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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  • Q: Where can I get a legal document?
    A: A stationary store, title company, or attorney’s office.

  • Q: What is a Substitution of Trustee and Reconveyance?
    A: A document recorded to show that a Deed of Trust (Mortgage) has been paid in full.

  • Q: How can I add/delete a name from property?
    A: Complete either a Grant Deed or Quitclaim Deed with the proper names and legal description of the property.

  • Q: What if an owner died?
    A: If ownership was held as joint tenants, record the form Affidavit Death of Joint Tenant. If ownership was held in a trust, record the form Death of Trustee. If ownership was held as a Life Estate, record the form Death of Life Tenant. If property was held as Community Property With Right of Survivorship, record the form Death of Community Property Owner. In each situation, also include the death certificate.

  • Q: How do I order a copy of my birth/marriage certificate or a death certificate?
    A: Please see our section Birth/Death/Marriage Certificate Copies.

  • Q: Why can't I view my birth/marriage or death certificate online?
    A: The California State Legislature has enacted laws to protect the citizens of California from identity theft. These laws prohibit our office from displaying Birth/Death/Marriage Certificate Copies on the internet.

  • Q: How do I get a marriage license?
    A: Marriage licenses are issued from 8:00 – 4:00. Please see our section Marriage Licenses.


  • This exemption gives a debtor a minimum level of protection from attachment and sale of his personal residence. It is a term for the exempt dollar amount. It will not prevent a judgment debtor’s property from being sold, but assures that a statutory dollar amount will go to the debtor instead of to his creditors if the funds available come from the forced sale of the dwelling.

  • The owner of property.

  • The principal dwelling where the judgment debtor or his or her spouse resides.

  • The amount is generally fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). There are two exceptions to this limitation. The first is if the judgment debtor or spouse resides in the “homestead” with another family member who has no ownership interest. The exemption amount in this situation is seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000). The second exception is if the judgment debtor is either: 1) over sixty-five years old; 2) physically or mentally disabled; 3) a single person over 55 years old with gross annual income of less than fifteen thousand dollars ($15, 000); or 4) a married person 55 years old with gross annual income of less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000). The exemption amount for any of these situations is one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars ($125,000).

  • You can get the Declaration of Homestead form from a stationary store, title company, or attorney’s office. The form needs to be notarized before recording.