California Trust Deed

Buying land or a house is a dream of many, but since it is a costly dream, not everyone has enough funds to fulfill it. A reasonable option for most people is to get a loan and fill out a document called a Deed of Trust.

This deed of trust form regulates the relationship between:

  • the Borrower
  • the Lender
  • the Trustee

The Borrower receives money from the Lender to buy real property. But money is given for a reason. As security against the loan, the Borrower gives legal title to the property to the Lender. Until the loan is fully paid, the Trustee holds this title in trust for the Lender. After the full payment of the loan amount, the title goes back to the Borrower.

This document provides the Lender with insurance if the Borrowers do not pay money on time or do not pay at all. Many people choose to use this document instead of a mortgage relationship. To learn more about deed forms, check our full article:

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Trust Deed Laws and Requirements in California

Each state has its laws governing real property relations. Below are the main provisions related to the situation in California.


In California, the use of this document is described in § 1091-1099 of the Civil Code.

Signing requirements

Like all other types of deeds, this form must be signed in the presence of a notary public. All parties to the agreement must append their signatures.

Recording requirements

Once signed, the document is sent to the County Office where the property is located.

After that, all parties must keep a copy of the document.

How to Fill Out and File a Trust Deed in California

The form must contain a specific legal language, so we advise you to use our form-building software to create the document.

1. Provide the Return Address of the Form

Once the form is recorded in the County’s Office, it is sent to the address you specified. Enter the full name and address of the recipient.

Enter the Date

In point A, you must indicate the date of filling out the form.

2. Enter the Names of the Parties

In paragraphs B, C, D, you should write the names of the parties (and data such as addresses) concluding this document.

3. Fill in the “Note”

In this paragraph, you need to write:

  • The date of filling
  • The loan amount (in words and figures)
  • The date of the last loan repayment

4. Read the Definitions

Carefully read points F to H.

Check the Rider

In paragraph H, you need to check the one box as applicable.

Read the Remaining Definitions

Read items I – Q carefully.

Fill in the Transfer of Rights

In this paragraph, specify the location of the real property, including:

  • Township
  • County
  • Street
  • City
  • Zipcode
  • Full legal description

5. Provide all Signatures

All three parties to the document must sign the form and write their names side by side. A notary public must also sign and certify the document.

Record the Form

Find out the address of the County’s Office and send the form there for recording. You will most likely also need to pay the filing fee—check the up-to-date amount at the Office.

Published: Apr 24, 2022