The Louisiana Quitclaim Deed
The legal document that transfers ownership of immovable property (i.e., a home, lot, building, immobilized mobile home) can be a “cash sale” or a “quitclaim deed.” A quitclaim deed is used when there is a transfer of property ownership without being sold. In other words, no money is involved, no title search is done to verify ownership, and no title insurance is issued.
In contrast, a “cash sale” (known as a “warranty deed” in other jurisdictions) is used in most real estate transactions. This deed or title says that the grantor (Seller) is the owner of the property and has the right to transfer the property to the grantee (Buyer). It also serves as a statement that there are no liens against the property from a mortgage lender, IRS or creditor, and that the property cannot be claimed by anyone else.
When are quitclaim deeds needed?
Quitclaim deeds are most often used to transfer property within a family, such as adding a spouse to the title, or when parents transfer property to their children or siblings transfer property to each other. Another time a quitclaim deed might be used is when a title insurance company finds a potential additional owner of a property and wants to make certain that this person does not make a future claim of ownership by having them sign a quitclaim deed.
It is important to note that a quitclaim deed impacts only the ownership of the property and the name on the deed or title. It does not affect any preexisting mortgages on said property. For example, in the case of divorcing owners, if both spouses’ names are on the mortgage, they are still both responsible for repayment of the loan even if one has been removed from the title by a quitclaim deed.
Louisiana follows a “race” recording statute, which means that the first to record a deed holds the priority for ownership in the event of a dispute. Specifically, the voluntary transfer of ownership of property via a quitclaim deed is not fully effective without entry into the land records of the parish where the property is located. This makes the quitclaim deed effective against third parties. Recording land transactions also helps to preserve a clear chain of title (ownership history), making the process for future conveyances smoother.
The minimum requirements to execute a lawful quitclaim deed are:
- An authentic act (written agreement, executed in the presence of a notary and two witnesses who are not parties to the transaction);
- Formally recorded into the public record;
- All grantors must sign the deed (and type or print name underneath);
- Includes a warranty against eviction, so note the lack of title guarantee in the body of the deed;
- The full name, domicile and permanent mailing address of all grantors and grantees;
- The marital status (or any change thereof), including the spouse’s full name, of all parties;
- A complete legal description and the municipal ID or address of the property; and
- The ID number and typed, printed or stamped name of the notary or attorney.
For more information about quitclaim deeds in Louisiana or if you have questions about any of our services, call TitlePlus today at (225) 709-3500.