Friday, December 20, 2013

Quitclaim deeds, land records and all THAT

Looking into some legal stuff I noticed that a deed was labelled 'quitclaim'. I was puzzled by what this meant (it sounded a little shady to me). From the page here it seems like a quitclaim deed is weaker than a warranty deed. A warranty deed states that whoever is giving you the deed is legally obliged to defend any challenges to ownership that arise on the land regardless of how far back in time this challenge originates. The quitclaim deed obliges the grantor to defend any challenges to ownership that arose only while they were owning the property. Any challenges that arise before are excluded. This seems a little shady, because if it is your land, and you are selling it, why would you NOT give the full support of ownership as a warranty deed promises? I started to look into land records (For Massachusetts you can go to http://www.masslandrecords.com/ and do a search based on county) and every transfer of that particular piece of land was quitclaim, going back as far as I could trace it. From a legal blog it seems that the quit claim deed is very commonly used in Massachusetts but I don't know exactly why.

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