Florida Quit Claim Deed Requirements
Florida Quit Claim Deed Requirements document sample
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STATUTES OF LIMITATION AND OTHER CURATIVE STATUTES The Marketable Record Title Act was adopted by the Florida Legislature in 1963. The purpose of the Act is to extinguish ancient defects and stale claims against the title to real property and make titles to real property more secure. The Act accomplished this by declaring as marketable record title any estate or interest in land reflected by a recorded chain of title for thirty years or more (Florida Statute 712.02), and it extinguishes, subject to certain enumerated exceptions (Florida Statute 712.03), all interests which are older than the root of title. The Act further provides that a title which has fulfilled the requirements of a marketable record title and has avoided all the statutory exceptions "shall be free and clear of all estates, interests, claims or charges whatsoever" which depend on title transactions and events which "occurred prior to the effective date of the root of title" (Florida Statute 712.04). The term "root of title" is defined as the last title transaction which creates or transfers the estate and which has been recorded for at least thirty years prior to the time when marketability is being determined. "Title transaction" is defined as any recorded instrument of court proceeding which affects title to any estate or interest in land. Note that a root of title does not have to be a deed. It can be "any recorded instrument" or a "court proceeding" such as a probate, for example. But, be careful of quit-claim deeds, as noted below. The Act has the effect of a quiet title action in curing defects appearing in that part of the title lying beyond the root of title, unless the claim is preserved by the filing of a notice, or one of the exceptions to the Act applies. The following Title Standards state the nature and purpose of the Act. TITLE STANDARD 17.2 A marketable record title to an estate in land exists, subject to the specific exceptions of the Act, when a person, alone or together with predecessors in title, has been vested with such estate of record for thirty years or more and nothing of record purports to divest the person of the estate. TITLE STANDARD 17.3 All estates, interests, claims or charges whatsoever, the existence of which depends upon any act, title transaction, event or omission that occurred prior to the effective date of the root of title, are extinguished by the Act unless they are disclosed by or are defects inherent in the muniments of title beginning with the root of title, provided no other exception to the Act is applicable. TITLE STANDARD 17.4 Estates, interests, claims, or charges may be protected from the operation of the Act by the filing of proper notice. TITLE STANDARD 17.9 The Act can be relied upon to eliminate outstanding inchoate dower in real property arising out of title transactions prior to the root of title, unless notice is filed during the 30-year period immediately following the effective date of the root of title. TITLE STANDARD 17.10 The Act can be relied upon to defeat a claim of homestead against a conveyance recorded prior to the root of title, unless claimant files a notice within the 30-year period after the effective date of the root of title. TITLE STANDARD 17.11 The chain of title should be examined as before the Act and any imperfection of title considered to determine whether it is eliminated by the Act. Although the Act appears to cut off a great many interests, the exceptions to the Act must be considered. (Florida Statute 712.03). Some of the exceptions are illustrated by the follo wing Title Standards: TITLE STANDARD 17.5 The Act does not affect or extinguish the rights of any person in possession of the land. TITLE STANDARD 17.6 The Act does not affect or extinguish estates, interests, claims or charges arising out of a title transaction recorded subsequent to the recording of the root of title. TITLE STANDARD 17.7 The Act does not affect or extinguish the rights of any person in whose name the land is assessed for the period of time the land is so assessed and three years therea fter. TITLE STANDARD 17.8 The Act does not affect any right, title or interest of the United States or Florida reserved in the patent or deed by which the United States or Florida parted with title. Further exceptions to the Act are as follows: (See Florida Statute 712.03). 1. Estates or interests, easements and use restrictions disclosed by the root of title and defects inherent in the title arising after the root of title (reference to those interests in the muniments of title must be specific rather than general). 2. Estates or interests preserved by the filing of a proper notice. 3. Recorded or unrecorded easements, including those of a public utility or governmental agency, as long as they are used, even in part. 4. State's title to lands beneath navigable waters acquired by virtue of its sovereignty. (Since 1978) Thus you can see there are some significant exceptions to the Act which limit its effect as a curative statute. This means, for our purposes, that there will be things prior to the root of title which are not eliminated by the Act and for which a search must be made. Some further points to consider in connection with the Act are as follows: 1. A quit-claim deed does not qualify as a root of title. If the quit-claim deed only purports to transfer whatever interest the Grantor may have had in the land without specifying the exact interest the Grantor was attempting to convey, it won't qualify as a root of title. See Wilson v. Kelley, 226 So.2d 123 (Fla. 1969). If the quit-claim deed, however, conveys a specific interest of the Grantor, it may qualify. 2. There is some authority for the proposition that wild deed may constitute a root of title. See City of Miami v. St. Joe Paper Company, 364 So.2d 439 (Fla. 1978). This same case held that a city is not an agency of the State in the application of the provisions of the Act. 3. The Act does not define marketability. The Act does not create a title which is marketable in the commercial sense. A marketable title under the Act exists when any person having the legal capacity to own land, or his predecessors, has been vested with any estate in land of record for 30 years or more. This title is free of all claims except the matters set forth as exceptions to the Act. (See Florida Statute 712.02 and 712.03). 4. The Act will not eliminate a mineral reservation prior to a root of title. It has been recognized in Florida that there can be two estates in land--the mineral estate and the surface estate. See P & N Investment Corp. v. Florida Ranchettes, Inc., 220 So.2d 451 (Fla. 1968). An owner of the mineral estate does not have to file a statutory notice to preserve this interest. NOTE: However, that rights of entry or an easement for mining, drilling, exploring, or developing for oil, gas, minerals or fissionable materials come under the Marketable Title Act. See Florida Statute 704.05. 5. The Act may be used to eliminate old restrictions and reverter clauses prior to the root of title. Thus, where there is a warranty deed of record for more than 30 years which was placed of record subsequent to the last deed imposing or making specific reference to the restrictions and reverter and they are not on the plat according to which the property was described, the restrictions and reverter are eliminated provided no claim has been filed as allowed by Florida Statute 712.05 or is protected by 712.03(2). But, caution should be used in applying this to policies for large amounts. 6. If a false or fictitious claim is asserted by the filing of notice pursuant to the Act, the prevailing party may be entitled to costs and attorney fees arising out of any action related thereto and damages sustained as a result of the filing of such notice. Florida Statute 712.08. CURATIVE STATUTES 1. MORTGAGES Florida Statutes 95.281 provides that the lien of a mortgage terminates five (5) years after the date of maturity if the final maturity date is ascertainable from its face or, if the final maturity date is not ascertainable from its face, twenty (20) years after the date of the mortgage. Note that the statute provides that the parties may execute an extension agreement which will keep the statute from running, Note also that the statute does not apply to the mortgages executed by railroads or other public utility companies. We will rely on this statute where it is impossible for us to obtain a satisfaction. Get an affidavit that there have been no extensions. If we are able to obtain a satisfaction of the mortgage, this is always preferable to relying on the statute. 2. HEIRS Florida Statute 95.22 perfects a conveyance by persons purporting in the deed to be all the heirs of a decedent conveying the entire interest of the decedent after seven (7) years from the record of the conveyance against other possible heirs or devisees whose names did not appear of record under the will of the decedent or in proceedings in an administration of the estate. Note that the statute does not apply to persons whose names appear of record in estate proceedings. SEE TITLE STANDARD 5.15: WHERE A DEED WHICH CONTAINS A RECITAL THAT THE GRANTORS ARE THE SOLE AND ONLY HEIRS OF A NAMED DECEDENT, HAS BEEN OF RECORD FOR MORE THAN SEVEN YEARS, SUCH RECITAL MAY BE ACCEPTED AS SUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH THE TRUTH OF THE RECITAL IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE OR INFORMATION TO THE CONTRARY. 3. NAME VARIANCES IN CORPORATE CONVEYANCES Florida Statutes 694.12 provides that in case of the misnomer of a corporation in a deed or mortgage or written contract by omitting or adding a word or misspelling any part of the name of said corporation, if there is enough expressed to show that there is such an artificial being and to distinguished it from all others, the corporation name is sufficient. SEE TITLE STANDARD 10.6: CORPORATIONS ARE SATISFACTORILY IDENTIFIED ALTHOUGH THEIR NAMES ARE INCORRECTLY SET OUT OR VARIANCES EXIST FROM INSTRUMENT TO INSTRUMENT DUE TO THE OMISSION, ADDITION OR MISSPELLING OF ANY PART OF THE CORPORATE NAME IF THE IDENTITY OF THE CORPORATION PLAINLY APPEARS FROM THE CONTENTS OF THE INSTRUMENT. AFFIDAVITS AND RECITALS OF IDENTITY MAY BE USED AND RELIED UPON TO OBVIATE VARIANCES TOO SUBSTANTIAL OR TOO SIGNIFICANT TO BE IGNORED. 4. DISSOLVED FOREIGN CORPORATIONS: Florida Statute 692.03 purports to validate conveyances by surviving directors or trustees of dissolved foreign corporations which have been of record for at least seven (7) years. The Company is willing to insure against the adverse matters discussed at paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6. The form of the coverage will vary, so contact the underwriting office for your area of the state. Until Marketable Record Title Act would have extinguished the matter, the matter must be reflected in Schedule B and insured against. 5. LIMITATIONS ON CONTRACTS OF RECORD: There are several statutes which bar the enforcement of old contracts. Florida Statutes 95.35 bars the enforcement of a contract made before July 1, 1972 in which the final maturity of the obligation is not ascertainable from the record of the contract and there is no deed to or judgment in favor of the purchaser of record and the purchaser is not in possession. Present Florida Statute 95.11 is a general statute of limitations covering written contracts or other obligations which contain a definite maturity date. This section bars enforcement of a written contract five (5) years after maturity. However, we should be careful in applying this statute because there may be cases where it does not apply. Thus, the statute of limitations may not run if the person against whom the right of action exists is absent from the state, is incompetent or conceals himself to avoid service of process or makes a part payment. See Florida Statute 95.05. In general, if we know of the existence of a recent purchase contract whether recorded or not, we should inquire as to the status of the vendee and obtain a release or quit-claim from the vendee rather than rely on the statutes of limitation. Remember that the contact vendee may also be in possession. The vendee may have obtained an equitable interest in the property which must be terminated. Further, do not rely on representations made solely by the vendor that the contract has been terminated. 6. DEFECTS IN ACKNOWLEDGMENT: There are several statutes which deal with defects in acknowledgments, lack of seals or witnesses. Florida Statutes 95.231 provides that such defects are cured five (5) years after the recording of the deed in the absence of fraud, adverse possession or pending litigation. A better statute to rely on is Florida Statute 694.08 which provides that defects in acknowledgments are cured where the deed has been on record for seven (7) years and there has been a subsequent conveyance and no apparent fraud, adverse possession or pending litigation. Florida Statute 695.05 provides that corporate conveyances or mortgages which are acknowledged by an officer or stockholder or other person interested in the corporation shall not be invalid. This statute is an exception to the rule than an instrument may not be notarized by a party in interest such as a grantor or grantee. There do not, however, appear to be many cases upholding this statute. Florida Statute 695.06 provides that an ACKNOWLEDGMENT is not defective if it was not taken in the place as stated in the venue of the ACKNOWLEDGMENT. 7. DEEDS ON RECORD FOR 20 YEARS: Florida Statute 95.231(2) provides that after twenty (20) years from the recording of a deed no claim may be asserted against the takers under the deed. We are reluctant to rely on this statute since there have been cases which limit its application. There are many situations where the statute will not apply. There is one instance, however, where we can rely on this statute and that is where a tax deed has been of record for twenty (20) years. SEE TITLE STANDARD 15.1: A TITLE BASED UPON A TAX DEED ISSUED BY THE CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT IS MARKETABLE IF IT AFFIRMATIVELY APPEARS THAT: (1) THE TAX DEED HAS BEEN OF RECORD FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS: (2) THE TAXES HAVE BEEN PAID BY THE TAX DEED GRANTEE, OR SUCCESSORS, FOR THAT PERIOD OF TIME: (3) SUBSEQUENT TO THE TAX DEED THERE HAS BEEN NO ADVERSE CLAIM ASSERTED OF RECORD AND NO POSSESSION ADVERSE TO THE TAX DEED GRANTEE, OR SUCCESSORS: (4) THE TAXES FOR WHICH THE TAX DEED WAS ISSUED HAD NOT BEEN PAID BEFORE THE EXECUTION OR ISSUANCE OF THE TAX DEED.