Correction Deed

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Correcting A Recorded Deed

Once a deed has been recorded, it becomes part of the public record and cannot be changed. However, it is possible to amend the record by adding a newly executed deed, commonly referred to as a corrective or correction deed, or in some states, a deed of confirmation. This confirmatory instrument perfects an existing title by removing any defects but does not, by itself, pass title.

Correction Deed Description

A correction deed confirms the covenants and warranties of the prior deed. It must reference the original instrument by its execution and recording date, place of recording, and the filing number. It should clearly identify the error(s) before supplying a correction. The body of this new deed includes the same information as the original, thus confirming the conveyance of title. Generally, all parties who signed the original deed must also sign the correction deed in the presence of a notary, who will acknowledge its execution.

Corrective Deeds for Minor Errors

Corrective deeds are most often used for minor errors, such as misspelled names, incomplete names, missing or incorrect middle initials, and omissions of marital status or vesting information. They can also correct obvious errors in the property description, such as transcription mistakes in courses and distances, incorrect plat or deed references, listing errors in lot numbers, or omitted exhibits providing the legal description of the property. Moreover, a correction deed can amend defects in the execution or acknowledgment of the original deed.

Resolving Significant Errors

Resolving significant errors often causes confusion. A substantial correction changes the substance of the deed, such as altering the legal description, modifying the amount of consideration, or adding or removing names. Some states allow such corrections through a corrective instrument, while others may require a completely new deed.

Typographical Errors

Typographical errors, which are generally non-material, may be corrected with a less involved process. In some states, the original deed can be resubmitted with corrections along with a cover page that includes a correction statement, error identification, and a clear reference to the previously recorded deed. Depending on the type and gravity of the error, re-acknowledgment might not be required in these cases.

Affidavit of Correction

In some jurisdictions, an affidavit of correction or a scrivener's affidavit may be recorded to notify an error in a recorded deed. Reserved typically for minor corrections and typographical errors, it can be executed by individuals other than the parties of the original deed, provided they state the reasons for the correction and have knowledge of the corrected facts, and evidence of notification to the original parties or their heirs is shown. However, this does not correct the original deed as a corrective deed would.

Changes to Legal Description

Changes to the legal description of the property are sensitive and typically require a new corrective deed signed by the original grantor. In some states, it is recommended that both the grantor and grantee sign the corrective instrument to assure valid title. For more significant errors or to include or omit a name from the existing deed, a new standard conveyance, such as a warranty or quitclaim deed, might be more appropriate than a correction deed.

Note: does not provide legal advice. This information is general and may vary by state. Consult a real estate lawyer for legal advice specific to your situation.

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