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California Short Form Deed of Trust

A deed of trust (DOT), also known as a trust deed, is a document that conveys title to real property to a trustee as security for a loan until the grantor (borrower) repays the lender according to terms defined in an attached promissory note. It's similar to a mortgage, but differs in that mortgages only include two parties (borrower and lender). The laws of each state determine whether to use a deed of trust or a mortgage.

There are three parties to a deed of trust: the borrower (trustor), the lender (beneficiary), and the trustee. The trustee, typically a title agency or other disinterested party, serves two purposes: to initiate the foreclosure process for the lender if the borrower defaults on the loan, and to transfer (reconvey) the property back to the borrower after the debt is paid in full.

The short form deed covers the requirements for most non-institutional lenders. In addition to any other necessary documents, the short form adds another step of recording a fictitious or master deed of trust.

A fictitious/master deed of trust is a blank, unsigned long form deed of trust with a cover sheet attached, requesting recording for reference purposes only. By referencing the recorded instrument information on the fictitious DOT, all rights and obligations of the parties are preserved. Because of this, it's generally less costly to record the short form DOT.

Deeds.com California Short Form Deed of Trust Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Monday September 16, 2019

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What others like you are saying:


Paula B. said: I'm transferring a property into a trust and ordered the QuitClaim Deed. Everything was pretty straight forward and user friendly. However, the Additional Information/Instructions for the Preliminary Change of Ownership Report skips from Section "I" to "M" and does not address "K". It would have been very helpful to have an explanation of the difference between the three options in that section. Thank you.

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Philip C. said: The product I purchased looks great and I added Adobe to be able to copy it, but for some reason I can't,so I will delete Adobe and then try again to copy what i paid for. I have all the PDFS' and my computer and printer are fairly new (windows 10),I should have tried to copy it first, I'll get it! Thanks

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Lana B. said: Was very helpful!

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Robert T. said: Perfect. Downloaded the forms with no issues, filled them out, had them notarized and recorded all in just a few hours (most of that time was spent at the recorder's office). Highly recommend.

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Terri A. said: So far so good --- I'm helping a friend with her property! Thanks!

Reply from Staff: Thank you Terri.


Mark E. said: Thank you for your Swift response. Have docs I was looking for!

Reply from Staff: Thank you for your feedback. We really appreciate it. Have a great day!


California Short Form Deed of Trust Form