Possessing copies of the warranty deed and deed of trust for a home is as important as having copies of life insurance policies and a will. These documents play an important role if there is a question of ownership or something happens to the owner. The buyer, lender and closing company (if one was used) should have copies of the deeds.
Warranty deeds and deeds of trust serve two different purposes. A warranty deed is certification from the buyer that the title is free and clear of all claims and protects the buyer from any future claims on the property. A deed of trust is similar to a mortgage. It is an agreement that the buyer will pay the lender, and in the event of default, the lender can take possession and sell the property. Not all states use deeds of trust, but instead refer to the mortgage as the instrument of trust.
Ask the mortgage holder. Depending on the state, there may be a warranty deed and the mortgage which serves as the deed of trust, or there may be both a warranty deed signed by the buyer and a deed of trust signed by the lender. Ask your mortgage holder for a copy of whichever is relevant.
Check your mortgage papers. Many times, both the warranty deed and deed of trust (if one was included) are part of the paperwork completed at the mortgage closing. Copies of both could be included, but the warranty deed should especially be included since it was signed at the closing.
Inquire at the county clerk's office. Deeds are filed in the county in which the property is located. Go to the clerk's office and do a deed search. The deed can be searched with buyer's name, seller's name or the property lot number. For a nominal fee, the clerk's office can make a copy of the deeds for you.
In some cases the warranty deed is mailed to the owner after the closing. If it is a new sale, wait a few weeks before inquiring since it could take some time to prepare the document.
- home sweet home image by David Dorner from Fotolia.com