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When Is a Quit Claim Deed Used to Transfer Ownership of Real Estate?

Posted on in Real Estate

Gurnee Real Estate AttorneyDuring a residential real estate transaction or another situation where ownership of a home is transferred from one party to another, the parties will use a deed to complete the transfer. A deed is a legal document in which a grantor who owns or has a claim to the property will transfer their ownership interests to a grantee. There are multiple types of deeds that may be used, and in some cases, a grantor may be looking for a simple release of their ownership claim. In these situations, a quit claim deed may be used, but when doing so, the parties should be sure to understand how this type of deed will affect their rights and obligations.

Situations Where a Quit Claim Deed May Be Used

Typically, ownership of real estate is transferred using a warranty deed, which will provide the grantee with protections and ensure that they are not liable for liens on the property or other encumbrances. A quit claim deed will not provide a grantee with these types of protections. Instead, it simply releases the grantor’s claim on the property. It will not affect the mortgage on the property, and a grantor may still be liable for paying off the amount due on the home loan. 

Since quit claim deeds allow for the simple transfer of property without any warranties, they are usually only used in a few specific situations, including:

  • Transferring property to family members - If a homeowner wishes to give their home to a loved one, they may use a quit claim deed to transfer ownership. This may be done if the home’s mortgage has been paid off or if the original owner will continue making mortgage payments. In these types of transfers, the parties will want to be aware of any liens that may exist, since the grantee will be responsible for paying them.

  • Divorce - If a married couple co-owns a home, one spouse may be awarded full ownership of the home during the couple’s divorce. In these cases, a quit claim deed may be used to release the other spouse from the home’s title. Unless the home has been paid off, the spouse who will be maintaining ownership of the home will need to refinance the mortgage in their own name.

  • Clearing title defects - There are a number of issues that may prevent the transfer of ownership of a home during a real estate transaction, and quit claim deeds may be used to resolve these concerns. A lien may exist on a home even after it has been paid off, and the lienholder may release their claim on the home using a quit claim deed. Errors in paperwork, such as a misspelled name on a home’s title, may also be resolved through quit claim deeds.

Contact Our Lake County Residential Real Estate Attorneys

During your home closing, Newland & Newland, LLP can help you resolve any title issues that may be uncovered, and we will help you understand whether quit claim deeds can be used to release a person’s claim on the property. We can also help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of using quit claim deeds to transfer ownership in other situations. To set up a complimentary consultation, contact our Lake Forest real estate lawyers today by calling 847-549-0000.





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