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Deed of Trust

When to use Deed of Trust

In certain areas of the country, a specific kind of paperwork must be completed when certain kinds of property are bought and sold. This paperwork is commonly referred to as “deed of trust” documentation, although some states may refer to it more commonly as a mortgage agreement. It is important to clarify whether you live in a so-called “deed of trust state” before selling or purchasing real property. Failure to take this proactive step could impact the timeliness and effectiveness of your transaction. As deed of trust documentation and mortgage agreements are not exactly alike, this distinction is consequential.


You may use this deed of trust form when buying or selling real property in a deed of trust state. Specifically, you will use this documentation to designate a trustee to hold the title in question until the loan associated with this purchase is paid off. You will also outline numerous terms specific to your sale transaction, such as contact information for all interested parties, a legal description of the property, repayment schedule, etc. Once this document is complete, you will need to have it notarized in order to give it full legal effect.

It is important to note that deeds of trust and mortgage agreements are not exactly the same. While both place liens on property so that buyers may secure financing in order to purchase the property in question, deeds of trust require the designation of a trustee, whereas mortgage agreements do not. In addition, deed of trust states do not generally require lenders to go through specific legal processes should they choose to foreclose. If you have questions about the practical consequences of these distinctions, please consult an experienced real estate attorney.

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