Q: A mistake was made when some property was transferred into my name via a quit claim deed. The middle initial of my name is not correct. Is this going to be a problem when I go to sell my house?
A: Generally, you shouldn’t have a problem with a quit claim deed and transferring ownership in a piece of property if your name is unique. However if your first and last name are rather common, the title company or closing agent for the transaction handling the sale of your property may require additional documentation to prove that you are the owner of the property.
If you and a relative have the same first and last name, any purchaser would have difficulty knowing whether you own the property or your relative owns it. In some instances, if you have the original deed, you may be able to re-record the document and correct the mistake.
If the option of re-recording the document may not be available to you in your state, you should talk to the closing agent, settlement agent or title company that handled the purchase of the property to determine what you should do.
If you purchased the property and obtained financing from a lender on your home, your loan documents likely contain the same error. Due to fraud in real estate the last several years, your lender, the closing agent, settlement agent or title company may need further information from you to make sure that there wasn’t anything done improperly at the time you took title to the property.
Now, if you received the property from a relative and that relative used a quit claim deed, you may have the relative issue a new quit claim deed to you to correct the prior error. The new quit claim deed would state on its face that the prior owner had mistakenly put the wrong middle initial in the prior quit claim deed and that he or she was executing this new quit claim deed to correct the prior error
In states in which the recording process is simple, you should be able to find an easy fix for your problem. Some states have increased taxes on deeds that convey title from one individual to another, even when the transfer is for little or no consideration.
Before you get another document signed, make sure you talk to a real estate attorney or talk to a settlement agent or title company representative to get further direction, so that you don’t create a larger problem as you try to solve this one.