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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33768
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I need an agreement to stipulate a building ownership. Here

Customer Question

My name is***** need an agreement to stipulate a building ownership.  Here is what I want to achieve:
-3 families house with mortgage and deed all under a single person name who is my sister.  This house was new and purchased on 2009
-I want to leave the deed and mortgage as is with no changes but want to have an effective agreement which states I have 100% ownership of the house to sign by me, rowena, and witness (such as lawyer, my sibling or my parents).
Can this be done? Will the said agreement effectively provide me ownership protection? Do you have any other alternatives suggestion?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

You can have an agreement drawn up that says anything but the trouble is that you won't know how effective it is until it is challenged since it isn't a "normal" agreement or the way real estate transactions are usually handled.

I admit, I'm just a little confused by the facts but what I understand you want is for you to end up with 100% ownership of the property (which you don't have now) but you don't want to make the changes effective on paper just yet.

A better solution would probably be to have a lawyer draft a set of deeds from the other owners to you which are then signed and just aren't filed yet. There are some potential disadvantages to that which you would want to discuss with the lawyer who drafts the documents. One example would be that a creditor of the other people could place a lien on the property for their debt and since you wouldn't have filed the "new" deed then the lien would likely be effective and cloud the title to property you actually own. There are some other potential ramifications but you need to discuss those in person with someone who can do an in depth interview.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Also, if I misunderstood the current status and your goal (as I explained my understanding above) please let me know and do not issue a rating without giving me a chance to reconsider.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I do a quick deed transfer to my name only but the mortgage remain on my sister name?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

I assume you're asking about a Quitclaim deed and a deed to the property has nothing to do with the mortgage although there is a possibility that the contract for the mortgage prevents any transfers of the property without the lender's permission. That wouldn't really become an issue unless the mortgage isn't paid though.

You usually want to avoid Quitclaim Deeds. With the advent of the internet many people try to do Quitclaim Deeds themselves but many times they are a mistake that will cause serious, and expensive, problems later. First, no non-lawyer should ever do a deed. Actually, no one, including lawyers, who don't do a lot of deeds should ever do a deed because they are too easy to make a mistake on and if you make a mistake it generally isn't caught until much later and can then cost a fortune to correct if it can be corrected at all.

In addition, many title insurance companies won't issue title insurance on property where a portion of it was deeded by way of a Quitclaim Deed. If you can't get title insurance then it essentially makes the property unmarketable and worthless since you can never get financing without title insurance.

A Quitclaim Deed is not the same as a Warranty Deed for a variety of reasons. Some websites, written by people who don't know much about the law, state Quitclaim Deed are "just as good" as Warranty Deeds but that is an absolute false statement. The QC deed can pass title but it does so without guaranteeing that the title is clear, that the person owns the title, etc. They are actually used only in "last ditch" situations where no other form of deed can be obtained or where the person can't prove they own any shares of the property.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just spoke with two attorneys over the phone and both said a deed transfer plus recording will allow me to have 100% Guarantee Ownership at minimal cost. Your suggestion isn't accurate and therefore like to request for a refund.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

You are certainly entitled to a refund if you request one, however, you specifically stated you wanted to leave the deed "as is" and once you record the deeds then it no longer is "as is", so my answer is accurate.

In addition, a Quitclaim Deed does not "guarantee ownership" and still creates the same problems I described earlier. A Quitclaim Deed can be signed by anyone for any property since it only says "if I own any share in the property I transfer it to you". Anyone can sign a Quitclaim Deed for any property, even property they don't own a share in. In addition, if the person who owns a share in the property deeds it to you via a Quitclaim deed and there are any problems with the title such as liens, defects, etc. then the responsibility for clearing those up is on you, not the person deeding it to you. With a Warranty deed it is different since they are "warranting" that the title to the land is clear.

I'm not sure what you asked the attorneys you spoke to on the telephone but the answer you received is incorrect based on the original question and facts you presented here.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I want to leave the mortgage as is not the deed. The attorney is not doing a quitclaim but a deed transfer record with the state which will guarantee me full ownership and sole owner on the property
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry, I can only answer the question that are asked. You state, "I want to leave the deed and mortgage as is with no changes " which is why I explained that you couldn't guarantee ownership without deeds and that if you wanted to leave things "as is" then the best way to do it would be to get the deeds signed but not recorded yet and that they didn't affect the mortgage.

My answers offered you a number of different options based on your parameters, all of which ended up with you having 100% ownership but in addition I pointed out what could go wrong, the issue with Quitclaim Deeds, which are still issues, etc.