Document Review & Preparation

Deeds

Roland Acosta has been preparing Deeds for nearly his entire legal career, 40 years.  The Firm can prepares all manner of Deeds, the most common are:

  • Special Warranty Deed:  A special warranty deed is a deed in which the seller warrants or guarantees the title only against defects arising during the period of his or her tenure or ownership of the property. The grantor makes no warranty against defects existing before the time of his or her ownership.  A special warranty deed is less protective to the buyer than a general warranty deed. The grantor of a special warranty deed conveys the property with two warranties: that he or she received the title to the property; and, that the property was not encumbered during his or her ownership. The grantor of a special warranty deed warrants the title only against his or her own omissions and/or defects, and warrants nothing pertaining to the title prior to his or her possession.
  • General Warranty Deed:  An instrument that transfers real property from one person to another and in which the grantor promises that title is good and clear of any claims.  A general warranty deed not only conveys to the grantee all of the grantor’s interest in and title to the property but also guarantees that if the title is defective or has a “cloud” on it, such as a mortgage claim, tax lien, title claim, judgment, or mechanic’s lien, the grantee may hold the grantor liable.
  • Quitclaim Deed:  A deed releasing a person’s interest in a property without stating the nature of the person’s interest or rights, and with no warranties of ownership. While a quitclaim deed neither warrants nor professes that the grantor’s claim is valid, it does prevent the grantor from later claiming they have an interest in the property.  Since a quitclaim deed makes no assurance that the grantor actually has an ownership interest in a property – but merely states that if they do, they release those ownership rights – when accepting a quitclaim deed the buyer of a property accepts the risks that the grantor of the deed may not have a valid ownership interest and/or that there may be additional ownership interests in the property. Title insurance companies may be unwilling to issue title insurance based on a quitclaim deed.
  • Trustee Deed:  A”trustee’s deed” or “personal representative’s deed” refer to the type of person who is executing the deed, not the type of deed. Such deeds may be either a general warranty deed, a special warranty deed, or a quitclaim deed.  In addition, there are deeds called “fee simple deeds” used in Florida.
  • Lady Bird Deed:  A Lady Bird deed (AKA Enhanced Life Estate Deed in Florida) is a relatively new form of deed that, like a traditional life estate deed, allows property to pass automatically to one or more designated recipients at death, without the need for Florida Probate.  Florida is one of only a handful of states that recognize Lady Bird deeds.

*Preparing, executing and recording a deed that has not been prepared or reviewed by an experienced Real Estate attorney can have devastating and often expensive consequences.  Do not be pennywise and pound foolish, consult with an experienced real estate attorney if you think you need to have a deed prepared.

Preparation of Note and Mortgage
Promissory Notes

A financial instrument that contains a written promise by one party to pay another party a definite sum of money either on demand or at a specified future date. A promissory note typically contains all the terms pertaining to the indebtedness by the issuer or maker to the note’s payee, such as the amount, interest rate, maturity date, date and place of issuance, and issuer’s signature.

A loan contract, on the other hand, usually states the lender’s right to recourse – such as foreclosure – in the event of default by the borrower; such provisions are generally absent in a promissory note.

Promissory notes that are unconditional and saleable become negotiable instruments that are extensively used in business transactions in numerous countries.

A promissory note is usually held by the payee. Once the debt has been discharged, it must be canceled by the payee and returned to the issuer.

Mortgage

A debt instrument, secured by the collateral of specified real estate property, that the borrower is obliged to pay back with a predetermined set of payments. Mortgages are used by individuals and businesses to make large real estate purchases without paying the entire value of the purchase up front. Over a period of many years, the borrower repays the loan, plus interest, until he/she eventually owns the property free and clear. Mortgages are also known as “liens against property” or “claims on property.” If the borrower stops paying the mortgage, the bank can foreclose. In Florida, if a couple is married then both the husband and wife must sign the mortgage. However, only the individuals that sign the Promissory Note securing the mortgage can be held financially responsible in the event of a foreclosure

Lease Drafting

Leases are the contracts that lay out the details of rental agreements in the real estate market. At Roland H. Acosta & Associates, we routinely draft residential and commerical leases for our clients. We can draft traditional landlord/tenant leases, gross leases, triple net leases and modified net leases.