Changing the title of your real estate in Orange County, California, can be accomplished by filing a quitclaim deed, which transfers your ownership in real estate to someone else. With a quitclaim deed, there is no guarantee that you have rights to the property in the first place. It also does not warranty that the title is free and clear of liens or other encumbrances. However, if you are transferring title to a parent or child, to a revocable trust or business entity owned by you, or as a result of a divorce settlement, a quitclaim deed is the proper form to use.
Use a quitclaim form to complete the information about the title change (see Resource).
Fill in the name of the person who currently owns the property and the name of the person or entity that the property is being transferred to. Write the city where the property is located and put "Orange" on the county line. Give a legal description of the real estate, as found on your property tax notice.
Sign and date the document in front of a notary and have it notarized as a formal deed. Only the person or persons releasing their ownership need to sign the deed. The one receiving the property does not.
Take your quit claimdeed to the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Office for filing and recording at 12 Civic Center Plaza, Room 101, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Call 714-834-2500 for directions or more information.
Pay the fees to make the change on your real estate title to complete the transaction. At of 2011, the Orange County charge for a one-page document is $6.
Talk to a representative at the Orange County Office of the Assessor or a tax attorney to ask about transfer tax implications by changing your real estate title. There are exemptions to the transfer tax requirement, and you may qualify, depending on why you are making the change and to whom you are quitclaiming the property.
Even after a quitclaim deed is filed and recorded, your mortgage documents do not change. Therefore, the person holding the loan still is responsible for paying it. That debt does not transfer to the new person on title. The only way to eliminate mortgage debt is to refinance or obtain a new loan.
Carol Deeb has been an editor and writer since 1988. Her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers and online publications, as well as a book on education. Deeb is a real-estate investor and business owner with professional experience in human resources. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Diego State University.