What is a 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
* 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 payOther liens or claims that may exist against your title that are not listed
in the policy.
* a mortgage or deed of trust
* a judgment, tax, or special assessment
* a charge by a homeowners or condominium association.
Notify your title company immediately if someone files a lien or claims an interest in your
property. Failure to do so could jeopardize your claim. Contact the underwriter listed on the
policy and follow their claim-filing procedures.
What doesn’t a title policy cover?
A title policy generally won’t cover mistakes or defects, financial issues, or rights issues.
* Defects that are created after the policy is issued.
* Defects that you create, or of which you had knowledge.
* Problems that arise because of your failure to pay your mortgage, or to obey applicable laws or restrictive covenants that were disclosed to you.
* Certain taxes and assessments.
* Losses resulting from rights claimed by someone else occupying the land. The title company may
need to inspect the property. There may be a charge for the inspection.
* Homestead, community property, or survivorship rights of a policyholder’s spouse. Texas homestead
laws address the rights of a spouse or survivors of a property owner.
* Claims from other people who may have certain rights if your property is near a body of water or has
a river or stream flowing through it.
* Condemned land, unless a condemnation notice appeared in the public record on the policy date or
the condemnation occurred before the policy date.
* Violations of building and zoning ordinances and other laws and regulations related to land use, land improvements, land division, and environmental protection.
Disclosed restrictive covenants limiting how you may use the property. Request copies of restrictions and have your attorney explain them.