What Is the Difference Between a Deed and a Deed of Trust?

By Phil M. Fowler
What, the Difference, a Deed, Trust

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The difference between a deed and a deed of trust is the type of ownership interest each document conveys. A deed is a full ownership interest. A deed of trust is a security interest.


Deeds are legal documents that are used to transfer full legal title to another person.

Deed of Trust

A deed of trust does not transfer full legal title. Instead, a deed of trust creates a security interest in the beneficiary of the deed of trust.


A deed of trust is the modern form of mortgage. In practical effect, there is little difference between a mortgage loan and a loan secured by a deed of trust.


Like a mortgage, a deed of trust gives a lender the right to foreclose if you don't pay your loan on time. This means if you stop paying the loan on your home, the lender can sell your home to pay off the loan.

Deed Types

Deeds come in different varieties, including warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds. Warranty deeds provide some guarantee of the condition of the title, while quitclaim deeds make no guarantee regarding the condition of the title.

About the Author

The Constitution Guru has worked as a writer and editor for "BYU Law Review" and "BYU Journal of Public Law." He is an experienced attorney with a law degree and a B.A. degree in history with an emphasis on U.S. Constitutional history, both earned at Brigham Young University.

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