. You would have to ask a Title Company to do a full preliminary search, plus search the personal names of the various possible people who may have interest on the property (your father as well as your mother) and maybe even search Court records to see if there was some sort of court order granting the property to your father. If there was a dispute and there was a court action on the property I would hesitate to think that your mother would not remember it. If your father beleives that he was awarded the property then he should be able to pull out a Court Order to prove that. But all this becomes legal matters that I cannot comment on as I am not an attorney. I recommend that your mother then seek legal counsel to establish the rights she has to the property. Perhaps your mother can find a title company who is willing to do a full blown title search on the property to determine legal ownership. She would have to pay, but at least she would know. It’s probably the step to take before the step of calling an attorney.

          2. When a loan is paid off a “Reconveyance” document should have been recorded on the chain of title. This document doesn’t establish ownership of the property, but it does establish that the particular loan was paid off.

  92. Irene in California

    I did not know where did I put my grant deed, and I do not think that I ever recorded it at the county at time I bought my house. What should I do?

    • Juliana Tu

      When you purchased the house the escrow company who handled your purchase should have recorded your Deed for you. You can go back to them and ask them to pull a copy of the recorded deed from the County Records for you. Even though you don’t have the original deed, you don’t need it if it was properly recorded in the County Records. Anyone can obtain a copy by contacting the County Recorder’s office and giving them the address of the property.

      If you have been receiving property tax bills under your name then it is a good indication that the property is in your name and the Deed recorded correctly.

      Again, call your original escrow company, or call the County Recorder’s office directly and make arrangements to get a copy of your deed sent to you.

  93. teresa j mcgrath

    i put in an offer on a house and it was accepted and while waiting for fha and mshda ive been told there is a lien on this property that the most recent owners have not cleared what should i do now

    • Juliana Tu

      As the Buyer I am sure your offer states that the property will be sold to you free of any liens from the Seller. The Escrow Company handling your transaction should be working with the Seller to get that lien cleared. I don’t think you need to do anything at this time. It is the Sellers’ responsibility to clear this lien before your transaction closes. I would suggest you contact your Escrow Officer and make sure they are working to get this lien cleared and that it will be done before the escrow can close.

  94. Lisa C.

    If my ex-husband quitclaimed the family home to me, do I have the right to kick him out? The deed is in my name and I want the mortgage company to remove his name since it was also included in the divorce that this property goes to me.

    He, of course, took the two properties with no mortgage.

    Do I have any rights?

    • Juliana Tu

      First, let me state that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      The question that you asked is a legal question and should be asked of an attorney. I don’t know what the divorce settlement states as to whether he has the right to continue to occupy the property but if he is doing so then you should ask your divorce attorney about whether you can evict him and what rights you still have under the divorce settlement.

      I am sorry that we cannot be of much help in answering your question.

  95. Amy

    Hello,
    My husband and I have been married for 12 years in California. We bought a house couple of years ago, however, due a short sale of a previous house that was in my name only, the escrew company made me sign a “quit claim” deed to proceed with the purchase of the house.

    My questions:
    -Do I still have ownership of the house if we divorce?
    -Can he transfer the title of the house to my step kids, if he executed a will?

    Thank you…!

    • Juliana Tu

      If you quitclaimed your interest in the property then you really don’t have ownership to it. If there is a divorce you can still try to claim part of the property as California is a community property state. That would be something you would need to talk to an attorney to make sure you get your fair share of the assets of your marriage. As to whether your husband can leave the property to your step kids in a will, I am sure he can and then it would be up to you to contest that will if something like that happens.

      The questions that have posed are all legal in nature and should be asked of an attorney. We are just a settlement service company we are not allowed to give legal advice. But perhaps you should consider asking your husband to put your name back on the title ownership, now that you have owned the house for a couple of years. That would give you some peace of mind, wouldn’t it?

  96. kathy che

    I have a “durable Power of Attorney” signed and notarized from mother. she just passed away.
    what do I have to do now if I want to transfer the property to my name
    thanks

    • Juliana Tu

      My answers below are predicated on the assumption that the property is in the State of California only. Other states have different government regulations that we cannot comment on.

      The Power of Attorney can be used for the purposes indicated in the form when the person giving the power of attorney is alive. Once the person has passed away then the Power of Attorney cannot be used any more. In addition, as the Attorney-in-Fact for the person, you cannot use the Power of Attorney to grant the property to yourself. That is “self serving” and not allowed.

      If your mother owned property with someone else in “Joint Tenancy” when she passed away, the property goes to that other person(s) automatically and all that is needed is to prepare and record an Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant form. However, if there was no other owner together with your mother, then the property has to go through Probate. You will need to contact a Probate Attorney.

  97. dlm

    hi I had a question I have a land that I bought and I have a warranty deed paper so I want to set a mobile home on I gave the finance company a copy of the warranty deed can anything be done with it or required our original copy necessary so if I change my mind can the finance company still do something with the copy of the deed or the original copy is the one that is valid

    • Juliana Tu

      We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      In California, a copy of the recorded Grant Deed (we don’t use Warranty Deeds in California) is sufficient to show proof that you own the land on which you want to put a mobile home on. I am not sure what you mean about whether the finance company can do anything with a copy of this deed, but usually, the original Deed is the valid one, but if the original one was recorded then the ownership of the land is set as yours. The finance company should not be able to do anything to change the ownership if they have a copy of it.

  98. Kayla

    Hi Ms. Tu… My bestfriend just got married last weekend. Her parents gave her their 3rd house and signed the Grant Deed to her. The parents and her signed the deed and had it notarized by the end of April of this year. In the Grant Deed, it was deeded to her as an “Unmarried Person”. (Does it matter if it didnt have the wording “As her Sole and Separate Property”?) They gave the Grant Deed to a title company who they paid to get the Grant Deed recorded here in LA County Recorder’s office. They told the title company to get it recorded before June 15, 2013 (Wedding day). Now, she just called me last night and told me the Grant Deed was just recorded yesterday (6/17/2013). (She had someone checked it for her at the recorder’s office). She is very worried about the effectiveness of this “Recording Date of 6/16/13″. Does it mean that the house is now considered community property since it was recorded 2 day after their wedding date? The house is a gift to her “alone” from her parents. I guess they wanted to get those paperwork done before she gets married. Remember the Grant Deed was signed at the end of April 2013. If this new husband or hers dies before her, will his children (from a long time ex-gf) have claim to that house? Which date should matter more with situation like that.. The Date it was signed and notarized or the Date it was recorded? Thanks for your anticipated advise.

    • Juliana Tu

      That was a very good, but tough question, that you asked about the repercussions of a deed that was recorded after the marriage!

      A Deed is good and effective when it is signed and delivered. It does not have to be recorded at the County Recorder in order to be effective. That being said, if the husband were to make an issue of his possible community property ownership because it was recorded a couple of days after the wedding date, then this would be a legal matter to be discussed with an attorney.

      The best thing to do (which may not augur well for the beginning of a marriage!) is for your friend to ask her husband to sign a Quitclaim Deed to her, and if he will do so, he will quitclaim any interest he may have over to her as “a Married Woman as her Sole and Separate Property”. The sooner this is done the better to minimize the issues of the husband claiming that part of his or their community property funds were used to upkeep the property or pay the mortgage. No matter what, if your friend wants to keep this property as her own separately through the marriage, she should get her husband to sign the quitclaim deed, even if the original Grant Deed was recorded properly before the wedding!

      Other than the matter of the deed, ownership claims from children of a previous relationship is definitely a question for attorneys to answer. I hope this helps!

  99. veronica salas

    Me and my boyfriend share a house with his grandma.his grandma and me are co owners.my boyfriend put a restraining order on me but was lifted and no longer good.they dont want me to move back because of ongoing problems between me n boyfriend.can i move bak in and have my boyfriend evicted?his grandma has been paying mortgage on her credit card, and me and boyfriend werent paying rent.can i move bak in even if they say no?

    • Juliana Tu

      The question you asked about whether you can move into the property as you own part of it and then evict your boyfriend, who does not own any part of it, is a legal matter and should be asked of an attorney, one who is also well versed in real estate ownership and understands the rights and obligations of Landlord and tenant.

      I am sorry we can’t help you!

  100. Dominique G

    So I own a property with another person. I signed over a grand deed in good faith that she would finance my portion of the loan to her name. If I have a loan is the grand deed even validated?

    • Juliana Tu

      My answers below are predicated on the assumption that the property is in the State of California only. Other states have different government regulations that we cannot comment on.

      If you signed over a deed to another person in good faith so that she would be able to refinance and put the loan fully under her name, the deed is valid once you gave it to her, unless you gave her written specifications as to what she was to do in return for signing over the deed. Record the deed would make if of public record, but even if she doesn’t record it, the deed is still valid. Whether she actually does what she promised to do and refinanced the property is something you would need to follow up on and make sure she does. We would not be able to comment on that.

  101. michelle

    I have a question. Once a warranty deed has been signed stamped and filed for public records, is the sale final? I have a family member who owed me a large sum of money, to be paid when his property sold. Now he says that the sale was almost final but it is being held up over some deal about septic and a well, however, when i search it out online it is filed with the tax office on warranty deed as sold. Is he lying to me or is this story he tells possible? I have my doubts.

    • Juliana Tu

      Please note that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      In California we use a Grant Deed and when the deed records, that means that there is change in ownership. If your loan was secured on the property in question, a search of the chain of title during settlement should have pulled up your loan. If you did not secure the loan on the property, then this could be a problem!

      I am sorry that I cannot answer your question in a better way, but I think your property is in another state and the closing practices there may be different.

  102. Edie Lee

    Dear Juliana,

    Hope you can answer this question or direct me to a professional to deal with this matter.
    After 10 years my ex-partner has a title company forward me a deed to sign for the property we bought together under the company, as she bought me out, guess she must not have recorded the deed. Do I have to sign the deed now? Or she has more trick to play on me? I do not feel like helping her at all.

    • Juliana Tu

      Your question is whether you should sign a deed that transfers your ownership share to your ex-partner. If she did indeed buy you out 10 years ago, it is obvious that she should have taken care of transferring the ownership at the time of buy-out. She didn’t do it, but if she is requesting that you do it now, it means that she is finalizing whatever was the agreement that you had with her 10 years ago.

      If you don’t sign the deed, will you be placing yourself in a position of some sort of dispute with her which may be expensive to defend yourself against? Not knowing the terms of your original agreement, and not being an attorney, I can’t comment or advise you. I recommend that you perhaps look at all your concerns, all the possible consequences of your action as well as inaction and figure if the course you choose would have any adverse effect on you.

      I can’t comment if she is going to play any tricks on you. Sorry!

  103. Deborah

    I have a question. Recently my parents decided on divorce. She wants the property or more than half of what it is worth if we sell. Now the property was my grandmother’s and she had a grant deed made up and notarized leaving the property to my father, as tenants in common. Then we found out there was another deed . It has my mother’s name as the grantor stating she gives the property to my father. She signed it and it was notarized. My question is, will she get the house at all or should we do a quitclaim to leave the house to my brother? My grandmother died in 2006 and these deeds were dated in 2003.

    • Juliana Tu

      From what I gather from your question, your father owns the property. The grandmother granted it to him and your mother also granted it to him. If she is asking for half, then she will need to ask her divorce attorney to negotiate for her with your father.

      As to leaving it to your brother, that would depend on whether your father is willing to do so, since he is the owner of the property.

      Since you stated there is a divorce going on, I strongly suggest you let the divorce attorneys give good legal counsel to both your mother and father. I really can’t comment on what should happen or could happen!

  104. Emma Knight

    My sister forged my autistic brother’s signature [he's autistic] who’s a co-signer of a home she sold. what’s the statute of limitation after discovery [recently]. House was sold 2002.

    • Juliana Tu

      Unfortuantely, as an Escrow Officer we are not allowed to practice law. Your question regarding the statute of limitations regarding a forgery is best asked of an attorney. It would depend on what type of case and injury it is filed under. You can go to the California Code of Civil Procedure sections 313-366, I beleive, for further information, but it is best to seek legal counsel.

      I am sorry we are unable to answer your question!

  105. Dr. Parvaiz A. Wani

    My wife bought an apartment in Lucknow India on my purchase power of attorney which i issued in her favour some months before and she got this apartment registered on her name in sub-registrars office. She has only buying power of attorney. In the paper it has been shown that she can buy this on my behalf but can not sell it. Please let me know how far i am the owner of this apartment. Do i need to register the apartment in my name.

    • Juliana Tu

      We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, U.S.A. and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. We would be unable to help you answer your question as it involves a property transaction in another country. Other states and countries have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that we cannot comment on. My suggestion is that you ask the sub-registrar’s office what are your rights as well as her rights.

      We regret that we are unable to answer your question!

  106. michelle lopez

    please help. I thought I already posted this. I recently inherited a condo from my mom when she passed and my dad being the trustee for my mom to see that her wished were honored quitclaimed the property to me. I wanted to make sure my condo was left to my daughter when I passed and was informed by my dad through his tax lady and she is also a notary public that quitclaiming it to my daughter as her sole and separate property was the best and cheapest way we could go about it. my daughter also did a prenupt agreement with her fiancé so that in the event of their divorce she would always have a place to live. I feel manipulated. I thought and I know ignorance is not excuse, but that to protect her from her husband getting the condo that this would be the best way to ensure that he didn’t prior to their wedding. I am bipolar and on medication that makes me foggy and unclear at times and feel I was lead to believe this would get left to her when I passed not now. I am not informed by my daughter that it is hers to do what she wished with it as she is the legal owner. I thought this was a legal easy way to leave her something but not now, when I passed away. I do not believe this was explained to me I was just told this was a guarantee and the cheapest route. it seems due to my ignorance I have lost my condo and that my daughter does not care, she can sell it or do whatever she wants and I would have to find a place because it was now hers I could not rent it anylonger or live there and I feel stupid. please tell me if this is true I also have a husband but the way it is written is that I am a married woman and it is my sole and separate property. I think my daughter did her homework and my father and I no know I should have as well to be informed. I trusted due to it being my father who I guess is also misinformed. please tell me if there is anything I can do or if it is just too late and a horrible lesson learned. Thank you so much. ps, my other email is mlopez@ochca.com

    • Juliana Tu

      When you signed the deed to your daughter you did indeed give her full ownership of the property. To get that back would involve her signing back a deed to you, if she is willing to do so. I don’t think there is anything that you can do if she won’t do so, unless you are to hire an attorney to look into the matter for you and try to have the Court “set aside” the deed (declare it invalid). That means a lawsuit. I think you should get an opinion from a real estate attorney whether you have any other way to resolve the issue.

      As to your husband, he should have also signed on a separate deed to give up his interest in your property when it was given to you as your “sole and separate” property, but even though it did not, it does not mean that the deed to your daughter is invalid.

      I am sorry to say, but this happens when you don’t get correct information and you are relying on information given by others (your father and your notary public) who don’t know anything about the legalities of transferring a property. You should have gotten legal counsel from an attorney on how to make sure you (and your daughter) would be protected before you signed anything.

  107. Nelson

    How can you prove a Joint Tenancy Grant Deed is forged. The JTGD was signed when the person was not even in the country. How it it possible that they could have signed and gotten it noterized. Also the JTGD was not recorded into Official Records until after the death of the person, which was an entire 4 months later. Something just does not seem right. Please advise. Thanks

    • Juliana Tu

      If you have cause to believe that a Grant Deed was forged, the first thing you could probably do is contact the Notary Public and request a copy of the page from his journal to show that the person who signed the Deed did indeed sign the notary journal. The Notary Public has to respond to your request and give you a copy. If he can’t then, then there could be a problem. I guess the next step would be to confront the Grantee of the Deed, the person who got the property, and demand an explanation.

      A Deed does not have to be signed in the U.S. It could have been signed outside the U.S. and the Notary Public had gone to where the person was. It also does not have to be recorded immediately upon signing for it to be valid, but it certainly has to be recorded at some point in time to establish the ownership of the property in public records, especially if the Grantor has passed away.

      If you believe there is forgery or fraud involved then you can either get an attorney to look into it, or maybe even go an even more drastic step and get the District Attorney’s office involved.

  108. colleen

    Hi I am so stressed out my grandmother and grandfather bought the house in the 50′s so both their names are on the deed but both of them past away my granfather died before her from what I can tell she never changed anything on the deed ..My dad and grandmother lived together for another 20 years then she past away …Again my dad never had his name added to the Deed so it again is still in my grandparents name.. It’s was always told to everyone that the house would be passed down to me and it was when my dad died I was already living here with my minor son and my dad.. But my dads name like I said is not on the deed everything is still in my grandmothers name .. I’m so worried that I can’t afford to keep it up and the taxes …My dad passed away 8 years ago and I just pay the taxes and just live here but I’m so afraid I can never get it in my name and will end up homeless..How can I sell it and move some place that I can better afford..What do I do my brother stole all the money my dad left me cause for some reason he just didn’t want me to have it or he lnew that with out it I wouldn’t beable to keep up the house and the taxes with out it..
    It is killing my I just want someone to buy this house from Me..Los angeles California

    • Juliana Tu

      You have a situation in which the property does not belong to you. When the original owners of the property – your grandparents – did not set up a Trust to handle this asset, and they did not put a third person (like your father) on title as co-owner, then when they passed away the property should have gone through probate at that time to establish ownership. If you want to sell the property, the only thing you can do right now is to find a Probate Attorney and go through the process . There will be a cost involved and there is no guarantee that you will get full ownership of the property. The Court has to determine who are the possible Beneficiaries of your grandparents’ estate. They could all get a share of the property.

      Please contact a Probate attorney right away!

  109. Maureen Barlow

    My friend’s mom died before she could record a duly signed and notarized (albiet in 2003) Death of Joint Tenant and the new grant deed putting title to her real property in GG CA into the name of her trust after her husband died. Is it too late to record the documents? Will the aforementioned documents be void since the grantor is no longer alive and the notary stamp is expired? Thanks for your help.

    • Juliana Tu

      That is a great question that you left us! If the Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant was properly signed and notarized, and the Deed to put the property into her Trust was also properly signed and notarized, then you can go ahead and record the documents, even if they were signed and notarized years ago.

      One caveat: if there is a question regarding the recording of the Deed into the Trust in the future (for instance, when the property is sold and title insurance has to review and insure the chain of title), then your friend should have a copy of the signed Trust handy, to show proof that the property was listed in the Trust as an asset and the intent of the deceased was in there to transfer the property into the Trust, even though the deed was never recorded.

      That all being said, my concern is: has the property been under this deceased person’s name all these years and no one ever questioned it and asked that this asset go through probate to determine ownership? When you record the deed into her Trust, then the probate process is by-passed, but as the deed is not being recorded until years after this can get tricky as Beneficiaries might have cause to make claim on ownership due to things that happened in the intervening years.

      Since the original Trustee has passed, the Successor Trustee will have to file an Affidavit of Death of Trustee, and there might be tax and financial consequences. I definitely recommend that your friend get legal and financial advice from a Trust or Probate attorney and a CPA.

      Hope I answered your question.

  110. john

    Hi Juliana,
    I held 50% interest, as tenant in common, with another 50% interest tenant in common, on a Ca grant deed. I gift deeded the property to someone without specifying that my interest was 50%, and the other tenant in common didn’t sign over the gift deed to the new grantee. The deed was recorded. I think that the new deed is ambiguous because it seems to convey 100% interest in the property, but the other tenant in common did not sign off. Is the new deed defective, void or voidable?

    • Juliana Tu

      As you held your ownership as tenants in common with another party, even though you did not specify on the gift transfer that you were deeding out only your interest, which was 50%, the chain of title will pick up that only the interest that you had was transferred, and it would not affect the other party’s 50%. You can only transfer what you own, after all, and if it is 50%, then that’s what got transferred. The new deed is not defective.

  111. Amanda Fillmore Boudreau

    Hi I signed my house over to my ex husband without wanting a cent.. only to find out months down the line that my name is still on it due to his credit not being good enough to refinance it on his own.. is there anyway to get it off or can I just go sell the house even tho I have signed the papers.

    • Juliana Tu

      My answers below are predicated on the assumption that the property is in the State of California only. Other states have different government regulations that we cannot comment on.

      Your question is that you signed over your house to your ex husband but you found out that your name is still on the property ownership. My question would be: (1) Did you sign a Grant Deed to him? (2) Was this Deed ever recorded? If the Deed that was signed was never recorded, then your name will still appear.

      Also, if you signed the deed, and recorded it, but there was a mortgage on the property that still has your name on it as a Borrower, then you might still be liable for the mortgage even though you don’t own the property. In order to remove your name from the mortgage you need to have him refinance the house so that he is the only Borrower.

      As to selling the property, if it is still under your name, you probably could sell the property, but whether you have the right to do so would depend on your agreement with your husband.

      I am sorry, your question was rather vague, so I am not sure if I answered the questions that you had.

  112. sandra renteria

    Hello, My mother recently passed away on August , 29 , 2012 . Six years ago , I went to an attourney with my mother and a sister . My mother wanted to have a living will of trust made leaveing her property [her home] to my sister and I when she was to pass on . Well , the living trust was made . My sister who had the power of attourney for my mother, picked up the living will of trust at the attourneys office when it was completed . She never showed it to my mother. Although my mother asked her several times to let her read it . She would simply brush my moher off , who by now was starting to show signs of demetia . When she first received the living will, she read it to me over the phone . It sounded ok . And she once showed it to me really quick . Every thing that pertained to me was highlighted in yellow marker . I thought to myself it’s probably highlighted because those are the sentences she is going to take out . She’s been in prison for making fraud documents before . Sure enough , thats what she did . My mother was always worried about her changeing the trust until the day she was’nt all there anymore . Mom would ask me ” What can we do ? ” I called the attourneys office and he would not take my calls . Other family members tried also to get in touch with the attourney , and they got the same responce . Mother is gone now sister never gave me my share of the home my mother owned to this day . She ignores me , and does’nt talk to me anymore . What is the best thing for me to do ? She also filed a new grant deed with the fresno county recorders office , and they excepted it .

    • Juliana Tu

      With reference to the problem with your mother’s trust and your sister’s control over it, the only suggestion I have is to contact an attorney and see if he will take your case. Perhaps there was fraud involved or misrepresentation, or even some sort of elderly abuse? We are not attorneys and cannot give you any legal advise. However, from what you have described I think I think to pursue your sister’s actions further you will definitely need to go to an attorney.

      I am sorry we are unable to help!

  113. Just thinking...

    This is great information, however is there some statue/law that you can reference. This would be helpful, in supporting one stands if they were passing information on. Otherwise it is just what someone said

  114. Karen

    I have a mineral deed prepared by a Bank Trustee. They used the wrong legal description.(the section is wrong) When I confronted them, she said since the “catch all phase” was used it would be sufficiant for transfer. The catch all phase “conveys unto Grantee all of Grantor’s interest in minerals and royalty in any lands in ——County, Oklahoma, even if such interest is held by Grantor in lands in ———County other than the lands described”. How do I explain to her that this clause is not legal for transfer and does not protect Grantee?
    Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Juliana Tu

      Unfortunately, as we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state and we cannot answer your very valid question. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that we cannot comment on. As you are talking about mineral rights in Oklahoma, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      I am so sorry that we are unable to help!

  115. amy

    we are selling our home. The attorney for the buyer/finance company has asked for the deed. They also offered to prepare the deed for a fee. Should we use the buyers attorney for a fee? Is it as simple as obtaining the deed form the Registry of Deeds in the county we live in and forwarding it to the the buyer/banks attorney? Please advise.
    Thank you

    • Juliana Tu

      From your question I believe that you are in a state other than California. We are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      I am sorry, but I am unable to answer your question, but I do wish you a good weekend!

    • Juliana Tu

      Once a deed is recorded, the “Grantee” becomes the owner of the property. To remove the person(s), he/she/they have to deed themselves out as a “Grantor” in the next deed. A previous Grantor cannot remove the Grantee in a deed that has already been signed and recorded (made of public record).

      Did that answer your question? I hope it made sense!

  116. Gabe

    A business partner asked me to review a contract that had already been notarized and signed by both parties, but had many spelling mistakes. But the tense and wording is good and very solid. So my question is if I correct the errors which do NOT change the intent or wording at all, does this void the document and or require another wet signature and notarization again as the document has undergone changes no matter how minimal? Since the wording is exactly the same, does it remains intact legally after changes? Or is it a matter of legal safety and thoroughness do repeat the notary and signing?

    Thanks!

    • Juliana Tu

      We are an escrow company dealing with settlement services and not attorneys who can give legal advice. Your question regarding correcting a signed is one that you should ask of an attorney. However, in my profession we don’t change legal contracts, even to correct typographical or spelling errors unless we obtain the approval of both parties, especially if the contract is already notarized. If there is any change both parties must initial or acknowledge the change. I don’t know what type of contract you are referring to but drawing or changing a legal contract is a matter for an attorney and your question should be directed to one, for everyone’s protection.

  117. Michael

    I quit deeded the house my ex girl friend and I bought. The reason I quit deeded the house to her is because of the threats she made about throwing my belongings awy. She also said that by my quit deeding the house to her it would protect me if the refi did not go through and the house became reposessed. Whaen I made the 8 hour trip to retrieve my belongings she wouold not let me in the house to retrieve them. It was understood that I would have access to reclaim my property and leave. That never happened. How do I make the claim that the deed is not valid due to duress, fraud, and my not totally understanding what the deed truely meant?

    • Juliana Tu

      The question you left is one that I won’t be able to answer, as it involves legal issues. Please contact a real estate attorney for advice on how to claim that a deed that you signed is not valid.

      I am sorry that we are unable to help.

  118. Adele Trammell

    Question… regarding Grant Deeds…. if the property is in LA County & the holder of the Grant Deed lives in Ventura County… does the notary public have to be from LA or can he/she be from Ventura? in order to notarize the Grant Deed?

    • Juliana Tu

      The Grant Deed can be signed anywhere, and the Notary Public can be from anywhere, as long as they are properly appointed by the Secretary of State. The document has to be recorded in the county where the property is located, but signatures can be done anywhere else, even internationally.

  119. jimmie l

    i have a question that i could use some help with . A few years ago i use to dumster dive one day while doing so i stumbled across the original grant deed to a property the legal owner had passed away and one of the family members just threw everything in the garbage. what can i do with said document i also found 100 shares of stock to a tire and wheel company. i could really use some direction with this stuff any help would be greatly appreciated the property is in calif thanks

    • Juliana Tu

      This is quite and unusual question that you left us. I don’t know how to respond, actually. Just common sense would say that If the paperwork got thrown out then it is the loss of the family member. The Grant Deed may be an original, but if it was a recorded copy (has a recording stamp and number on the top right corner), then it doesn’t matter. The deed is of public record. If it was not recorded, then truthfully, you really should not be concerned with it because you don’t know the particulars in that family’s background and whether the ownership is something that has been resolved already.

      I can’t comment on the 100 shares of stock. If you feel you should do the correct thing, then maybe you can return both of these documents to the address that may show on the documents.

  120. Jason Lee

    Hi

    My Dad wants to transfer his house to me in California. During the transferring of deed, will my spouse be involved? Is there anywhere on the paperwork that needs my spouse’s signature? If I don’t want my spouse to own the house, will that be possible?

    Thanks you very much!!!!

    • Juliana Tu

      When your father transfers a property to you in California, and you are married, California’s community property laws will kick in. When he transfers it to you as a “married man as his sole and separate property”, you will need your wife to also execute a Quitclaim Deed, which quitclaims her interest in the property to you, so that you can own it as your “sole and separate property”. Her quitclaim form would be a separate, but similar form, but shoe won’t need to sign on your father’s transfer of ownership (Grant Deed) form.

      • Jason Lee

        Juliana,

        I am very appreciative of your response. The current situation is my Dad is not aware of that I am married, but I noticed some Quitclaim form found on the Internet ask whether the grantee (me) is married or not. When my dad does his paperwork, will he eventually find out?

        • Juliana Tu

          If your father doesn’t know that you are married, then he can deed the ownership to you, without any “title and vesting” behind your name. “Title” is your status – single man, married man, unmarried man, etc. “Vesting” pertains to whether this is your separate property, or whether it is owned in joint tenancy with the other person, etc. As an Escrow Officer, I don’t recommend it being done this way, but it can be done in this manner.

          I am not sure where you found the copy of the form you are looking at but the Quitclaim deed forms that are used in California do not have anything that asks whether you are married or not. You can check out our forms on our website http://www.vivaescrow.com under “Resources”.

          You can have your wife sign a separate Quitclaim Deed, quitclaiming to you in that form as a “married man as his sole and separate property”. Because it is a separate form, your father won’t see it and therefore it won’t alert your father as to your marital status.

  121. Budi

    I suspect the seller is being sneaky by transferring the property tax to me way too early by signing a grant deed stating the transfer of ownership to my name without my consent few months before the closing date. So I have to pay the tax for those month even before I legally own not even having access to occupy the building until the closing date couple months later.

    • Juliana Tu

      Hello and thank you for visiting our website and leaving a comment.

      My answers below are predicated on the assumption that the property is in the State of California only. Other states have different government regulations that we cannot comment on.

      In California, we close an escrow with the consent of all the parties, especially if the property possession is not given to the Buyer on the day of closing. Was there a contract drawn and agreed to by all parties that the transaction would close on a certain day and the possession would not be given until months after?

      No settlement agent wants to be liable for recording a transfer of ownership too early and without the consent of the parties. In order for a deed to be valid, it has to be delivered and the Grantee must accept the transfer. Please check with your settlement agent as to what happened in your case.

      Have a good weekend!

  122. Ako Ito

    My MIL put my husbands name on the title along with his sinbling nd husband in their house. However, she put single as the status of my husband instead of married. Isn’t this incorrect and what will be the effects of this to us since we also have a house of our own. Please advise

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my answer to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      Your husband’s vesting in your mother in law’s vesting should, of course, be corrected to show that he is married. That would reflect the correct marital status for him. As to whether this ownership of another property affects you is hard to say. After all, an individual is allowed to own as many pieces of property as they want. Whether this would affect you financially would be something you would ask your financial counselor or tax advisor. We would not be able to answer that question.

  123. erica

    Thank you for all your helpful information. I had two questions,
    1. Where might I find a copy of the California law that states ” A deed does not have to be recorded to be considered legal/valid?, or is there a some sort of code/ordinance # used?
    My 2nd question,
    I have been reading that the signatures need to be in blue ink on the deed? What if you had a notarized quitclaim deed done in a different state by both parties (grantor/grantee) relating to a California property? Is it acceptable for California? As a Notary has to verify the signatures/people in order to notarize the document.

    * I ask because a quitclaim deed was done by the owner of a property in California, but she resides in Georgia. So she had it done in Georgia.

    • Juliana Tu

      A Deed does not have to be recorded to be effective, as long as it is properly signed, has a full legal description of the property, and is properly delivered by the Grantor and accepted by the Grantee party. You can find this in California’s Civil Code, Section 1091-1099. However, it is good practice to get it recorded because it establishes the transfer in public records, so that anyone who pulls up the ownership of the property can see who is the owner.

      The deed does not have to be signed in blue ink, although that is preferable because then the Recorder’s office can tell that it is the original document. A deed can be signed in the presence of a Notary Public anywhere in the world, In the U.S., they can go to any Notary Public commission by the Secretary of State of any state. Internationally, they will need to go to the American Embassy, Consulate, or US military base where special U.S. notary publics are commissioned to help with notarizations. So a Deed that was prepared for a California property, as long as the form used is the standard one that we use in California, can be signed and notarized in Georgia.

  124. Jennifer Richey

    My boyfriends sister who was the realtor on my home purchase tricked me into signing a quick claim deed on my property over to my boyfriend. I am still on the title and mortgage at this point but what do I do if he tried to make claims on the property?

    • Juliana Tu

      If you signed a quitclaim deed to a property then you have given up ownership or title to that property. You no longer would own it. A quitclaim deed changes the ownership but does not change the actual loan that exists on the property so you might still show on the mortgage and still be responsible for it.

      If your boyfriend should make claims on the property and you believe that the property should still be yours, then it would be a problem. If you feel that you were tricked by someone into signing that quitclaim deed or unduly coerced, then you should get an attorney to look into this matter and see what can be done to set aside this quitclaim deed.

      Hope this gives you some guidance with respect to your question.

  125. Gene

    My father sold me some property via quit claim deed . The deed has been notarized and filed with the clerk or county courts office , in Florida . Two of my siblings have threatened to hire a lawyer to contest the transaction of the land sale . Can this land be taken from me or does the filed and notarized deed make the land mine ?

    • Juliana Tu

      Unfortunately, we are unable to help you. First of all, we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Any questions you have for properties in other state should be asked of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      Secondly, we are not allowed to give legal advice, as we are not attorneys. Anyone can sue another person if they feel they have cause. If they do hire an attorney to contest the transaction then you must hire your own attorney to help you through the legal issues.

      I am sorry that we are unable to help. Good luck!

  126. JC

    Hi–

    When buying a home and choosing to hold title as “Community Property with Right of Survivorship”, I read on one blog that if you choose to hold title as “Community Property with Right of Survivorship”, the grantees (meaning the buyers of the home) need to sign the deed to be valid. But there does not even seem to be a place in the deed where the buyers can sign. (Apparently, the grantees don’t need to sign if holding as JT or CP….only the sellers.) Do you have any experience here perhaps? Thanks in advance!

    JC

    • Juliana Tu

      When the “Community Property with Rights of Survivorship” type of vesting first came out, the Grantees were supposed to sign to acknowledge that this was how they wanted to take title and they had gotten their own legal counsel. We no longer do that on the Deed.

      From the escrow transaction processing point of view, when our Buyer tells us how they want to take title, whether as Joint Tenants, Community Property or CP with ROS, that’s how we put it on our escrow instructions, which they do sign to acknowledge, and that’s how we put it on their deed. The deed does not need the Buyer/Grantees signatures for acknowledgment, no matter which way they take title.

      Hope this answers your question!

  127. Juan Curiel

    It says at top that a Deed does not have to be recorded to be effective. is there a california law or code that states that? I filed for Bankruptcy and realized after that I had’nt recorded the deed and the bank went ahead with foreclosing my home.

    Thank you

    - Juan

    • Juliana Tu

      A Deed does not have to be recorded to be effective, as long as it is properly signed, has a full legal description of the property, and is properly delivered by the Grantor and accepted by the Grantee party. You can find this in California’s Civil Code, Section 1091-1099. However, it is good practice to get it recorded because it establishes the transfer in public records, so that anyone who pulls up the ownership of the property can see who is the owner.

      You said that you filed for Bankruptcy and realized you didn’t record the deed. Was this a deed giving the property to someone else? Did you advise your Bankruptcy Attorney regarding this Deed? You also said your Mortgage Bank went ahead and foreclosed on your home. The Bank was foreclosing on the property they had their loan secured on, regardless of who owned the property.

      If you have questions regarding your bankruptcy or the legality of foreclosing on your property, you must talk to your Bankruptcy attorney regarding this matter. Unfortunately, I can’t respond or advise you on these issues!

  128. Andrew park

    My mother-in-law transferred the deed to her house in the Philippines to her 6 children in case something happens to her, they would not pay inheritance tax. She now wants to buy a property here in L.A. but 3 of the six children are demanding their 1/6 portion without a cent to my mother-in-law. Is there anyway she can retract the transfer without each of them signing a quit claim form?

    • Juliana Tu

      I am so sorry but I cannot answer a question dealing with a transfer of property in the Philippines! We are an escrow company in California and we do transactions only in the State of California. I don’t know the laws and transfer procedures in your country and would have no idea whether she can retract the transfer once it is done! I know that in California you can’t. Once it is done, it’s done and the only way to “retract” the transfer is for all 6 children to quitclaim their interest back to the mother.

      Please do contact the correct government agency in your country to answer your question.

  129. Jolene

    Hello,

    I was wondering if you could answer a few questions. My mother in law has 10 acres. She would like to quitclaim (quickclaim she calls it) My husband 3-5 acres. However, the property is as i said 10 acres. She had tried to have it divided before into two 5 acre parcels but the county (butte county ca) refused.( i dont remember why exactly they just said it couldnt be done) She has no back taxes and there are no liens ect. (other than a mortgage she has been paying on for 15 years) and even that is only for ONE acre that the home is actually ON) Anyway, we need to know how to proceed. She would like to give my husband the 3-5 acres but as it is not partitioned or divided how can she do this? We are on the verge of being homeless and have only this as an option. We are going to use the property as collateral for a used mobile home. Everything is in the works but this has been unsettling for us because she now says that the property might not be able to be transferred if she cannot get it divided! She said they were told that her side of the road (merridian) couldnt be divided anymore. SO now what? How can you not give away something that is yours? This mind boggles me. If you wanted to split it into 1 acre each who is to say that you cant! Its your property!! Grrr.. i am so confused and i have clearly never owned property. Please help! thanks

    • Juliana Tu

      From what I understand on your posting, although your mother owns 10 acres, these 10 acres may be one piece of land and therefore the County cannot allow it to be granted off in separate acres unless she first goes through the full subdivision process, which includes submitting plans obtaining permits, and filing subdivision maps. In order to do this subdivision you will need to get engineers involved and you have to go to the County planning department.

      The question you asked is not an “escrow” question, which is what our company does. I recommend that you first go to the County to find out whether this land can be subdivided. If it can, then you will need an engineer in Butte County, tell him what you want and ask him to submit subdivision plans for you. Of course, this will all take funds and time.

      I am sorry, our answer is limited to the above suggestions as this is not our area of expertise.

  130. jane

    I purchased a home in Florida 7 years ago. I was a widow. Only my name is on the deed, loan, mortgage, etc. I married 4 years ago and am in the process of refinancing the florida house with the original mortgage co-citibank. They are stating that my husband must sign the mortgage, riders and note. Only my name appears as the applicant on all of the refinancing forms. His name is not on the title, deed, taxes or anything. I do not want his to appear on the note or mortgage.
    The title company told me he does not need to sign. Today, I received a call from citi saying he does.
    I have no problem him signing the truth in lending disclosure stastement – which only includes my income – nor the right to cancel as a non-lending spouse. He does not contribute to any expenses for the florida home. My primary residence is in another state. I understand Florida is community property state but that would only come into play if we were to get a divorce. Am I right? Does he have to sign? Any information would be helpful.

    • Juliana Tu

      Your property is in Florida and we are a settlement services company in California. Every state has their own different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices so I am not able to comment on what transpires in a refinance in Florida.

      I can tell you that in California, which is also a community property state, a person can borrow against a property by themselves without their spouse. The spouse would either relinquish their interest in the property by deed, or they would be an “owner not a borrower” – which means they would remain as an owner and sign certain loan documents to acknowledge that they are aware that the loan is going on the property but that they are not a Borrower of it.

      On the other hand, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac guidelines should be the same throughout the country so my only recommendation is that you talk to your Citibank loan officer again!

  131. Terry

    I divorced in 1987. My wife was ordered to sell the property in 1994. In 1995, we agreed for her to keep the home and that she would give any interest in my retirement. I had legal counsel and was told that the settlement was fair and equitable and avoids further legal costs. However, nothing was done in writing. My ex recieved $179,000 in equity when she sold the home which did not require my signature. After 18 years, my ex filed for an interest in my retirement. Surprisingly she produced a signed Quit Claim Deed dated back in 1995. I don’t remember signing the deed and I know for certain, I was never present in front of the notary that signed off. Is there anyway to get the original and do I have any recourse?

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my answer to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are handled for properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      If you had given up your interest in the home in 1995 then you must have signed that Quitclaim Deed that she produced. If you didn’t sign that document she would not have been able to sell the home without your signature.

      Usually when a divorce settlement is worked out between parties there is a settlement agreement that is filed. That settlement agreement should have some sort of agreement that stated that she would give up all claims to your retirement account in return for you giving up your interest in the property (and thereby signing that Quitclaim Deed). If you have checked the divorce agreement and there is no mention of this then the legal counsel that you employed did not do a good job.

      You can get a copy of the Quitclaim Deed from the County Recorder’s office. If you see that it is not your signature and or you feel you did not sign it, and it is notarized by a notary public, then you would need to look for this notary public and see if you can get a copy of this person’s notary journal to show whether or not you did appear and signed your name in his/her presence.

      I can’t tell you if you have any recourse to the demands by your ex-spouse; that is something that only an attorney can advise you on once all the facts are given to him. Please do contact an attorney regarding this matter.

  132. Barb

    I refinanced a home in 2002, while I was married. My husband owed back child support etc. so we removed his name. He was so livid with his name being removed. The lender lady said she could pace him on the deed. Currently we are divorced and home has been in pre foreclosure since 2010. Now I am doing a deed in lieu of. Will ex husband show up on property title search? Will I need him to sign off on deed in lieu of , even if he isn’t on mortgage?

    • Juliana Tu

      Thank you for visiting our Viva Escrow website and for leaving a question.

      You didn’t mention if your ex-husband was put back on title after the refinance was done. If he was, and he did not quitclaim his interest to you through the divorce, then his name would show up on the property search and he would also have to sign on the “deed in lieu of foreclosure”.

      If his name was never put back on the property after it was removed in 2002, then he won’t show up on the property search and you won’t need him to sign on the deed in lieu. Remember that the deed in lieu has to be signed by all the present owners of the property.

      • Barb

        I am not sure if he was put back on. I don’t recall him signing any paperwork. This Saturday I am meeting with the lender to allow them to take pictures of the home. I am concerned my ex husband is secretly living there. I still have keys to the home and I hope he won’t be there when I enter. It as been 18 months since I last went there. Do they still offer “keys for money ” program? As I am staying momentarily with a friend until this boss over. It wasn’t safe for. To be in the home , it was broken into twice and cared me to death. Also when I called my county recorder they stated on I am on the property.

        • Barb

          Sorry looks like my keyboard was having typo issues…. I am staying with a friend until it boils over. Home was broken into twice and scared me to death. County recorder stated I am the only person on the title. Is it safe to say that’s correct? Or do they (recorder) not advise who’s on the deed?

        • Juliana Tu

          As a follow up to your previous posting regarding whether your ex-husband needs to sign in a “deed in lieu of foreclosure” situation, the Lender should probably be looking into who presently owns the property so that the deed in lieu document is drawn correctly. If your ex-husband was put back on the property, then that fact should come out when they prepare the deed for you to sign.

          As for “keys for cash”, that is something some Lenders will do in special circumstances – to get the tenant or the previous owner out of the property when they have foreclosed on it. Since you are voluntarily giving up your property in a deed in lieu, I don’t think they would offer that to you.

          By the way, I forgot to mention last time but all my answers are predicated on the assumption that your property is in the state of California, as this is the state that we operate in. Other states have different regulations that I cannot comment on.

  133. RiZ

    I have such a document that states a transfer of a home/deed, owned by my mother, to my sister. It’s a will/transfer of deed, not notarized (this is the only asset my mom had). My mom recently passed away and we’re not sure what needs to be done. Can we do nothing and just hold on to the document and use that to sell the property in the future? OR do we need to have the property transferred and recorded?

    Thanks.

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my answer to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      To transfer a property in California the owner has to sign a Grant Deed that is properly completed. It needs to be notarized by a notary public in order for this document to be recorded and made of public record. If your mother signed the deed transferring the property to your sister, but it didn’t get notarized, then it obviously is not made of public record and this could be a real problem. The law may consider that the ownership never transferred to your sister and if that is the case, this property will need to go through probate!

      You won’t be able to sell or do anything with the property until it is established that your sister owns it outright. Please contact a Probate attorney right away to determine the status of the estate of your mother!

  134. erica

    Hello I found your information very useful, thank you. I was wondering if you might be able to answer a few questions I have. My Grandparents own an Apartment building in San francisco, CA. They reside in Georgia but would like to add one of their Grandchildren to the deed as 25% ownership. My question, is it ok to have the quitclaim deed notarized in Georgia if it is filed in California? Or are they required to have a California Notary? What are the benefits to having the deed recorded? I ask because California can be a bit strict and we want to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s, or does recording it with the county clerk make no difference so long as it is notarized? Thank you in advance, Erica

    • Juliana Tu

      Your question was regarding adding a grandchild by deed to a property in San Francisco whereby the person who is doing the granting is in Georgia. The document would be prepared based on California standards and can be sent to Georgia for your grandparents to sign and notarize there. It does not have to be a California notary who does the notarization of their signatures.

      When a person has decided to transfer ownership of a property (partial or full) to another person, it is always important that the transfer deed be recorded immediately. Once it becomes of public record then is is done and if something should happen to the Grantor (in this case, your grandparents), then their intent of transfer has been accomplished for all to see.

      Of course, before you do any transfer be sure they talk to their financial counsel in detail about the transfer and make sure that all financial implications have been considered.

  135. Kit

    Hello,
    It was discovered years later I realized I became a victim of ID theft. What I’m searching for an answer to is: can any person/persons impersonate another, tell a relator or Broker that they have an AIF or POA upon signing a legal document involving real estate purchase agreements on the day of obtaining signatures without providing documentation the person in fact is been given the AIF or POA powers or can a person tell an agent or realtor they will get a AIF or POA in the future.

    • Juliana Tu

      Hello and thank you for leaving a message on our Viva Escrow website.

      Your question, if I understand it correctly, was whether a realtor can obtain a signature on a contract subject to obtaining the actual Power of Attorney giving the authorization to sign later. I would think that the realtor can take the signature subject to obtaining that Power of Attorney later, if assurances had been given that the person signing really did have a Power of Attorney. Of course, I doubt the realtor would be able to go much further with the transaction without that paperwork.

      If there was impersonation fraud involved I would recommend that you immediately look into how this fraud was perpetuated and contact the white collar crime division of your local police and start from there.

      I hope this helps. Good luck.

    • Juliana Tu

      Your question, if I understand it correctly, was whether a realtor can obtain a signature on a contract subject to obtaining the actual Power of Attorney giving the authorization to sign later. I would think that the realtor can take the signature subject to obtaining that Power of Attorney later, if assurances had been given that the person signing really did have a Power of Attorney. Of course, I doubt the realtor would be able to go much further with the transaction without that paperwork.

      If there was impersonation fraud involved I would recommend that you immediately look into how this fraud was perpetuated and contact the white collar crime division of your local police and start from there.

  136. Robert

    My mother and brother purchased a condo that my mother lives in. They are both listed on the Title and have been since the purchase. Only my brother is on the loan. Now my brother is getting married and they want to put the condo only in my mothers name so that she will have full ownership. If he records a grant deed which results in only my mother being on the deed and then pays it off (before the marriage), will any gift taxes have to be paid as a result of the grant deed? The other option would be to pay off the condo and then record the grant deed, would that change anything?

    • Juliana Tu

      Hello, thank you for visiting our website and leaving a question regarding gift taxes in a transfer from your brother to your mother.

      I can’t answer whether gift taxes will be due; both your brother and your mother will need to ask their own CPAs regarding that. I think there would be different consequences if the transfer was done before the loan was paid off or after. Again it would be a question for a financial counselor who knows your financial backgrounds.

      I am sorry, we are well versed in the mechanics of deeding property ownership from one person to another, but we are not in a position to give any advice as to the financial consequences of such an act.

  137. Neva van Wyk

    My husband signed my name on a purchase contract to buy a house and changed it from community to sole ownership in him name. Is that fraud?

    • Juliana Tu

      Hello and thank you for visiting our website and leaving a question.

      First of all, anytime a person signs another person’s name on a document without authorization it can be considered forgery and fraud. Secondly, if your husband changed the purchase to his sole ownership then, at least in California, the escrow company will need the spouse to sign a Quitclaim Deed to evidence your acknowledgement that you are relinquishing your interest in the purchase. Did you do that?

      If you don’t feel comfortable with the whole situation, I would recommend you seek legal counsel immediately and also advise the real estate agent and escrow officer, if you have their contact, about your concerns and put them on notice.

  138. fleisha1

    My husband and I bought a house and put the mortgage in his name and deed in mine and his. He has now refinanced the house without my knowledge. Will this impact disposition/ownership of the asset if we divorce?

    • Juliana Tu

      Let me first qualify my answer to your question by stating that we are a settlement services/escrow company in California, and most of our transactions are for handling properties in this state. Other states have different laws, rules, regulations and standards of practices that I cannot comment on. If you are from a state other than California, you should ask your question of closing professionals or closing attorneys in your state.

      If you are a co-owner of the property together with your husband, the Lender that he refinanced with should have asked you to sign certain documents in his refinance transaction to evidence that you are aware of the refinance. Most institutional Lenders have this requirement so I am surprised that he refinanced without your knowledge.

      If there should be a divorce, the disposition or sale of this property will require both of your signatures since you are part owner. Of course, depending on if he cashed out funds through the refinance, the equity of the property may be less that what it could have been.

      I hope I answered your question. Please remember that we do not give legal advice. You must consult with your own attorney or legal/financial counsel should you feel that there are any irregularities.

  139. Chanel M.

    Hi thank you for all the information and nice video… We live in florida, My grandmother offered my fiancé and I to purchase a home for us in her name, to obtained a better interest rate on the loan and she would quitclaim deed it to us later. She will not be being financially paying for the down payment, monthly mortgage payments, taxes & insurance, or any other cost pertaining to the house. My fiancé and I will pay for everything. She just has better credit an this in turn will help us with the rate. My question is how long after the home is purchase can we have her deed it to the both of us? Also after she deeds it and we record the deed can any of her children or grandchildren come after the property? I just want to make sure that no one can take it away from say after a year of paying and then deeding it over to us. Eventually we would assume the loan if possible or refinance it to be place in our names… Please help Blessings!

    • Juliana Tu

      We have received so many questions from out of California that we have to start prefacing all our answers with the statement that our company handles settlement services in California only and other states have their own rules and regulations that are different. I strongly suggest that you ask a qualified settlement services practitioner in your own state to get the answer that you need.

      In your case, loans, when they are Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or FHA all have a clause that states if the property transfers ownership after the transaction is completed, the Lender has the right to call the loan due if they find out. This means that your grandmother should remain on the ownership of the property for a good period of time before she passes it on to you. What she can do, if allowed in your state, is to first deed the property to herself, you and your fiance. She would not be coming off the ownership; she is just adding both of you on. Then, after a year or so, you can refinance and take her name out at that time.

      As to whether there would be problems with her children and grandchildren, that is something that touches on interfamilial relationships and I couldn’t say. It’s probably a good idea for her to mention it to the rest of the family that she is doing this so that there is no future question.

      Again, please check with a loan broker, closing agent and/or closing attorney in your state regarding the above. I am giving you an answer that may fit situations here in California, but we are not imparting any legal advice, here in California and especially not for transactions outside our state.\

      Hope this provides you with some direction as to how to proceed!

  140. Noemi

    My parents would like to add my husband and I on the title of one of their properties as joint tenants with right of survivorship with a Grant Deed but I’m not sure how to do that I have typed up a Grant Deed and this is what it looks like and I want to know what I need to do to just add us and not deed the property to us completely.

    GRANT DEED

    The undersigned declares that the documentary transfer tax is $ -0- and is
    ____ computed on the full value of the interest or property conveyed, or is
    ____ computed on the full value less the value of liens or encumbrances remaining thereon at the time of sale. The land, tenements or realty is located in
    ____ unincorporated areas x city of SALINAS and

    FOR A VALUABLE CONSIDERATION, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged,

    My Parents here husband and wife as joint tenants

    Hereby GRANT(S) to

    My Husband and Myself here husband and wife as joint tenants

    The following described real property in the City of SALINAS ,
    County of MONTEREY , State of CALIFORNIA :

    • Juliana Tu

      Your question was whether you typed up the Deed correctly and you wanted to know if you can just add you and not deed the property to you completely.

      First of all, when your parents add your names on the title that is the process of transferring the ownership and deeding the property to you completely. You cannot just “add and not deed the property to you completely”. It doesn’t work that way

      Secondly, the way you typed the sample wording on the Deed shows that your parents are deeding the property to you completely, without keeping part of the ownership for themselves. If they are just adding you and your husband to the ownership then what needs to be changed on the wording is – Hereby Grants to – “My parents, husband and wife, and My husband and Myself, husband and wife, All as Joint Tenants”.

      Please be sure you put the following Transfer Tax Exemption below the legal description portion of the grant deed: “This is a bonafide gift, transfer between parents and children, and the Grantors received no consideration in return, R&T11911.”

      I hope this answers your questions.

  141. Nancy Naylor

    My mother passed away and my sister is financial advisor, deed will be transferred to her name. Property is to be sold and divided between the three daughters. House is not up to code. If a family member wants to buy it for cash, can we transfer to there name without bringing up to code as a gift.

    • Juliana Tu

      If a family member wants to purchase the home for cash from the other members, then it really is not considered a “gift”. If the property is in a city in which there are compliance regulations regarding obtaining a residential report upon transfer of property, you might run afoul of the city if you transfer without bringing the property up to code and passing their inspections. If the city does not have such a regulation, then conceivably you can transfer between family members without bringing up to code.

      I am not a real estate broker nor an attorney to advise you of what you should or not do about the physical condition of the property and whether you should sell it “as is” to your family member. I do, however, caution you to open a standard escrow transaction to make sure the ownership of the property is transferred correctly. You might speak to your escrow officer about the condition of the property and ask her about whether that particular city requires residential re-sale inspections. You should also consider putting in full disclosures about the property in escrow so that the Buyer acknowledges it.

      I hope I was able to guide you some part of the way!

  142. Patty

    My father in laww passed away 1 year ago. My mother in law has been paying the mortgage payments. She wanted to get a loan modification and the bank told her she is not on the deed, loan, paperwork, etc. She just received a lettter from the bank the they will be foreclosing and taking posession of thehouse. What can she do? HELP!

    • Juliana Tu

      If your father in law passed away and your mother in law is not on the deed, then who is the present owner of the property? I think you must first establish who owns the property and then have this person contact the Lender to see if he/she can start the loan modification process. If your mother in law has started receiving letters that they are foreclosing then she must not have paid the mortgage in a while. Even though her name may not be on the original loan, but if she is the owner of the property and can show that she has fallen under difficult times due to the loss of her husband, the loan modification department should be able to talk to her. If, however, she isn’t the owner of the property then it is definitely a problem. So the first thing is to determine who owns the property and is in a position to negotiate with the lender.

  143. Berta Brambila

    My hasband and I bought a house on year 2000 has husband and wife has joint tenants but in 2012 my husband did a quitclaim to another person without my knowledge this is posible without me signing the quikclaim?

    • Juliana Tu

      A person can grant their interest to another person without the knowledge of the co-owner. All they need to do is sign and record the deed in which the interest is granted out. What happens thereafter is that the original ownership as Joint Tenants is then broken and the co-owner of the property before the deed was done (in this case it would be you) would own the property thereafter with this new person as Tenants in Common. So now you would then own your 50% interest and the new person would own his own 50% interest. Both of you can dispose of or handle your separate ownership as you see fit.

  144. Eloisa Salcedo

    Hello!
    My two brothers bought a properly back on 1978. One was just a co-signer and the other one put all the down payment. Lets call therm #1 n #2 For more than 20 years #1 has been living in one of the units ( there are 2 units in property) n #2 moved out of the country.
    #1 in 1992 or 1993 got divorce, so on 1993 he recorded a Bonifie Gift to #2, in other words he Granted the property all to #2! but becasue he is disable my mother and brother #2 left him live there all this time. Now I have a Power of Attorney from #2 and he wants to sell his property, but #1 is claiming that he still owns the property because he was making the mortgage payments and paying the property taxes!! Yeah!! with the rent money from the 2nd. unit! My questions is, Does he still have any rights just because he was in the Deed??? Thank you so much!!

    • Juliana Tu

      If brother #1 did indeed grant all of his interest of the property to #2, then, even though #1 still lives there and pays the mortgage payments, he has no rights further rights and brother #2 can sell the property if he so wishes. He may want to contest it, and if he chooses to do so, he would need an attorney to help him, which means that brother #2 would need to get legal counsel, too.
      I tell my clients and the general public that before they make any changes to ownership of real property, whether taking it out of their name or adding someone on, to please consult with legal and financial counsel before they do so. There can be consequences! Once the deed is done (pun intended) it is very difficult to retract.

  145. Delia Fabela

    In California, mother signs a Quitclaim deed to her 3 adult childern (she has 5 adult childern). Two years later she wants to add her daughter to the Quitclaim deed. Can she do this without the other childern knowledge and it it legal?

    • Juliana Tu

      Did the mother keep interest in the property together with the 3 children she quitclaimed to? I am assuming that the Quitclaim Deed was already recorded. The mother can’t “add” another daughter to this original Quitclaim deed that was already done if it was already recorded (made of public record).
      She also can’t quitclaim to her other daughter if she does not have any more interest in the property. If she retained some interest in the property, then she can quitclaim some of her remainder interest to her other daughter, without the other children knowing and it would be legal. However, if she does that that the ownership of the property may become very complicated for all parties in the future. That’s why I recommend that before ownership interest is transferred back and forth between parties everyone should talk to their own CPA or attorney. Once the deed is done, it is very hard to undo. You will need all the owners of the property to agree.

  146. Denisse

    I recently found my parent’s house deed while looking for other documents, and found the prior owners deed attached in the back; It called my attention to see that it had white out applied over many times where the grantee’s name is originally printed, and only my father’s name appear there and looks typed, covered and retyped; It’s obviously done with the intention to conceal the original name in the deed, which it had to be my mom, since she was the one who purchased and paid for the property. My parents are still together, but had arguments over the house being only under my father’s name. The point is, that it appears both deeds are not valid, since the previous owner’s one has white out and the “current” one, even though it’s notarized and signed by my mother, its all in English, a language she only speaks the basic. I asked my mom if she had knowledge of what this document was, and represented, but she ignored she had granted the property to him. What is advisable to do in this cases? can this be resolved?

    • Juliana Tu

      Thank you for leaving your question on our website.
      A deed that has white out on it is not considered invalid, as long as it was the intent of both the Grantor and the Grantee to make the corrections and they are aware of the changes made.
      You didn’t mention if the copies that you found are recorded copies or not. If the deeds were already recorded then you should probably get a recorded copy from the County Recorder’s office just to make sure how the finalized deed looks like. Once you have that copy from the Recorder’s office then you can approach your parents to find out what happened and if the ownership was done correctly. If your parents want the property to show under both of their names and it presently is not, then a new deed will be done in which the existing Grantee grants the property to your parents. This is the simple way to resolve this issue. If it is more complicated and there are personal issues, then I recommend you take your information to an attorney and have them look at it. That, of course, is the hard way to resolve any issues.

  147. kim

    how can someone add my mailing address to a deed without my consent? im not showing as the deeded owner,the deeded owner died.as of right now someone elses name is showing on the tax legal description.i called the county recorder asking why my address is under the deeded deceased owner.they would not tell me why my address is on there. only that i will be getting the taxes(why should i pay for someones taxes ) when i dont have possession of this property ,im not the deeded owner.

    • Juliana Tu

      Thank your for question left on our website regarding a deed having your mailing address on it.
      If I understand your question correctly, you found out that your address was put on the top left corner of a deed as the mailing address to which the document is to be mailed to. If this assumption is correct, then obviously, someone made a mistake and typed the wrong address in that area. Consent is not needed to make a mistake!

      You may be getting the tax bills because the tax collectors’ office may use that mailing address as the forwarding address for the tax bills that they will issue for the actual property that is described in the deed itself. However, if the property itself is not yours, then of course you don’t have to pay the taxes. Just return the tax bill notification back to the tax collectors’s office when you receive it.
      In actuality, this mailing address mistake is detrimental to the person who actually owns the property because he will not be receiving his tax bills as they are being sent to you. If he does not realize that his taxes are due, he will end up paying penalties that will accrue.

  148. Sara Romero

    (In California)My boyfriend aquired a property and he signed a Grant Deed and asigned myself and himself as the grantees, it has been almost a year since he did this notarized document, we had an agrrement that based on the rights I’m supposed to have on the property I would pay half the mortgage payments monthly, I recently aquired a copy of the title of the property and only his name appears as the primary owner and there’s no secondary owner. Does this means the grant deed I signed has no value? and since we’re not married will it mean I will loose all the money I’ve been paying throughout this time?? Thankyou very much.

    • Juliana Tu

      Thank you for your question on our web site.
      The Deed that was signed by your boyfriend putting both of you on ownership of the property is valid. What may have happened is that this Grant Deed was not physically recorded at the County Recorder’s office. Once it is recorded and made of public record then your ownership of part of the property is established. Anyway who wants to pull a copy of the ownership of the property thereafter will see both of your names on it.

      If you have the original signed and notarized deed I suggest that you immediately record it at your County Recorder’s office. Fill out a Preliminary Change of Ownership form, which you can find on our website at: http://www.vivaescrow.com/for-your-convenience/forms and take it with the Deed to be recorded. You can Google the address of your County Recorder and personally take it down there.

  149. SKEETER

    My brother signed a quitclaim deed over to his then girlfriend thinking he was simply adding her name back on to the deed. instead, it was only her name on the deed and only is name on the mortgage…duhhh…NEway, after it was signed his girlfiend had in notarized but my brother (grantor) was not present. is this deed a legal binding document since he was not present when notorized…it has been filed with the County

    • Juliana Tu

      In California the signing of a Quitclaim Deed transfers the ownership. It does not have to notarized in order for it to be valid. However, without the quitclaim deed being notarized the deed cannot be filed with the County. Once it is notarized it can then be filed with the County and who owns the property then becomes of public record.
      If the Quitclaim Deed was originally signed by your brother without getting it notarized, and you are saying that his girlfriend found a notary who would do the notarization without your brother re-signing in the notary’s presence, then this could be a problem. A notary must see the person sign the paperwork and take his thumbprint. The notary could be in trouble! You can ask the notary public for a copy of that page of his notary journal in which he records all the notarizations he has done for that particular day, and see if your brother’s signature and thumbprint appears.
      Is this a legal binding document? This is a question for an attorney to answer. If your brother was not forced to sign it, and it was signed of his free will, it is legal. However, the issue about the notary is more tricky. That could be a problem. I would recommend that you find an attorney to counsel this matter if your brother is going to contest the validity of the deed.

  150. Tim McCarthy

    I have an affidavit o interest in Real Estate.

    In the documents notary section says, State of Michigan County of Oakland “IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned has executed this document on the 23rd day of July 2006. When the Notary noterized it, the notary stamp says “Acting in the County of Wayne.

    So the foregoing intrument was acknowledged in Oakland County yet the Notary stamp indicated Acting in the County of Wayne. What are your thoughts and does this void the document from the tract?

    Tim McCarthy
    Great Lakes Title Agency
    248.444.2141

    • Juliana Tu

      Thank you for leaving a question on our website.
      Unfortunately, we are located in California and I would not be able to answer your question regarding notarial forms from other states! Each state has their different notarial laws and I am afraid I am not qualified to answer.
      Again, thank you for visiting our website and I regret not being able to help you!

  151. Yvonne Robles

    Back in 2006 through 2008, my brother and his wife names where put on my parents grant deed. My dad was not mentally capable of knowing what he was signing, he thought it was a will. Unfortunately, the reason why my dad thought he had to add both my brother and his wife, because they GAVE my parents money to help with family matters. Well, now that this has happen, my brother and his wife are giving us problem, stating the property is theres, my mom needs to reclaim here 100%, we’ve processed a quick claim deed adding myself and my 2 sisters. We, are also in the process of doing a living trust for my mom. What is the process to reclaim my moms property, she resides at her home, but, my brothers wife is makin threats and asking for rents etc. Grant deed is stated as all joint tenants as well as the quick claim deed adding myself and 2 sisters, my brother and his wife have not been notified of this, can you help direct me?

    • Juliana Tu

      Thank you for leaving a question on our Viva Escrow website.
      The scenario that you have given us is one that is very complicated. I cannot emphasize to you how important it is that you get legal counsel on what is happening. We can only give you very minimal advice on how the documents are typed up. We can’t give you any advice on the crux of the matter, and that is how to deal with who owns what! If you don’t get legal counsel you may end up with a bigger issue, and that is a title of ownership that is not clear. Everything that you put down in your question has legal implications and I sincerely caution you to get an attorney so that he can look over everything and give you good counsel.
      Thank you for visiting our website.

  152. fredo bay

    Regarding a grant deed notarized and recorded, but signed with an alias to avoid the county picking up a tax lien hanging on the signer whose real name would flag the county collector. The signer said she had ID in the car, and the notary said don’t bother and stamped the document and then it was recorded days later. Now the county tax collector is threatening the property for attachment and claims the Grant Deed is void or voidable. What is the difference?

    • Juliana Tu

      A person signed a deed with an alias to escape a tax lien and the notary did the notarization without checking the i.d? Both are in trouble! I would think that in this scenario the deed could be deemed “voidable” as it could be deemed given/obtained through fraudulent means.
      The difference is that a void deed is one that is forged, or signed by someone who does not understand what they were signing or mentally incapacitated. A voidable deed is one that is signed fraudulently, was stolen or changed without the knowledge of the person giving it. Whether it is void or voidable is determined by the a Court of Law.
      You can go to our article on our website for the differences, if you haven’t done so: http://www.vivaescrow.com/for-your-convenience/faq/grant-deed.
      Interesting scenario!

  153. Mary

    Does the the way the name of the grantor is written in a deed have to be in exactly the same form it was written in a previous deed? For example, if there was no middle initial given in a previous deed, does the middle initial have to be left out in a subsequent one?

    • Juliana Tu

      Your question was whether the name of the Grantor has to be the same as the previous deed. If the previous deed showed the person getting ownership of the property under a certain name then he should deed out as the Grantor with the same spelling of his name. If no middle initials were used, then none should be inserted. It should be consistent. If there is a mistake, or there should be a middle initial, you can grant out as follows:
      Example: “Robert M. Jones, who acquired title as Robert Jones, a Single Man…..” and then on the signature line you would type “Robert M. Jones”.
      I hope this answered your question. Let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.

  154. Tyler

    I am well aware that for a deed to be valid there must be a sufficient description of the real property being conveyed (one case described this requirement as having to be sufficiently definite to “permit the property to be readily located”).

    My question is this: If you have a quitclaim deed, granting property (and other items) from a husband and wife into their family trust, and the description of the real property being conveyed only states “all interests in real estate located anywhere within the United States,” is that a sufficient description? And whether or not it’s sufficient, can you tell me what’s the authority for stating that it could be sufficient if blah blah blah was also provided to help flesh out the deed description?

    Thank you very much.

    • Juliana Tu

      Thank you for your question on Viva Escrow’s website.
      A sufficient description for a property is a description that can identify the property legally. Using a property address is not sufficient sometimes because property addresses can change.
      In California there are several methods of identification. They can be by government survey, by metes and bounds, or by tract under the Subdivision Map Act. Every individual parcel of land is logged in or recorded by one of the 3 methods and when you are transferring ownership your ownership deed has to have the exact “legal description”. If not, it is not locatable and the County Recorder and the County Assessor may reject the recordation of the deed.
      Each ownership transfer deed has to be recorded in its particular County. If you have many pieces of property then you have to do many deeds, attach the correct legal description for each deed, and record it in the County wherein it is located. Using a blanket “all interests in real estate located anywhere within the United States won’t be acceptable anywhere.
      As to the authority, I think it might be under California’s Government Code, but that is something I would have to check.

      I hope this answers your question.

  155. Louis Lazzari

    My grandfather left me, my wife, and or minor son a property in a revocable trust. We want to get an equity loan on the property, but the title company says we need a financial guardianship to take him off the deed. My father, the trustee/executer of the estate named me as custodian of my son’s 1/3 share in the house. Under the transfer to minors act, isn’t that good enough to proceed? Or do we need to go to court to get the guardianship appointed?

    • Juliana Tu

      Thank you for leaving a question on our Viva Escrow website.
      You did not mention the terms of the Trust. Who is the Trustee of it now and does he have the power to act solely on behalf of the Trust? Are you, your wife and minor son beneficiaries of the Trust or do you have another capacity in the Trust? There are many questions that your question brings up! Not being privy to the background I can only give you a general idea of requirements.
      If the home equity lender is requiring that all the Beneficiaries of the Trust sign some form of consent to the loan, then perhaps that is why the Title Company insuring the transaction is requiring that you get yourself a Court appointed guardianship for your minor son. That is the requirement. Minors can hold property and assets, but in order to do anything with it a Guardianship has to be established. It is not automatic just because you are parents. The Court has to establish the relationship between the parties and that you are acting in the best interests of the minor.
      Normally, leaving assets to any person in the Trust just makes them the Beneficiary and the Beneficiary doesn’t sign in any way for the Trust, just the Trustee. If your Lender or Title Company making the requirement to sign then there must be a certain reason. The best thing you can do is get legal counsel on this. You will need to if you have to go to Court to obtain Guardianship anyway. It all has to do with how the Trust was set up and what powers were given to the Trustee.
      I hope I provided some clarity to your question, but your situation is an interesting one. Unfortunately, the best advice I can give you is to look further into why the signatures are needed (from both the lender and the title company) and then contact an attorney to see what can be done. But definitely, yes, a minor cannot sign a legal document. A Guardian has to be appointed by the Courts.

  156. Nadia

    Hello I bought my house with my ex. When we divorced he signed a quit claim deed giving me the house. I then refinanced and it was only in my name. I remarried several years later and my new husband moved into my house. We lived in the house for 8 years. The house was always in my name as well as the mortgage. When we sold the house the escrow title company had my husband and I sign the grant deed over to the new owners. Does that mean that my husband now is considered an owner of my house just. Because he was asked to sign the grant deed? We are getting divorced after 17 yrs and because he signed the grant deed he feels he should be entitled to part of the equity from the sale of that house because that money was used to buy our current home 8 yrs ago. Is he entitled? The escrow co made a mistake

    • Juliana Tu

      Thank you visting Viva Escrow’s website and for leaving a question. I see that you left 2 questions:
      As to your first question, I understand from your description of the situation that the property should be considered yours solely, because you had purchased it before your marriage. However, he can claim he had some community property interest in the equity that accumulated since your marriage. In addition, you said you used a portion of that property to buy your current home, so it might be construed that you used community property funds to purchase the new home. I think this is why he claims that he is entitled to part of the equity of that house.
      As to your second question of having your husband sign on the Grant Deed, even though he was not on title, this is to clear title and tie up any loose ends, particularly community property interest so the Escrow Company is correct in asking him to join you in the signing of the Grant Deed. OR they could have established that he had no interest by having him sign a Quitclaim Deed to you and then you sign the Grant Deed to the Buyer.
      My main response here is to your second question of whether the Escrow Officer was correct in asking your husband to join you in signing off interest by Grant Deed. Your first question as to whether or not he can claim community property interest is best answered by your legal counsel who should review your own ownership interest and take into consideration California’s community property laws. As a Settlement Agent we are not allowed to practice law, so I must refer you to your attorney.
      I am sorry I could not fully answer your question, and you probably didn’t like my answer, but I hope I have given you sufficient input for you to ask your legal counsel.

  157. Christine

    My husband and I received a loan from my mother and placed her on the title of our home until we pay her back. When we refinanced, we took her off title for purposes of keeping the bank loan in our names only but our loan agreement is still in place. My husband and I signed a Grant deed in presence of notary/title officer and my mother signed a Grant deed in another town in the presence of notary at different branch of same title company. I have a copy of the Grant deed my husband and I signed.

    Later, we received the copies of the two signings, both notarized. However, on each of the documents, the explanation for transfer was whited out (with markings of original behind it visible). The document we signed read, “The grantors and the grantees in this conveyance are comprised of the same parties who continue to hold the same proportionate interest in the property, R&T 11925.” A typewriter was used to type over with new explanation (“This is a bonafide gift and the grantor received nothing in return, R& T 11930″).

    My mother said she requested a copy when she signed but the notary said she would receive it later.

    I have left messages with our title officer and now I have e-mailed the branch manager about my concerns which are as follows:

    1) The documents were altered after we signed.

    2) None of us were made aware that the documents were altered.

    3) The explanation on the new document is false. Our loan stands and for two years we have made monthly payments with interest on our loan to my mother. According to our agreement, upon the sale of another property, she will be repaid in full.

    We all agree that this is a bad situation and just want the title company to fix this error. My mother is visiting us and we are all willing to sit down with them to make this correction without any trouble.

    If anyone has any insights I’d appreciate them. And if anyone is interested in hearing the outcome of this, I will let you know.

    Thanks and good luck to all of you who have been mislead in simlar situations!

    4None of us witnessed the notaries applying their seals and signatures in our presence. No one contacted us to tell us that the document was altered

    • Juliana Tu

      Thank you for posting your scenario on our website.

      From what I understand on your posting, the Grantor, Grantee, and property description, were not changed. The alteration was made to the Revenue and Taxation code language used, from “…comprised of the same parties…” to “…bonafide gift”. The R & T Code language is used to describe the reason why there should be no increase in property tax due to the change in ownership. The original clause – “…comprised of the same parties…” – is normally used when it is a deed transferring ownership from one corporate entity to another corporate entity, for instance, in which the owners of the corporate entities are the same and will own the same proportionate interest. This R & T Code wording is not normally used to add or take out an individual person. Even though the “… bonafide gift…” code wording may not totally apply to your case, it is probably the closest description for your purposes. Without the correct R & T Code the County Recorder’s office would not accept your Deed and the County Tax Assessor’s office would re-assess your property taxes. The whiteout change on the deed was to your benefit.

      Is the deed voidable? Only if you and your mother deem it to be so. There was no material change to the actual intent of the parties to transfer ownership, so it is still a valid deed, but voidable only if the parties feel it should be void and a clean copy re-recorded. Definitely the title company should have alerted you that a change had to be made to the signed document and gotten your approval before it was done.

      To correct this mistake the Title Company can re-type the deed, still using the “…bonafide gift…” R &T Code, and then have you and your mother re-sign, re-notarize, and re-record the document.

      I hope this helps! Feel free to call me directly at (626)744-1684 if you have any further questions. Thank you.

  158. laura moreno

    Is a Grant Deed void, if after its been signed and notarized the Grantee makes changes, such as adding “Gift” written in at “Documentary Transfer Tax is $____”? and then recordes it. We talked to the notary, she recalls the space was not filled in. My father in law signed this over to his “girl friend”. We took him with us to talk to the nortary because he didnt recall even signing it. The notary varified that gift was not on the doc.

    • If there is no change to the material/important facts of the document, ie, Grantor, Grantee, legal description, property address, etc., then the deed is not considered “void”. Adding that it is a “gift” where the transfer tax is located is not sufficient to void the deed. The county recorder requires that a transfer tax amount be stated when the document is sent in for recording. If there is no transfer tax and nothing is stated, then they want a reason why there isn’t written in there. If that reason is because it is a “gift”, and that word is put in, it doesn’t void the deed because there was no change to the material facts of the deed. That being said, when there are changes made to any document, it is best to get the signing party to acknowledge the change by having him initial by the side. That is good practice.

      • Juliana Tu

        Thank you for your question left on Viva Escrow’s website.
        If there are documents that are forged on the ownership of the property I would think that the person who owns the property would want to clear up the issue of the forged documents first, before selling the property. If this matter is not cleared up, does this mean the owner is willing to pay the loan off if he sells the property, even if the loan documents are forged?
        Having forged documents does not prevent a person from trying to sell the property. He just has to understand that unless he clears this issue up with whoever forged the documents or whoever the loan is owed to, the owner will end up being responsible for the payment, even though he did not sign the loan documents.
        I would highly recommend you get an attorney to look at those forged documents to see how this fraud can be rectified.

        • Mike

          Thanks for your reply. So if I sign the quitclaim deed and she is aware that I am doing so, and she receives a copy,
          could I submit it into records with just my signature?
          Thanks

          • Juliana Tu

            Hi, in response, yes, once you have made her aware and she gets a copy, you (or she) can send the Quitclaim Deed to the County Recorder’s office for recording to formalize the transfer and make it of public record.