There is an error on my grant deed and it has already been recorded. How do I correct it?

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Question:

There is an error on my grant deed and it has already been recorded. How do I correct it?

Answer:

Grant deeds are legal documents used to transfer title of a person's real property to another person.  The person transferring the title is called the "grantor" and the person receiving the title is the "grantee."  Real property is almost always a parcel of land and everything attached to it - including homes, growing things, etc. the grant deed makes two guarantees in the process of transferring the title to another: first, that the grantor indeed owns the property free and clear and that he has not already sold the property to anyone else; and second, that there is no lien against the property or any other right to the property held by someone else.  At the point that the grant deed is signed by both parties the grantor relinquishes all rights and control of the property to the grantee.

There are instances when a grant deed may contain mistakes.  When these errors are not corrected they can create serious financial problems for both the grantor and grantee. Sometimes these errors are not detected until the owner is trying to sell or refinance the property.  The most common errors are: misspelled names of the grantor and grantee; incorrect address information; incorrect terms of the loan such as interest rate or terms, even loan amount; and incorrect legal descriptions of the property.

In order to correct errors in grant deeds that have not yet been recorded, a new grant deed can be drafted and the parties will have to resign the new document. When the deed has already been recorded by the time the error is detected, the grantor will have to sign a "corrective deed."  In the corrective deed the recording information of the original deed is referenced and the nature of the correction being made is stated. If the deed was recorded without a legal description, an attorney can attach the legal description to the grant deed as an exhibit and have the deed re-recorded. Along with that the attorney will have to insert a recital on the deed that explains that it is being re-recorded in order to add the legal description.

If the grantor is unavailable or unwilling to sign a corrective deed, the attorney can execute and record what is called a "scrivener's affidavit."  This document must contain the following information: the address of the property; the recording information from the deed with the error; a full description of the error; a legal description of the property; a statement from the attorney stating that he drafted the deed containing the error; and a detailed explanation of how the deed should have read in the first place.

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