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Real property

title defect

A title defect is anything that can cause a title to be considered invalid or defective in some way. Some examples are:

• Invalid documents due to forgery, fraud, undue influence, duress, incompetency, incapacity, or impersonation.

• Failure of any person or entity to have authorized a transfer or conveyance.

• A document affecting title that is not properly executed, signed, witnessed, notarized, or delivered.

• Undisclosed or unrecorded easements not otherwise apparent on your land.

• No right of access to and from the land.

• A document executed under a falsified, expired, or otherwise invalid power of attorney.

• A document not properly filed, recorded, or indexed in the public records.

• Ownership claims by undisclosed or missing heirs.

• Defect arising from an improper prior foreclosure.

• Undisclosed restrictive covenants affecting your property.

Lien issues can also cause title defects. Some examples of lien issues are:

• Any statutory or constitutional contractor’s, mechanic’s, or materialman’s lien for labor or materials that began on or before the policy date. Talk to an attorney about your rights.

• Lien for labor or materials furnished by a contractor without your consent.

• A previous owner failed to pay

o a mortgage or deed of trust

o a judgment, tax, or special assessment

o a charge by a homeowners or condominium association.

• Other liens or claims that may exist against your title that are not listed in the policy.

In Texas, a title defect refers to any issue that compromises the validity or clear ownership of property title. Common defects include fraudulent or improperly executed documents, unauthorized transfers, undisclosed easements, lack of access rights, and invalid use of power of attorney. Defects may also arise from documents not correctly filed or recorded in public records, claims from missing heirs, or issues stemming from a flawed foreclosure process. Lien-related defects can occur due to unpaid contractor fees, judgments, taxes, assessments, or association charges from a previous owner. Texas law requires that these matters be addressed to ensure a clear title. It is advisable to consult with an attorney to understand the implications of these defects and to determine the appropriate legal remedies to cure them.

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