Rejected Deed Recordings – What You Must Know

Grant Deed with Keys and PenIn the ever-changing world of the real estate and title industry, there are a wide range of requirements and procedures associated with recording documents. In order to operate more efficiently for you and your clients, it is beneficial to have a broad understanding of what the County Recorder requires to prevent issues.

First is a complete, correct and legible notary acknowledgment. The names of the parties being acknowledged must match the names on the documents. The signatures of the parties must match EXACTLY the printed names. The name of the notary needs to be the same as shown on their stamp. The correct form of acknowledgment must be used.

Second, the document must be complete, legible and with no blank sections. The best way to review the document from top to bottom is to start at the top of the instrument and work your way down, one blank section at a time. For example on a deed, there is usually a “recording requested by” section, a “return address” area, and a “transfer tax declaration.” As you continue down, there is a grantor, grantee, legal description, signature lines and notary form. All of these sections and/or areas must be complete to the degree that the county will understand the transaction.

When a deed is to be filed with the county, typically a “Preliminary Change of Ownership” (PCOR) form must be completed and attached to the document. One area that seems to cause problems on this is the sales price. Did you change the sales price during escrow, by giving or getting credits? The transfer tax on the deed must match the sales price shown on the PCOR. If they do not, it will result in a “Pull” or overpayment of the tax.

Keep in mind, when you are evaluating your document that when the recording clerk(s) are reviewing the instrument it must be able to “speak for itself” for all elements of the transaction. If the county finds something missing or incorrect, the document will be “pulled.”

Following is a list of the most common ‘Rejection Reasons’ as provided by the County Recorder.

– Prior Recording Reference Missing
– Illegible Notary Seal
– Complete Material Statement
– Tax Signature Missing
– How Was Tax Computed
– Tax Amount Missing
– Need a Valid Reason for $0.00 Tax
– Label Attached Exhibit/ Schedule
– Exhibit Missing/ Illegible
– Mail Tax Statements To Missing
– Recording Requested By Missing
– Return Mailing Address Missing
– Parties Need to be Identified
– Print Name of Party/Company Near Signature

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