It is common for people to make mistakes on their deeds. Fortunately, in California, property owners can use a Corrective Deed to correct any error to a recorded deed. Errors should be corrected as soon as possible. Doing so will reduce setbacks in the transfer of real property later on. Read on to learn more about how to correct an error on a California deed.

Common Deed Errors

A mistake to the deed occurs when there are misspellings, errors in legal descriptions and/or title, errors in the property address or when a wrong form of co-ownership is used. An error in the execution of the deed may also occur when the wrong form of notary acknowledgment is used or when all parties do not properly sign the deed. As mentioned above, any error in a deed should be corrected as soon as possible.

“I did not know what to do when I received a call from the Recorder’s office telling me that the deed I prepared was not correct. I did not know how to fix it or who to call.” S. Hartley
“I contacted a local title company and they referred me to A People’s Choice. They were able to quickly prepare a correction deed to fix the mistake. Great service at a cheap price.” S. Hartley

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How to Correct an Error on a California Deed

If the deed has not been signed or recorded, you can easily correct an error on a California deed before the deed is recorded with the County Recorder’s office. In order to correct an error on a California deed, you will need to revise or modify the language in the deed to remove the error. If your deed has been signed and recorded, you will need to complete a Correction Deed or a Scrivener’s Affidavit to correct the error. Based on the type of error, you will need to decide the best process to correct the error.

A Corrective Deed is used to fix/correct an error on a California deed which has already been recorded. This type of deed does not create a new interest. The Corrective Deed will correct the deed document on the earlier transfer of interest. For example, if you sign and record a deed that misspells your last name, you can correct an error on a California deed utilizing a Corrective Deed to revise the error.

In comparison, a Scrivener’s Affidavit is a sworn statement signed by the person who created the incorrect deed. Unlike a Correction Deed, a Scrivener’s Affidavit doesn’t actually “correct” anything. Instead, it simply adds information to the property records to help clarify something about the earlier deed. Compared to a Corrective Deed or Correction Deed, A Scrivener’s Affidavit has very limited use. A Corrective Deed must be signed by the original transferor or transferors and includes all the information on a single document. A Corrective Deed provides much more detail than a Scrivener’s Affidavit. You should only use a Scrivener Affidavit when there are no substantive changes that are required, but rather it is simply necessary to provide other information that will resolve a potential title issue.

How to Create a Correction Deed

You can correct an error on a California deed through a Correction Deed or Corrective Deed. Usually deed errors are as a result of someone attempting to prepare a deed without proper knowledge or professional help. In this regard, to avoid further mistakes, you can inexpensively hire the services of a legal document assistant such as A People’s Choice to make sure the correction deed is prepared properly and actually “fixes” the problem. In order to create a correction deed, a  copy of the deed originally filed is created with the additional words “Corrective” or “Correction” next to the title. When the Correction Deed is prepared, the error made in the earlier deed should be fixed. For example, if your last name was misspelled, your name should be entered with the proper spelling in the Correction deed where appropriate. If the address, AP Number or legal description had an error, make whatever changes necessary to correct these items. Next, somewhere in the body of the deed, you will need to provide an explanation about why the deed is being modified. This explanation can also be placed in the upper right hand part of the document below the recording stamp area if there is room. It is important to provide all information about the previous recorded deed such as how the title was taken, as well as all recording information. This would include the recording date and document Instrument Number as well and the exact change you are making to the deed.

What is a Scrivener’s Affidavit?

As mentioned above, a Scrivener’s Affidavit is a sworn statement made by the person who drafted the deed. The affidavit statement is to provide other information to the property records to clarify information contained in the earlier deed. It is important to keep in mind that this type of affidavit should only be used when more information is needed to describe the recorded document. If an error is on the deed, it is best to use a Correction Deed to make a revision.

Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to correct an error on a California deed. Title errors can create major problems if they are not corrected, and could impact a sale or distribution of property after death of an owner. A People’s Choice has over 35 years experience preparing Corrective Deeds and other types of legal documents. We have established a long-standing reputation for professional work and often receive referrals from title companies to help people with these matters. Call us today at 800-747-2780.

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