How to Research a Deed of Trust

By Legal Editor

A deed of trust is a deed recorded in public records and generally filed at the tax office. The deed states, if applicable, if there is a lien or security hold on the property. It also conveys title to the related property. The terms "deed of trust" and "mortgage" are used interchangeably.

Research the deed. Look for a tax stamp to determine if a fee was assessed. The information may be accessed online or in person. Check the Grantor (seller) and Grantee (buyer) Indexes. These list property owner and buyer by last name in alphabetical order.

Identify the names of the buyer and seller of the real estate parcel. A deed of trust involves the trust or, beneficiary and trustee. Find the acknowledgment or release in the document. This proves the statement was given under oath without duress or force.

Determine the location of the property. Identify the county, city and property variables through the county office tax records. If the property can't be found purchase a parcel map from the county. Parcel maps serve as a basis for all property assessments and are continuously updated.

Find the consideration or price and what type of covenant the deed represents. It could be a warranty (legal binding promise in the future), a quick claim (releases party from any interest of real estate) or a mortgage (specifies amount of money to purchase real estate using the property as collateral).

Look for specific releases such as release of spousal rights, release of the right of dower, release of courtesy rights, and release of homestead rights. This information can determine genealogical information.

Take notes during research of a deed of trust. You may need the information at a later time.