Swindlers Beware: Texas Makes Its Move to Head Off “Dirty Deeds”

They call it the dirty deeds law. Recorders of Texas deeds may, as of July 2023, card people who show up to file home deed transfers.

Meanwhile, in Arizona, a swindler sold an ill-gotten deed to the Zillow® real estate company.

Texas is lowering the boom. The state will now have its deed recorders verify the bona fides of strangers bearing documents.

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Texas AG Investigates Home Title Lock

Do Anti-Fraud Companies Overhype Deed Theft?

The latest cyberthreat is home equity theft, warns the Home Title Lock company. “Are you already a victim?”

The company warns potential customers to “lock” their deeds, or they could be left homeless and mired in credit problems.

Now, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched an investigation into Home Title Lock’s advertising.

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Texans Welcome New Guidance for Quitclaim Deeds

Adverse Possession Also Clarified

Congrats to Texas, where the government just gave a boost to the quitclaim deed! People who receive their homes through recorded quitclaim deeds will now be on firmer ground in the Lone Star State. Here’s what you need to know.

Strengthening the Chain of Title for Texas Property

Image of the American Flag and the Texas Flag.

In May, a bill was signed into law to amend Chapter 13 of the Texas Property Code, to take effect on Sep. 1, 2021. From now on, using a quitclaim deed to transfer title from one owner to the next will be easier. Title companies will be able to consider buyers who accepted and recorded quitclaims as bona fide purchasers after four years. Texas formally set a four-year statute of limitations for competing claims.

Once a quitclaim deed is recorded in the property’s county, a later purchaser or lender has good-faith protection, as long as the party has no knowledge of other unrecorded claims on the property. What does this mean for buyers of real estate with a quitclaim in the chain of title? The buyer can legally claim good faith purchaser status.

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News From Texas

Untangling Titles in Dallas; Texas Eviction Moratorium Extended

Texas Flag, outside blowing in the wind.

Stories abound about people in southern states facing denials of disaster assistance because they can’t prove clear title to their homes.

It’s hurricane season — and hurricanes are hard on Texas. When Texas residents lack the legal basis for insuring their homes, or to claim disaster assistance after storm damage, the harm is compounded. This season, through a pilot program started last year for Dallas residents, legal service providers are stepping in to help. They’ve started a new legal support system to clear titles: Title and Property Assistance, or TAPA.

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Probate Creditors’ Rights Under Texas Law

Probate Creditors' Rights Under Texas Law

Paying off the decedent’s debts is one of the primary duties of an estate’s executor or administrator. Failing to do this can lead to personal liability on the executor or administrator’s part. The estate’s creditors have rights under Texas probate law, but all are time-sensitive. If estate assets are limited, whether the creditor receives reimbursement depends on the nature of the debt.

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Homestead Exemptions and Living Trusts: a Look at California, Florida, and Texas

The information presented in this article is not all-encompassing, nor is it meant to be construed as professional legal advice. Because homestead exemption laws are complicated, consult a qualified attorney with questions regarding homestead exemptions and living trusts in your state.

Via Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th ed., a homestead is “[t]he house, outbuildings, and adjoining land owned and occupied by a person or family as a residence. As long as the homestead does not exceed in area or value the limits fixed by law, in most states it is exempt from forced sale for collection of a debt.” A homestead can only be designated in one jurisdiction, generally where the owner maintains permanent residence.

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The Mechanic’s Lien Process in Texas

A mechanic’s lien is an encumbrance on a property owner’s real estate title, used to guarantee payment to builders, contractors, and construction businesses which build or repair structures, by using the property where the work was completed as a form of collateral. Eligible parties include the general contractor, subcontractors, laborers, and material or equipment suppliers, as well as by architects, engineers, and surveyors. Material or equipment suppliers must have the materials actually delivered to or used in the project to claim a lien, but if the materials were specially manufactured, the supplier can get a lien even if the materials are not ultimately delivered or incorporated into the project. The lien ensures that the workmen are paid before anyone else if the property subject to the lien is eventually foreclosed upon.

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