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Deed of Trust Basics

Unless you're a professional athlete or movie star, chances are you'll need a loan to buy your dream house. When you get that loan, however, you will be required to sign a Deed of Trust (or a Mortgage Agreement depending on your state) as security or collateral for the loan. If the loan is not repaid on time, the lender can foreclose on and sell the property in order to pay off the loan.

Use the Deed of Trust document if:

  • You're loaning money to another person or business and want to hold an interest in certain property they own as security until they repay their debt.

    You're borrowing money and want to offer your property as security to the lender.

Other names for a Deed of Trust:

Trust Deed, Deed of Trust Form

How a Deed of Trust is different from a Mortgage:

If you look at the big picture, a Deed of Trust functions similarly to a Mortgage. Namely, a buyer secures a loan so he or she can buy a house, then the lender protects that loan with a deed or a mortgage. But there are a few important differences to keep in mind.

For starters, a Deed of Trust is usually notcreated by a bank. In fact, there’s a third party involved during Deeds of Trust. There’s the home buyer, the lender, and finally, the trustee, who actually holds the title until the loan is repaid. The trustee is responsible for beginning the foreclosure process, if it comes to that.

In fact, in the event of a foreclosure, a Deed of Trust lets the lender and trustee stay out of court.

States you can create a Deed of Trust in:

While Deeds of Trust are getting more popular across the country, that doesn’t mean you can create then in every state. Here are a list of states in which a Deed of Trust is legal:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Washington D.C., Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and finally, Wyoming.

Optional terms for your Deed of Trust:

You’ll need some typical information to complete your Deed of Trust. The names of the borrowers, lenders, and trustees, for example, as well as information about the loan and property themselves. But, in addition to those, here are two important optional terms that you may want to include in your Deed of Trust:

  • Allow Borrower to pre-pay or make early payments on loan.If included, specify type of early payment allowed including either any amount or full amount (which will include principal and interest).
  • Deed of Sale Clause.If included, this allows Lender to foreclose the property, without court procedure, in order to pay off balance of loan in case Borrower defaults.

Signing the Deed of Trust:

In order to make the Deed of Trust binding, the Borrower and Guarantor, if there is one, must sign it front of a notary public. Then the signed and notarized Deed of Trust must be filed at the city or county office for recording property documents.


Sample Deed of Trust

More than just a template, our step-by-step interview process makes it easy to create a Deed of Trust.

Save, sign, print, and download your document when you are done.

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