Correction deeds allow people to amend certain errors on a legal document.
They are a quick, efficient, and relatively inexpensive way to ensure the deeds for assets are 100% accurate, helping to avoid legal issues in the future.
However, correction deeds cannot fix all errors, only specific types of mistakes.
But don’t let that confuse you!
In this article, we’re going to break down everything you have to know about correction deeds, from what they can do to how much they cost.
If you have noticed a mistake on a deed, take action as soon as possible.
The quicker you take care of the problem, the easier the entire process will be.
1. What is a Correction Deed?
A correction deed, also referred to as a corrective or confirmatory deed, is a legal document that has the ability to change or correct a deed that has been previously recorded.
It’s important to note that correction deeds are not replacements for the original instruments.
They are more like additions, or amendments, that ensure the legal document upholds everything it is supposed to.
Sometimes, the person filling out the original deed will forget to include important information, inaccurately describe properties, or make typos.
A correction deed will take care of most minor errors on the legal document (see the next section to see the exact errors they can fix).
Once the correction deed is finalized and recorded, it becomes an official part of the original deed.
For the most part, these are only used for minor errors.
If a serious mistake was made on a deed, a new document might need to be created in order to avoid complications in the future.
So, what exactly can a correction deed fix.
2. What Are Common Errors a Correction Deed Can Fix?
If a legal document has a major mistake, a correction deed may not be enough to fix the issue.
Let’s check out some common mistakes they can take care of.
Misspellings and typos: a misspelled name or other typos can result in a number of legal challenges in the future, but luckily, a correction deed can handle all misspellings and typos.
It can also be used to fix an incorrect middle initial.
Missing or incorrect signatures: legal documents require a lot of signatures and initials, and it’s not uncommon for people to accidentally miss a few.
A correction deed will allow you to fill in the missing signature, but if the wrong person signed a certain section, the document may or may not be able to make the change.
Minor legal description mistakes: errors in property descriptions can be dealt with using a correction deed.
These errors could include things such as mistakes in the land total, incorrect block numbers, or incorrect boundaries.
Incorrect property type: if the property type was documented incorrectly, a correction deed could be used.
For example, if a multi-family home was put down as a single-family home, that could be corrected with this type of legal document.
As you can see, all of these errors are minor; however, minor problems can also cause several issues.
When it comes to more significant errors or changes, a correction deed may not be able to resolve the issue.
3. What Can a Correction Deed Not Fix?
Major problems in a deed, or major disputes will unlikely be able to be resolved with a correction deed.
These types of issues will typically require a brand-new deed or a separate legal document, depending on the problem.
So, let’s take a look at what cannot be fixed by a correction deed.
New terms and conditions: a correction deed cannot be used to add new terms and conditions to a previously recorded deed.
It also cannot be used to make any material changes, which include things that would significantly alter the market price.
Adding or removing names: if a name was left out or accidentally added, a correction deed will not be able to fix the problem.
In these cases, a new deed would have to be made. Keep in mind that a correction deed can fix misspelled names.
Altering legal property descriptions (some cases): certain errors in property descriptions cannot be resolved with a correction deed.
In some cases, an incorrect address may require a new document to be made.
Invalid signatures: if a document contains a forged or invalid signature, a correction deed may not be able to solve the problem.
However, missing signatures will be able to be fixed with a correction deed.
Major issues like these will likely require new deeds to be put together.
As always, if you notice a serious issue with a legal document, steps to fix the problem should be taken immediately.
Waiting will make the process more difficult and potentially more expensive.
4. What Are Examples of Harmless Errors in a Deed?
Not all errors on a deed will affect the title or ownership of a property.
These include minor mistakes or typos, and in most cases, a correction deed will be able to handle all of these harmless errors.
Here are a few examples of harmless errors in a deed:
Misspellings and typos
Minor description errors
Although mistakes like these are considered harmless and shouldn’t affect the validity of the deed, they should be fixed as soon as possible.
Small errors could result in annoying legal steps in the future, so putting together a correction deed with a lawyer is highly recommended.
5. How to Create a Correction Deed?
Creating a correction deed is fairly straightforward, but there are multiple steps, and certain cases can get complicated.
The original document first needs to be collected, and the error (or errors) needs to be identified.
If there are multiple errors, it would be wise to make notes of all of them and specify where in the document they are found.
This will speed up the correction process and ensure nothing gets missed.
Once all errors are addressed in the correction deed form, all parties need to sign the document, and it then needs to be notarized.
Keep in mind that you may need to have witnesses present during the notary process.
Once the correction deed is completely filled out, signed, and notarized, it needs to be filed with the county recorder’s office or wherever the original deed was filed.
If you aren’t confident in filling out the correction deed form, or if you have any questions, contact a professional to help you.
When it comes to legal documents, you want to make sure everything is done accurately to avoid problems and fees down the line.
6. Do You Need to Consult with a Lawyer to Create a Correction Deed?
You are not required to meet or consult with a lawyer when creating a correction deed.
However, it is highly recommended that you do seek help from a professional.
A legal professional, especially one that specializes in real estate, will be able to offer guidance and inform you whether or not a correction deed will be able to solve the problem.
Additionally, having a lawyer dissect the document will help identify any other errors that may have gone unnoticed.
After the correction deed is signed and notarized, the lawyer can be responsible for ensuring it gets filed away in the appropriate place.
All in all, working with a legal professional through the creation of any document is an excellent way to guarantee that your legal documents hold validity.
Failing to work with a professional puts you at risk of creating an invalid document that won’t hold up in court or that causes problems in the future.
So, if you are unfamiliar with each step of the process, hire a legal professional to assist you.
7. What’s the Difference Between a Correction Deed and Scrivener’s Affidavit?
A correction deed and a scrivener’s affidavit can both be used to change minor issues on a deed, but what’s the difference between the two?
Well, a correction deed is a new legal document that is dealt with in the same way that the original deed was dealt with.
It will acknowledge the errors and give explanations as to why they occurred.
Once the legal document is finalized, it will become an extension, or amendment, of the original document–the original and correction deed have to be filed at the same place.
A scrivener’s affidavit, unlike a correction deed, is not a legal document but is instead a sworn statement by whoever created the original deed.
Similar to the correction deed, the affidavit will address the error and provide the correct information.
The sworn statement, as a separate document, is then attached to the original deed; however, it does not officially become a part of the document.
The error in the original deed will determine whether a correction deed or scrivener’s affidavit should be used.
It’s recommended that you consult with a legal professional to help you identify which route you should take.
8. What Happens if There is a Disagreement About the Correction Deed?
Disagreements and legal disputes can arise from a correction deed if there are multiple parties involved.
Since most of the errors that correction deeds fix are relatively small, disagreements can typically be dealt with informally (without the intervention of legal professionals).
So, before you seek legal counsel, try to negotiate with the various parties involved; this will save you a great deal of time and money.
If an agreement cannot be made, there are two options: trying to resolve the issue through mediation or filing a lawsuit.
Mediation refers to meetings that are being mediated by a neutral person who assists in the negotiation process.
The mediators should ideally be professionals who do not have preexisting relationships with either party involved in the dispute.
If mediation does not lead to an agreement, a lawsuit may need to be filed.
It is important to remember that legal battles can be lengthy and expensive.
So, the party filing the lawsuit should strongly consider whether the stress and resources are worth the trouble.
All parties involved should first meet informally and then with a mediator before taking the matter to court.
(Of course, if you are unsure of the best steps to take or if you feel you are being taken advantage of, talk to your real estate attorney for guidance.)
9. How Much Do They Cost?
The cost of a correction deed is dependent on a number of factors, including things like property location, the extent of the errors, and whether or not an attorney is hired for assistance.
Each state (and sometimes county) has specific fees related to correction deeds.
In general, a correction deed will cost between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars.
The most expensive factor is typically the hourly or fixed rate of the legal professional.
Before hiring a lawyer, you should schedule a consultation so that you can discuss the total costs.
Any lawyer who is unwilling to provide a breakdown of the costs should be avoided.
A legitimate legal professional will be willing to discuss every aspect of the total cost and provide you with a clear, coherent payment structure.
Although correction deeds will undoubtedly cost money, it should not stop you from correcting errors on the original document.
Failing to do so can be very problematic down the line.
10. Can A Correction Deed be Used for Documents Filed Years in the Past?
A correction deed can be used to fix the errors on both new and old deeds–there is currently no time restriction policy.
With that being said, changing older deeds is often more difficult than altering new deeds.
You will be responsible for tracking down all the necessary paperwork and parties involved in the original deed.
Certain factors may also contribute to a lengthier process, such as changes in ownership and value of a property.
However, old deeds can, without a doubt, still be successfully corrected.
Hiring a legal professional to assist you throughout the process should be a top priority when dealing with a deed that was filed years in the past.
Noticing an error in a deed is scary.
Minor mistakes don’t often require a brand-new document to be drafted, but they can still cause legal difficulties.
Correction deeds are a very convenient way to eradicate any errors quickly and effectively from the document.
In the grand scheme of things, these documents are fairly inexpensive, and hiring a legal professional to guide you through the process will help you avoid costly fees in the future.
Remember that not all errors can be fixed using a correction deed, and sometimes a new document has to be created.
Consult with a real estate attorney to receive guidance and learn whether or not a correction deed is the best decision for you.
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Disclaimer: we are not lawyers, accountants or financial advisors and the information in this article is for informational purposes only. This article is based on our own research and experience and we do our best to keep it accurate and up-to-date, but it may contain errors. Please be sure to consult a legal or financial professional before making any investment decisions.