A quitclaim deed operates as a release, to transfer or quit any title, interest, or claim which the seller may have in the property, while providing no guarantee the grantor has a valid interest in or title to the property. When the seller, referred to as the grantor, "quits" his claim to the property, the buyer, called the grantee, is transferred any interest the grantor had in the property at the time.
Quitclaim deeds are often used:
Quitclaim deeds contain no title covenant and thus offer no warranty as to title or any other interest. Essentially, the grantor of a quitclaim deed does not guarantee that he actually owns the property at the time or, if he does, that the title is free and clear. It is important to note that a quitclaim deed provides the grantee only that interest the grantor actually possesses at the time the quitclaim deed is executed. Thus, the signing of a quitclaim deed can result in the grantee paying a consideration and receiving no actual interest in the property. Furthermore, there is no legal recourse to recover losses, since by definition, a quitclaim deed provides no warranty.
Since a quit claim deed only transfers the rights that the grantor has in the property, quit claiming does not affect the interest of others who do not sign the quitclaim deed. A quitclaim deed only affects the parties to the actual quit claim while others retain their ownership.
Quit Claim Deed Forms
Because there is no warranty provided with a quitclaim deed it is most frequently used for transfers between family members or those well known to each other. Quitclaim deeds are seldom used for traditional real estate property sales of residential homes or investment property but a few states use them specifically for that purpose and a quitclaim deed is considered the standard deed for real estate conveyance in those states. This does not mean that home owners in those states have no guarantees of clear title but that the guarantees are not provided by the seller. The liability and guarantee is provided by a title company, which is the case in all states.
Other uses of quitclaim deed forms include adding or removing a person's name from a title, transferring property due to a divorce, eliminating a cloud on a title, transferring personal property to a business and government tax sales.
A common misconception regarding quitclaim deeds is that they relieve the grantor of all responsibilities regarding the real estate. That is simply not the case. Though a quitclaim deed may effectively transfer all ownership interest and thus ownership rights, certain liabilities such as mortgages remain with the responsible party. Mortgage debt or any other financial obligation cannot be transferred through a deed. Unless a mortgagee (lender) agrees to transfer responsibility for the mortgage by assumption of the debt or refinancing, the grantor will retain responsibility for the mortgage even though he/she no longer holds title to the property. This could also affect the grantee since after receiving property via a quit claim deed the mortgagee can still foreclose on the property if the mortgage goes into default. Review quitclaim deeds and mortgage obligations.
NUPP Legal quit claim deeds include instructions and completed examples. In addition, the deed is saved to your computer so that you can modify and reuse it as many times as you wish.
There are other types of real estate deeds that provide warranties for the grantee, such as grant deeds and warranty deeds. For a warranty deed, these warranties would include a covenant of seisin (possession), a covenant against encumbrances (liens), a covenant of quiet enjoyment, and a covenant of further assurance (assurance that the grantor will execute additional documents and assist in defending the title, if needed).