A quit claim deed is the legal way that one person (the grantor) transfers real property, such as a house or land, to another person (the grantee). As an example, a divorcing husband may quit claim his interest in certain real estate to his ex-wife. While the concept is simple and straightforward – relinquishing all ownership claims to a particular property – it’s also important to note what a quit claim can’t do.
In renouncing claim, the grantor makes no guarantee or promise that the property is free of debt. Another important distinction is that the grantor makes no promise that no one else claims to own the property. Tracing its origin to Anglo-Norma times (circa 1,000 CE), the quit claim deed says, in effect, that the grantor is signing over whatever ownership he or she may have in the property. It does not even guarantee that the grantor has any ownership interest at all. By accepting such a deed, the grantee assumes all the risks.
Furthermore, many title companies are reluctant to insure title when a quit claim deed was used previously to transfer title, and therefore, recommend use of a warranty deed instead. A warranty deed conveys full title to the property and warrants that title against defects such as tax liens, legal judgments and unpaid debts.
Cheryl A Kuck
Senior Loan Officer