When buying a home you sign and receive a deed or proof of ownership of the property transferring title to you. There are two types of deeds: warranty deed and quitclaim deed. A warranty deed is the most common form of deed as it states the the grantor (previous owner) has the right to convey ownership of property to the grantee (new owner). It also serves as proof that there are no liens on the property. This type of deed is typically used in the sale of property. A quitclaim deed, on the other hand, is used to transfer ownership when the property has not been sold. No money or title search is involved in this transfer. This is most commonly used for the transfer of property between family. For example. if a couple marries and the husband wants to add his wife's name on title, a quitclaim deed will be used. Another instance is the transfer of property from a parent to a child. Some families put their property in a family trust and a quitclaim deed can be used then.
In unique instances, a title insurance company may find that there is an additional owner of the property and they want to make sure this individual cannot make a claim to the property. They, therefore, will then sign a quitclaim deed relinquishing ownership. A quitclaim deed affects only ownership of the property via the name on the deed; it does not affect the mortgage. In the case of a divorce where a quitclaim deed may have been filed but both spouses are on the loan, both individuals are still responsible for the mortgage.
All quitclaim deeds are handled differently depending on jurisdiction. Not all states require you to record a quitclaim deed, but is wise to have it recorded regardless.
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