16.04 Quitclaim Deeds


In General

A "quitclaim deed" is a deed which conveys whatever interest the grantor has in the property, as distinguished from a grant of the fee or other estate with warranty of title.

In some jurisdictions, the grantee in a quitclaim deed is not regarded as a bona fide purchaser for value even though the grantee may have paid full value. In a majority of states, the grantee accepting a quitclaim deed may be recognized as a bona fide purchaser.

The quitclaim deed is the lowest and least desirable form of deed. It does not carry with it any after-acquired title. The words of grant for a quitclaim deed, "remise, release, and quitclaim", imply no covenants or warranties of title. The quitclaim deed simply conveys whatever title the grantor may have at the time of the delivery of the deed without implying that the grantor has good title or any title at all.

Ordinarily a warranty or bargain and sale deed is used to transfer a fee simple interest. A quitclaim deed is not commonly used to convey a fee. It is usually restricted to releasing or conveying undivided, minor or secondary interest in real estate or for the purposes of clearing title defects or clouds on the title.

Quitclaim deeds, though very useful in the elimination of title clouds or imperfections, are often considered by title insurers as "red flags" in the chains of title.


Insuring A Grantee In A Quitclaim Deed

Reliance on a quitclaim deed for the purpose of insuring its grantee, when the grantee has no other interest of record, may expose the Company to certain additional risks which would not arise if the instrument of conveyance had contained the normal covenants of warranty or constituted a bargain and sale deed.

Do not accept a quitclaim deed in the current insured transaction in order to vest title in the proposed owner, unlee (1) reliance on quitclaim deeds is customary in your jurisdiction, or (2) you receive approval from our underwriting personnel.