There are a number of methods to finance real estate transaction. The most common is a mortgage. This is a loan which transfers an interest in the land as collateral against repayment. The borrower typically pays the mortgage in installments including both interest and principal payments. If the borrower fails to pay, the mortgage's owner can foreclose on the property. In a foreclosure, the lender can declare that the entire debt is due immediately. If this is not repaid, the lender can sell the property to pay the remainder of the debt.

Foreclosure procedure depends on state law, the terms of the mortgage, and the existence of any other liens on the property. If a foreclosure is threatened, a borrower should consult with an experienced real estate attorney to protect his or her interests and resolve the situation.

Contact a Iowa real estate lawyer representing clients in Ankeny, Iowa today to schedule your initial consultation.


A deed is a legal document which records the transfer of real estate between owners. No real estate transaction is complete unless the buyer receives a finished deed. Legal requirements for deeds include:

  • Must be in writing.
  • The names of the buyer and seller.
  • A legal description of the property.
  • The signature of the person transferring ownership.
  • Must follow state laws.

State law differs on language and format for deeds. There are different types of deeds, but the two most common are quitclaim and warranty deeds.

A quitclaim deed allows the seller to assign any rights he or she has to the property. However, it does not guarantee the extent of these rights. Quitclaim deeds are often employed during divorces, when one spouse transfers property rights to the other.

A warranty deed includes an explicit promise to the buyer that the seller has clear title to the real estate. The warranty deed offers the buyer much greater protection, as it guarantees that no liens or encumbrances are extant against the property and undisclosed in the deed. It also obligates the seller to protect the buyer against any defects in the deed. A special warranty deed only contains this guarantee for claims which arose while the seller was the legal owner of the property.

It is a good idea to officially record the deed and make it public record. Deeds are filed in the County Recorder's office.

Even if the broker or closer handles the recording of the deed, it is a good idea to make sure that this crucial step takes place. Recording the deed makes the transfer public record, and allows future title searchers to find the history of a property's ownership.

Given the crucial nature of the deed, it is an excellent idea to have the deed reviewed by a competent real estate attorney.

If you would like to schedule a initial consultation contact an Iowa mortgage and foreclosure attorney, representing clients in Ankeny, Iowa at Howes & Anderson P.C. Give us a call at (515) 225-9000 or complete our inquiry form.