- June 30, 1998
- All Florida Offices and Agents
- Quit Claim Deeds - Revisited
In 1993 we issued a bulletin dealing with quit claim deeds in which we advised agents not to insure a quit claim deed nor insure over a quit claim deed in the back chain of title without underwriting approval. Quit claim deeds continue to make their appearance in claim files. Thus, we decided to issue this new bulletin.
A quit claim deed is not a proper means of conveyance of property in Florida. A quit claim deed does not specifically convey property but merely conveys what ever interest the grantor may have, if any. It carries with it no warranties of title. The doctrine of after acquired property is not applicable with the use of quit claim deed.
In settling an estate and a dissolution of marriage a quit claim deed is customarily used and in those two incidents is acceptable.
In addition, quit claim deeds continue to appear in claim situations involving fraud. Frequently, the deeds are prepared outside of a normal closing. The "prepared by" recital will typically indicate that the deed was prepared by the grantor, or grantee, or by the notary. Typically nominal stamps are paid with the deed. The deed was obviously executed outside of the control of a title agent or an attorney. Sometimes these deeds are presented at closing unrecorded indicating that the grantor in a current closing is the purported owner of the property by virtue of that quit claim deed executed outside of the control and direction of title agent.
SUCH DEEDS SHOULD NOT BE ACCEPTED WITHOUT VERIFYING THEIR AUTHENTICITY WITH THE GRANTOR WHETHER IT IS BEING PRESENTED CURRENTLY OR FOUND IN THE BACK CHAIN.
Accordingly, do not insure a quit claim deed nor insure over a quit claim deed in a back chain, without appropriate underwriting authority approval. The only exception should be in the case of settling an estate, dissolution of marriage, or correcting a prior document.
THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.